Dreadzone @ Epic Studios
Reviewed by Paul M. Jones
3rd Feb 2018
On the second stop of their UK tour the sunshine drenched sounds of Dreadzone brought some warmth to Norwich this freezing cold Saturday evening (3rd February). They delivered an excellent, energetic and finely honed set of dub, reggae, ska, dancehall, dance and breakbeat to a packed room.
Celebrating their twenty fifth year as a group, four of the six strong band were on stage, with Greg Dread tight as ever on drums, James 'Bazil' Bainbridge controlling the electronics, Leo Williams brilliant on bass and iconic front man MC Spee on vocals doing what he does best. Not even a leg injury confining him to a stool stopped him from entertaining a highly energetic crowd. He animatedly swung his single silver crutch throughout, like a conductor controlling the sounds and movement of us all.
Forming in 1993 and emerging from the post-rave scene Dreadzone were initially championed by the legendary John Peel who names ‘Second Light’ as one of his favorite albums of all time. They recorded six Peel sessions between 1993 and 2001with the great man and can boast Melanie Blatt and Alison Goldfrapp as former backing singers. Their influence and continued popularity in the underground scene cannot be underestimated. Managing to stay true to their roots, whilst evolving over time by adding elements of emerging musical movements to their sound, they have remained fresh and relevant.
Throughout the evening they skilfully delivered each track to a highly receptive, dreadlock infused crowd before finishing to huge applause with their biggest hit ‘Little Britain’ which charted way back in 1996. People smiled and skanked throughout before they left the stage to rapturous applause. More erupted as they came back to deliver an extended encore culminating with the anthemic ‘Captain Dread’.
Dreadzone delivered a fantastic set tonight and I would recommend anybody to catch them over the next couple of months as they play venues across the UK.
Pics: Lee Harper
Pics by Jonezy