BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Friday, June 02, 2006

POWERSTEPPERS: Peace, love and dub vibrations in West Wales

The original plan had been to meet up with the Power Steppers prior to their gig in Theatre Mwldan, Cardigan. We got somewhat distracted though by nipping into what turned out to be one of the friendliest pubs I have ever been in, the Hope and Anchor.

All the locals made a point of coming up to talk to us and one of them (I am sure he said his name was Poxy, but it might have been Foxy) spent ages talking to us and even bought us a round of Tequila Slammers.

By the time we got to the gig, the Power Steppers were already on stage (bit annoying because apart from the interview, we wanted to catch Sendelica, the support band).

The Power Steppers were around in the 1990’s, a mysterious digital dub outfit that released stuff on the Universal Egg label. New life has been breathed into the Steppers project recently, Colin and Molara, both ex-Zion Train, have been using it as a platform for jam sessions and have involved friends and family from the old Zion Train network.

As we walked into the venue, Molara was laying some beautiful vocals over the top of Colin’s dubwise knob twiddling true sound system stylee, pumping out vibrations that must have been causing ripples across the Irish Sea. Deep and dubby enough to rattle the walls, but lively enough to shake the dance floor. Zion Train comparisons are unavoidable, given that between them these pair wrote most of the Zion Train tunes, but this is all fresh and new, like discovering The Train all over again.

There was brief interlude while Colin spun a few dub plates and the stage was set for the full band to join in. The sight of members of Dubmerge on stage got me quite excited, I had thought that they had disappeared in a puff of smoke, but it seems they are alive and well and will be releasing an album with Molara in the near future.

Once everything was set, Molara took the time to introduce everyone, and it was skank time for the hippies, dreads, ravers and punks gathered in this beautiful little venue. Crispy managed to show off his dancing style which has now become famous thanks to England strikers Peter Crouch’s goal celebrations.

This is where they took it a step beyond Zion Train, the full band adding depth and an organic feel to the groove, but never loosing the power of the dub. There was even a hint of hip hop thrown in with some DJ scratchyness added for good measure.

A nice touch was Molara holding her daughter in her arms on stage bringing a nice mellow family vibe into proceedings.

At the end of the gig we had a chat with Colin and a few of Dubmerge, but it was late and I was wrecked, so the Peppermint Iguana interview will have to wait… something to look forward to then!

Being so close we had to go and look at the sea, so we drove up to Mwnt and had a walk along the moonlit sand before heading back to the valleys with Molara Meets Dubmerge and Powersteppers sampler CDs to keep us company (cheers Colin).

I have had too many good days out to remember them all, but I am sure today must be somewhere in my top twenty. Well cool, BRING ON THE FESTIVALS!

Check out me previous post on the departure of Molara from Zion Train
Check out Colin and Molara's digital home dubport


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