2012 began in style with a full-band show for 100,000 people in Wroclaw, Poland, broadcast live to two million viewers on Polish TV’s Channel 2. And now they’re releasing their fifth album, titled ‘Worshipping The Dollar’, on BBC Radio 1’s Rob Da Bank’s label Sunday Best Recordings this spring. The album will be supported by a big UK tour in April and May, before the Dubs hit numerous festivals in the summer. Between gigging every weekend since last acclaimed album ‘Rum & Coke’, Barry Ashworth and his crew have been creating a new long-player. ‘Worshipping The Dollar’ sees a return to lyrical themes similar to their earlier albums, with deeper and more conscious lyrics and a pacier feel to the tracks to mirror their increasingly frenetic live shows.
“There are a lot more statement songs, there’s a lot of food for thought on this one,” says main man Barry Ashworth. “It’s more uptempo, there’s some drum & bass on it, but the lyrics are deeper and darker. It’s more like our old stuff in a way.” The title of the album is taken from a track voiced by Akala, Ms Dynamite’s brother. “Living in squalor, worshipping the dollar, there is no flag large enough to wrap around the horror” — so runs a key lyric on the anti-war song ‘West End Stories’, a scathing indictment of US imperialism.
Elsewhere, other highlights include the return of UK hip-hop hero Rodney P, who has become part of the Dub Pistols extended family over the years. Rodney features on a couple of the album’s drum & bass tracks, the firin’ ‘Gunshot’ and the hilarious ‘Mucky Weekend’.
Other guest vocalists include Lindy Layton, formerly of Norman Cook’s chart-topping Beats International project (guesting on ‘Rocksteady’ with Rodney P); reggae legends Red Star Lion (Barbados) and Dan Bowskill (London); plus regular Dubs MCs TK and Darrison.
The Dub Pistols recently recorded the title music for the new Rob Lowe movie ‘Knife’s Edge, written by Bill Clinton’s former spin doctor Chris Lehane, and have scores of live shows booked in the diary this year. From their early beginnings as a soundsystem project, they’ve grown into a party-rocking live act who never fail to ignite a festival or venue.
Their infectious blend of ska, dub, hip-hop, electronic music and punk has won them many fans around the globe in the past 15 years, and at the end of 2011 — following sell-out shows in Spain, Italy and Greece — they were justifiably voted the Best Live Act at DJ Mag’s Best Of British Awards.