The Bandits was one of the new wave of Liverpool, England-based indie bands to emerge in the wake of the Coral’s commercial breakthrough at the start of the new millennium. John Robinson (vocals), Gary Murphy (guitar), Scott Dulson (bass) and Tony Dunn (keyboards) formed the band in summer 2000 following an impromptu campfire jam at the Glastonbury festival. The quartet set up their own ‘Bandwagon’ night at Liverpool’s Zanzibar Club and signed a recording contract with the B-Unique label, adding lead Richie Taylor (guitar) and Dave ‘Swee’ Sweeney (drums) to the line-up in the process. Like the other bands on the so-called ‘Cosmic Scouse’ scene the Bandits’ sound rather haphazardly juxtaposes a range of musical styles, drawing on rock, reggae and jazz but more specifically late 60s psychedelic rock titans such as Love, Captain Beefheart and the Doors. They made their recording debut in February 2002 with the John Leckie-produced 7-inch single ‘The Warning’. In summer 2003 ‘Take It And Run’ and ‘2 Step Rock’ followed, prior to the release of the band’s And They Walked Away. Despite sharing obvious reference points with the Coral, the album’s melodic verve helped the Bandits stake their claim to be one of the more exciting new bands on the Liverpool scene.
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