Gentleman’s Dub Club. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of Kitchen St.
If the truth be told, I’m a sucker for a great band. The Gentleman’s Dub Club went far above the usual standard for a live act, putting a remarkable amount of energy into their already high intensity performance. The Leeds lads graced the freshly redesigned 24 Kitchen Street for what was to be their most memorable performance in years.
The opening DJ Buddah mixed vinyl with CDJs with obvious skill, playing a selection of appropriately upbeat bass rhythms. His gentle touch behind the decks saw the crowd get really loose before the main act, a perfect addition to a great night. Later in the evening, Horza graced the booth, wowing not only the crowd, but the band themselves, who took to the floor in appreciation after finishing their set.
Typically for Gentleman’s Dub Club, the band rocked up suited up and revving to crack out some serious dub. Touring to promote their new single “Pressure”, the Gentlemen brought forth a remarkable mix of new and old alike, much to the excitement of an ecstatic crowd. Of course the gig sold out well in advance, yet to the management’s credit, not once was there the feeling that the venue was overpacked, even in the midst of the energetic song “Emergency”. With an individual, eclectic sound that draws from Ska, Regge, and the more modern (dare I say it) Dubstep, the Gentlemen have been compared to The Specials, Laid Blak and Mungo’s HiFi mashed into a blazingly happy medium. Not one single soul stayed still as trumpeter Matt Roberts swung his brass instrument round his head, encouraging the room to sing, shout, and scream with joy.
Really, it is very hard to fully convey the atmosphere that the band created. The lead singer, Johnny Scratchley, is certainly a charismatic figure, able to rally his troops both onstage and off into a cohesive and mentally unified receptor for his beautiful, brilliant band. “High Grade” was a perfect and much loved sing-a-long song, performed with as much passion as the very first time, while the newer “Riot” went down a storm.
No one on the scene is doing anything quite like The Gentleman’s dub club. There are few imitators, and even fewer who can match the passion and dedication to live music that these men have relentlessly pursued. I can’t wait to see them again.
WORDS: Jon Ferguson