LCS Special: Dreadzone

DREADZONE pic by Antonio Pagano

Another pick of the this weekend’s Lambeth Country Show are London’s electronic-roots heroes Dreadzone. Fresh from the summer festival circuit, Luke Massey interviews the band who are to headline the main stage on Saturday 15

 “The summer is always great for festivals,” says co-founder Greg Roberts. “When the weather’s good and you hit a good performance, that’s what we do it for.”

The band, known for their energetic and almost ubiquitous presence at UK festivals, have not had as hectic a summer as they’re used to. “We’ve done a few festivals this year, not that many because we’re in the middle of making an album”. “Not that many” festivals can apparently still take you from Portugal to Croatia to Poland and beyond.

Greg tells me they’ve been working for “3 or 4 months in Mick Jones’s studio.” “It’s a great place to jam and play. It feels great. I’ve got my own little studio, but it is little. And it’s a mess,” he says laughing.

He describes the new material as “a step on”. The album’s “about relationships and revolutions. ‘Revolutionships’? I quite like the idea but I’m not sure it’s a good name. I’m testing it out on people!”

It’s been some years since Dreadzone last played at LCS (in 2005): “but it’s the only gig we’ve got in September – so it’ll be good!” This says nothing of their heavy tour schedule from October through December. I ask if the British and Caribbean fusion in Dreadzone’s music makes LCS an ideal setting for them: could the real ale and jerk chicken complement the traditional folk and electronic-dub themes in their music?!

“I think so yeah – I think that’s pretty accurate. It’s hard to define what sort of events we’re perfect for, but that sounds like one of them!”

But Greg, based near Harlesden – which he describes as “kind of like a North-West version of Brixton” – is no stranger to the area. “I used to spend a lot of time down South [London] in Clapham and Brixton in the 80s. And we’ve played in Brockwell Park, we’ve played at the Fridge [now Electric Brixton], and the academy. So, yeah, big up Brixton.” I tell Greg that’s all I wanted him to say really, so we can leave the interview there. He knew it all along.

Dreadzone’s new album, whether called ‘Revolutionships’ or not, will be released late 2012 / early 2013.