Tonic Music for Mental Health Presents: Dub Pistols with guest Rodney P, Norman Jay MBE (2 hour DJ set), Millie Manders & The ShutUp & Ted @ The Controls.
Dub Pistols…As they gear up to celebrate 20 years of riotous marauding, the Dub Pistols are prepping their seventh as-yet-untitled album in 2017 and there’ll be a documentary about the band dropping at some point in the year, too. And they’ll be out on the road, as usual, of course — the hardest working band in showbiz.
A kinda 21st century equivalent of 2-Tone acts The Specials or The Beat, the Dub Pistols are the quintessential festival band. Coming over a bit like if King Tubby and The Skatalites bumped into Terry Hall at a Goldie gig, the Dubs have reached their two decade milestone with a lot of ups and downs along the way.
They’ve worked with vocal legends like Rodney P, Busta Rhymes, Gregory Isaacs, Terry Hall, Lindy Layton, Akala and Horace Andy, while the band’s mainstays are fiercely loyal and dedicated. An unorthodox collective of musicians who each have their own personal interests and solo projects, when they come together to form the Dub Pistols some dubwise magic happens.
The rhythm section of Jack (drums) and Dave (bass) are granite-solid, and guitarist Andreas (or sometimes the rock & roll stand-in, Johnny Rockstar) provides all sorts of licks and skanking chords to nice up the dance. The brass section is on fire, and rapper Seanie Tee brings the mic skills to complement main man Barry Ashworth perfectly. They’re a proper gang of outlaws, rebels with a cause, renegade outsiders who know how to bring the good times. If you haven’t seen the Pistols yet…
Leaping about like a salmon, stage-diving into the crowd, getting sweaty with the throng and then standing for selfies with fans afterwards, Barry is a talismanic frontman — his exuberant presence at the heart of the band is the glue that ties it all together. On a level with the crowd, he’s blossomed into one of the music scene’s great characters. He may be somewhat calmer these days — why, he’s even taking flying lessons at the moment, for chrissakes — but still likes to cut loose at opportune moments.
Barry might be the heart, face and mouth of the Dubs, but they are still very much a band — as tight as fuck, and yet able to cut loose to rock venues to the core. Tracks like epic drum & bass cut ‘Gunshot’, ska ditty ’Problem Is’, early beat-freak single ‘Cyclone’ and singalong anthem ‘Mucky Weekend’ have become firm fan favourites, and onstage see the band getting deep, down and dirty. With a nod to their ska influence, and the fact that Terry Hall was an honorary Dub Pistol for a few years, they still do a lively version of ‘Gangsters’ - The Specials’ first ever single. But otherwise it’s all their own work — the back catalogue is rich in flavas.
Long may the Pistols continue to mash up the place!
Rodney P, also known as Riddim Killa, is widely regarded as the Godfather of British hip hop and has inspired a whole generation of British MCs and producers. He started out in the 80’s as a member of the highly influential hip hop group London Posse who were invited by Don Letts and Mick Jones of The Clash to support their new band Big Audio Dynamite on tour. Soon after, they secured their first recording contract with Big Life records and their debut album ‘Gangsta Chronicle’ was voted the Most Important UK Hip Hop Album of All Time in 2007 by Hip Hop Connection magazine. Rodney has collaborated with fellow UK hip hop giants Skinnyman, Blak Twang and The Nextmen, featured on various soul and R&B productions with artists such as Omar and The Brand New Heavies, and has appeared on dance and electro tracks with MJ Cole and The Stanton Warriors. More unusual affilians with artists such as Bjork demonstrate his role as a genre defying MC as well as reflecting his own diverse musical taste. Rodney has also been involved in radio and television documentaries, and recently presented a programme for the BBC exploring the history of hip hop which included interviews with Chuck D from Public Enemy and New York Rapper Rakim.
Norman Jay MBE is an internationally acclaimed DJ and is highly respected as co-founder of the legendary Good Times Sound System (playing funk, soul and disco at Notting Hill Carnival), co-founder and prime selecter of London’s dance music station KISS FM and, alongside Giles Peterson, founder of the Talkin’ Loud record label which has heavily influenced the Acid Jazz scene. Norman continues to work as a broadcaster and remains at the forefront of club culture, championing new sounds whilst never forgetting his musical roots.
Millie Manders & The ShutUp…Millie creates cross-genre punk that is hard to ignore. With lyricism that pokes fun, draws you in or leaves you questioning social norms teamed with incredible vocal dexterity, grinding guitars, irresistible horn hooks and a pumping rhythm section, the Millie Manders Music Machine churns out more raw punk fusion than you can shake a stick at, with a huge amount of Pop appeal.
Ted @ The Controls…This young selecta will be bringing you the sweet sounds of Jamaica!
Tonic is a not-for-profit organisation (company no: 08093898) established in 2012. We are honoured to have both Terry Hall and Kevin Cummins as our patrons. Tonic raises awareness and challenges the stigma often associated with mental illness through music and art based events, gigs, workshops and support.
All profits from the gig will be used to host a free all day music workshops at the 100 Club for up to 40 participants who experience mental health problems. Our music workshops have the theme of creativity, confidence and belief and will be facilitated by musician Vinny Peculiar and guests. Previous participants have gone on to form their own bands and record Eps (funded by Tonic), formed friendships, reduced mental health hospital admissions, reduced social isolation, found paid employment following long periods of unemployment and performed at gigs and festivals.
Tickets: £25 Advanced + BF / £30 On the Door
Doors: 7:30pm – 1:00AM