Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone - founding members of legendary British invasion band the Zombies - played an impressive set at Rough Trade NYC last month in front of a packed-house filled with generations of inspired fans. Argent and Blunstone showcased an incredible set that was indicative of the Zombies harmonious sound and psychedelic expressions. Their performance highlighted how the band has reclaimed their relevancy in the rock & roll genre; while also making a substantial impact on both older and younger audiences bridging the gap between classic and modern rock.
As with most British Invasion bands that spread through the airwaves throughout the early to mid-1960s, the Zombies began touring the United States in 1964 behind their hit single, “She’s Not There,” which peaked to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. the Zombies performed at various venues across the U.S. while on tour and made their first U.S. television appearance in 1965. Their subsequent hit single, “Tell Her No” peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1965 and had become one of their biggest U.S. releases.
After signing with CBS Records from Decca Music Group, the Zombies released their classic studio album, Odessey and Oracle, in 1968. Over the past several decades, the album has since received international acclaim as one of the staples of 1960s expressionism with the Zombies hit song, “Time of The Season,” “This Will Be Our Year” and “Care of Cell 44.”
On that Thursday evening in Brooklyn, we were honored to witness Argent and Blunstone perform some of the Zombies' hit songs that triumphed during their 1960's debut. With open arms, Blunstone’s entrancing voice embraced audiences as they were drawn closer to the intriguing harmonies and melancholy hooks. The duo opened the show with the charming “Tell Her No” followed by the Zombies' debut hit “She’s Not There.” We stood together with the crowd and sang along with Blunstone’s cadent voice, echoing graciously across the stage. He helped the crowd follow his lead, providing comfort for both those reviving their youth and for the new generation reaffirming their appreciation for the Zombies' pioneering sound.
We were ultimately blown away when the Zombies performed their hit song, “Time of The Season,” when the crowd, no matter the generation, sung along to the classic record. Blunstone and Argent’s breezy acapella smoothed our ears with the songs expressive harmonies and relaxed melodies that were able to make us feel as one. They also performed songs from Still Got That Hunger, which provided audiences with a fresh taste of the Zombies latest works such as, “Moving On” and “Edge of the Rainbow,” that exemplified the band’s historic versatility and dynamic reach within their music.
Our experience of the Zombies performance that evening was intangible. The ability to witness these two pioneers of rock & roll brought upon a rare treat that reinforced our appreciation for musicians from that classic area and illustrated how powerful their impact has been and will be on current and future musicians. Although their music careers have had twists and turns – make no mistake – the Zombies are here to stay. As one of many 60’s and 70’s rock bands re-defining their legendary status through new albums and sold-out tours around the world, the Zombies have come off the bench and into the starting line-up.
Their new album is filled with vividly expressive lyrics, powerful instrumental talent, and a puff of smoky vocals that's rare to find these days. The Zombies showcased those talents effortlessly at Rough Trade, and most importantly, they did so by collectively bringing back the classic hits that continue to draw appreciation from fans and musicians across the world. They have continued their musical journey that aims to break barriers and surpass preconceived notions of rock: we couldn't be any more thrilled to hop along for the ride.
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