The Zombies, Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Steve Rodford, Tom Toomey and Søren Koch at Abbey Road Studios, London to perform their only live performnce for 2021. the show is broadcast live via the internet.

Live(stream) Review: The Zombies at Abbey Road

Abbey Road is opening her doors, bringing laughter back to the studio after what has definitely been a long cold lonely winter of Covid. Eager to take this opportunity, The Zombies have reunited to showcase the reason why people still listen to them fifty years after they first recorded in the London studio. 

Yes, The Zombies are here, and by the sounds of things, have a new album in the works. With his trademark swagger, vocalist Colin Blunstone stands over the microphone, his eyes fixed on the audience, every note committed. Blunstone’s stage patter is a bit wooden, but his voice is still largely intact, not least on the rollicking “I Love You”, a Chris White B-side that allows the singer to leap on the chorus with shrill, soulful abandon. As it happens, White is sitting in the audience, watching the songs he and keyboardist Rod Argent fashioned in the sixties being given new life.

 It is Argent-seated behind a mellotron- who waves at his creative partner, but although the band appreciate the nostalgia, they aren’t soaking audiences with it. The Zombies currently comprise five band musicians,  and to their credit, they largely stick to this formula, , although they are joined by a quintet of string musicians for `Different Game”, an organ heavy number that sounds pleasantly Procul Harumesque. But before the night becomes too ponderous, the drums come in to kick off “Tell Her No”, and Blunstone serenades the audience with casual diplomacy, and dry wit. Even Belvita favourite “Care of Cell 44” is delivered with gusto, and any suggestions that The Zombies have grown softer with age are quickly dispelled. Nor has age weathered the chemistry between the two original members, and Blunstone produces a boisterous, helium like backing vocal when Argent takes the mike for “I Want Her She Wants Me.” 

As if acknowledging the studio, The Zombies do a quick run through Denny Laine’s sprightly “Say You Don’t Mind”, a track they committed to tape in the days when Beatles and Moodies toured the English halls together. Argent plays the opening chords to “You Could Be My Love”, before Blunstone takes over to deliver a yearning vocal, soaked in opportunity and resistance. He sounds more relaxed on the ballads, but that’s not a criticism of his delivery on the heavier material- his voice, massive when it needs to be, sounds exhilarating on “This Will Be Our Year.”  Taking a more sombre feel in the wake of the recent pandemic, the song is met warmly, both by the audience and the viewers watching the stream. 

Naturally, “Time of The Season” gets a run-through, but more interesting is the material that is set to make up the new project. The seeds are certainly there to be planted, and neither Argent nor Blunstone are showing any signs of stopping. Less of the chat, more of the organ, and amp up those gorgeous melodies high in the mix. Yeah, it’ll be an album worth buying-The Zombies know what they’re doing!