April will transition into May with huge cause for celebration, as Leeds West Indian Centre hosts a weekender spectacle marking the 18th birthday of SubDub, the launch party for this year’s Outlook Festival, 15 years of Dispatch Recordings and 10 years of Deep Medi. Festivities will take place on the 29th and 30th of April, confirming the weekend as one of the biggest in this year’s Leeds calendar.
Friday will welcome Johnny Clarke, a Jamaican legend responsible for hits including Warrior, None Shall Escape the Judgement and Julie. Blessed with outstanding vocal talent, Clarke will perform at Subdub to mark the night’s 18th year promoting dub, dancehall, reggae, D&B and jungle, joined in room 1 by the legendary Iration Steppas Soundsystem and a handful of special guests.
In room 2, the Friday will see sets from Soul:r label boss Marcus Intalex, Skeptical, Digital, DLR, Gerra & Stone, and MC Fokus as Dispatch Records mark fifteen years in the game. Intalex is credited with having given DnB a soulful musicality through his work as a DJ and label head, whilst Skeptical has carved out a distinctive sound through numerous releases, his airy instrumentation allowing sharply constructed beats the space to let loose, shaking bodies and vibrating dancefloors with powerful sub frequencies. Room 2 will be supported by Nottingham’s Sweetpotato Soundsystem, a heavyweight system accompanied by the distinctive Sweepotato decor, both of which are tailor made to promote dub roots music.
Starting again on the Saturday evening, Iration Steppas Soundsystem will this time give the floor over to Deep Medi, in celebration of the label’s decade long reign as one of the most influential dubstep labels. Run by Mala and offering a back catalogue of releases including Kahn, Loefah, Coki and countless others, the label has provided weapons for Subdub deployment since its inception, and could find no better home for a birthday bash.
Tickets are likely to sell out well in advance, so don’t hang about if you want to pay your respects to some of the most important fixtures in British dub music.
Words by Andrew Kemp
Photos courtesy of Real Roots