Hessle Return to Sub Dub – Review

On 25th November 2018, Hessle Audio returned to Leeds for one night only. And what a night it was.

A night where all three of the Hessle crew play together in Leeds is something of rarity these days. Each of the former Leeds Uni students has naturally moved onto pastures new since starting the label out of a Hyde Park bedroom all those years ago. Pearson Sound’s all-vinyl night, Acetate, is now Leeds’ only semi-regular fix. It is therefore quite hard to downplay the sense of anticipation felt by myself and many others approaching this event; an anticipation made exceptionally special by the fact that the trio were to play on the Sub Dub night’s celebrated Iration Steppas sound system.

Of the three, It was Pangaea who kicked things off on the night. His set generally followed familiar lines, with the now ubiquitous ‘Ramos’ by Ploy and his own ‘Bone Sucka’, a quintessential Hessle Audio track, both getting dropped early on. Blawan’s crunchy 2011 classic ‘Getting Me Down’ had never sounded so good.

Next up, Pearson Sound delivered what was the best set of the night, reverting back to a sound more commonly associated with his past alias, Ramadanman. This involved a mix of 90s hardcore and breaks, complete with rave stabs, and, as many predicted, some glorious UK Garage.

By 3AM, it was clear that Ben UFO had been left with the responsibility of orchestrating the night’s inevitable dark turn. He took to the task with aplomb, drawing for some much needed dubstep in true Sub Dub style. His set crossed genres effortlessly, reaching its eventual apex with a lethal edit of Objekt’s ‘Lost and Found’.

The venue, Freedom Mills, played an important role in the success of the night, as did the crowd, and this was helped by a refined performance from Manchester MC, Chunky, who was faultless on hosting duties. This was an event that more than lived up to expectations. Here’s hoping Hessle will soon return.

Sub Dub returns to the West Indian Centre on Feb 8th. 

James Dewar

(Main image: https://www.instagram.com/subdubleeds/)