Since their formation in 1996, DUB PISTOLS have survived international terrorism, inter-band warfare
and the wheels falling off their operation numerous times. Now a slickly drilled outfit, they’ve
nevertheless lost none of their kick-ass vitality and renegade edge wherever they rock up to play.
The first Dub Pistols album, ‘Point Blank’, came after Barry and one-time production partner Jason
O’Bryan had signed to Concrete, a subsidiary of DeConstruction Records. Early single ‘Cyclone’
dented the UK Top 40, and other tracks like ‘Westway’ and ‘There’s Gonna Be A Riot’ had enough
going on to land a US record deal with the mighty Geffen Records.
Constant touring of the States followed while they readied their second album — although disaster
struck just as it was about to be released. The 9/11 terrorist attack in New York meant that the album
— which referenced international geo-politics in a no-nonsense fashion — had to be temporarily
Returning to the UK with their tails between their legs, Barry and co set about rebuilding their career.
They hooked up with ex-Specials singer Terry Hall and roots reggae great Horace Andy for tracks on
’Six Million Ways To Live’ (ska cut ’Problem Is’ and ‘World Gone Crazy’ respectively), which kicked off
their long association with assorted guest vocalists. Soon they were touring with Terry Hall and UK
hip-hop don Rodney P, and producing their most accessible album to date, ’Speakers & Tweeters’ —
which included a cover of ‘Gangsters’ by The Specials, a live fave, and ‘Peaches’ by The Stranglers.
At one of their big live shows, the anti-racism festival Rise in London in 2007, they were not only
joined by Terry Hall on vocals but also another Specials mainstay, guitarist Lyndal Golding. The
rapturous reception that ‘Gangsters’ received was instrumental in The Specials getting back together
the following year — and in turn they asked the Dub Pistols to support them for some of their
The Dubs themselves nearly fell apart, Happy Monday’s style, while recording their next album ‘Rum
& Coke’ in Barbados the following summer. “Our gear got pawned off, members of the band were
locked up, the wheels came off — everything we did was just about partying and enjoying ourselves,”
After the turn of the noughties they returned to more political fare with their ‘Worshipping The Dollar’
LP — featuring vocalists such as Akala and Rodney P — and introduced more of a drum & bass
sound into their live sets and new songs. As the decade progressed they cemented their place as one
of the mainstay festival bands in Europe — guaranteed to rock the house every single time. Their list
of collaborators now reads like a who’s who of conscious lyricists.
Achieving further acclaim and chart success in the last decade with 2015’s ‘Return of The Pistoleros’
and Official UK Top 40 chart and UK Independent chart Top 5 album ‘Crazy Diamonds’ (2017), the
band now look forward to opening an all-new chapter in the 2020’s with upcoming release ‘Addict’.
Alongside his touring and recording duties, Barry also hosts 2 monthly radio shows – one on the
award-winning Soho Radio – voted number online radio station in the world. Plus, his new show on
Totally Wired Radio – a new station set up by the founder of Acid Jazz Records Eddie Pillar and Fred
Perry Sub Culture.