Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, the original lead vocalist and keyboard player of increasingly influential ’60s British band the Zombies, thrilled a London audience Wednesday with a two-part show at London’s Jazz Cafe. The show was the first undertaken by the duo in more than 30 years, and marked the recent U.K. release of “Out Of The Shadows,” their new collaborative album on Redhouse.
Blunstone and Argent’s set featured material drawn from their wide-ranging resumes from the Zombies era onwards, accompanied by a fine band of Jim Rodford (the former bassist in Argent, the experimental rock group Rod Argent formed in the early 1970s), guitarist Mark Johns, and drummer Steve Rodford.
The two sets included versions of such Blunstone solo singles of the same era as the opening “Wonderful,” and “I Don’t Believe In Miracles,” plus fondly-remembered Zombies standards “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No.” and “Time Of The Season.” The group also tackled Argent’s “Hold Your Head Up” and the closing “God Gave Rock’N’Roll To You.”
There was room for more of Argent’s album material, marked by outstanding keyboard work from Argent himself, as well as stirring renditions of songs to which Blunstone has lent his distinctive vocals, such as the Alan Parsons Project’s “Old And Wise” and Dave Stewart’s 1981 U.K. hit cover of “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted.”
Acclaim for the Zombies’ catalog continues to grow from such younger, cutting-edge quarters as Mercury Music Prize winner Badly Drawn Boy. The band’s reissued output, including Ace’s 1998 boxed set “Zombie Heaven,” sells an estimated 100,000 copies worldwide per year, according to the label. Blunstone and Argent are planning additional dates this year..