In the UK there are few remaining venues that carry their heritage and true community feel. With the closure of Manchester's Antwerp Mansion right around the corner, it is important to commemorate Leeds’ humble West Indian Centre. The home of Subdub and the perfect place to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
The iconic monthly night began in 1998 and is centred around Soundsystem culture, boasting Dub, Roots, Jungle, Dancehall, D&B & Dubstep music on the infamous Iration Steppas Soundsystem. To celebrate 20 years, dub-heads from all over made the pilgrimage in the snow and OGs from the scene welcomed dub-devoted students to the dancefloor.
This party was long-anticipated by its supporters and Subdub sourced the finest soundsystems from across the UK to celebrate its 20th. Room 1 was hosted by Leeds’ beloved Iration Steppas Sound System ‘playing dubz inna year 3000 style’. Joined by locals Negus Dub Warrior Sound System and Hytal Bosrah Sound System from Birmingham. Armed with the two staples of a Subdub party - Red Stripe and ear plugs - revellers paid homage to 2 decades as selectors provided ribcage rattlers. The atmosphere was undeniably commetatory throughout the night, paired with the admirably communal vibe; a loveable feature of any Subdub party.
Meanwhile over in room 2, the Sweet Potato Sound System supplied the bass for a number of vigorous selectors. When the clock struck twelve Deep Medi boss Mala took to the decks supplying a seamless set of heavy 808s and dubplates. It was no surprise the set showcased an array of styles but a crowd highlight was Mala’s notorious ‘Changes’ a timeless dubstep classic. As the night progressed the tempo picked up with Fabio & Grooverider, Dillinja and Source Direct supplying the energy with heavy drum and bass and jungle. A highlight of the D&B riddims was toward the end of Dillinja’s set when we were greeted with a couple wheel ups of Pendulum's classic ‘Tarantula’, that was met with crowd cheers and heavy skanking. Special commemoration goes to MCs Flux, Sun of Selah and Remain for keeping spirits high throughout the night.
Both dancefloors were swarmed and the snow provided the perfect cool off for this outside. Moving through the rooms you were welcomed by friendly, relaxed security and an eclectic mix of people. Despite the lack of elbow room, the crowd was captivated by the driving dub that resonated across the venue.
A Subdub party cannot be replicated, it’s renowned for its roots and ability to provide an original Soundsystem vibe, despite its expansion to the student nightlife scene in Leeds. It was an honour to celebrate the 20th birthday of one of the UK’s most flagrant club nights.
Photo courtesy of Subdub
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