LESSONS in UNITY
Review of University of Dub session – 19/08/2016 – The Scala, London
Fitting that in the month we celebrate the birthday of Yabby You, we the attendees at the University of Dub, were treated to a night of spirituality, powered by the offerings of three sound systems.
The Maasai warriors of East Africa take pride in being of service to their community; and so it was with their namesake, hailing from Bristol, who took care of the roots family, who gathered at the monthly hearth.
I've always associated the term Word, Sound and Power with Peter Tosh, as he was the first person I heard use that term. Just like him, this West London sound came striding through the Scala, confident as the ''Steppin' Razor.''
And in the middle of the stage, was the eminent resident, Aba-Shanti-I. In this the University of Dub, he is the Senior Lecturer, flanked by the Visiting ones. We were the happy students, in the early morning classroom, content with our rhythm curriculum.
As well as University of Dub, there was Universal Dub. As well as extending invitations to sounds across the country, Aba-Shanti brings in sounds from Italy and France also. Flags of many countries, such as Poland, Canada, Sweden and Japan, hang in the hall; emanating out either side, from a hanging showing Ras Tafari, next to one of a Lion of Judah. It was this universalism, that was mentioned by the individuals I spoke with, such as Nims, from India, who said '' These nights are a brilliant idea. The music appeals to all. It talks about unity. A great experience.'' Or Alex, a barman, who hails from Spain,'' The people are really nice. A good atmosphere.''
Over the years, from Brixton Recreation Centre days, the UOD crew have built up a solid and ever expanding following - incorporating all. Seems as if all those in attendence, are happy to play there part - in whatever role. Asking a comment from one of the Dub Kitchen workers, who is called Shanee, she replied with the following '' Its a family run business – Aba-Shanti is my dad. I work with family members every month. We sell Ital food. Its a good place to work: see old faces and meet new ones. To feed the bellies of the dancers!'' Jason, a member of the security team had this to say ''One of the best nights we have here. Its like stepping back in a time zone''. It was heartening to hear these comments from staff and students alike: the message of Aba Shanti, of Rasta, radiates: as it seems all are eager to contribute to it. The appreciation of the deep message, as well as the heavy bass.
The last comment should go to the event co-ordinator, Joanna, who has been involved with UOD, from Brixton Rec. days. ''We have three different sounds each month. All nations come to listen: people from all over the world. Australia, Europe – there's a common unity. People don’t come here to fight but to enjoy the music, which contains the message to live in love and unity. We can only run these events with the support of the people, so give thanks to everyone supporting University of Dub of the years.''
I salute all those who contribute – staff and devotees - to making the University of Dub, a treasured experience, especially the Senior Lecturer, Aba-Shanti-I – and his lessons in unity.
© Natty Mark Samuels, 2016. The Dub.
NATTY MARK SAMUELS - CONTACTS:
Natty Mark Samuels
Social Media: Facebook
THE DUB MAGAZINE: https://issuu.com/thedub
Celebrating the early Black journalists and roots reggae songwriters
written by Natty Mark on Reggaediscography