The Zutons share new single ‘Pauline’ and announce UK tour dates

Posted on 28 June 2024
By Khyle Medany
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Earlier this year The Zutons released their first album together in more than 16 years.

Produced by Nile Rodgers alongside the band’s original producer Ian Broudie, The Big Decider arrived to widespread acclaim and landed in the UK albums chart Top 10. The band have since been touring the album up and down the country – and recently announced a first live return to North America since 2006. Today they are announcing new single ‘Pauline’ and sharing news that they will be special guests to Paul Heaton on his upcoming 2024 UK arena tour.

Talking about the new single, lead singer and guitarist Dave McCabe says: “Pauline is a song about all the women who have ever helped me in my life and the times you bump into them after years of not seeing them. You see how each other have grown but they still very much have the same spark about them. Aunties, cousins, mums, nans and most of all my wife. It’s my ode to them all. Because without these women I wouldn’t be the man I am today.”

Praise for new album The Big Decider

“Authentic, uplifting and instantly enriching, ‘The Big Decider’ was absolutely worth the wait” – Clash ★ ★ ★ ★

“Uplifting, rueful and expertly crafted” – Mojo ★ ★ ★ ★

“The Big Decider spins and struts with the joie de vivre of old” – Record Collector ★ ★ ★ ★

“The Liverpool band’s first album in 16 years finds Dave McCabe’s melodic gifts still intact” – Sunday Times Culture ★ ★ ★ ★

“The album has lots of sax-y, soulful Zutons-style earworms (“Creeping,” “The Big Decider”), while Rodgers’ touch is felt on the disco-fueled “Water,” and “Company” that drifts into “Careless Whispers” territory. Dave McCabe’s voice still sounds great” – Brooklyn Vegan

“It’s nice to have them back” – Classic Pop

“The Big Decider see The Zutons back to their happy clapping playful best” – Classic Rock

“Nuclear powered good vibes” – The Independent

“Creeping On The Dancefloor is a sun-kissed party tune with a Dexys-style chorus” – Daily Mail

“Soul-powered indie-pop bursting with life” – Daily Mirror

“Colourful, punchy guitar bops” – Daily Star

The Zutons – 2024 tour dates

Sun 30 June – Glastonbury Festival, Somerset, UK

Fri 05 July – On The Beach, Redcar, UK (w / The Libertines)
Sat 06 July – Stendhal Festival, Belfast, UK
Sun 21 July – Robin Park, Wigan, UK (w / Richard Ashcroft)
Fri 26 July – Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, UK (w / Madness)
Sat 27 July – Ludlow Castle, Ludlow, UK (w / Madness)
Sun 28 July – Uptown Fest, Blackheath Common, London, UK (w / Madness)

Sun 11 Aug – Zebedee’s Yard, Hull, UK (w / Razorlight)
Sat 24 Aug – Camper Calling, Alcester, UK
Sun 25 Aug – Chester Live Rooms, Chester, UK
Mon 26 Aug – Museum Of Ireland, Dublin, IE (w / James)
Sat 31 Aug – Shebfest, Devon, UK

Sun 01 Sept – Weekender, Jersey, UK
Fri 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

Fri 29 Nov – Spa, Bridlington, UK (w / Paul Heaton)
Sat 30 Nov – First Direct Arena, Leeds, UK (w / Paul Heaton)

Sun 01 Dec – OVO Hydro, Glasgow, UK (w / Paul Heaton)
Tue 03 Dec – Centre, Brighton, UK (w / Paul Heaton)
Wed 04 Dec – Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, UK (w / Paul Heaton)
Fri 06 Dec – M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, UK (w / Paul Heaton)
Sat 07 Dec – Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, UK (w / Paul Heaton)
Mon 09 Dec – O2 City Hall, Newcastle, UK (w / Paul Heaton)
Tue 10 Dec – Eventim Apollo, London, UK (w / Paul Heaton)

More about new album The Big Decider

THE ZUTONS first album together for 16 years, The Big Decider, is out 26th April and was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with legendary songwriter and producer Nile Rodgers, alongside the band’s original producer Ian Broudie. The multi-platinum selling band released three studio albums between 2004 and 2008, scoring 9 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 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. 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.”

Talking about the new album, lead singer and guitarist Dave McCabe 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.”

As sunny as it is poignant, as heartfelt is as it triumphant and – for the band – as liberating as it is cathartic, The Big Decider reminds us that the magical songwriting smarts of The Zutons has been absent for too long. They are The Zutons, they are back, and they’re here to uplift your 2024.