Trod This Land Presents Gentleman’s Dub Club, Nubiyan Twist, The Piratones at OPEN main hall, Norwich, 27 October 2014. Review, photos, video by Richard Shashamane (c) all rights reserved.
One of the numerous gigs of the year came along very early, a gig brought to us by Trod This Land, in the same venue with the same headliners. Anyone there that night will easily recall the extraordinary scenes as Gentleman’s Dub Club put in an amazing, energetic and exhilarating performance. Coming onstage tonight Jonathan Scratchley said that Norwich set the bar very high that night. Somehow or other I think it was probably raised even higher tonight. The audience and atmoshere in a beautiful OPEN main hall was just sensational once again.
To open the evening however was one of my local favourites The Piratones. Quite a queue at the security checkpoints at OPEN this evening but I just managed to get through in time to catch the Piratones as they were opening their set. I’ve not seen them for a couple of months or so and it was good to hear the addition of several new songs to sit alongside older favourites in their 50 minute set. They are a band who continue to develop and grow and always seem to be having a ball onstage. Their sound has definitely got bigger and this really suited the large stage and the main hall PA, down the front they sounded great, Zeb’s fantastic drumming at times sounded immense and strong. They seem to be getting ‘dubbier’ too, which is always welcome in my book, with some heavy dub effects from the multi-talented Junior Ras. Georgia’s sweet voice goes alongside Dan’s so well, Freddie and Mikey on horns are superb and Ben is an excellent bassist who seemed to be smiling throughout. I’m looking forward to their forthcoming EP. Great band, lovely people, and they’ll be back here supporting The Resonators for HUBS very soon.
I’ve also seen Nubiyan Twist once or twice in the past and they are certainly a fine and interesting band featuring elements of funk, samba, soul, afro and some excellent dub and a highly charismatic singer and frontsperson in Nubiya with a sultry delivery and presence. She sometimes holds her dress in a slightly Amy-esque way whilst being totally her own person, and some of these songs are just irresistible. They also feature a very fine horn section. In all I think I counted ten of them on stage. I was moving around the venue during their set having spotted some friends and the sound in the big room certainly varies from spot to spot but at the front it sounds excellent, especially for Gentleman’s Dub Club who were loud and powerful. The venue was close to full and people were taking places down the front in expectation (at the newly erected barriers, I don’t know if these are permanent or as a precaution against a repeat of the stage invasion last time) singing along to the djs selections.
The roar went up as the band came onstage and they played a blistering, energetic and smiling set visibly moved and impressed by the dancing, writhing mass of a pit of arms in the crowd. This band and the city of Norwich definitely have some kind of mutual bond and mutual love, it was incredible to witness – the crowd almost as fascinating to watch as the band, who danced, jumped and leaped about for the entire set giving all the favourites including new single Pressure as well as Emergency, High Grade, Gentleman’s Sleng, and encoring with Fire. The crowd were shouting, stamping, chanting One More Tune! and it really was a special moment, the band several times were recording the audience on their phones. This band provide the perfect example of how band and audience can feed off each other, the band play with feeling, passion, energy and the audience feel this and respond, with the energy passing back and forth. It was a brilliant experience to be present at. I’ve seen this band play in Norwich at least four times and each gig has been phenomenal yet somehow or other they have managed to top it on each subsequent visit. It’ll be very interesting to see how high this band can reach, Norwich will be with them every step of the way.
For some more reggae and dub fixes our resident and wonderful HUBS have their annual HubFest with some amazing gigs, not least of which is the mighty Groundation in this same venue, a band I first heard some ten years or so ago and never thought I’d see play live, let alone in my own city. We’re very lucky to have them visit, don’t miss it.
More photos soon…
Many thanks to Daniel, Trod This Land, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Nubiyan Twist, The Piratones, Open.
Words and photos, richard shashamane (c) 2014 all rights reserved. Photos not to be used without permission.