With their engaging sound, and unmatchable energy, Gentleman’s Dub Club is a band like no other. Founded while studying in Leeds, the nine-member group’s unusual blend of ska, reggae and dub is truly unique. The band is renowned for their infectious performances, and I was lucky enough to catch up with members Toby and Jonathan, and ask a few questions while they prepare for their upcoming UK tour:
You’ve have performed in so many amazing cities, how do you find Liverpool and its crowds?
It’s always a unique experience playing in Liverpool, we have performed all over the city down the years from the O2 to Kitchen Street but the last time we played at the Invisible Wind Factory was incredible and we cannot wait for this show. There are a lot of cities around the country with transient audiences, but it feels like Liverpool stays consistent and always delivers the goods.
I know you first got started while studying at Leeds, what’s your best piece of advice for young musicians starting out?
Find something you enjoy and keep doing it. It should be fun so if you’re not enjoying it then find something that puts a smile on your face. If you genuinely enjoy what you do, then everything else will come.
Your mix of different sounds is pretty unique, so who were your biggest influences when you were getting started?
Our biggest influences are the individual members of the band. We all come from a variety of backgrounds and have grown up listening to anything from classical through Jazz metal and of course Dub, reggae and Jungle. We started a dub band because we fell in love with sound systems, mainly the ones that we discovered at Mark Iration and Simon Scott’s Subdub, where the passion for music and power of the sound system was all-important.
Do you thinking that performing in so many different cities inspire different ideas in your works?
Meeting new people, hearing new music and exploring the world drives all inspiration! We’ve been to places like India, Morocco, Tunisia, the United States and Iceland, and it’s a massive slice of inspiration to see the enthusiasm for what we do so far afield.
Your new album is on its way early next year, with the first single due out next month, how would you say that it differs from your previous works?
It’s a little more psychedelic, we have focused on the vastness of space as the environment, and loosely followed a narrative. We recorded the tracks as a whole in the Welsh countryside, so it’s inspired by the wildness of the nature around us as well as the night sky above us, which makes it unique in many aspects. We are really excited to see how it’s received!
Do you have a favourite track on the new album?
Too difficult a question, they’re like our children, we love them all equally!! I really like Ground Shaking and Stardust but sometimes tracks develop over time from playing live so watch this space!!
Nine people is quite a lot for a band, does having such a large number present any challenges while performing and touring?
It’s a bloody nightmare but well worth the effort. It can actually be beneficial when we’re touring because it’s such a big group, it’s basically like a civilised stag do with a load of gigs thrown in.
2018 has been a pretty big year for you, what would say was the biggest highlight?
Wow – it’s tough to know and I’m sure there will be many highlights to come over the last few months of the year but I’d say – Bestival was massively inspirational experience for us. We played on the main stage on Sunday evening to a packed-out crowd which blew our minds! We’ve also just come back from the Indian Ocean where we performed a couple of shows in La Reunion island next to Mauritius – that was mental!
Finally, what can people expect from you guys towards the end of the year?
We have a few releases lined up that will be fun and what comes with that also – making videos, playing new tracks etc…but this upcoming tour across the UK is looking stacked so we’re really excited to get back on the round and in front of a loads of passionate music lovers!
You can buy tickets for Gentlemen’s Dub Club UK tour here