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The Zutons / Casino, Chalk, Brighton, 22nd April 2024…



The Zutons will drop their first album for 16 years on Friday [26th April 2024], via Icepop Records – and we predict a number one spot in the UK album chart maybe a week later for “The Big Decider”.

Currently on the road selling out dates on their 12-show “Big Decider” UK tour, we caught them in Brighton at Chalk for their magnificent gig last night [22nd April], which was totally rammed with more than 1,000 fans lapping up their 17-song set. [Setlist can be seen below]. The band played six of the nine songs from the imminent new album at their Brighton gig.

The singles “Creeping On The Dancefloor” and “Pauline” were well received in Brighton. “Pauline” is flanked by breezy sun-kissed melodies and an earworm saxophone riff from Abi Harding.

Lead singer and guitarist Dave McCabe says about the track: “We went to Palm Springs for a band holiday a few years ago. We had mushrooms and it was one of the best days of my life. I wrote the song a few months later. Pauline was the first song we worked on for the album as a band, so it gave us momentum.

“I was listening to a lot of Hot Chocolate at the time I wrote it, and I think that shows. It’s been going down great on the tour, it’s already a live favourite in the set, it’s always great to get that feedback from an audience, that’s when you know you’re on to a winner.”

The new album is produced by the legendary Nile Rodgers and Lightning Seeds frontman Ian Broudie, recorded at iconic Abbey Road studios.

The multi-platinum selling band released three studio albums between 2004 and 2008, scoring nine UK Top 40 singles including two Top 10s with “Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?” and the all- conquering “Valerie”, the latter a triple-platinum hit for Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse.

“The Big Decider” comes into view as an album of stark significance to the band, completed by Dave McCabe (guitar, lead vocals), Abi Harding (saxophone, vocals) and Sean Payne (drums, vocals). Written against the backdrop of a decade and a half’s worth of lived experience, it is born under the weight of family tragedies, lives lost and created, reality checks, and home truths faced up to and stared down.

Wrestled into shape under the kind of steam that only decades-long friendships – with all their messy fall-outs, make-ups, breakdowns and ultimately love – can muster, “The Big Decider” became the sound of water passing under the bridge, and love for music, love for each other, and love for creating together becoming the most important thing of all.


Curiously, the pandemic seemingly fast-tracked the process of the band’s next phase. As Dave McCabe characterises that time, shortly before he went into rehab: “We were all living together in our own little bubble, plenty of booze and mushrooms and a lot of bonding! It was necessary.” It was McCabe’s subsequent time in rehab that truly sparked a turning point in the positivity of the new album and the joyful experience of putting it together.

Abi Harding says: “Dave has been through an awful lot in the last few years, and these things have obviously really impacted him. But his songwriting has only got better. Now he spends more time on his songs. He’s in touch with his own and others’ emotions, and that all goes into the songs. It has been so nice to watch him grow. I’m so proud of him.”


The Zutons’ Setlist

Tape: I Want More
(Can song)

Zuton Fever


Don’t Ever Think (Too Much)

Big Decider

Pressure Point

Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?


Dirty Dancehall

Best Of Me


Hello Conscience



Remember Me

Creeping On The Dancefloor

You Will You Won’t

Zuton Fever Reprise





Talking about the new album, Dave says: “Working with Nile was just an amazing experience, he gave me a confidence that I’ve never felt before making a record. He’s very laid-back as a person and a good listener. On the song ‘Disappear’ , I wrote a spoken word piece about The Zutons travelling the stars and galaxies asking the most powerful question in the universe, Why?

“I asked Nile if he’d read it out over the top of the end section of the song, thinking he’d just say no. But he jumped in the vocal booth with his chain around his neck and his sunglasses on and did about 20 different takes, all in different styles of himself. It was mind-blowing! It was as though he really does travel around the universe in some spaceship and just makes music in his spare time. He’s just one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

“It was great to reconnect with Ian Broudie on this record as well. He told me the demo of Big Decider brought a tear to his eye and that’s why he said yes to working with us again. It was one of the first songs we wrote for the album, so getting that reaction from Ian made me feel like we were doing something right. The song spoke for itself.”


Long-anticipated, authentically hard-won, scorchingly self-aware and truly worth the wait, “The Big Decider” is the sound of a band channelling what Abi Harding describes as a lifetime of “great chemistry and great connection”.

Or, as Sean Payne puts it: “We had a genuine feeling of a shared vision. In the past we haven’t really said how we feel, or we’ve taken each other the wrong way. But this album was different. We really didn’t feel good until it was just how we wanted it.”


  • Remaining shows on The Zutons’ current tour:

Wed 24 Apr – Pryzm, Kingston, UK – SOLD OUT
Thu 25 Apr – O2 Academy, Oxford, UK
Fri 26 Apr – Olympia, Liverpool, UK- SOLD OUT
Sat 27 Apr – Pryzm, Kingston, UK




Fellow scousers Casino turned in a very pleasing nine-song set, which whetted the appetite to catch them again. They opened with their single release “Love Go On” and closed with their debut single, “Back In The Day”.

The Liverpool five-piece – Dillon Kelly (vocals), Jamie Wild (drums), Anton Jackson (bass), Oliver Stone (keys) and Tom Donoghue (guitar) – call themselves “the bastard sons of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding .” Their mix of Northern Soul meets Motown meets Stax meets funk and with a sprinkling of modern day indie vibes, is winning them many new fans.

Casino’s Dillon Kelly

They have toured with Jamie Webster, The Lightning Seeds, CVC and on the Libertines’ Steam Packet tour. Plus of course, this current spot opening for The Zutons to sold out venues. Festival slots such as The Isle Of Wight, and spins on BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 2 and Radio X have boosted their following enormously.

This band and especially Dillon, lead singer, are pretty special and have a strong set of commercial radio-ready material – and the raw potential to break through to mainstream success. This magazine will be showing them some love in their own right asap…



  • The Zutons – September 2024 North American headline tourFri 20 Sept – Axis Club, Toronto, CA
    Sun 22 Sept – LPR, New York, USA
    Tue 24 Sept – Empty Bottle, Chicago, USA
    Thu 26 Sept – Teragram Ballroom, Los Angeles, USA
    Fri 27 Sept – Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, USA



Live photos: Liam Battersby

Words: Emma Ledwell


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