Celebrating the 21 year anniversary of Rafi’s Revenge UK’s Asian Dub Foundation played a intimate ‘friends and family’ gig at Rich Mix in London’s East End.
Joined onstage by Satpal Ram ADF played an epic set. As the band pointed out ‘We’ve never stopped touring, so don’t expect a set of old classics or an album play through, it’s not like we’ve come out of retirement’. That said compared to the recent sets the performance did contain rare tracks like Buzzin and Free Satpal Ram which gave the set a bit of a Rafi spin.
Sonically the band were in excellent form, sounding huge in the small venue, the mix worked and the sort of overblown distortion in places was made up the sheer presence of the rhythm section. As a ‘drum and bass’ band it’s expected that the drummer and bass player be proficient but this was a next level. When Aniruddha Das (bass) and Brian Fairbairn (drums) lock in its overpowering and captures the heavy dub vibe that many name check but few can reproduce. The result is something exceedingly rare a musical experience that has a depth of righteous integrity that eclipses the hype of an admittedly rapturously hyped band.
Asian Dub Foundation are most certainly a ‘band to see before you die’ but joining them along with around 200 close friends in a tiny venue maxed with love, conscience and groove is everything that live performance can be. As laid out in Rafi’s Revenge political resistance isn’t only about anger it’s also about celebrating what you’re fighting for.
Asian Dub Foundation – Rich Mix – London – 28th March 2019
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – Aristotle