Tuesday 14th September 2004 @ Audio, Brighton

It seems that Liverpool has always been an important location for nurturing and developing musical talent. In the 60's it gave us The Beatles, the 80's Echo and the bunny men, the 90's The La's and The Lightning Seeds. While more recently it has given us amongst others The Coral and The Zutons. Therefore it might not seem shocking that another up and coming band also has its origins their, they are The Dead 60's.

Bryan Johnson is unlike most drummers in that he seems half intelligent and talkative, while most drummers usually tend to share there one and only brain cell with a monkey, explains how The Dead 60's formed "Matt (McManamon, vocalist and guitarist) and Charlie (Turner, bassist) have known each other since they were 12, me and Ben (Gordon, Guitarist and Organist) have known each other since we were that age. We were in two bands and we got together when we were about 17, 18. But The Dead 60's got together about a year and a half ago. It was the beginning of 2003 but we didn't gig to about 8 months later. We just spent 8 months getting it together, rehearsing… working on the sound."

The Dead 60's is an unusual name, considering Liverpool's past musical history you have to consider if this is some kind of statement, a mission of intent, but as Ben justifies "It's kinda like a Liverpool thing, cos I suppose Liverpool is a bit obsessed with the 60's, The Beatles and that kind of stuff, everywhere you go there's reminds like The Magical mystery tour and all that. These lads are from Penny lane (points towards Matt and Charlie) and that when we started the band we were sick of all that kind of stuff and wanted to start from a new beginning."

Matt: "Musically a lot of the bands take from that as well. We wanted to be fresh and different. So we though it made sense."

Bryan: "it sounds good, the words together. You need a good name."

Although The Dead 60's hail from Liverpool and are on famed Scouse label Deltasonic they don't sound like any other band from the region. In fact I'm hard pushed to think of any band who even sounds remotely like them.

This is obviously leads to the question of influences and to a degree why hasn't anyone thought of blending both punk and dub together before and what exactly influence's The Dead 60's to make this concoction of sounds?;

Charlie: "One of the first bands we were all into is The Clash and then all kinds of Dub, Reggae and Ska, The Specials for a bit, things like that"

Bryan: "We've been listening to Funk recently or punk bands doing funk,"

Like many Liverpool bands The Dead 60's have a distinctive sound but they've chosen to remain outside or at least on the fringes of the cosmic scouse scene,

Charlie: "Mainly coz it was our own sort of decision not to be apart of everything that was going on in the city, just because we found the sound boring and we wanted to do something fresh. We wanted to do something that sounded like the records, the type of music we listened to."

Ben: "People listen to reggae in Liverpool, it's not a big scene or anything but I'm sure that bands like The Bandits and all that kind of stuff listen to the same records as us, but we take different things out of it."

Liverpool has always had a strong musical legacy and perhaps it is this that drives the bands on, forces them to take chances and push themselves in directions others may shy away from.

Ben: "There's a lot of enthusiasm in Liverpool for young up and coming bands."

Charlie: "Theirs loads of bands from previous generations, who help you out, maybe it has influenced us to do something different. I don't think there's been any band doing what we're doing."

The Dead 60's have recently finished a support tour with Morrissey; they may not exactly be the obvious choice as main support considering what the stereotypical Morrissey fan is like.

Bryan "it was a good shout getting the Morrissey Tour, he requested us personally,"

Ben "It was a really nice show as well; it was nice playing to a bigger crowd."

Charlie: "The fans were hardcore, it was the same front row every night you know, the same faces every time you turned up to the venue, the same people outside waiting for Morrissey and he still wouldn't speak to them."

The Dead 60's have released two singles so far which obviously raises the question of when will their album come out and what can we expect.

Ben: "We're recording it in October, so basically we're going to have a whole month to record it. I think we're going to do a similar thing to what we're doing live at the moment. We kinda do a continuous music thing like a DJ, we're going to try and piece it together like."

This approach is different from the direction many bands tend to take and is yet more proof that The Dead 60's are being experimental, they are pushing the boundaries and for this they have to be applauded. But it also leads to why are they doing this?

Ben: "to make it more groove orientated, sometimes it's better to, it's just one of those, it sounds good if you mix them altogether, you take it up, bring it down, all that kinda stuff, especially if you fall into a groove.

Bryan "a dance set, a DJ set, it can get a bit cabaret sometimes if you stopping after every song, not all the time as obviously sometimes you need to, it's just what we're doing at the moment. It works"

And so to the future The Dead 60's have just been announced as the main support for part of The Thrills forthcoming UK tour and a much awaited debut album to record, which may just turn out to be a contender for one of next years best albums.

By Nathan Westley