Dub Pistols

Town Centre

The Specials and the 2-Tone movement brilliantly reflected the multi-racial nature of

the UK’s inner cities back in the day. The Dub Pistols are like a 21st century

equivalent — a riotous collision of drum & bass, hip-hop, ska, dub and punk. One of

the most exhilarating live bands on the circuit, these festival favourites have survived

international terrorism, inter-band warfare and the wheels falling off their operation

numerous times. Now a slickly drilled outfit, they’ve nevertheless lost none of their

kick-ass vitality and renegade edge wherever they rock up to play.

Dubbed ‘the hardest working man in showbiz’ by music industry peers, Barry has

worked in music all his adult life. An Ibiza original who had his life changed by acid

house, he started running club-nights in London and had soon formed a band, Deja

Vu, who arrived during the Flowered Up/Happy Mondays ‘baggy’ era.

When Deja Vu split, Barry started DJing — badly, at first — and the Dub Pistols

formed out of some of these madcap DJ sessions. The last two subsequent decades

have been a riot of storming shows, missed opportunities, big bad basslines,

calamities and triumphs — with scarcely a dull moment.

At one of their big live shows, the ant-racism festival Rise in London in 2007, they

were not only joined by Terry Hall on vocals but also another Specials mainstay,

guitarist Lyndal Golding. The rapturous reception that ‘Gangsters’ received was

instrumental in The Specials getting back together the following year — and in turn

they asked the Dub Pistols to support them for some of their comeback tour.

The Dubs themselves nearly fell apart, Happy Mondays style, while recording their

next album ‘Rum & Coke’ in Barbados the following summer. “Our gear got pawned

off, members of the band were locked up, the wheels came off — everything we did

was just about partying and enjoying ourselves,” Barry recalls.

After the turn of the noughties they returned to more political fare with their

‘Worshipping The Dollar’ LP — featuring vocalists such as Akala and Rodney P —

and introduced more of a drum & bass sound into their live sets and new songs. As

the decade progressed they cemented their place as one of the mainstay festival

bands in Europe — guaranteed to rock the house every single time.