The Zutons' Dave McCabe on Amy Winehouse's Valerie cover: "It was a gift from God"

22 February 2024, 14:56 | Updated: 22 February 2024, 15:20

The Zutons say Amy Winehouse's Valerie cover was a gift from God

By Jenny Mensah

The Zutons frontman has reflected on the late singer-songwriter and how her cover "immortalised" their single.

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The Zutons are back with a new album, an infectious lead single and tour dates for 2024.

The band may have not released new material since 2008, but their 2006 Valerie single has kept them in the consciousness of music fans across the world thanks to its iconic cover by Mark Ronson, featuring the late Amy Winehouse.

Asked about his feelings on people still discovering its a Zutons song, frontman Dave McCabe told Radio X's Dan O'Connell: "The way I see it, it was like a gift from god and I was there to receive it.

"The band was there to receive it... and some people are like, 'Were you pissed off when she took your song?' And I was like, 'Well not really, because she just immortalised the whole thing.' Do you know what I mean? Because it was a big song anyway, but that just took it to this whole new level."

Although McCabe did admit he had a somewhat troubled relationship with the 2007 cover at first, due to people asking him how much he'd made from the single, he has no bad feeling towards it now and believes the song has taken on a life of its own.

"I think it's in the Top 10 of karaoke songs, " the Scouse rocker went on. "I've walked past boozers and you can hear people singing it and it's like, we wrote that in that little room in town and here it is now. I don't have any bad feeling about it. I did for a bit, because people would ask you about money all the time. [...] That's what I'd ask if I was in the other person shoes, so yeah it has made life easier and no it doesn't do my head in.

"At the time it did my head in because we made a pretty weak third album after it and no one was asking about the songs on on that, do you know what I mean? It's just one of those songs though. It's its own entity. It's in the ether."

The Zuton's Dave McCabe and the late Amy Winehouse
The Zuton's Dave McCabe and the late Amy Winehouse. Picture: 1. Harry Herd/Redferns/Getty 2. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for NARAS

The Liverpool trio - completed by drummer Sean Payne and saxophonist and Abi Harding - are set to release their fourth studio album The Big Decider on 26th April.

From it comes the lead track Creeping On The Dancefloor, which is also our Radio X Record of The Week. Watch its accompanying video, which sees dancers from all walks of life bust their best moves, below:

The Zutons - Creeping On The Dancefloor (Official Video)

Speaking about , frontman Dave McCabe told Radio X’s Dan O’Connell: “I wasn’t really ‘with it’ for a long time though choices of my own… which was enjoyable for a while but then became dead unenjoyable.

“I was just getting off my head and drinking all the time, so I couldn’t sing and I couldn’t function in a band. That’s about 65% of the reason.”

The Valerie singer has been sober now for three years and explained how it’s changed how he experiences performances with the band.

"Because we’ve been touring recently and I’m sober now. I’m actually with it. I’m here," he added. "I can see the people in the crowd and I can feel the crowd. I’m not just in my own world anymore."

The Zutons
The Zutons will release a new album after 16 years. Picture: Jonathan Turton

The Big Decider, which you can pre-order here sees the band collaborate with Chic legend Nile Rogers, with The Lightning Seeds' Ian Broudie also at the helm.

It features nine classic Zutons tracks recorded at the world famous Abbey Road Studios in London and the renowned Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire.

It follows the band's 2004 debut Who Killed...... The Zutons?, 2006's Tired of Hanging Around and 2008's You Can Do Anything.

The Zutons' The Big Decider album artwork
The Zutons' The Big Decider album artwork. Picture: Press

See the tracklist for The Big Decider below:

  1. Creeping on the Dancefloor
  2. Pauline
  3. Water
  4. In Your Arms
  5. Disappear
  6. Company
  7. The Big Decider
  8. Rise
  9. Best of Me

The Zutons will also head out on a string of tour dates, which will see them play the likes of New Century Hall in Manchester and will culminate in a homecoming show at the Liverpool Olympia.

See The Zutons' 2024 tour dates:

  • Fri 12th April 2024 – BRISTOL, Marble Factory
  • Sat 13th April 2024 – MANCHESTER, New Century Hall
  • Sun 14th April 2024 – NEWCASTLE, Wylam Brewery
  • Tue 16th April 2024 – BIRMINGHAM, XOYO
  • Wed 17th April 2024 – SHEFFIELD, Leadmill
  • Thu 18th April 2024 – GLASGOW, SWG3 TV Studio
  • Sun 21st April 2024 – SOUTHAMPTON, Engine Rooms
  • Mon 22nd April 2024 – BRIGHTON, Chalk
  • Wed 24th April 2024 – KINGSTON, Pryzm – SOLD OUT
  • Thu 25th April 2024 – OXFORD, O2 Academy
  • Fri 26th April 2024 – LIVERPOOL, Olympia

Tickets for The Zutons' live dates are on sale now.

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