With fans old and new filling the Scala, there was a huge sense of anticipation before Dreadzone’s album launch gig.
Celebrating two decades of conscious musical inspiration, they proved themselves as fresh as ever, and still very much in the Dreadzone. They delivered an astonishing set, featuring new tracks from their album such as Too Late and Rise Up, and long time favourites like Little Britain.
Dreadzone’s dub, reggae, electro, and rock mashup had the crowd dancing from the very start. MC Spee is a completely compelling frontman, and the dual vocals with legendary reggae singer Earl 16, disarm with their sweetness and disorientate with their ferocity. Rise Up’s call to activism packed a real punch.
Dreadzone co-founder, and Big Audio Dynamite stalwart, Leo Williams, let rip his trademark thundering bass sound, alternating between a Fender Jazz Bass and a Warwick five string.
His fellow Dreadzone founder Greg Roberts is always a brilliant drummer, and has also been a BAD linchpin again of late. He played mainly Gretsch - a Gretsch Renown Kick, a Snare he’s used for ages with BAD, and a Catalina floor tom. He also had a vintage Premier brass Timbale.
Drum legend Keith Moon used Premier Timbale drums in a bronze finish - the Timbale is a shallow single-headed drum with metal casing, invented in Cuba.
For cymbals Greg was mostly on Paiste, with a vintage Zildjian Ride.
Bazil was on ‘technology’ including samples, and guitarist Chris Compton nailed a wide range of guitar duties on his customised Fender Stratocaster.
It was a high-octane start to Dreadzone’s Autumn tour, which goes nationwide this week and finishes in December.
There’s more on the making of their new album in our interview with Greg Dread.