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Gentleman's Dub Club interview: Dub and reggae is alive and kicking

From Bulgarian ski tops to Croatia, Gentleman's Dub Club talk sending the sunshine riddims worldwide, their fantastic latest record and why you should immerse yourself in dub culture.

Ben Smith

Last updated: 10th Feb 2016

Image: Gentleman's Dub Club

Gentleman's Dub Club operate at the apex of on-stage showmanship when connecting the dots between reggae, ska and dub. The nine-piece collective formed in Leeds not only accelerate the vibrancy of dub culture throughout the UK, but they're increasingly spreading their sun-blushed sounds across the world. 

They recently released their seamless second record The Big Smoke, a further demonstration of their ability to expand on their signature template and create a progressive body of work that remains rooted to its origins.

It's garnered them significant demand, plotting the band air miles as far as the ski tops of Bulgaria at Horizon Festival, the sunshine of SoundWave in Croatia to multiple dates dotted around the UK. 

What did you set out to achieve with The Big Smoke - it comes across as an experimental and more contemporary dub record? 

The record is actually more roots. During the writing stage we were more focused on songs and the tunes developed into a more traditional reggae sound, whilst still holding on to our signature dub sound. The album is varied, but keeps a togetherness in the sound that were really proud of. 

How's the album held up for you on the live stage?   

Really well. We always keep a few classics in the set to get everyone dancing, but the new material has been really well received and shows our audience another side of the band.

Through touring and playing all over the world, have you found that dub has massively evolved beyond where it was traditionally heard and rooted? 

Yes. We're very lucky in the UK to have such a strong Jamaican culture, and also such a unique British reggae scene - the two have evolved simultaneously over the years. The dub and reggae movement is alive and kicking throughout the world as well, and we're blessed to be a part of it on a global scale. More to come please.

We see you're heading to Horizon Festival in March, are you looking forward to sending the sunshine riddims at a Bulgarian Ski Resort? 

Damn right, and getting some skiing in, maybe not before the show though.

Yourselves and the genre is increasingly cropping up in mainstream culture and on major festival bills, would you agree that the genre's increased in popularity in recent years?  

Yeah, and the British bands have stepped it up a level with their live shows. The high energy, tight musicianship and infectious grooves of our UK reggae sound go down really well at festivals.

You're penned in for David Rodigan's Ram Jam in February, how would you approach this set compared to a regular tour date?  

Not too differently, we'd definitely keep the most pumping tunes in the set and keep it hard and fast.

Why should people less acquainted immerse themselves in dub culture?

Reggae and dub have always been music associated with more than just a passing phase, they're music of unity, there's a culture, an appreciation and respect of nature and one another and that comes through. If you get into dub, you'll see a better world.

Finally, what would cap off an awesome 2016 for the band? 

We're currently writing new material so that is always exciting. As long as we continue to spread our music, play in new countries and cities and develop as a band then 2016 will be amazing.

Find all of our upcoming dates featuring Gentleman's Dub Club




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