Preview: Wee Dub Festival, Edinburgh, 1st-3rd February

In the snowy cobbled streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town a festival displaying a selection of the finest in UK Dub, Reggae, Digital and Dancehall is set to bring a bit of summer back to our snowed out souls. Wee Dub Festival, in its second year, has expanded from a simple one night event and forged a weekend of events happening across seven of Edinburgh’s finest venues, including Bongo, The Caves and The Brass Monkey. We bring you a preview of some of the highlights…

The festival programme seems to rejoin the strands of a constantly fragmenting genre, giving a panorama view of the current reggae and dub influenced scene. Representing big band live reggae, Weedub boasts Zion Train and East Park Reggae Collective – the old and new guard of homegrown UK reggae. Senegalese born turned Scottish resident Samba Sene is to play an acoustic set promising afro-jazz indulgence that won’t adulterate his soulful tones.

Jamminj, a personal favorite and staunch name in the Scottish Drum ‘n’ Bass scene whose recent work displays a conscious move toward a slower tempo, ethnic percussion and sublime subs headlines Friday’s evening session, hosted by Elektrical Sound System and their 26kw rig. He even made a cheeky mix in preparation.

From Poland come DJ/Producer duo Dreadsquad, whose work is among the few Polish artists of any genre who are gaining contemporary UK respect. Expect tunes characterised by upbeat and energetic reggae/hip-hop fusions guaranteed to even get the guy at the back skanking.

Prince Fatty’s brand of jazzed up Rocksteady sprinkled with sunshiny covers such as ODB’s “Shimmy Shimmy Yah” is not for everyone, but they have gone from strength to strength considering their beginnings as a Stüssy clothes branding exercise. Were anticipating a fun live show with lots of chorus sing-along’s.

Scotch Bonnet Records founders, scene setters, and SubDub veterans Mungo’s Hifi will be closing the proceedings on the Sunday. In the last few years they have been making waves all over the UK, as well as the European festival circuit and couldn’t not be included in the lineup of any serious UK reggae festival. Here’s something fresh from them…

Neil Perch of Zion Train is to run a production workshop, showing how he blends old school analogue techniques with the range of digital tools now available to create distinctive dubs that make every performance a different experience from the last. Along with this, a collection of film screenings, workshops and the all important reggae roast Jamaican dinner will hopefully mean that this city spanning event will not compromise that intimate festival feeling. See the full line up here

You can get tickets for the individual events, prices ranging from free to around £15. A fair £38 will get you a full weekend ticket with access to everything. Edinburgh accommodation is generally pretty expensive, but check here for info on better options than erecting an igloo on the streets.

A varied and friendly crowd.
Ear wobbling soundsystems.
Good food
Scottish Accents
Jamaican Accents

Don’t Expect
Wearing less than three jumpers
Drinks from the shop after 10’oclock

Oscar Burton Xi