Hubs Records Hubdubabeat Festival, opening night at Norwich Arts Centre, with Solko, Dumbfoundus, Tallowah, Dr. Clyde, 1 August 2013, review.
This was the first night of the Hubdubabeat Festival brought to us by the wonderful Solko boys at Hubs Records, who themselves had only just returned from Croatia and Germany. On an exceptionally hot and humid Thursday night Norwich supported this event in large numbers and the night was a sell out to see this superb line up.
First on the bill this evening were the ever-excellent and unique Dr Clyde. Fronted by Jasper Taylor, who is a charismatic, captivating and extraordinary front man, and is so well supported by stunningly good musucians in the bass guitarist and drummer. They quickly filled the dance floor and debuted a few new tracks tonight, Jasper saying that they had recently seen Dreadzone at Wow and thought they had better write some new material. These new songs sounded superb. I’m extremely pleased that Norwich has this band and hope many more will enjoy them.
After a short break it was time for the boys from Essex, Tallowah. It was getting very hot inside the auditorium by now, and they raised things more with their highly infectious and deep-grooved reggae and dub. The bass, percussion and horn section are fantastic. These dreadlocked lads from Southend seem to play quite regularly in Norwich and have been welcomed with open arms and are developing quite a following here. Finishing with a track (Haze) that borrows heavily the bassline of Armagideon Time and speeds it up, by now even the walls were sweating and the whole crowd dancing. A nice touch was a request from a young lad in the audience, at his second gig, quietly asking the band to dedicate a song to my friend Ken who had become a grandfather that day.
Dumbfoundus are a band who absolutely always deliver in the fun and joy stakes, playing covers with their own style they connect brilliantly with their audience. Tonight was no exception, and for the first time I was seeing them as a seven-piece band which gave them a big, full sound, and so of course, this was most effective when they astonished the audience with closing number … Bohemian Rhapsody!! This was amusingly majestic and fabulous fun.
It was so intensely hot and humid by now that everyone was having to get some fresh air between acts but keen not to miss the headliners Solko. They delivered another suitably energetic, fun, accomplished set with their blend of reggae, dub, rock and jazz. When the Arts Centre is full and bands are on form there cannot be many better venues. A superb atmosphere throughout the evening, excellent sound as always here, and four very, very high quality acts ensured the festival got off to a (absolutely sweltering) flyer.
words and photos by richard shashamane 2013