Strike It

Well another evening of the Euros 2016 and tonight is the first semi final between Portugal and Britain, like Andy Murray in the tennis they’ll both be British until they lose and then it’ll revert to Welsh and Scottish.

I’ve been wracking my brain for what seems like days for these two countries and like a flash of inspiration I came up with today’s picks whilst driving my van at work.

Representing Y Dreigiau are the innovators of the Newport helicopter. If your attended a gig or a festival where Benji Webbe has been on stage with current day job Skindred then no doubt you will have watched on in awe as the crowd take off a piece of clothing and spin it above their heads. Quite a sight when it’s in full effect.

Before Skindred though in the mid 90’s Mr Webbe fronted a band called Dub War who mixed punk, metal and reggae – an amalgamation of The Clash being fronted by H.R. from Bad Brains.

Their early releases found a home on Words of Warning records before Earache took a liking to them and signed them up. The band left The Nottingham label under a cloud just before the turn of the millennium and Dub War was no more.

I got to see the band quite a few times locally as they were semi regular visitors to the Wheatsheaf. I think the last time I saw them was way back in 1994 at the Victoria Hall supporting PWEI, with Blaggers ITA and Compulsion also on the bill.

One Wheatsheaf gig sticks in my mind mainly due to what you could now call a wardrobe failure. One of the early songs has an air raid siren intro which they did live. Benji’s string vest got caught up in the mechanism and messed the intro up. Small things.

I much preferred the earlier stuff over their later Earache output. It had much more of the rasping punk edge rather than the more gabba leanings. Strike It is taken from their Earache debut Pain released in 1994.