The Zombies

The Zombies, originally uploaded by fred pipes.

Just time for a quick glass of wine at the PV of Worthing-based RAG at the compact but conveniently located Start Gallery, en route to the Old Market in Hove and a gig with The Zombies. Dan Thompson (witty collages and skateboards) and others (I did like Michelle Dawson's digital prints) have assembled a fine eclectic mix, including a gallery within a gallery – a doll's house full of art! Worthing (and Crawley) art seems much less precious and more accessible than Brighton (and Hove) Art. A breath of fresh air to the City art scene. Long may they prosper.

Looking at the average age (my age!) of the punters milling around the entrance to the Old Market, it was no surprise that the hall was laid out cabaret-fashion, with tables and chairs. No mosh pit tonight!

Original Zombies, singer Colin Blunstone and songwriter/organist Rod Argent, have been reunited under this brand after splitting up way back in 1967. I must confess to being familiar with just two of their tunes – the wonderfully evocative 'She's not there' and from their second album Odessey And Oracle (via the classic compilation The rock machine turns you on) the more hippy 'Time Of The Season'. There was no support and the band started without ceremony the first of two sets. First up was 'I love you' and Colin, in black crushed velvet jacket is in very fine voice, still hitting those high notes! Next up was one of Ray Charles' finest 'Sticks and stones' and Solomon Burke's soulful 'Can't nobody love you'. Then a new one, Mystified' and back to soul for Jimmy Ruffin's 'What becomes of the broken hearted'. Took me right back to my Twisted Wheel days in Manchester! I'd love to go back to hear a typical Beat group's repertoire again. They finished with 'Time of the season', and Argent's 'Keep on rollin' and 'Hold your head up'.

The band was a real family affair with Jim Rodford, a founder member of Argent and cousin to Rod on bass, Jim's son Steve on drums and Mark Johns on lead guitar. Jim played with The Kinks, and Mark was in Ray Davies's band on his recent tour. I suspect they'd all like to have as much hair as him if they could! The second half was more of the same class act, with songs from Colin's solo album and some recent songs. Highlights included a fan presenting Colin with bunch of roses during Tim Hardin's 'Misty roses' (does this happen every gig?) and great powerful organ solo on 'Indication' quoting 'God rest ye merry gentlemen' and 'I do like to be beside the seaside'! The inevitable finale was, of course, 'She's not there'. Encores were 'God gave rock'n'roll to you' and Gershwin's 'Summertime', a strange choice maybe, but it was on their first album, after all. No 'Tell Her No', but otherwise a near perfect gig, the kind you usually only see in the Brighton Centre! Stadium rock in the sitting room – with a nice pint of Harvey's. My kind of gig. Even got their autographs on my set list.

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