Dub War/Arcadia – Manchester, Rebellion – 26 May 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Linzi A   
Saturday, 03 June 2017 05:00

Well, having not been out for a while to see any bands, I thought I’d head down to my local rock and metal bar, Rebellion in Manchester, to rectify the situation. And what an interesting evening this turned out to be: as I’m walking down Oxford Road, armed police swoop in on a bus and TV crews turn up, crowds gather; after everything that happened at the Manchester Arena, I wasn’t about to find out what was going on here, so I quicken my pace to get myself safely to Rebellion Bar.




I arrive at the venue to talk to the little blonde-haired lass on the doors: she’s very polite, and we talk about the event, as it seems I have arrived way too early for the bands and there’s only two or three people here. So, I check out the venue after their refurb and await the first band to hit the stage.


Arcadia are up first, a local band from here in Manchester: although they gather a small crowd of 30/40 people as they are put on quite early, it seems the atmosphere is not as it once was after events earlier in the week here in Manchester. These guys are a young nu metal/rap metal band, and boy oh boy do they produce some hard hitting riffs with a lot of bounce. Listening to these guys is almost like an adrenaline shot taking over your system: their tracks have high energy, and are fast paced and vibrant. At one point, the frontman dives off stage to perform in the crowd, which gets them energised ready for the next act of the night.




The venue slowly fills up, and once Dub War hit the stage the flocks start gathering in. The crowd seems a little more at ease, and everyone starts to dance along to the music and enjoy themselves.


Benji Webbe, well known for his second band Skindred steps out on stage in his red and black sequin encrusted suit and trademark bowler hat.


Dub War 1


(Here we pause for a moment, as I caught up with Benji earlier and he had a few choice words to say about the events that had happened here in Manchester at the beginning of the week: “It’s really sad what has happened at that concert and full of kids too… Everyone is entitled to feel a little apprehensive about the whole situation… You have to be strong because, if you don’t, then they have won… Our thoughts are with those that have been affected by this terrible incident; you just can’t imagine what those families are going through right now.”)


For those of you unfamiliar with them, Dub War are a reggae/metal band from Newport, originally formed in 1993, who have played the likes of Download Festival back in 2015 and were announced for 2015 Velvet Coalmine Festival in South Wales. In March 2016 the group released a new single, their first since 1997, called "Fun Done". The track premiered on TeamRock on March 2, 2016. The band had decided to make this song the first of a planned set of 12 singles to be released on a limited 500 copy vinyl every time the band performed at one of their sporadic shows over a two to threeyear period, before being released together on CD and digitally.


Dub War’s live show is an eclectic mix of reggae and nu metal, just to completely mix things up a bit.


Dub War 4


They start the night with one of their legendary songs, ‘Psycho System’, which pumps everybody up with lots of killer guitar licks. They continue through the night with great songs such as ‘Spiritual Warfare’ and ‘Pain’, amongst others.


Then Benji tells us how the next song he wrote many years ago but how it is totally relevant to what is going on now in the world. He tells us all to “be safe and be strong, for you are people of Manchester and we as a community don’t back down, we unite and as one we are strong”.


The band then rolls into the song ‘Original Murder’, the lyrics to which are so empowering they really reach out and grab you, the music hard hitting like someone punching you in the guts with a crash of meaty guitar rhythms and thunderous drums. The lyrics really touching home after the aftermath of this week’s atrocities - “Killing this and killing that/With a gun or with a knife/Strangulation out your light/Seems like the world is just to fight/Me no want no trouble/Me no want no strife/Live it good and live it right/Crazy people in the community/Living for the destruction of humanity” - so apt and so deep, really bringing to light what is going on in the world today.


The band continues with the likes of ‘Dub War’ and ‘Crack’ which are full of really chunky bouncy riffs, bringing the night to an end with ‘Over Now’. Tonight has just been spectacular; these guys have really lifted everyone’s spirits i can’t wait to catch up with these guys again.




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