The Dub Pistols formed about a decade ago when Barry Ashworth got together with Jason O’Bryan in west London. Jason had been half of Wall Of Sound act Ceasefire with Derek Dahlarge, while Barry was in ‘indie-dance’ band Déjà Vu who had a hit with the old Woodentops song ‘Why Why Why’ back in the day. Finding they shared a love of The Clash, The Specials, Andy Weatherall, King Tubby and Public Enemy the band launched with a string of party-rockin’ singles like ‘Cyclone’, ‘Westway’ and ‘There’s Gonna Be A Riot’ and landed a million dollar record deal with major label Geffen. “It was the start of a beautiful nightmare,” says Barry.
Chewing up hip-hop, dub, techno, ska and punk and spitting them out in a renegade futuristic skank, the Dubs began playing full live band shows and were soon on giant US tours. In the UK they got lumped under the big beat tag alongside the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim – maintaining a rock & roll attitude to their block-rockin’ beats.
Their debut ‘Point Blank’ album led to remix work for Moby, Limp Bizkit, Crystal Method and Ian Brown, and they did a track for the Blade 2 soundtrack with Busta Rhymes. Touring extensively, the band effectively swerved around the ‘big beat backlash’ in the UK and as the Millennium passed they had their second album – ‘Six Million Ways To Live’ – ready to go. A more politicised affair, the problem was that parts of the album were scarily prophetic.
In recent years the Dub Pistols name has continued to circumnavigate the globe, thanks to a number of high-profile gigs with the full band, and various ‘Soundsystem’ dates – DJ + scratch DJ + MC – or Barry DJing solo. The band compiled a ‘Y4K’ beats and breaks album, and the pieces of the jigsaw fell into place for ‘Speakers and Tweeters’.