Yes yes! Wicked to have you guys. Let’s kick off with some new music! Your latest release with KikoBun, Use Me takes a soulful shift to the nostalgic, with a dubby, psychedelic take on the Bill Wither’s classic (someone my parents pretty much raised me on). I feel like Bill would have loved it. Who were the musicians you feel influenced your tastes in music?
GDC: As a band we are influenced heavily by sound system culture: when we began our journey what seems like a million years ago, we spent a lot of time dancing in front of the sound systems at a night called Sub Dub held at the West Indian Centre in Leeds. Iration Steppas and Simon Scott would book some of the heaviest selectors, singers, MCs and bands in the world, including artists such as Aba Shanti-I, Jah Tubbys, Channel One and The Twinkle Brothers, not to mention Iration Steppas themselves. The Dubstep wave also had us transfixed,
especially the Deep Medi / Digital Mystikz sound, which combined elements of Jamaican music with underground UK sounds.
In 2006 we went to Rototom Sunsplash when it was in Italy, and saw amazing performances from some of the world’s greatest artists including Alpha Blondy, Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Luciano and Morgan Heritage. The mastery of controlling the crowd that these bands possessed was definitely something we wanted to develop.
As far as individuals in the band are concerned, we have very eclectic tastes ranging from Hip Hop to Heavy Metal all the way to Classical and Jazz. We all live and breath music so we like to keep open minds when it
comes to creativity in any genre.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s awesome to see your music getting the Drum & Bass treatment, and Gray & Bish’s remix of Rudeboy has to be one of my favourite releases this year. With Dub and
D&B going hand in hand, can we be expecting more of this from Gentleman’s Dub Club?
GDC: We started playing that version in our live show with Gardna – the whole place went completely mad! We love DnB, especially jungle, and you will definitely see more of this sound from us moving forward.
Let’s talk about shows. You’re known for the incredible, infectious stage energy you have as a team, whether playing small stages or headline acts. As we all reminisce about the dance, take us through any of your favourite sets, big or small.
GDC: I can’t speak for the rest of the band because we all (used to!) go to so many gigs, but the one that sticks in the mind most is probably The Twinkle Brothers at Sub Dub around 2006. They are masters of their craft and hearing them on the Iration sound system was a fully immersive experience!
Outside of reggae the most mind-blowing gig I’ve ever seen was probably Meshuggah at Camden Roundhouse. They absolutely tore the place apart! Their stage show is something that HAS to be seen
if you’re into heavy music, especially heavy metal.
You guys recently played your first full live show in a while in Henley. What was the vibe? How have the limitations of COVID-19 challenged you guys as performers, and how have you adapted to the past few
GDC: The drive-in gig was really fun, and it was wonderful to be able to connect with each other again.Unfortunately COVID-19 has ruined the party, and we’re obviously sad about that, but we have to be grateful for
the many amazing experiences we’ve had over the years, and the wonderful fans that have stuck with us along the way.
I feel most sorry for artists that are starting out now, or just had their first summer of bookings in front of them, that must be really really painful. We just have to be patient and keep in shape for when the good times are back again! We continue to be as productive as possible in the studio, and we have new music in the pipeline which we will be dropping very soon…watch this space!
Some venues have been adapting to this ‘new normal’ – and we’re seeing places like The Cause, Lakota, and Jazz Cafe find a new lease of life during COVID-19, with seated raves and socially distant shows. Anywhere standing out that you want to play right now?
GDC: It’s great that some places are putting on shows, even though our whole vibe is the opposite of social distancing! It’s not going to be the same until things are back to normal so we just have to adapt to that. I’m sure we would be open to playing anywhere that would have us, and that could adhere to the correct standards.Dub and Ska have always had an anarchistic streak to them and many of us think the government
should be doing more to protect the nightlife industry, and support more than just the pubs and
Do you think it’s down to us to keep this thriving culture alive? What can we as ravers, dancers and listeners be doing to help our artists and venues? (We were, after all, raised in the Dance).
GDC: Our government have never been interested in protecting the night life industry, as you can see from the amount of clubs that have shut over the last decade, so it’s pretty “on brand” that they are not helping now. The pandemic has exposed a lot of things, mainly just how incompetent and money-driven they are…but this is nothing new, and the fact that they keep getting voted in is extremely sad.
The ramifications of Brexit are becoming more and more obvious by the day: we have in power a group of people that were selected purely to get Brexit over the line, so when it comes to actually running the country it’s no wonder they are coming up short.
Basically, if we want our artists and venues to thrive, we should avoid voting Tory at all costs!!Gentleman’s Dub Club
So, let’s look to the future. I’m personally looking forward to 2021, as your Down To Earth tour kicks off in March (I’ve already secured my tickets for the London show, instant cop). Tell us more about the story
behind this – will this follow on as a sequel from the solar narrative of Lost In Space?
GDC: We can’t wait for things to go back to relative normality and the chance to play shows again! Down To Earth felt like a great name for a tour as it continues the narrative of our albums, and it feels particularly on point given the fact that our inability to travel has lead us to stay in the country and explore nature and the green
spaces of our beautiful country.
And finally, the real question we all want to know – when you’re not on stage, where’s your home in the crowd? I’m a Front Lefter, myself.
GDC: We love getting right in the mix at gigs. We’re basically kids at heart and love the sweat and noise of the mosh pit. Also a top tip: if you want the best sound balance, stand by the Front of House sound engineer!