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Dub Pistols drop their album ‘Frontline’ on Cyclone Records


Today, Friday 10th March, legendary party-starters Dub Pistols release their new album ‘Frontline’ via Cyclone Records. This notorious touring band are bringing the summer atmosphere with their infamous blend of dub, hiphop, ska and jungle whilst incorporating classic reggae subjects and themes. Featuring artists such as Ragga Twins, Natty Campbell, Freestylers and Cheshire Cat, the album is living proof that Dub Pistols are the true masters of their craft.

Having recently celebrated their 25th anniversary, frontman and legendary DJ, Barry Ashworth explains, “‘Frontline’ is a reference to 1981 in Brixton’s railton road where the riots were started against a backdrop of economic depression, racism and a general dislike for the establishment and its economic policy. Causing so much poverty at the time, I feel this is as relevant today with the cost of living crisis, austerity and national strikes everywhere”

The album bounces between classic ragga rhythms (‘That’s No Lie’) to darker tracks harbouring a ‘Ghost Town’ aesthetic (‘Moving On’) to nostalgic tracks from Dub Pistols’ hedonistic days (‘Soundboy Killa’). But one thing’s for certain, the record remains undeniably Dub Pistols. With a Western theme running throughout its veins, each track has special appearances from artists that are part of the Dub Pistol close-knit family. Speaking of the closing track, ‘Love’ featuring Seanie T and Chezidek, Barry explains, “We wanted to write a track that would lift up any festival and send the universal message of love. I wrote the track with Bill Borez in his West London studio then Sean went to Jamaica to record with Chezidek. The song has since taken on a whole new meaning with the passing of our dear friend Terry Hall whose last words were ‘Love Love Love.’’’

The multi-cultural collective has involved dozens of artists and musicians over the years — some remaining for years, a few for the duration, and others just popping in for a guest appearance. Their sound has accordingly morphed a variety of times since their inception: taking in dub, punk, jungle, ska, breakbeat, hip-hop and a whole lot more, it’s been a long road travelled. Complete with their documentary ‘What Could Possible Go Wrong?’ to come later in the year, Dub Pistols continue to be a force to be reckoned with.

The genesis of the Dub Pistols began when former club promoter and Deja Vu singer Barry Ashworth started DJing in the mid-90s. Unable to mix records properly at first, Barry got assorted pals to scratch and play horns over the top of his sets. Inspired by the anything-goes attitude of the late 90s genre that came to be called big beat in the UK — acts like The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and Propellerheads, labels such as Wall Of Sound and Skint — Barry was drawn to start making tracks for his DJ sets, alongside long-term cohort Jason O’Bryan. Throughout their eight-album career, the band has rolled with the punches — enduring setbacks before piecing themselves back together and morphing into one of the most loved and enduring festival bands on the circuit. This is to be summarised in a documentary titled ‘What Could Possibly Go Wrong?’ later in the year which will tell the uncensored story of Dub Pistols from releasing music to curating their own festival.

Dub Pistols threw their first festival in 2019 — Mucky Weekender in the Sussex countryside. Featuring Leftfield, Stanton Warriors, Don Letts and many more, it caught the tail-end of the summer sun and was raved about by all attendees. The success of the first Mucky Weekender set it up nicely to become an annual event.

Barry has also been very open about his addictions and mental health issues over the years, and in 2019 he did his first Wing Walk — strapped to the top of a bi-plane — to raise money for Tonic Music For Mental Health. This has evolved into an annual Flying Circus fundraiser, involving friends from the music world such as Bez from the Happy Mondays, and Barry has now become a patron of the Tonic organisation. As 2021 began and the pandemic saw little sign of waning, the Dub Pistols released their cover of New Order’s seminal ‘Blue Monday’ to raise funds for the Tonic Mental Health Trust. A couple of months later, they released their ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ mix album on Jungle Cakes, featuring a whopping 50 tracks by various dubwise jungle associates as well as artists like Deekline, Ed Solo, King Yoof and the Beat Assassins remixing some choice Dub Pistols cuts. This release also shot to the upper reaches of the UK dance chart.

Fast-forward to 2023 and the Dub Pistols have just celebrated 25 years of riotous mayhem and righteous marauding with a new album, a documentary, another festival, and a whole lot more to come.

Dub Pistols new album ‘Frontline’ is out now – Stream ‘Frontline’ Here

Get tickets to Mucky Weekender 2023 here

Frontline cover

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