Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Zombies at the Town Hall

Colin Blunstone
The Zombies formed in 1961 in St Albans, England, when the members were schoolboys. During the British Invasion in 1964, the Zombies became only the second group (after the Beatles) to score a number one hit in the United States; "She's Not There" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. The band hit again with "Tell Her No" in 1965 and "Time of the Season" in 1968, which ironically became popular after the band's 1967 breakup. The Zombies second album, 1968's Odessey and Oracle, was listed on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Beginning in 1991, the Zombies several times reunited briefly and released albums. The band's sixth and most recent album, Still Got That Hunger, was released in 2015.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the album where the Zombies evolved from a pop band to a thinking man's band, the Zombies toured as two incarnations. At the Town Hall tonight, the first half of the show was a smattering of songs from different segments of Zombies history, performed by original vocalist Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent, along with the newer members, guitarist Tom Toomey, bassist Jim Rodford (formerly of Argent and the Kinks), and drummer Steve Rodford. For the second half of the program, Blunstone and Argent reunited with two other original Zombies, bassist Chris White and drummer Hugh Grundy, along with keyboardist Darian Sahanaja and vocalist Vivienne Boucherat, to perform the entire Odessey and Oracle album. In brief, Blunstone's vocals soared with passion and Argent's keyboard playing was majestic throughout the evening; with such accomplished talent on display, it hardly mattered which of the two Zombies bands was on stage with them. While the performance was strong, however, much of the material was not. In many ways, the uniqueness of this tour made it monumental, but yet, it was also a reminder that in the early 1960s, bands recorded a lot of filler.

Visit the Zombies at

Set 1:
  1. I Love You
  2. I Want You Back Again
  3. Moving On
  4. Edge of the Rainbow
  5. She's Coming Home
  6. Tell Her No
  7. You've Really Got a Hold on Me (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles cover) > Bring It On Home to Me (Sam Cooke cover)
  8. Road Runner (Bo Diddley cover)
  9. Just Out of Reach
  10. Chasing the Past
  11. Hold Your Head Up (Argent cover) (>) Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Johann Sebastian Bach cover)
  12. She's Not There
  13. The Way I Feel Inside (Blunstone and Argent only)

Set 2 Odessey and Oracle:
  1. Care of Cell 44
  2. A Rose for Emily
  3. Maybe After He's Gone
  4. Beechwood Park
  5. Brief Candles (>) Hung Up on a Dream
  6. Changes
  7. I Want Her She Wants Me
  8. This Will Be Our Year
  9. Butcher's Tale (Western Front 1914)
  10. Friends of Mine
  11. Time of the Season
  12. She's Not There (reprise)