Album review by Tommy Calderbank
Babadub are an incredible duo from the heart of the Scouse underground music scene. ‘The Restoration’ is their debut album, and what an audacious treat it is, mixing a variety of styles and influences to form a tasty, addictive and heady brew. They describe their sound as ‘Epic Vocal Dub Electro Fusion’, and I can’t disagree.
The first thing to note is that this is a DOUBLE ALBUM. Count ’em: 22 tracks in total. That’s a lot of goodness, brethren! The CD sleeve is beautifully produced by Liverpool graphic art scene veteran Paul Hunt, with trippy images of psychedelic coral and images of the band and Buddha. This is a band on a mission to free our asses and make sure that our minds follow….
Babadub are Marty Snape and Sharlene Squire (Charlie to her friends). Marty does the ‘computer stuff, synths, machines, guitar, bass, and weird noises’, while Charlie does ‘lyrics, vocals, keyboards and happy accidents’.
Together and separately, they have been part of some seminal local bands, including ZEB, The Hat Band, Snappertronics, and The Dub Jazz Sound System, to name but a few.
The album was crowdfunded on Indiegogo, providing a model for all musicians to get their material produced and out there for the people. No record companies required. The list of thanks on the sleeve show that this is a band with a lot of supporters, a lot of love.
They say within every good double album there’s a great single one trying to get out. I don’t know if that’s the case here, as there’s hardly a duff tune. Their range is astonishing, from the bouncy joyous optimism of ‘Way Out’ to the fragile melancholia of ‘Life Ain’t Nothing’, their versatility is astounding.
The lyrical content and consistent vocal performance confirm the fabulous Ms Squire as a solid gold poet diva. And Marty is a musician and tunemeister of the very highest order. Together, they are an irrepressible force to be reckoned with, and a fantastic live proposition (as they proved recently at the wonderful Rebel Soul curated 12 hour marathon ‘Positive Vibrations Vol 3’ at Constellations).
Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks, Babadub. Long live The Restoration! 9/10