The Bandits

Photo of The BanditsFormed in 2000 The Bandits original members where Gary Murphy and Tony Dunn had been a part of cult Liverpool group Tramp Attack along with soon-to-be Zutons frontman Dave McCabe.

However upon leaving Tramp Attack the two hooked up with John Robinson, Scott Dulson and Neil Crosby (Drums).

In 2001 the band made their mark by appearing on Beatin’ Planks a compilation album featuring two early recordings called Take it and Run and Free Me Rain.

Little did Mersey music fans know the effect that the band would have on the Liverpool music scene. In 2002 the group began to search for a lead guitarist and settled on Ritchie Taylor, a Wallasey local.

Another change was made when Neil Crosby was replaced as drummer by Dave Sweeney. This completed the bands line-up and the six musicians began to make real headway with much owing to their hugely successful band night The Bandwagon.

Run by John Robinson and Gary Murphy The Bandwagon was a monthly event in seminal Liverpool music venue The Zanzibar.

It featured some of the top talent in and around Merseyside and in the end attracted some real stellar names.

The Bandwagon

The Bandwagon began in 2001 running for around four years until 2005. Bands involved in the proceedings at the Zanzibar Club included The Coral, The Zutons, The Stands, The Basement, The Hokum Clones and of course The Bandits.

These bands, to an extent cut their teeth and built their reputations through appearing at The Bandwagon and, such was the success of the scene it helped create, soon the national press and television channels wanted to understand what was happening in this dank and dirty little club in Liverpool.


The NME focused its attentions on the band night after the burgeoning Liverpool scene began to take flight and bands like The Coral and The Zutons made headway into the album charts.

Channel 4 and their music programme 4music paid a visit and caught footage of top Liverpool band The Stands, The Hokum Clones and The Bandits themselves joining together in a cover of Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm.


Subsequently the band signed with B-Unique a subsidiary of major label Warner Music, releasing several singles in 2002 and 2003 alongside what would be their only LP release And They Walked Away.

However the singles and album sales never matched on a national scale, the buzz and excitement that the band created within the city limits.

In July 2004 and after months of speculation the band confirmed their split bringing to an end one of the most important bands of Liverpool’s musical regeneration in the early noughties.

After the band split John Robinson, Gary Murphy and Scott Dulson formed a reggae band called The Bum Notes playing a number of gigs but this soon faded with Robinson and Dulson proceeding to form The Pedantics.

Gary Murphy joined up with former Cast manager Rob Swerdlow at Starwood Management, the company responsible for the careers of The Kooks and The Ordinary Boys. Murphy has been involved in the formative career of Candie Payne, sister of Stands’ frontman Howie Payne.