DAWN PENN From Born in Jamaica. Keeps her current whereabouts hush-hush. Occupation Singer for seminal Kingston label Studio One as a teenager in the 1960s, including her own reggae covers of tracks such as ‘To Sir With Love’, ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and ‘The First Cut is the Deepest’. A performance of her debut single ‘You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)’ at a Studio One anniversary show inspired a hugely successful remix and rerelease of the song in ’94, with Rihanna and Beyonce more recently performing their own versions.
How did you start in music? ‘I recorded for Studio One, but I didn’t know anything about the music business. Over time I moved to the Virgin Islands then America, and then my songs started to get a bit of money in from dubplates and remixes and things, which enabled me to start playing shows and festivals in Europe.’ Is it true you retired during those years in the Virgin Islands? ‘No, my dad is from the British Virgin Islands and there’s a legacy there on two sides of the family, the Quakers and the pirates. So I went to look into my roots, but I still played music during this time.’
What have you been doing more recently? ‘I have singles coming out, I have an album, I have a track I’m working on at the moment, a funky house track called ‘Life’.’ What can we expect from the live show? ‘It will be a live PA, I’ll do all the old tracks, my new tracks and tracks that I like. Whatever happens, I’m very flexible. I see these people coming up now, just because maybe they have an X- Factor person backing them or they’re not in my age group or whatever . . . I still love music, I love singing music, and I’ll continue to do that.’ (David Pollock) ■ African & Caribbean Centre, Glasgow, Sat 29 Jan.
34 THE LIST 20 Jan–3 Feb 2011
DRUM & BASS SUB FOCUS Xplicit’s Sixth Birthday, Liquid Room, Edinburgh, Sat 29 Jan
Scotland’s biggest drum & bass night has secured early appearances from many of the genre’s biggest crossover names, including Pendulum and Chase & Status. This month’s sixth birthday guest has already made his bones at the club and moved on to a headline slot on the Glade stage at last year’s Glastonbury, as well as support dates for Pendulum and remixes for The Prodigy, Deadmau5 and Dizzee Rascal. Now Sub Focus, aka Londoner Nick Douwma, is returning to his roots with a show he might count as intimate these days.
Emailing from the midst of an Australian tour, he promises a bunch of his own new tunes and new material from some of his favourite artists. Nero and
Culture Shock are two of the artists getting him excited right now, while he’s ‘writing a real mix of stuff at the moment from dubstep to house and D&B’. When can we expect the follow-up to 2009’s self-titled debut album? ‘I’m working on it at the moment and have got some really interesting and unusual guests lined up. Expect something that’s going to be more of a listening experience than a straight club record.’
Douwma also promises more pop production in the vein of his work with Example on the hit ‘Kickstarts’ (although this is ‘a completely separate thing from Sub Focus’) and a collaboration called ‘Flashing Lights’ on the new Chase & Status album later this month. Is he aiming for the same level of arena success as his friends from C&S and Pendulum in 2011? ‘I’m keen to get more people into my music without compromising,’ is his statement of intent. (David Pollock)
DUB WEE DUB FESTIVAL Studio 24, Edinburgh, Fri 21 Jan With Scotland hosting many reggae and dubstep nights in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, the overall dub scene is most definitely healthy and super vibrant. And, thanks to Gregory and Selecta Mania, two pals, DJs and promoters under the umbrella of Lion Stage UK Management, comes a platform to showcase the best of dub in the form of the Wee Dub Festival. One half of the duo Selecta Mania felt ‘the Scottish scene was lacking one big event that would bring all types of dub music together’. The roll call of acts reads like a who’s who of dub. Among the performers, local act Jammin J will be sharing the stage with one of the hottest roots dub acts in the UK, Vibronics, up-and-coming Jamaican Reggae MC Brina and Polish dubstepper Radikal Guru. Selecta Mania says the aim in simple: ‘Dub music brings a huge positive message and we would like to share it with the local community. Moreover, this event is not only about the music but also about the environmental message.’ There will be stalls from organisations such as Ethical Voice for Animals and Earth Movies. Hosting comes in the form of MC Ras Ista Lion, who will be keeping the crowds on top form for the evening. This is only year one for the festival but they are positive they will be back next year with ‘plenty of good local dub artists who didn’t get a chance to play this year,’ confirms Selecta. (Sandra Marron)
Z O E C H D E R L Y