Home > News & Reviews > Dub Pistols

Dub Pistols - Fibbers, York - 4th May 2012 (Live Review)

Monday, 07 May 2012 Written by Sadie Walton
Dub Pistols - Fibbers, York - 4th May 2012 (Live Review)

My favourite video game of all time is Tony Hawke’s Pro Skater, which I played for literally hours at a time in our dingy lounge during my early 20s, usually whilst incredibly hungover with a vat of coffee by my side. Part of what made the game so addictive was the soundtrack – a roller coaster of heady ska, punk rock and hip hop tracks by such luminaries as Anthrax, Papa Roach, Bad Religion and Dub Pistols.

ImageSo when I heard that Dub Pistols were bringing their live show to a venue just minutes from where I live, I jumped at the chance to see them. This band has been the soundtrack to some great moments of my youth (not just high scores in video games, I’ll have you know), and I count 'Cyclone' and 'Six Million Ways to Live' amongst my favourite tunes of all time.

Upon entering the venue, Fibbers, (a venue which is fairly small and quite awkward at the best of times) my first observation was that half of the venue was curtained off. I initially wondered if this indicated that ticket sales hadn’t been quite what were expected.

However, when support act The Marzec Group came onstage – all NINE of them, complete with trombones, trumpet, saxophone and flugelhorn, it crossed my mind that maybe the backstage area had become a little crowded and needed to expand, what with them sharing space with all eight of the artistes in the Dub Pistols. Lucky the second support act hadn’t shown up, otherwise I think there may have been some serious lap-sitting back there.

The Marzec Group are a local York band formed just six months ago in December 2011, comprising nine incredibly energetic musicians led by lead singer and sax player, Luke Marzec. Considering they have only played together for a handful of gigs, their energy and composition was impressive. Playing a mixture of reggae, blues and dub step, all with a jazz theme throughout (that’ll be the horns), it seems these guys are attempting to hit every musical adjective within their sound. And actually, they just about pull it off – their boyish cheek and energy pulling them through just when the music threatened to become a cacophony. All in all, I reckon a bit more practise time together, some more organisation and these might be one to watch.

Bang on 9.30, and on came the Dub Pistols. By this time, the venue had filled up with a motley crue of fans – from forty-something old school punks and ska fans in baggy trousers and daft hats, to the new wave of younger fans, who likely cottoned onto the Dub Pistols via their 2007 reggae dance ska studio album 'Speakers and Tweeters' or their seminal 2005 'Six Million Ways to Live'. The mix of fans left the venue full of positive energy and anticipation (as well as a LOT of warm up silly dancing), and the overall air was of friendly, happy attitudes.

Heading full force into the retro techno dance riffs of 'Westway' and 'Running From the Thoughts', it was immediately clear was that we were going to get a damn fine show. There can be a tendency for bands that have enjoyed the trappings of success (Barry has recently signed a deal with Playstation Singstar and has previously mixed tracks for the likes of Korn, Moby and Ian Brown) to be lacklustre in smaller venues. Not so with the Dubs.

Leading from the front, Barry (Ashworth, front man) bounded with youthful energy and charisma, as he charged through the set list, which featured a good ratio of the old classics to new material. The first new track, New Skank, gained an enthusiastic and appreciative reception, with its 50s rockabilly style showcasing a new slant for the ska-punk focussed band. My favourite 'Cyclone' didn’t disappoint, with the band onstage clearly having as much fun as the audience, bouncing with such verve that I was concerned the low ceiling height of the venue may make one of them come a cropper.

As the band powered through some old school crowd pleasers which included 'Official Chemical' (most famous for featuring on Matt Hoffmans’ Pro BMX 2 video game soundtrack), 'You’ll Never Find' (which has a Snow Informer-esque vibe to it, and tonight took me right back to mid-nineties memories of cassette tapes and Walkmans) and 'Alive', we were also treated to some material from their upcoming album, 'Worshipping The Dollar' (out in July) including 'Bad Card', 'Rub A Dub' and 'Gunshot', all of which feature up tempo, high energy ska reggae breaks, but with slightly darker lyrics – which for fans of their older stuff, will be a welcome return.

Stand out moments of the night? Definitely 'Peaches', which saw the audience make a collective whoop and cued a dance floor of badly executed (but still hilarious) skank dancing, with not a frown in the house. This was followed closely by their encore pieces, the hugely popular Special’s track 'Gangsters', performed with explosive gusto, gusto, and the whole evening was wrapped up with the Free cover 'All Right Now' – but of course, in their own inimitable style.

All in all? As pioneers of the UK dance scene, offering something beyond the bland DJ thumps of house, Dub Pistols blend of reggae, punk, rock n’ roll and techno still sounds fresh and current, and the added ingredient of a hint of dub step brings even their older tracks bang into 2012. For me, there was a hint of disappointment that they didn’t perform 'Six Million Ways to Live', as it’s a personal favourite. However, the high octane performance didn’t really lend itself to this chilled out, acoustic track, so I guess I will forgive them.

Advice? Catch them on their UK tour, which sees them performing gigs, DJ sets and festivals from now until August, and if you can’t do that, pre-order 'Worshipping the Dollar' now. Click Here to Compare & Buy Dub Pistols Tickets.

We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

No related news to show
< Prev   Next >