Review – SubDub Weekender at the West Indian Centre

“The guy who sets up the speakers showed me a picture of them earlier when I dropped him off”, the taxi-driver told us excitedly. “You ready for that boom boom?”

If we learnt something this weekend it is to not underestimate your cabbie when he tells you how mind-blowing the speaker set-up at the SubDub Weekender will be. Ear plugs are, of course, sold on site.

Subdub is an iconic monthly night centred around Jamaica’s soundsytem culture, dating all the way back to 1998 when it began in West-Yorkshire’s industrial warehouses. To date, dub enthusiasts make the pilgrimage from all over, sharing the floor with Leeds’ dub-devoted students.

As if one first-class sound system wasn’t enough for Leeds, SubDub sourced the country’s finest all the way from London and Birmingham. In the main hall at the West Indian Centre on Friday night, the bass from the Iration Steppas system was joined by that of King Alpha and Junior Quaker. As you stepped through the door, the monster sound systems pumped a bass that took the experience to the next level. Later, edging our way through the back into the second room, we were welcomed by the Sweet Potato Soundsystem, a little less loud but still enough bass for our liking.

The night stayed in true-form throughout the weekend with a host of dancehall, reggae and dub masters. Regular favourites such as Jack Sparrow , Kaiju and of course Iration Steppas were joined by the talented likes of Bandulu, Compa and a mixed set from MCs Killa P, Lady Chann and Dialect.

So, if you’re hanging about in Leeds for New Years Eve, don’t miss the next one when SubDub meets Jungle Jam and returns to the West Indian Centre. Two of the baddest nights in Leeds, put them together, and multiply: it only gets bigger and better.

Mamie Hamshere


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