Sunday, January 29, 2017
The Dead 60s Reform For UK Tour!
Great news for fans of The Dead 60's! The Liverpool-based band have announced they are reforming for a short UK tour this coming April. The shows -- including a headlining spot at the 2017 edition of the London International Ska Festival -- will be the band's first since they stopped playing in early 2008. The band's lead singer Matt McManamon shared during a recent interview that the band are excited about the return to performing live and will see how the tour goes before deciding on any next steps.
I originally learned about the band and their first self-titled album when they were profiled way back in 2005 in the free AM NewYork newspaper they used to hand out for free on the New York City Subway. The review compared them to the musical love child of The Clash and The Specials, two of my favorite groups of all time. I HAD to do some further investigation. I was not disappointed. Their most memorable tracks, "You're Not the Law" and "Control This" were a brilliant updating of The Specials "Ghost Town" sound and The Clash's forray's into reggae -- ominous hammond organ and dubby bass paired with a vocals that communicated a sense of dread and claustrophobia. Those two songs alone sold me on the band and served as an excellent substitute for many of us pining away for The Specials and other 2-Tone era bands during the mid-2000's. I can't recommend their first album enough!
And when you’re done digging into their first album, you’ll want to give the hard to find "Space Invader Dub" version a spin. The LP was distributed for free in a limited-edition release in the UK (and as an expensive import in the U.S.). The dub versions of the songs -- which were re-mixed in proper, late-’70s, flying faders, Mad Professor-style are excellent! I was always impressed that the band followed in the footsteps of their UK ska/reggae forefathers like The Clash and UB40 and released dubbed out version of their songs. I give them a lot of credit that they had the confidence in their songs to strip them down to the bone and remix them.
And while the band's recorded output is stands the test of time -- including their overlooked follow-up album "Time To Take Sides" (give "Seven Empty Days" a spin) which preceded their break-up -- it's their live show that drew raves. Indeed, the "The Black Sessions" a rare bootleg of a live performance the band performed at the height of their powers in Paris, France in October 2005 and broadcast on French radio. The Black Sessions were the brainchild of French radio DJ Bernard Lenoir (the French John Peel). The recordings are high fidelity, live recordings recorded in one take in front of an audience of 200 people. If you are going to any of the shows this April, give this a listen!