Gentleman's Dub Club
Coming into 24 Kitchen Street you’re hit with the heat of the packed bodies straight away like getting off an airplane in Ibiza. A few moans have been aired on social media beforehand with only a DJ as support, but there is no way that any of those moans have slipped inside the venue. On the decks, LONGTINGZ is hammering away with a series of dub floor fillers, getting everything sweaty and sexy. It no longer feels like the Baltic Triangle, but rather a club in Kingston with everybody getting sucked in by tunes like Ghetto Gal by QQ and Who Knows by Protoje. With no MC, it is the music doing the work and doing the work well. Throughout this coal shed on steroids, people are dancing and the mood is rising ready for the Liverpool return of GENTLEMAN’S DUB CLUB.
Even though the venue has been full for a good hour, the crowd seems to swell as Gentleman’s Dub Club take to the stage. With fans squeezing past each other to get closer to their heroes the gig takes on an air of false danger so often missing from sterile nights these days. With an elongated jam going to open up and continue the beats from LongTingz, lead singer Jonathan Scratchley swaggers to the front and takes it up about five notches with Music Is The Girl I Love. The crowd responds and bounces, arms in the air, right on cue. Even a woman on crutches is going wild for it, her dreadlocks flying around. It feels already like that kind of night.
Even though the purpose of this night is to plug their most recent album, it is sufficiently old that the band have new material to drop as well. Dancing In The Breeze gets everybody chilling and grooving with the beats coming slower like on a Mediterranean island beach bar, but still the guys build the atmosphere up to a hard crescendo with major dance scenes happening as we reach the end of the tune.
Let A Little Love In Your Life is another new track and is more of a traditional ska sound from the band. Gentleman’s Dub Club are on top form and it’s a good job too, as in a venue like this there’s no room for hiding. The guys have brass, beats and a brash confidence which undermines the message of some of their songs, where politics is trumped by partying.
Finishing on old favourite High Grade, GDC leave a rallying cry to those who have almost had too much from the night, as the smokers come in from outside and the fans at the bar give it as much as the band and the fans in the pit. Gentleman’s Dub Club create great tunes and such wonderful chaos.
Gary Lambert / @TheGaryLambert