The Zutons - With The Dead 60s - Manchester Academy 2 - Live Review

The Zutons
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The Zutons - With The Dead 60s - Manchester Academy 2 - Live Review

Anyone planning to go see two scouse bands in Manchester might have been forgiven for questioning their popularity – the sibling rivalry of these two northern cities has often got the better of their fantastic musical talent…but not this evening.

As Liverpool’s first musical offering, The Dead 60s, swagger on stage with the eerie blue lights caressing their poster boy good looks, you get a feeling you’re in for something special – and you’re not disappointed.

Their Specials come Clash with a kiss of Stone Roses sound gets the crowd whipped up into a right ol’ frenzy which is obviously egged on by charismatic frontman Matt McManaman, who suited and booted, claims the very front of the stage as his own, and unashamedly flirts with the girlies in the crowd who are conveniently at crotch height…

There’s instantly something different about this performance, it takes you while to realise, but you get there in the end – it’s like a DJ set. With no breaks between tracks the band are playing constantly – organist and guitarist Ben Gordon hops around like a blue arsed fly, a true homage to his musical talents. Charlie Turner on bass, keeps ripping up those dub bass lines good and proper and gives the crowd a lesson in how ska should be played. And then there’s Bryan Johnson on drums, he may be almost out of sight, but in no way out of mind – this boy handles those tricky rhythm changes enviably!

Their first single, ‘You’re Not the Law’ is out on 10th May on Deltasonic and receives a massive welcome from Manchester. It’s difficult to ignore the Chinese whispers of approval that circulate through the crowd – The Dead 60s are going to be big.

The air hangs with the aroma of anticipation as the crowd await our scouse headliners and then….they’re on!

The Zutons - With The Dead 60s - Manchester Academy 2 - Live Review
The Zutons - With The Dead 60s - Manchester Academy 2 - Live Review
The Zutons - With The Dead 60s - Manchester Academy 2 - Live Review
The Zutons - With The Dead 60s - Manchester Academy 2 - Live Review
The Zutons - With The Dead 60s - Manchester Academy 2 - Live Review

Launching into ‘Zuton Fever’, the band are clearly lovin’ the madness they’ve brought to Manchester and Abi Harding on sax does her best to bring a bit of mad on stage too.

Next up is ‘Pressure Point’ and the crowd seriously get moving. Manchester’s overly coiffed mullet population appear to be having some sort of dance-off at the front and take it in turns to bounce off each other, much to the delight of the slightly pimpish looking frontman McCabe as a wry smile creeps across his face.

The funky but dirty, soulful but sleezy sound of The Zutons goes down an absolute storm with this capacity-strength crowd which is borne out as they croon along with ‘Confusion’ at the top of their voices.

The fable-like qualities of The Zutons tracks seem to really hit home. Stories about real people with real lives that we can all relate to – the roots of this band are clear, they’re scousers and they jam about their experiences in their City.

With a beautiful acapella on the tail-end of ‘Railroad’, the crowd are suddenly transported to the Far East and what ensues can only be described as a ‘percussion stand-off’ as McCabe takes control of a bongo and Sean Payne hammers out those incredible rhythms.

With a Panto-esque group bow to finish The Zutons perform their latest single ‘You Will You Won’t’ as their encore. The crowd are drawn into this mystical performance as the lights go up and it’s belted out by everyone football chant style.

This band are great on paper, great on cd but even greater live – go and see them if it kills you!

www.thezutons.net

Jemma Volp-Fletcher

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