Formed in Liverpool in 2003 The Dead 60’s were originally called Rest Home and played pop-punk cover versions as well as some original compositions.
The group then renamed themselves Pinhole releasing the EP 122 Duke Street (the address of The Pit, a Liverpool bar, an early stage upon which the band performed).
Pinhole then teamed up with Thrill City Records to release another EP Breaking Hearts and Windows switching to Too Nice Records in 2002 to release a single So Over You.
The band, as Pinhole, also recorded some tracks for John Peel at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios, broadcast on February 7 2002.
John Peel also made So Over You #8 in his Festive Fifty of 2002. The band were also allocated support slots with The Hives and Green Day before they announcement on the bands website in 2003 stating that Pinhole would be breaking up.
The Dead 60’s Formed
However this would not be the last we would see of the members of Pinhole as they reappeared as The Dead 60’s.
The band, now as a foursome, consisted of Matthew McManamon (Vocals/ Guitar), Ben Gordon (Organ/Guitar), Charlie Turner (Vocals/Bass Guitar) and Bryan Johnson (Drums).
The new line-up were promptly signed to Deltasonic Records, the Liverpool label set up by Alan Wills which was home to the cream of Liverpool talent including The Coral and The Zutons as well as Irish band The Basement.
As a result of the record label backing the band managed to secure support slots with acts like Kasabian, Supergrass and Morrissey.
Debut Album Release
The bands debut album was released in the US before its release on home shores with the album appearing on 31 May 2005 in America and 26 September in the UK.
Recorded at Parr Street studios in Liverpool and Ranch Studios in the US, the albums production was handled by Central Nervous System (it was also remixed by Mike Hedges).
The band promoted the record through touring in Europe, the US and Japan supporting the likes of The Bravery, Social Distortion and Garbage.
They played as part of the Vans Warped Tour and played at the Lollapalooza festival. In the US, the bands first major single release, Riot Radio was the 3rd most added song with Alternative Radio only falling behind to The White Stripes and Coldplay.
In 2005 at Glastonbury Festival, the band were scheduled to perform on ‘The Other Stage’ until the stage was actually struck with lightning before their performance and the bands appearance had to be cancelled.
The band however carried on and toured extensively throughout 2006 at festivals in both Japan and Europe.
The bands second album was recorded in New York at the cities Avatar Studio and See Squared Studio. The album was produced by David Kahne with the engineer Joe Barresi and recording took place in early 2007 with the resulting album called Time to Take Sides.
1 September 2007 that year brought The Dead 60’s to 30,000 people in Northern Ireland at a gig headlined by Snow Patrol and also featuring Ash, We Are Scientists and Simple Kids.
In October 2007 the band released, in conjunction with Trojan Records, a compilation of the bands favorite Trojan releases. The CD featured music from acts such as The Upsetters, Althea and Donna and Horace Andy.
The next month the band were involved in the release of a jacket from the Fred Perry fashion label. The piece of clothing, a Harrington jacket, was a limited edition with only 1000 units made.
Also in November 2007, Terry Hall joined the band on stage for a gig at the 100 Club, London. The Dead 60’s and Hall united to perform covers of Police on my Back (The Equals) and Friday Night, Saturday Morning (The Specials) with Hall singing the lead vocal line on both songs. This would be one of the bands final gigs because on 8 February 2008, the group announcing their imminent departure as an entity from the music industry.
Since the bands split, Bryan Johnson, Charlie Turner and Ben Gordon have formed Venus Fury with ex Zuton Boyan Chowdury and Iraina Mancini, formerly of Mancini. Matthew McManamon has now been signed with Sony records as a solo performer and is working on his debut album.