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Deadfish to perform at Harvard’s Battle of the Bands

Deadfish in performance.

HARVARD — The second-annual Battle of the Bands will be Friday, Sept. 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. at 150 Ayer Road.

It promises to be as entertaining as last year, and even more exciting, with an expanded performance roster and a reputation to live up to. Gates open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person. Rain date is Saturday, Sept. 25.

The brainchild of Harvard police Detective Jack Izzo, the event is co-sponsored by the Harvard and Bolton Police departments and presented in conjunction with the Harvard Lions Club Fall Festival.

This year’s playbill includes regulars and newcomers, Izzo said. The limit — about a dozen competitors — gives each band ample stage time, he explained. Trophies will be awarded to the top three bands. Judges make the call.

One of the bands performing is Deadfish.

Although the Littleton-based band has been an organized group for only about a year, Deadfish is building a name for itself.

It grew from musically inspired middle-school friendships and high-school jam sessions into a reggae/rock group. Now, Deadfish has an eclectic repertoire that includes hip-hop.

Members are Travis Nadow, guitar, vocals; Taylor Davis, drums; David Shoults, bass; Zach Taylor, guitar and Trevor Buckingham, soundboard.

Jim Sawyer, a Davis family friend, has made a hobby of promoting the band. He said that with the addition of a new member, Trevor “T-Buck” Buckingham, Deadfish has extended its reach to hip-hop. Audiences have been receptive.

“They’ve been getting really great feedback,” he said.

Listing the band’s accomplishments, Sawyer said “realizing their talent” was number one. “Now they know they can do it,” he said.

The band’s recent resume includes taking second place in a regional battle of the bands, opening for the well-known group Marcy Playground at the Regent Theater in Arlington last year and several other gigs from Westford to Cambridge, where they played at the Middle East nightclub. Deadfish also performed side-stage at the Comcast Center this summer, where one of their favorite groups, alt-rock band 311, was performing.

What’s in a name?

As for the band’s quirky name, member Travis Nadow explained its serendipitous origin in an interview with the Littleton Independent in July.

Bass player Dan Shoults, clowning around at band practice, had a habit of relaxing his wrist into a “dead-fish” to shake hands. Once, he did it when they were discussing what to call the band. That settled it. “Why not name our band Deadfish?” said Nadow, who hosted practice sessions in a renovated barn behind his home.

Despite its name, the band is serious about making music. Their target now is to get the band’s sound out there with as many live gigs as possible. They’ve been working on a demo CD with that aim in mind. Fortunately, “T-Buck” has a home recording studio.

Deadfish played their “very first big show” in March, 2009, at Harpers Ferry in Allston.