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Five reasons we love The Zutons ahead of their set at Glastonbury

4 weeks ago

Five reasons we love The Zutons ahead of their set at Glastonbury
Credit: The Zutons

The Zutons are back with a top ten album, catchy new singles and a string of tour dates across the UK and America.

And when the Liverpool band open the Other Stage at Glastonbury on Sunday, they won’t just be easing festival goers into the final day of the epic event, they will be celebrating a return to the spotlight that proves you can’t  keep a good band down.

After a 15-year hiatus, we are loving the new tunes and creativity from Dave McCabe, Abi Harding and Sean Payne and we can’t wait to watch their Glasto performance.

Here are five reasons why we love the Zutons.

They created one of the most memorable songs of the 21st century and it was written in just 20 minutes

Valerie was a top 10 hit for the Zutons in 2006 and was taken from their second album Tired of Hanging Around.

In 2007, super producer Mark Ronson was making Versions, and recorded the track with Amy Winehouse. When Ronson said he wanted to release it as a single McCabe was dubious as it had been such a big hit for the band the year before and he wondered how it would fare. He didn’t need to worry. It was a smash and has now been streamed 434 million times on Spotify.

The song was written about a make up artist from Florida who was arrested for driving under the influence. McCabe came up with the lyrics in a taxi to his mum’s house after writing the guitar riff in a rehearsal room earlier. Once he arrived at the house, he says he “wrote down everything I remembered”. And so, one of the biggest songs of the 21st century so far was created.

Credit: The Zutons
Credit: The Zutons

The first time McCabe met Amy Winehouse he told her where to go

The two musicians initially encountered each other on a boozy night out in Camden in north London, the ultimate showbiz hangout of the noughties.

McCabe recounts that there was an incident with someone he thought was a hanger on and Winehouse stuck up for them, which resulted in the pair trading insults.

Minutes later though, Winehouse followed him and told him she loved the song Valerie.

So began the start of an unlikely musical pairing that would lead to one of the biggest hits of the decade.

Their first album Who Killed…The Zutons? Was a modern classic

The 2003 long player spawned singles like Pressure Point and You Will You Won’t, and was Mercury Music Prize nominated.

At the time, the band said they always felt like the underdogs, living in the shadow of fellow Scouse bands like The Coral but the validation from the Mercury panel changed all that.

They might have lost out on the prize to Scots rockers Franz Ferdinand, but they were thrust onto the big stage and celebrated in style. The album charted at number 6 in the UK and went double platinum.

They recorded new album The Big Decider with guitar legend Nile Rodgers and old mate Ian Broudie

Credit: Jill Furmanovsky

After drifting apart, the band started speaking again and making music in 2018. During lockdown McCabe sent demos of five songs to Chic frontman Rodgers and he loved them.

Lightening Seeds frontman Broudie is an old friend and worked with the band back in noughties on their debut album and was keen to get back in the studio with them when he heard their latest work.

With this production dream team, and a clutch of great new songs like Pauline and Creeping on the Dancefloor, they have produced one of the best albums of 2024 so far. They recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studios and the album peaked at number seven.

McCabe said: “Working with Nile was just an amazing experience; he gave me a confidence that I’ve never felt before making a record. He’s very laid-back as a person and a good listener.”

They put on a great live show

If you’ve never seen The Zutons live then you need to put that right. Playing as a six piece on stage, their recent tour was an energetic race through songs old and new played to enthusiastic crowds up and down the country.

You might be lucky enough to catch their Glastonbury set on Sunday if you are there. If not, they are touring with Paul Heaton later this year including a date at the M&S Bank Arena on 6th December.

Get tickets for The Zutons at the M&S Bank Arena here HERE

Find all the latest Liverpool news here.

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