Gentleman’s Dub Club – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells

Gentleman’s Dub Club live @ The Forum, Tunbridge Wells Friday 6th May, 2011.

The Forum is right in the town centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells, on a grass verge across the road from the upmarket shops in The Pantiles.  In fact The Forum used to be a public toilet.  Now, for those of you who have not frequented this fantastic small venue, it’s worth stating that, though the venue is small, it probably isn’t quite as small as the previous sentence may have you envisage, and on a packed night it can hold 250 people.

Gentleman’s Dub Club play a perfect mix of dub, ska, dubstep and lovers rock and live they are something very special.  The enthusiastic and excited crowd raised the roof when GDC took to the small stage.  Eight members all in white shirts and black trousers looking very dapper and ready to sweat!

Gentleman’s Dub Club was formed in Leeds in 2006 though singer, Jila, said as a local boy he used to frequent The Forum in his younger days.  Their website states there are nine members, but I only counted eight.  Accompanying Jila was a drummer, percussionist with a laptop, guitarist, horn section consisting of trumpet and saxophone, and two keyboard players, one in control of the deepest sub-bass rhythms I have heard from a live band.

There was a lively moshpit throughout the gig and plenty of movement from the Dub Club who certainly know how to make a great sound and an amazing party-like atmosphere as they fused dub reggae, dubstep, ska and lovers rock songs into one hell of a live show.

The place was dripping with condensation and sweat as the band danced as hard as the packed crowd.  At one point I thought the trumpet player was going to implode! Its great live performances like this that has helped GDC build a following all over the UK.

This was part of the Gentleman’s Dub Club High Grade UK Tour this month.  It was GDC’s first visit to Tunbridge Wells and on this show, it won’t be their last. “If the truth be told, I’m a sucker for the high grade!”

Below is a live video from Manchester 2010 to give you a flavour of how exciting GDC live!


For more information visit the Gentlemans Dub Club Myspace page.



Gentleman’s Dub Club UK Tour

Gentleman’s Dub Club (GDC) will be taking their party mix of ska and dub reggae up and down the country as they set out on a UK tour in May starting in Bath on the 3rd  and ending in Southampton on the 30th.


Gentleman’s Dub Club High Grade UK Tour Dates:

3 May
Komedia, Bath

4 May
The Boiler Room, Guildford

5 May
Concorde 2, Brighton

6 May
Forum, Tunbridge Wells

8 May
Sumo, Leicester

9 May
Club Academy, Manchester

10 May
Mojo, Liverpool

12 May
Academy, Newcastle

13 May
G2, Glasgow

14 May
Leeds University, Leeds

16 May
The Duchess, York

17 May
Sheffield University, Sheffield

18 May
Rescue room, Nottingham

20 May
King’s College, London

21 May
O2, Oxford

22 May
Junction 2, Cambridge

24 May
Arts Centre, Colchester

25 May
Koko Gorlaz, Cardiff

26 May
Hare & Hounds, Birmingham

27 May
Thekla, Bristol

30 May
The Joiners, Southampton

Here is the video to the 2010 single Emergency.


For more information visit The Gentleman’s Dub Club Facebook page.

London International Ska Festival

London International Ska Music Festival
London International Ska Festival

The London International Ska Festival returns to London for it’s second celebration of all things Ska this April. Set over four days at London’s iconic Clapham Grand Theatre and featuring 22 bands and 10 DJ’s from around the world alongside some extra special exclusives.

The festival showcases the finest global talent from the Jamaican originators and the rhythm and blues sounds that inspired them through the progression into rocksteady & reggae, 2 Tone and right up to date with 21st century ska sounds. There is something for everyone.

Headliners include Jamaican legends Ken Boothe, famed for his UK No.1 hit ‘Everything I Own‘, one of reggae’s most influential singer/songwriters Bob Andy, who will be teaming up once again with the ‘Queen of Reggae’ Marcia Griffiths for a UK exclusive, their chart topping duets as Bob & Marcia included ‘Young Gifted & Black & ‘Pied Piper‘.  Reuniting for the first time since the 1970’s will be Dave & Ansel Collins, who will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of their UK No.1 ‘Double Barrel‘.

From the 2 Tone era we have The English Beat, starring , the lead singer and songwriter of The Beat (or The English Beat as they’re known in the USA, where he now lives & tours). Expect their classic top 10 UK hits ‘Mirror In The Bathroom‘, ‘Too Nice To Talk To‘, ‘Hands Off She’s Mine‘, their 2 Tone single ‘Tears Of A Clown‘ and new material in this rare UK appearance.

Also gracing the festival is Grammy nominated sensation James Hunter, rightly described by Van Morrison as “one of the best voices in British R’n’B and Soul” and from Japan, playing their only European show, a band to rival The Skatalites, The Ska Flames.  Also jumping onboard will be  Sunday Best’s dancefloor killers, the Dub Pistols, Gaelic Ska adventurers The Trojans plus two bands that played the original London International Ska Festival in 1988 reforming for one offs; The Loafers and Hotknives.

As if this wasn’t enough from Italy a band that has released six gold selling albums, the highly stylised Giuliano Palma & The Bluebeaters. There will also be an exclusive show from the mighty US ska champions Bim Skala Bim, plus UK stalwarts Maroon Town, Intensified and The Amphetameanies.

Owen Grey is also confirmed as a special guest for Sunday. Owen is one of Jamaica’s true ‘Foundation’ singers and Alpha Boys School graduate his work spans the R&B, ska, rocksteady & reggae eras of Jamaican music.  He recorded for many of the greats: Prince Buster, Duke Reid, Leslie Kong, Clancy Eccles & Bunny Lee and was one of the first artists to be released on Studio One & Island Records, undeniably a true legend and pioneer of Jamaican music.

Added to all this is a stella line up of DJs, from club specialists to band cameos, radio disc jockeys to Jamaican legends including Clive Chin, boss of Jamaica’s vital Randys Records, celebrating the labels 50th anniversary, Lynval Golding (The Specials), Mark Lamarr, Gaz Mayall (Gazs Rockin Blues), Rhoda Dakar (Bodysnatchers/Special AKA) and many more.

From it’s birth in Jamaica, Ska has come along way, morphing and inspiring every generation and reaching all corners of the world to form a rich tapestry so important to our musical history. This April we will once again be welcoming back to London this celebration of the wonderful world of SKA in all it’s colourful guises.

London International Ska Festival

THURSDAY 21 April 2011 – 6PM-3AM

KEN BOOTHE (Jamaica)

RHODA DAKAR (Bodysnatchers/Special AKA)
TAKESHI OKAWA (Japan-The Ska Flames/Sun Shot)

FRIDAY 22 APRIL 2011 – 6PM-3AM

THE LOAFERS (one-off reformation)
HOTKNIVES (orig.line up)
SKAOS (Germany)

GAZ MAYALL (Gazs Rockin Blues)




SUNDAY 24 APRIL 2011 – 6PM-2AM



The London International Ska Festival will be held on 21-24 April 2011.

The Clapham Grand Theatre
21-25 St John’s Hill, Clapham Junction, London, SW11 1TT

London International Ska Festival Tickets

Day passes £39.50 + £7 booking fee
Full 4 day passes £129.99 + £7 booking fee
Royal box £1,850
(maximum of ten people) Best views in the theatre – beer fridge with complimentary 24 beers per day – waitress service

For more information visit



Boss Reggae Sounds: Reggae Popcorn Laurel Aitken Productions, 1969 – 1971

Boss Reggae Sounds: Reggae Popcorn Laurel Aitken Productions, 1969 – 1971
Boss Reggae Sounds: Reggae Popcorn Laurel Aitken Productions, 1969 – 1971

Lorenzo Aitken is better known as Laurel Aitken and often referred to as the ‘Godfather of Ska’.

Born in Cuba he was a successful artist in his own right. Laurel Aitken’s 1958 single “Little Sheila”/”Boogie in My Bones” was one of the first records produced by Chris Blackwell, who founded his Island Records label in the same year.  In 1960 LaurelAitken he moved to Brixton, London and released his own music for among others, the famous Blue Beat label.

But he was also a pioneering producer and one of the most popular British-based West Indian music producers throughout the Ska and early Reggae era. From 1969 to 1971, the quality of his work for the UK’s leading reggae companies, Trojan and Pama, was second to none and unsurprisingly sold well in both Jamaica and the UK, especially throughout the Skinhead movement of the day.

“A hole is a hole, as long as there’s a hole I’m going to ram me long pole”King Horror, The Hole.

The very best of these highly collectable recordings form the basis of this, the finest compilation of Boss Reggae Sounds in years, with memorable contributions from some of the hottest acts including Pama Dice (Dice The Boss), Winston Groovy and the brilliant King Horror.

30 great ska and reggae tracks including the very wonderful Funky Chicken, Loch Ness Monster and Funky Monkey.

Boss Reggae Sounds: Reggae Popcorn Laurel Aitken Productions, 1969 – 1971

Cutting Blade – King Horror
Zion I – Rico & The Visions
Leaving Me Standing – Winston Groovy
The Vampire – King Horror
The Worm – Pama Dice
The Hole – King Horror
I Can’t Go On – Winston Groovy
Funky Chicken Pama Dice
Loch Ness Monster – King Horror
Only You Winston Groovy
Funky Monkey – Dice The Boss
Funky Monkey (Part 2) – Dice The Boss
Funny – Winston Groovy
Funny Version 2 The Cimarons
Give Me Back Your Love – Trevor Lloyd
Real Collie – Dice & Cummie
Funky Duck – Dice The Boss
Frankenstein – King Horror
Reggae Popcorn – Pama Dice
Sin, Sun & Sex – Pama Dice
You Send Me – Winston Groovy
Nobody Else But You – Joe Lace
Election – The Freedom Singers
Tomorrow Sworld – Fleece & The Live Shocks
Standing On The Corner – Winston Groovy
History Of Africa – The Classics
Africa Arise (History Of Africa Part 2) – Laurel Aitken
Valley Of Tears – Cock & The Woodpeckers
Birds And Flowers The Groovy Beats
Guilty – Tiger

Boss Reggae Sounds: Reggae Popcorn Laurel Aitken Productions, 1969 – 1971 compilation has been released on Pressure Drop via Cherry Red Records.



From Red Bull Studio – The Producers featuring Lee Scratch Perry & Diplo

lee perry-producers

Made at the Red Bull Studio in London, the six episode series of The Producers documents the progress of a top music producer when they collaborate with an artist of their choice in the studio.

The series includes top producers like Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Diplo, Mark Ronson,Jamie Reynolds of the Klaxons, Gareth Jones and the series kicked off with Sheffield beatmaster Toddla T

This episode features Diplo and Lee Perry collaborating on a track in the studio, culminating in Perry preforming with Diplo and Switch’s Major Lazer at the 2010 Notting Hill Carnival.


The Producers is a co- production between Red Bull and, is a six-part documentary series showcasing a selection of the most innovative and exciting producers in the world, working in the Red Bull Studio London as their creative hub.