Roll Up, Roll Up, For Your Very Last Chance to Witness the Wonderful & Distinguished Gentlemen, The Zombies, Perform Their Mis-Spelled Pop Masterpiece Odessey & Oracle in its Entirety

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Yes indeed, for four nights in April, Messrs Blunstone, Argent, White and Grundy will play their masterpiece, which has belatedly come to be considered worthy to sit alongside The Village Green Preservation Society, Pet Sounds, Piper at the Gates of Dawn and (for my money head and shoulders above) Sgt Pepper, as a classic of the late Sixties whimsical pop canon.

A spectacular failure upon its 1968 release, the fact that the band had split three months earlier could hardly have helped, the four surviving (of the original five) members gave the twelve tracks their live debut last spring with a three-night stint at the Shepherds Bush Empire.

The album has recently been elected into the Top 10 Horribly Mis-spelled (or should that be mis-peeled?) albums of all time. The fact that it is the only unintentional mis-spelling in the chart, allied to the fact that the band members were known for their erudition, lends it a somewhat dubious legacy.

This should not detract from what is, by any standard, an exquisite collection of pop songs, witness the jaunty opener penned to a soon-to-be-released prisoner, Care of Cell 44 (see below).

It’s futile to try to single out tracks from this batch. Suffice to say Rod Argent and Chris White (not Argent-White, they are credited individually) are among the most underrated of songwriters from any era.

The UK dates include Glasgow ABC (April 21), Bristol Colston Hall (April 23), Manchester Bridgewater Hall (April 24) and London Hammersmith Apollo (April 25).

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