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  • Writer's pictureDanny C

The Zutons, PJ Molloy's, Dunfermline 07-03-24

When I saw that The Zutons were playing Dunfermline I jumped at the tickets, knowing that the venue, PJ Molloys is quite a small place it wouldn't take long to sell out. With the added bonus of it only being half an hour away and half the price of a train to Glasgow (where bands missing out Edinburgh on tour usually go instead) it was a no brainer to go see old favourites that I haven’t seen for fifteen years. I’m sure I’ve lost a decade somewhere.

Heading over with my PeaceFrog brother, Mike Mystery (Peace Frog by The Doors being our indie clubbing classic duo-theme tune of our late teens/early 20s), ,we met up with another old pal D-Mac who I first worked together quarter of a century ago at the pioneering frontier of internet banking. During pre-gig beers, we realised that while we've bumped into each other at numerous gigs over the years since first meeting this was the first gig we'd actually gone to together.

Glad we did as we had almost as good a laugh beforehand as enjoying the gig. A wide and varied chat about inner monologues (who has one, who doesn’t), the history of the term Shoegaze and what it means to south-east Asian music fans, Little and Large, the corny 1980’s comedy double act recording an album of material at Abbey Road (true fact!), unusual choices of funeral songs , how I remember obscure event facts from decades ago (like Beck supporting The Pixies in Edinburgh but coming on stage at 5pm on a Tuesday night and missing his set. Come on, I mean who does that!?).

So, to the gig. We got in just in time to catch the last few songs of a support band that I wish we’d caught more of: Reignmaker. They’re a young Liverpool five-piece who it would be too easy to say are Indie, their sound’s more complex than that. Yes, a guitar based indie band that tick a lot of boxes, but lots of subtle layers to the songs, melodies that kind of spin off in and out of the songs. I’ve tagged them for future excursions north of the border and will be keeping an eye out for them check them out.

The Zutons were cheered on stage as if it was a homecoming gig and with them being off the touring scene and no new music until recently, with a new album out in a few weeks (yaaaay!), it was like them coming back, to us at least. They flew out the traps with Zuton Fever, Confusion and Don’t Ever Think (which had the crowd bouncing) and that set the tone and pace for the evening.

They mixed old classics with new material and based on what we heard of it, their new stuff is up there with their best. Abi Harding’s sax playing is a standout highlight (as always) as it’s a central part of their unique sound for me. While there’s a familiarness to the new songs, they’ve developed a bit differently too with a kind of funky side and heavy Seventies rock to some of the tunes. I’m looking forward to playing this album to death when it comes out.

Frontman Dave McCabe leads the line perfectly, great banter with the crowd which peaked at one point when responding to a very excited guy in the crowd by dedicating a new song (Bring The Best Out Of Me?) to him. To see Dave make eye contact with his uber fan and sing something along the lines of “I wanna see what you see, Bring the best out of me I wanna go where you go, Bring the best out of me” straight at him from about fifteen feet away was pretty good and I’m sure the uber fan will be dining out on that for a while yet.

A set of about sixteen or seventeen songs was an absolute treat and to finish on a mixture of old and new (Creeping on the Dancefloor and You Will You Won’t) sent us home very happy. You know The Zutons, but I seriously recommend getting their new album when it’s out and have a listen back to the material you think you know (you will, you will!) enjoy them all over again and get that Zuton fever back.


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