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Colin Blunstone

A pair of oldies but goodies crop up at The Robin in Bilston on Thursday night, and Leamington's Assembly Rooms on Friday. Dave Woodhall can't wait.

No matter what part of the region you live in, you won’t be far from a night of superb musicianship this week, courtesy of Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent. These two seasoned veterans, who’ve honed their craft over five decades, will be playing at the tried and tested Robin2 in Bilston on Thursday, while the following night sees them performing at the newer Leamington Spa Assembly Rooms, recently voted winner of the best live venue in the 2009 Godiva awards for Coventry & Warwickshire.

Messrs Blunstone and Argent began their performing life together in the Zombies, best known for their number one hit She’s Not There, later covered by Santana. Their 1967 album Odessey and Oracle, which came out as the band were breaking up, was generally ignored upon its release although the single Time of the Season later became a massive hit in the USA and has since become a classic of its time as well as earning its composers a small fortune thanks to regular use in advertising campaigns.

Keyboard player Rod Argent then went off to form the band of the same name (God Gave Rock’n’Roll, Hold Your Head Up) while Colin Blunstone, possessor of one of the most under-rated voices in the business, embarked on a successful solo career which included an epic version of What Becomes of the Broken Hearted in conjunction with a pre-Eurythmics Dave Stewart.

Reunited in 2001, the duo have spent much of the intervening years entertaining audiences throughout the world. Recent shows have placed more emphasis on Zombies material, coinciding with Odessey and Oracle finally getting the acclaim it deserves – it’s now a regular in All-Time Greatest Album lists. The Zombies reunited to play the album in its entirety in 2008, selling out three nights at the Shepherds Bush Empire, and embarked on a short British tour earlier this year. Although they have said the album will never be performed again the duo are often billed as The Zombies, as indeed they are at Leamington.

Regardless of the name on the posters it’ll be a night of well-crafted pop songs, with the usual polish that playing together on and off for over forty years has brought. In addition to Zombies tunes there will also be Argent material and work from Blunstone’s myriad solo projects (his work with Alan Parsons needs re-discovering by a wider audience in the same way Odessey and Oracle has been). Whether you’re headed for the Black Country or Warwickshire, you’ll be in for a memorable night.

Tickets are £15 at each venue. Robin2 01902-401211

Leamington Spa Assembly Rooms 01926-523001



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