The Dublings + Mackating @ The Cellar, 26th November 2013
are no strangers to the local reggae circuit. The first time I saw
them, Christmas Eve 2006, was my first ever gig in Oxford. Tonight they
are DJing and the drummer is even serving drinks behind the bar. And
before The Dublings commence their set, we're ineffably sated by their
A version of Jean Knight's soul classic "Mr Big Stuff" goes down well
among tonight's paltry attendance, ramping the energy following,
providing cool contrast to the understated, reserved demeanour of The
Dublings, a white and mixed race dub group who are joining them on the
decks before they break into band mode.
"Who do you think you
are?" sang Knight. A new five-piece group of reggae and dub lovers
brought together by the foundations of dub - soundsystem bass weight,
party vibes and a vestige to channel Lee Perry through enough red hot
vinyl in this, the opening lines. Staccato live drum bursts on one
recording imbue the set with a rare urgency to excite. Although the
blending isn't trickery-heavy, Mackating and The Dublings start by
giving the lungs of dub in relation to its more renowned cousin reggae a
hearty connection throughout.
Now, the band: female/male
vocalist, three electrics, a drummer, "from the outside in", as the
female vocalist sings. An Adele-like register. The incantations "there
must be more I can do, there must be more I can say" is resplendent with
boy-girl singalong charm it's difficult not to like. Epic poetry
percussion peppers our narrative with a punk energy united to electric
wah-wah, as they invite us to "keep it on the down low". A punkier vibe
then abounds The Cellar, turning in a detour of dub, amping the
reservation sensibility on its head in favour of rock-out periods.
Contrast between band members who aren't very imposing but make imposing
noise is a paradox full of beans, inviting seeing dub being less about
aesthetic dynamics and more about weight of the sub sound.
certainty is: The Dublings shouldn't be off your Christmas card list
before long. Catch them as they rise through ranks of the local scene.
The Dublings' SoundCloud