It was when singer David McCabe started playing on a melodica - you know those keyboard mouth organ things - that things started to go downhill.

Thankfully that was the last song of the night after the Liverpool five-piece had blitzed their way through their short but significant career.

But how do you describe the sound of the Zutons?

Imagine sticking a bit of blues, indie, stompy rock in a blender, sprinkle liberally with harmonies and add a bit of staccato saxophone and you are getting somewhere close to their music.

Only two albums into their career, and they have already left fellow Liverpudlians The Coral well in the shade, and have learned a few tricks of the trade while touring with REM and U2 recently.

Confidence is another key Zutons character trait, and was shown as the band started off with latest single Why Won't You Give Me Your Love? - a kind of dirty, bluesy, indie thingy, as described above.

After that, McCabe and co went through songs from their debut album Who Killed The Zutons?

Havana Gang Brawl, Pressure Point and Remember Me were played at 100mph, each and every one like a fire cracker of sound.

McCabe stood at the front, beating his guitar and shrieking, while in a parallel universe, the harmonic "oohs" kept on coming from the rest of the band.

After setting out at such a pace, by the end of the show they were drenched in sweat for their efforts which included a little bit of showmanship.

After praising Birmingham (crowd roars), the singer then tried in vain to get the balcony to sing along (reluctant refusal from them upstairs).

Unperturbed, he had another go on You Will You Won't, and was rewarded with a roaring rendition of the chorus from the crowd.

Don't Ever Think (Too Much) came replete with choppy guitars and saxophone, as saxophonist Abby Harding swanned around the stage.

It was perhaps her presence and saxophone which elevated The Zutons from just four blokes singing strange stuff about their lives.

Meanwhile, newer songs showed a bit more how the band has matured, although possibly at the expense of some of their quirkiness.

That was restored a little for an encore of Zuton Fever, which kind of encapsulated the strange joy of The Zutons - absolutely no idea what it is about, but life affirming and sheer unpretentious fun nevertheless.

The Zutons then launched their final song, some sort of weird medley, which began and ended with the melodica.

That wasn't enough on its own, as the rest of the band hit various tambourines and auxiliary drums to make a mess of sound - personally I blame Doves for this development.

At the end, McCabe introduced the band, and they were off. You might be hearing a bit more of The Zutons.

John Revill ..SUPL: