Interview: Gentleman's Dub Club
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Proud Leeds 8-piece (9 including the engineer Harry) Gentleman’s Dub Club have been around the block once or twice over their 12-year career. Racking up over 500 live performances across small, medium and huge venues, festival stages, house parties and club nights, they’re a band that flourishes in front of a live crowd. Playing with their tempo and volume in live sets, blasting charismatic and dynamic dub tunes and feel-good vibes, it’s fair to say they’ve honed their craft in front of excited (and sometimes pretty bladdered) audiences.
and keyboard wizard Luke, about their early years up north.
Johnny: “There was a scene in Leeds, it all came from Leeds, it wasn’t beyond [it].”
“We all came from loads of different backgrounds…and we came together at this time in Leeds when dub music was a really important part of the student scene... We just went raving and really enjoyed it. Then as musicians, we recreated it. We all had the time then and the space to be able to do that.” blood stream / I found myself lost in space”) all make for a tasty starter that leaves you waiting eagerly for the main course. are ramping up the anti at an alarming rate. If you can’t wait until January 25th, make sure to catch the guys at one of their few remaining shows:
2nd November – Cardiff
3rd November – Exeter
8th November – Birmingham
9th November – Manchester
10th November – Bristol
Since their humble beginnings sifting through the ramblings in bassist and keyboard player Toby’s basement, the boys have played Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Croatia’s Outlook Festival (which lead vocalist Johnny is heavily involved in the organisation of) and have been championed by the most respected underground reps such as David Rodigan and Huw Stephens on 1xtra and Radio 1 respectively. Before a heated round of crazy golf at Brick Lane's Junkyard Golf, we spoke to lead vocalist Johnny, bassist Toby
The time and freedom from the responsibilities of a 9-5 or paying council tax were aspects of student life that Gentleman’s Dub Club really took advantage of – in terms of learning, soaking up as much knowledge in as short a space of time as possible and for putting in that all-important groundwork for a new band. Toby: “We definitely really threw ourselves into it because it’s so competitive. If you kinda go half in, then it’s no good. We also had to think of ways of showing ourselves out from the crowd. One of the first things we did was get booked on line-ups with loads of DJs because then the live band would walk on and it’d be like damn, there’s so many more dynamics and control over the crowd.” “We also had the suits and you know, it was something a little bit different. If you’re going into something at uni then it’s definitely worth thinking about how you can stand out. Especially now when like…there is such a saturation of everything out there.” Donned in their dapper 3 pieces with a uniquely brash yet sensitive dub sound, Gentleman’s Dub Club began rising through the ranks, appearing on line-ups with prominent jungle and drum & bass DJs, fellow dub stylers and reggae artists. And despite “a lot of years driving in a car with all of your equipment piled on top of you for 6 hours, not getting paid much and really slogging it out” GDC’s live shows made it all worth it.
Johnny: “It’s weird because it’s literally just constant good fun. It’s like a life hack: be in a band!” Toby: “Generally it’s been pretty euphoric the whole way with big elements of being really tired and not having any sleep. But the euphoria kicks in even harder when you’re tired, I think.”
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With two more singles set to be released ahead of Lost in Space and 5 more live dates until the end of their UK tour, GDC