Gentleman's Dub Club are a 9-piece from Leeds, and a Fred Perry Subculture favourite. They have been kind enough to make us an exclusive Reggae playlist and answer a few questions below, despite a packed out Summer on the festival circuit including Outlook (which Johnny from Gentleman’s Dub Club runs) and Glastonbury. As well as their festival dates, the lads are working on their highly-anticipated debut album ‘Forty Four’ which will be out this autumn. the Gentlemen have found time to answer a few questions for Fred Perry Subculture, below.
Answers by Sax Player Kieren Gallagher.
What's the story behind the name Gentleman's Dub Club?
The band originally started out as a much smaller faction which included Harry Devenish (sound engineer/FX), Jonathan Scratchley (vocals), Niall Lavelle (percussion/sampler) and Toby Davies (Bass), who were the main core and floating around were an assortment of other musicians which eventually firmed into the group we have today so it started off quite like a club where people would come and go. Also the word club reaches farther than just inside the group, it signifies a union between us and our fans. Gentleman because we're 9 men and Dub because that is a heavy influence on our style.
How would you describe Gentleman's Dub Club's sound?
Predominately dance music in a reggae style but we switch things up with some softer roots, to Steppas Dub, with metal and grime inflections. It's a real melting pot of sounds, which reflects the world we live in today.
What's been the best show you've played recently and why?
We played in Goa, India at India Bike Week in February which was quite special due to the fact that we had never played on another continent before. When we first got to the festival they were blasting classic rock out of the system to all the heavy set biker crew and we were thinking that maybe they're not gonna appreciate a reggae band from Leeds but it was quite the opposite and we had a awesome show. Going new places with all the new sounds and sights add to the experience. We also finished our 4th UK tour called the RIOT tour, named after the single we recently released. That was great, especially because we had new material.
What would you say are your influences?
A major influence would have to be Iration Steppas who are a Dub outfit from Leeds who run a night called SubDub and is the home to one of the best Sound systems in the country. We all used to go there once a month and absolutely have it out to the sounds and rhythms that are literally blasted into your mind and soul. We wanted to make music like them, with as much omnipotence as possible. Also there's 9 of us so the influences really ride the gamut i.e. Culture, Deftones, Marvin Gaye, J Dilla
What's the music scene in Leeds like, and would you say you're influenced by any subcultures?
Incredible scene in Leeds, there's a large student population so the city caters for all musical tastes whether its Hip Hop, Jazz or Rockabilly. There's a lot of new and budding artists too due to the university and Leeds college of music. It also attracts a lot of great artists because they know they're gonna get an awesome reception. Yeah we're definitely influenced by Subcultures just like that of the Dub reggae scene.
Who is your biggest style Icon - and why?
As a band we're not the most style conscious group, which may seem contradictory because we wear suits but one of the main reasons we wear them, not just because suits are classy and timeless but it means we don't have to think about what we're going to wear. There's never gonna be any fashion faux pas when we're all suited and booted.
What album do you find yourselves listening to the most?
At the moment Frank Ocean - Channel Orange. Such an eclectic sound and his voice and lyrics seem so real and loaded with emotion. Also Deftones - loving 'Diamond Eyes' at the minute. Their sound blows me away, so dense and rich yet with such simple ideas. Their singer Chino has to be one of the greatest singers to have lived due to his idiosyncratic approach to melody and tone. He goes from throat wrenching screaming to wonderfully ethereal singing seamlessly. A true visionary band.
If you could have any artist, dead of alive, cover you, who would it be?
Pantera singing Fire would be awesome.