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Live / stage review

Gentleman's Dub Club, 23 March, Leadmill

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It had been one of those transient March days, when the weather brewed a perfect nostalgic storm. The liminal space between bright sunlight and chilly shade conjured up memories of lazy university days lounging around in parks.

What better way to end such a day than to watch Gentleman's Dub Club, the seminal band who emerged from the dark underbelly of Hyde Park? As a Leeds graduate, basement soundsystems hold a soft place in my heart, yet GDC never fail to bring something new and exciting to the scene. If genre were a buffet, these guys would have sampled all the dishes several times. Playing a wealth of tunes from their new release, Lost In Space, they brought the Leadmill alive with a sound that was both crunchy and supple.

In between plastic pint glasses raised in the air and gyrating bodies deep in the skank, the sheer joy emanating from the stage was visible

'Light The Fuse' impressed a sense of depth and darkness, with repetitive drum lines and lyrics that were sparing but sinister. 'Turning Back' took a turn towards light-hearted ska and reggae with more horns, more power and jovial melodic riffs. It's clear that a 2018 collaboration with The Nextmen has had an influence on their music, because there's a distinctly jazzier tone this time around. They didn't forget the old favourites though, and the encore of 'High Grade' sent the crowd, me included, into a frenzy.

In between plastic pint glasses raised in the air and gyrating bodies deep in the skank, the sheer joy emanating from the stage was visible. Even if you're the most talented musician in the world, having a good time on stage is half the fun and GDC were a pleasure to watch.

I'm pretty sure at one point, trumpet player Matt Roberts was jumping around stage with a towel on his head and to be honest, why the hell not?

Noah Martin

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