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Dream Catchers

13/04/2023 | David Lloyd

What does the Left Bank sound like? Listen up, it sounds a lot like Wallasey’s lads-most-likely-to, The Dream Machine. We caught up with frontman Zac McDonnell ahead of their debut album’s release later this month.

Where does the Dream Machine story begin?

We were mostly all friends before the band. Me, Matt and Jack have seen each other nearly every day anyway since we were about 15 so we just started putting the time to good use.

Yeah, I suppose we kind of found each other through having the same influences but we mostly got into them together. It’s a lot more about the camaraderie and who you want to spend your time with.

Do you think Wallasey influences your creativity?

Absolutely. I couldn’t tell you every way it does because I think it’s mostly subconscious but we’d spend a lot of our time just wandering the streets as kids, so it has to have seeped in. The cinema and arcade in New Brighton played a big part.

Sometimes we’d just sit in the cast-iron shelters on the prom with tunes on and stare over at the docks. Our second EP was pretty nautically-themed. It’s all in there when you start to look for it.

Are you consciously tapping into the area’s musical heritage?

For sure. I’d say Merseyside’s bands have always been a main inspiration. The Beatles and The Coral are two of my favourite bands, not to mention Bunnymen, La’s, Zutons and so on.

I get to play percussion in The Coral now so that bled into our writing a lot, just from seeing how they craft songs. Probably too much sometimes on our new record! I wouldn’t do some things quite the same way now but I’m not ashamed of it, I love them. It was always bound to happen.

What frustrates you about right here, right now?

We should be playing on our heritage and trying to rebuild landmarks, not knock them down. All of the charm and character around New Brighton comes from the old seaside attractions. It’s what makes it unique. I hope we can save what’s left.

What’s next for you?

We just got off tour with The Lathums. We’re currently in the middle of a residency at Jimmy’s on Bold Street in Liverpool, we play there again on April 26th. Our debut album is out later this month too, on the 28th and then we go on a UK tour through the whole of May.

We recorded the album in our practice room on an old 8-track. It’s definitely psychedelic and 60s-esque in parts and it’s got some pop sensibilities. But I always find it cringey when people try to define their own sound. To me it just sounds like four kids growing up and having fun.

If you could stage your all time Wirral music festival, who’d be on the list?

I’ve probably mentioned most of the best local bands already in this interview, so I’d just go for Tim Capello playing ‘I Still Believe’ on his sax in the fair in New Brighton. Just playing it over and over again, like on The Lost Boys.

Only in our version everyone would be freezing cold. We wouldn’t even play, we’d just be sat outside on big motorbikes with one leather glove on each. And I’d have a feather hanging off my ear.

27 REASONS – What’s good about living here… Dream Machine-style.

The arcade, the sea, the cinemas, Psychamok records in Liscard, sitting in The Magazine pub looking out to sea, fish and chips, the views, the history, the sound from the ocean at night, Daniel Davies and everything he’s doing with Victoria road in New Brighton, the parks, the charity shops on King Street in Seacombe, old stories of New Brighton Tower, the circuses, the sun setting above the wind turbines, Earlston Library, The Mysterines, Wilfred Owen, those mini sugar coated doughnuts on the prom, the churches, the man who sells hot dogs outside Birkenhead market, Williamson Art Gallery, the ferry, The Ship Hotel and its free jukebox, the proximity to everywhere else, the Vue and it’s ‘£4.99 for any film’ deal and The Dream Machine…

Thank God it’s the Dream Machine

Modern Sky Records, Out April 28



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