Dubioza Kolektiv, and Savage Island @ NAC 23 November 2015

Dubioza Kolektiv, Savage Island at Norwich Arts Centre 23 November 2015

It wasn’t easy to head out on a cold and damp November evening but it was really worthwhile doing so for this extraordinary gig at the Arts Centre and experience some of the wildest scenes I’ve witnessed in quite a while. The Dubioza Kolektiv bringing the “wild, wild east” to the music capital of the east of England. I was inspired to come to this gig on the strength of two superb videos. It was the right decision.

Dubioza KolektivDubioza Kolektiv

Dubioza Kolektiv, moving from hard dance to frenetic ska seamlessly.


When I arrived the NAC was fairly quiet and there was only one other person in the auditorium when Savage Island opened their set but it filled up rapidly once they started and soon had people dancing too. Loud, powerful, tight and melodic they had me won over within thirty seconds or so. A good mix of guitar, bass and drums with keys and brass which works really well. Formerly known as Juke and the All Drunk Orchestra they have rebranded themselves as Savage Island. I loved their delivery of scratchy, fuzzy rock and trash, the brass working nicely in the sound. Well worth catching this band.

savage island

Quite where so many people had suddenly come from I am not sure but the place had filled considerably for Dubioza Kolektiv, a huge name in Eastern Europe and they were well-represented tonight by Bosnians, Slovenians and I’m sure many other places. The venue was probably a little over half full but I have never seen an audience punch so far above its weight. From the moment the band bounded onstage until almost the entire audience got off the stage some two hours later the pace was relentless.  And sooo many influences – ska, hip-hop, dance, dub, reggae, dancehall and some Balkan folk. Not always easy to make sense of all that was going on but there was no need to, it was gloriously bonkers and hilariously good fun.  The crowd were as wild as the band and the dancing didn’t stop throughout. It felt like Gogol Bordello, Madness, Leningrad Cowboys, The Beastie Boys and The Prodigy all in a raucous get-together on the terraces of a Bosnian football ground. Insanely good fun.

Dubioza Kolektiv

There were plenty of highlights and lots of humour, and the audience certainly were not going to agree to the “tea-break”!  I pity whoever had to clear up the ticker tape but it looked glorious at the time. They also played their homage to Pirate Bay  in the celebratory and defiant ska-punk of Free mp3 , No Escape (sort of a modern day C30! C60 C90! Go!), and Balkan Funk and closed the night with some fun singalongs (including Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (!) and Chase the Devil).

Dubioza Kolektiv

It’s no wonder these guys are in such demand on the festival circuit (one person telling me they were his highlight of Glastonbury), they undeniably know how to work a crowd. A truly astonishing evening and a non-stop party on a Monday night!

Dubioza KolektivDubioza KolektivDubioza Kolektiv



Dubioza Kolektiv

night time norwich

The Ten Bells, post-gig.

Many thanks to Dubioza Kolektiv, Savage Island, and Norwich Arts Centre

Words and photo (c) shashamane 2015







Savage Island






This entry was posted in live music and dance, Norwich Arts Centre, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Dubioza Kolektiv, and Savage Island @ NAC 23 November 2015

  1. Pingback: My 2015 highlights | norwich blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.