Gentlemen’s Dub Club and the Skints

O2 Ritz Manchester // Wednesday 1st March 2023

As promised (Gentleman’s Dub Club & The Skints Preview) Moshmag sent two of our finest reporters to cover Gentlemen’s Dub Club and the Skints’ double headline show on Wednesday. Our newest reviewer Katie Shaw picks up the story…

The Skints – a MoshMag review by Katie Shaw

…a rainy Wednesday evening isn’t exactly what you would expect to be the perfect setting for a two reggae and ska bands, but by 8 pm, the floor of the Ritz was packed, fans showing up ready for the first installment of Wednesday nights double headliners, and The Skints did not disappoint.

Originating from London, The Skints are not a band we’ve covered before at Moshmag, and much of the pre-show chat was about what a talented set of musicians they are, In particularly female singer Marcia Richards who sings as well as playing the keyboard, melodica, flute and saxophone!

It’s not long before the stage lights up in fluorescent lights and an instant excitable roar ensues from the crowd, as we hear the voice of singer Joshua Waters-Rudge (guitarist) before we see him, “Manchester come forward he orders, as the band enters the stage to the familiar sound of Toots & Maytals classic ‘Bam Bam.

From the get-go, it’s obvious that The Skints are born performers, gliding round stage, switching up instruments alongside singing and audience interaction (multi-tasking or what?!). In fact, all four members of The Skints seem to be very versatile in all the elements that make a crowd-pleasing performance, with all bar the bassist Johnathan Doyle providing the vocals, it’s also quite fun to try and work out who is singing from my position in the crowd after a drink or two.

The first three songs have generated a massive buzz amongst the audience. Joshua, who is obviously delighted to be on stage, has already built an immediate connection with the crowd, “it’s a pleasure to be here in one of the greatest cities in the fucking world…one of the bloody best.”‘ You can begin to imagine the roar that followed. 

Marcia‘s vocals are light, warm and sweet sounding with a pleasant, effortless tone that works with any pace or style of music. She’s all swivelling hips and grins as she perfectly kills her parts, simultaneously managing to sing and take gifts from fans in the audience at one point, much to the crowd’s delight.

As the set nears an end, Joshua signals for the crowd to split down the middle as they perform explaining that last year the band played at (Manchester Punk Festival – Link to festival preview) “everyone that knows about Capdown should report to the dancefloor” before bursting into another ska standard Cousin Cleotis. It was hectic end to an incredible set, an hour and a half of reggae, ska, and punk. It was the perfect way to set up for ‘coin toss winners’ Gentlemen’s Dub Club.

“Our band’s called the Skints by the way, it’s written on the moon” Joshua explained, gesturing to the stage back drop. With a show so exciting it that might soon be both literally and metaphorically true.

Gentlemen’s Dub Club – a MoshMag review by Stanley D Kippax

As roadies lowered the moon and the house plants that had decorated The Skints‘ stage and they were hurried away, a change in pace was in the offing. One of the many beautiful things about The Skints teaming up with Gentlemen’s Dub Club (GDC) is they are as different as they are the same. Following on from one of the most enjoyable sets this reporter has seen all year it struck me how varied The Skints set had been. Every song a differing genre, vocalist Marcia Richards switching up instruments sometimes mid-song, nothing staying the same for long. This is not however, what GDC are about.

For GDC variety is not the spice of life, you’re having heavy dub basslines, a cacophony of noise and lots and lots of bouncing. You know what’s coming, I know what’s coming, even the venue knew what was coming if the ready prepared cups of water for the front row was anything to go by.

Suited and (mostly) booted GDC resemble a group of unruly school kids with their skinny ties, trainers on and badly buttoned up shirts. I’m not sure if it’s something to do with Madness and Baggy Trousers but ska always strikes me as the music of choice of naughty school kids. The crazy fun filled anarchy of a school yard encapsulated in song…just me then?

There was one sartorial exception however, front-man Jonathan Scratchley. If you exclude the fact that Scratchley had forgotten to put his shoes on, he scrubbed up pretty well, turning out in a waistcoat and jacket. The extra layers however only served to prompt the most drawn out de-robing from a Yorkshireman since Robert Carlyle got t’lads from t’steelmill together. Song number 2 saw the end of his socks, the jacket followed closely behind. He settled on shirt sleeves after a while, sadly no tie round his head wedding reception Rambo style though.

Speaking of heavy industry from over the Pennines (I did actually, check out the last paragraph), GDC brought the pits with them.

This magazine is called MoshMag for a reason, we go out of our way to find acts likely to give us Mosh Pits. We briefly toyed with the name Pits Mag but we felt that sounded like a Tory Cabinet Minister, and nobody like a Tory Cabinet Minister. We actively seek out Mosh Pits, on Wednesday we were spoilt for choice. From our vantage point on the balcony there seemed about three mosh pits a song. A pit-per-head ratio rarely seen in these pages, admittedly because I’ve just made that measurement up but you get the gist. It wasn’t just the front row either, front, back, middle, even on the balcony. Utter unadulterated chaos.

As the crowd cranked up so did the tempo. Quicker, faster, more intense. Whilst the effects of second hand weed inhalation can’t be discounted, the intensity of the set made it difficult to keep a pace. Minutes passed by in the blink of an eye, my notepad staying uncharacteristically empty. With so much going on at anyone time it was hard to keep a track of where we were up to. I’d usually mention what tracks the crowd reacted to the most, but every song was greeted with a raw unrelenting energy.

Sadly the uninvited guest that is the eleven o’clock curfew eventually showed it’s ugly clock face all too soon. The crowd went wild, the house lights filled the room and gentle rocksteady reggae is back over the speakers.

Making my way down the Ritz staircase I passed St Johns helping a young girl with twisted ankle. She didn’t seem particularly bothered, neither did her friends who were singing and dancing. Suppose it’s hard to be upset after seeing GDC, sprained ankle or not, they’re just so much darn fun.

Check out our Galleries below of both bands! And while you’re at it, be sure to find us on instagram, twitter and Facebook and drop us a like.

The Saints Gallery

Gentleman’s Dub Club Gallery

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