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In Conversation: Gentleman's Dub Club

In Conversation: Gentleman's Dub Club

Will Waldron | Features & Interviews

Originating in Leeds, Gentleman’s Dub Club have secured an incomparable reputation across the UK and beyond with their incomparably energetic live shows and their ability to showcase their unique blend of dub, ska, reggae fusion and more combining keys, vocals, brass, guitar and that all important beat-making percussion. With a steady stream of releases since their 2006 inception, GDC have spent the last two decades securing their spot as one of the biggest names in the dub scene, claiming festival slots across the globe including Glastonbury, Croatia’s Outlook, Bestival as well as supporting the likes of The Streets, Roots Manuva, The Wailers and more. We caught up with the collective for a quick fire round of questions about their upcoming dates.

How’s it going guys? Nice to see you making your way around the country – big shows coming up in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff to name a few – where do you like to play? Which crowds tend to give you the best reactions?

Yeah - Going great thanks guys. We just love playing live to be honest; it still feels novel jamming with so many thousands of people and the variety keeps it that way.

What’s the maddest thing you’ve seen happen at one of your shows?

Wow - thats a big question…

It feels like every show has its own slice of madness to be honest. We’ve had crowds rushing the stage quite a few times and even closing down the show because of it. Police shutting a few down show, in fact when we were on the Isle of Man we literally had a whole police force side of stage ready to drag us off if we didn’t end the set. Apparently we were too rowdy for that time in the evening!

Do you prefer playing the small, sweaty intimate gigs or do you buzz more from a huge festival set?

We love them all for different reasons, personally and as a front man I prefer to see the people and meet them eye to eye so small venues are great to develop a relationship and move together.

You’ve just released a new single, ‘Stardust’ – what do you look for most in your music? The bassline, melody? Lyrics? What would you say is the backbone of any GDC track?

In all honesty we couldn’t be able to define it as a particular element in this way; it’s more of a feel, the elements are well defined by the instruments we have in the band so almost every track will be using these building blocks. In the band’s infancy, the instruments were chosen for their connection to dub and reggae music, underpinned by the rhythm section (bass, drums, guitar, percussion and keys) and then accented by the horns and vocals with most of the central melodies - this drives all instrumentation in the writing process.  

Should people be excited for the new album ‘Lost In Space?’ What would you say is different on this release compared to your previous work?

They definitely should! We took this project on in a slightly new way, it’s more of a concept album than we’ve done before, based on a story and then developed as a whole group. We basically wrote and recorded the whole piece collaboratively, recording as a group for the first time. It’s hard to say how different it is when pitched against our previous albums because we have an already developed sound, but for us it felt new and exciting and we can’t wait to get it out there!

Is there a plan in place to make 2019 a big one? What have you got in store besides from the album release in January?

Absolutely - we will be touring quite a few new regions in Europe we haven't previously been to which is always exciting. Plus, a lot more video ideas that are currently peppering the blue sky that are developed enough for us to feel excited for their development and realisation. We have also been booked onto a few dates of the UB40 tour and we’re keen to play our sound to a different generation of reggae fans.

Which three words best describe the new album?

Intergalactic, psychedelic, exploitative.  

GDC take on Manchester’s O2 Ritz on Friday 9th November.  

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In Conversation: Gentleman's Dub Club

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