News: The incomparable The Zutons return after 16 years with Nile Rodgers/Ian Broudie produced album ‘The Big Decider’ and UK tour.

Feature Photograph: Jonathan Turton

The Zutons were one of those bands that seemed to burn brightly for an altogether too short a time before spluttering out in the early 2000’s. Purveyors of an intelligent style of indie pop inflected with a bit of soul, their greatest achievement – and one that is not recognised by many – is they wrote the song ‘Valerie’ which in the hands of Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse became a massive global hit. But they were always much more than that: delivering a style of indie rock that was unique and distinctive from their peers at the time. The multi-platinum selling band released three studio albums between 2004 and 2008, scoring 9 UK Top 40 singles including two Top 10s with ‘Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?’ as well as the ubiquitous ‘Valerie’.

The good news is that they are back – a little slimmed down to a three piece – but with a new album ‘The Big Decider’ due out through ICEPOP on 26 April 2023. Furthermore, it is produced by two veritable legends, Nile Rodgers and fellow Liverpudlian Ian Broudie (The Lightning Seeds).

Now consisting of Dave McCabe (guitar, lead vocals), Abi Harding (saxophone, vocals) and Sean Payne (drums, vocals), the album and songs reflect the various vicissitudes of life during the intervening time. According to McCabe, who spent a period of time in rehab:

We were all living together in our own little bubble, plenty of booze and mushrooms and a lot of bonding! It was necessary.

Harding says: 

Dave has been through an awful lot in the last few years, and these things have obviously really impacted him. But his songwriting has only got better. Now he spends more time on his songs. He’s in touch with his own and others’ emotions, and that all goes into the songs. It has been so nice to watch him grow. I’m so proud of him.

Talking about the new album, McCabe says: 

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. On the song ‘Disappear’ , I wrote a spoken word piece about The Zutons travelling the stars and galaxies asking the most powerful question in the universe, “Why?”. I asked Nile if he’d read it out over the top of the end section of the song, thinking he’d just say no. But he jumped in the vocal booth with his chain around his neck and his sunglasses on and did about 20 different takes, all in different styles of himself. It was mind-blowing! It was as though he really does travel around the universe in some spaceship and just makes music in his spare time. He’s just one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

It was great to reconnect with Ian Broudie on this record as well. He told me the demo of Big Decider brought a tear to his eye and that’s why he said yes to working with us again. It was one of the first songs we wrote for the album so getting that reaction from Ian made me feel like we were doing something right. The song spoke for itself.”

As a taster, the band has released a promo video featuring new songs ‘Creeping On The Dancefloor’, ‘Pauline’, ‘In Your Arms’ and ‘Rise’, which provides some very appetising morsels of what is to come: a sound that is as vital and energising as ever:

form the snippets provided, this is a spectacular return to form and a very welcome return, You can pre-order the album here.

The Zutons will also be touring in the UK – details below.

Tickets are available on pre-sale with pre-orders of the new album from 5pm GMT on Tuesday 14th November from the band’s Official Store here. Tickets will then go on general sale from 10am on Friday 24th November.

January 2024
Wed 31 – Old Fire Station, Carlisle, UK

February 2024
Thu 01 – Bootleg Social, Blackpool, UK
Fri 02 – Parish, Huddersfield, UK
Sat 03 – Future Yard, Birkenhead, UK
Wed 07 – Ku, Stockton, UK
Thu 08 – The Welly, Hull, UK
Fri 09 – Gorilla Beer Hall, Mexborough, UK
Sat 10 – Redhouse, Merthyr Tydfil, UK
Thu 15 – MK11, Milton Keynes, UK
Fri 16 – Boileroom, Guildford, UK
Sat 17 – Chinnerys, Southend, UK
Thu 22 – Corn Exchange, Hertford, UK
Fri 23 – Waterfront, Norwich, UK
Sat 24 – Roadmender, Northampton, UK
Wed 28 – Bask, Stockport, UK
Thu 29 – Real Time, Chesterfield, UK

March 2024
Fri 01 – O2 Academy 2, Leicester, UK
Sat 02 – Sugarmill, Stoke, UK
Wed 06 – PJ Molloys, Dunfermline, UK
Thu 07 – Fat Sams, Dundee, UK
Fri 08 – St Mary’s Chambers, Rosendale, UK
Sat 09 – St Laurence Church, Reading, UK

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