Gentleman’s Dub Club are arguably the hottest band on the reggae/dub scene right now. Formed at Leeds University in 2006, the nine piece delve into the world of ska, dub and reggae to provide an eclectic blend of tight grooves and heavyweight sound. On Saturday night the suits were brought to Liverpool’s “anti-club” Magnet. Used to providing alternative club nights, the intimate venue provided the perfect setting.The lack of any barrier between crowd and stage only heightened the excited energy that was quickly building in the room as the crowd opened up their pores to the funky Too Spicy.
Soon after 10:15 and with the crowd now suitably loose, the nine-piece emerged and made their way through the throng fittingly kitted out. For the next hour there was not a person still, not a face without a smile. Everyone on stage was moving too, especially frontman Jonathan Scratchley who bounced around the stage like a teenager on Redbull without a care in the world for what he looked like. And all the better for it. Every last drop of embarrassment was sweated out and we found ourselves throwing shapes never before possible and belting back the incredibly catching lyrics of ‘Emergency’ ("This is an emergency! I’ve seen the taxman taking, the landlords waiting, and it looks like it’s gonna be long") and ‘Fire’ ("Fire! See that fire, watch that fire, see it burning").
Scratchley continually encouraged the crowd: “You ready to get real, Liverpool?” he cried before exclaiming: “Hands up if you like dubstep.” The response was deafening. We were in the palm of his hands, gagging for more and they didn't let up. Mixing into the set their newer dubstep sound but at the same time returning to their ska roots, we had the best of both worlds. Sometimes jumping, sometimes swaying, but for set-closer ‘High Grade’ God knows what we were doing! If you know, do let us know.
The set over and the band casually stepped off the stage and were greeted by endless pats on the back and photo requests. GDC are currently on a UK tour playing intimate venues up and down the country, and after seeing them in such an environment, this tour may be one to savour. They certainly relish and suit the intensity and compactness of these venues to a tee, but with momentum gathering around them it will be interesting to watch. My advice? Get suited up whilst you can!
Words by Luke Nightingale