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MOST OF US WILL NEVER DO GREAT THINGS, BUT WE CAN ALL DO SMALL THINGS IN A GREAT WAY.

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Dub Pistols

Dub Pistols

Over an 18-year career the Dub Pistols have worked with heroes like The Specials, Busta Rhymes, Horace Andy, Madness and Gregory Isaacs. They’ve burned through different members and hundreds of thousands of pounds on assorted capers and hedonism, and done — in the words of dapper frontman and prime mover Barry Ashworth, a ducking, diving south London graduate of the Summer of Love generation who started a band because he loved Happy Mondays and never looked back.

It should have been a recipe for oblivion. “We’ve got a saying in this band,” says Barry: “Whatever can go possibly wrong, will go wrong.”Instead it was the making of the Dub Pistols. The band that started out in the mid-90s with Barry DJ’ing while musicians jammed over the top has metamorphosed into a mighty reggaematic bass-driven live machine, a super-tight festival regular that keeps winning over new fans at Glastonbury, Bestival, Beat-Herder and across Europe.

The Dub Pistols are one of the few remaining working class bands who carry the flame of reggae-driven sound-system music, the secret rhythm of Britain from ska and rocksteady through Soul II Soul to grime and dubstep and beyond.
“I always thought that being in a band wasn’t for people like me,” Barry admits. “It was more a middle-class thing. It was the Mondays that changed that. We’re part of street music, working class music That’s never going to go away.

“It’s about everything that’s ever happened to us, all the ups and downs, the victories and disasters. I call us the most successful unsuccessful band of all time — and the hardest-working lazy bastards in the world. Sometimes I can’t believe we’re here, but we’ve survived and we’re doing better than ever.

“You know what? It’s just like they say,” he grins. “If you’re doing something you love, you never work a day in your life.”