The Zombies and Strawbs Give Regina A Flashback To The 60s

The Zombies

The Zombies with special guests The Strawbs
Casino Regina
October 7, 2011

Photo: Shawna Goodman

The Strawbs:

Well, what can I say? I had never heard of the Strawbs, so I went online to check them out. Originally started an English rock band founded in 1964, with a progressive rock feel similar to bands like Yes, The Moody Blues and early Genesis. But tonight was a bit different – they came to Regina as an acoustic trio – The Strawbs Acoustic. It didn’t take long once they were on stage to see what it took to function as a unit. These boys made it look easy. To me, it appeared as if the three of them played together for an eternity. All three played acoustic guitars that appeared to harmonize as well together as the men singing the ballads and telling the stories.

Dave Cousins has a booming deep voice that sounds a bit like a calmer version of AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. His vocal talent spilled out across the room like a volcano rumbling and threatening. He drew us into the lava flowing from his fingertips, torching the strings, and cooled us with a soothing voice and feel good story line.

As they played, I noticed that while Charles Cronk played lightly, Dave Cousins played medium to heavy, and David Lambert played feverishly while plucking, banging, and even manipulating the strings to obtain just the right note to make the song come to life with the story it told. The group performed songs such as New World, Ghosts, Copenhagen, Autumn and Lay Down.

The boys are not flashy dressers, nor do they come on stage with any ‘attitude’. They love what they do, and they love to tell stories through their songs. It shows in their performance. After their show I slipped out to the merch table and bought a Strawbs CD. I listened to it the next day on my way out of town. If you like music that is strong, commands your attention, and has a story in every song, you will like their CD, but you will love them LIVE. I still can’t get over how the three played so differently, yet together.

The Zombies

I thought I was somehow transported back in time, I swore I was in a happier place. The 60s! This is the 50th anniversary of the Zombies on the Breathe Out, Breathe In tour – not many can claim a 50 year anniversary for marriages, jobs or a band!

They played songs from the 60s and then swung right back into their newest music. They had the crowd clapping along, singing and hanging on every word. I was enjoying the show so much I almost forgot to take notes. This five man band still has it together. Of course some of the faces have changed over the years, but lead singer Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent have been active since 1959 in the band. With hits like She’s Not There, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted, and Time Of The Season, the boys rocked the show lounge. I knew all of these Zombie hits and I was very happy to have had the pleasure of seeing this band perform. For me, it was as close as I was going to get to what I think are one of the founding groups of rock and roll.

They recently played the Jimmy Falon Show, and have had several guest appearances such as The Alan Parsons Project, Mike Batt with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Split Second soundtrack. Additionally, Colin explained that in 1967 they wrote a song from their Odessey And Oracle album that took 15 years to blossom, and now continues today to be a number one hit in many countries (is it A Rose for Emily or Care of Cell 44 or both?). Rod Argent also mentioned that The Foo Fighters have recently released a cover of “This Will Be Our Year” on their own Medium Rare album.

Colin still has a strong voice and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He smiles the whole time and keeps the energy high. You can tell he truly loves to perform. Rod, who still can rock the house on keyboard, as well as sing,  still dances on the spot and clearly gets into every song with vigor!

I have to say, go see this band. It is worth your time. They sound great and enjoy your company as much as you will enjoy seeing them live. The band does not need to work hard together, it comes magically and uplifts each soul with every song. Imagine what they have seen across the years, and how many times they have played. Put the game controller down and go see the Zombies. You may not get another opportunity like this one.