Saturday, 13 August 2011

GUEST SPOT - # 9 - Dub War - 'Strike It'


He cooks a mean fennel and sausage casserole, our guest spot this week comes from Jon...BO!

Dub War - Strike It (1995)

It's August bank holiday weekend, 1993. I'm at the Greenbelt festival in Northamptonshire all psyched up, bass in hand, ready to take to the (admittedly very small) Fringe Bandstand stage with my bandmates. Except it's well behind schedule and we have a wait of around 45 minutes. Great. Waiting patiently is not something I've ever done very well, and I'm liable to start pacing if I don't have something to distract me. But what's this? What are these sounds of purest awesomeness wafting over to me from the Big Top stage? I wander on over and step inside the marquee to be faced with arguably the best (as yet unsigned) band to come out of South Wales. Ever. With the possible exception of The Alarm. Instantly all urge to pace departs and my senses are assaulted by the genre-defining sound that hits me like a blast wave. In time it will be come to be known as thragga. For the moment though I don't care what it's called - I just know I love it.  Benji's vocals shift effortlessly from shouty ragga to tuneful soul via an almost forgiveable jazz interlude. The band are tight and having a great time and the crowd are really responding. Then the bass player breaks a string mid-song - not just any string, but his E string. Those suckers are fat and he really must have been pounding it - I'm impressed! One quick string change later and they're back in full flow again. Half an hour later I emerge squinting into the bright sunshine with a very big grin on my face and head back over to the Fringe, ready to take to the stage.  No bass strings were harmed during our performance.




Sadly Dub War disbanded in 1999 after only two studio albums and a remix album. Benji and most of the band went on to form the original lineup of Skindred, continuing in a similar vein but in my opinion never quite living up to Dub War.

Quick strike whilst the iron is hot..more guest spots!

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GUEST SPOT - # 9 - Dub War - 'Strike It'
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Oleh

7 comments

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13 August 2011 at 10:39

Little hint of 'rage againt the machine' there, enhanced by the whiff of fennel and sausage casserole. Good one!

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13 August 2011 at 10:41

Oh and good story as usual...sounds like great indelible memory

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Jon
13 August 2011 at 13:49

Thanks! As an added bonus just after writing the blog and searching for live clips I found a new release "The Dub, The War And The Ugly" from 2010 featuring unreleased Dub War tracks and a DVD of their last ever gig.

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13 August 2011 at 19:54

I can't believe I went through the entire 90's without listening to any Dub War.I'm all over this track, it's fantastic, great bass and beat this has got my name written all over it. Better late than never!

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Jon
13 August 2011 at 21:31

And damn you've got a good memory flycasual. Not cooked that in years. Will have to dig the recipe out as it gets colder.

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13 August 2011 at 22:17

Great stuff. Even though I live in South Wales, Dub War, for some reason, more or less passed me by. I did manage to acquire some kind of demo tape of theirs once from a charity shop. I played it a bit, enjoyed it and then lost it. Forgot all about them. Thanks for reminding me. Have to disagree about best band from Wales, though - that must go to the legendary Man.

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15 August 2011 at 17:44

Wow, I never heard anything of these guys either! Love their style! The singer has a bit of Busta Rhymes in him and it sounds like Cyprus Hill at times but heavier. Rock on!

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