Lee “Scratch” Perry and Mad Professor
Live in Mexico City: Article by Jack Little
(Published in Issue 18)
I’ve never been offered free tickets for a concert before so when the opportunity came along to see Lee “Scratch” Perry and Mad Professor perform live in Mexico City, I have to say I got a little bit excited. A mate asked me what actually is dub music and at that moment I couldn’t have told you.
After some research, basically, it is a mix of drum and base with reggae, although I guess some experts might say something different! I looked it up on youtube to try and find some classics but found it difficult to get into however, not worried as my little brother, somewhat of music fanatic was impressed with me going to see "The Godfather of Dub”. At least that’s what I inferred from my brother clicking “like” on my facebook wall after not receiving a peep out of him for sixth months.
We arrived at 9.00pm when the concert was said to start and went to the VIP line and they actually let us in! We walked through to a large dark room with what looked to me like hundreds of my little brothers, hippies and rastas of all aspects of the socio-economic spectrum brought together by this great name in this subgenre of music… Lee Perry, now aged 76. Needless to say me and my partner felt a little out of place with my nice little blue shirt and her leopard skin patterned scarf. I think they would call us ‘fresas’ or strawberries here in Mexico...
We took our seats above the dance floor when we drank a beer and waited for the DJ to finish his mixing and the big acts to come on. One hour. One hour and a half. Mexico’s biggest dub step band came out, dreadlocked, shouting and “funking” in all sorts of directions. A new sound, the crowds were excited, the crowds were going wild. But unfortunately for me, being so uncool, the overpowering smell of marijuana in the concert hall was hurting my eyes so much and making my throat hurt that we left only half way through the first half of the warm up act. We caught the last bus home across town and were tucked up safe in bed by 1am.
While I found out that the dub scene might not be quite for me, it was fascinating to step into a thriving subculture of music, dress and choice of substance consumption. Even if only for an hour. Reading back over this article, at twenty-five years of life, I feel old before my time.
For more information on dub and reggae music in Mexico City go to: