The Zutons: Abi Harding interview


By Dean Ashton

THE Zutons' Abi Harding may put the sex into sax but, sorry, fellas, she's got a boyfriend and he's in the band too.

However 25-year-old Abi admitted it can be tough keeping a relationship going on the road.

And she also told Rated that it ain't that easy being a woman musician either.

The raunchy brunette—who was dating drummer Sean Payne before she joined the Liverpudlian band—said: "I'm really lucky to travel the world with him. But when you work with the guy you love, it can be hard when you don't get any space from each other."

The other members of The Zutons—singer-songwriter Dave McCabe, bassist Russ Pritchard and guitarist Paul Molloy —can always tell when Abi and Sean have had a domestic. She laughed: "They pick up on the signs straight away, and take the p*** when they need to."


Abi was 19 when she joined the band in 2002—and found she was a rarity as a woman.

Six years on, things are better thanks to stars like Amy Winehouse who—with producer Mark Ronson—had a huge hit with The Zutons' song Valerie.

Abi explained: "When I joined there was no one else out there. And all the mags picked up on me like, ‘Look, a girl!' It was hard to get my head around.

"I'm really happy there are so many more women out there now, like Duffy, The Ting Tings' Katie White, the girls in Misty's Big Adventure who we toured with, and Adele—I really love her."

Abi has met Amy but only once, at rehearsals for Jools Holland's TV Hootenanny in 2006. She said: "I tapped her on the shoulder to introduce myself. She was a bit uncomfortable —deep down she seems a quiet, shy girl.

"I feel so sorry for her. She was going through a rough time then her husband gets banged up. I'd go crazy if I went through all that...although I'm not saying I'd take heroin."

Abi is about to debut as a singer herself—on The Zutons' third album You Can Do Anything.

It was recorded in LA, where producer George Drakoulias lives. Abi said: "Dave wrote a ballad, You Could Make The Four Walls Cry, which needed a female vocal.

"If he'd tried to get Lily Allen or whoever, I'd have gone, ‘Oi! What's wrong with me!'"

NEW single Always Right Behind you is out tomorrow. The album You Can Do Anything is released on June 2.



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yay abi! :)

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