For Immediate Release
Dub frontman takes backseat
Agency Dub Collective front man and key group member 3oB (Liam O’Connell) will retire as lead vocalist/lyricist of the pioneering ozzie dub band this summer. It is believed that he will continue as an instrumentalist and production contributor to the broader collective. O’Connell is expected to stay on playing bass, melodica and samples after having co-written many of the group’s riddims since joining in 2003. The band will continue as an instrumental dub outfit, playing live and recording dub plates for deejays and vocalists.
O’Connell has cited his own creative and philosophical differences with core reggae beliefs as the reason for stepping off.
‘Basically, I’m not a religious person, I’m a godless socialist and that’s incompatible with the teachings of Rasta and reggae lyricism’. He went on to say ‘For a time, I thought I could harness the revolutionary nature of Jamaican music and sort of channel it into an anti-Imperialist, progressive voice, but I’ve gone as far as I can with that approach’.
Reggae music is deeply influenced by the teachings of Rastafari, a Jamaican religious movement born out of the belief that Ethiopian King Hailie Selassie (1892-1975), is the incarnation of Christ.
‘It’s pretty inauthentic of me to use this [reggae] music for my own political purposes that don’t fit with the listeners’ expectations – I’m not Christian and I don’t think much of the Old Testament. For me, Babylon is nothing more than an old name for modern-day Iraq; one of numerous ancient warring civilisations like Assyria, Egypt and Judea. I’m more interested in the here and now. If you’re an atheist you can’t be up there howling “Jah” this and “Rasta” that, it simply doesn’t feel right.’
3oB is said to have been open to replacement by another vocalist but that position may be left vacant, according to guitarist and manager Elrond ‘Rondo’ Veness who said ‘For me, ADC was always about the brotherhood, the collective spirit, so I don’t have much interest in seeking out another vocalist’. O’Connell reaffirmed his views in a letter to Veness in October ‘I am basically a hip hop emcee and feel like the roots reggae/dub crowds don’t want to hear that shit’.
Agency Dub will play 2 shows to mark 3oB’s retirement as frontman.
Canberra: Honkeytonks, 17 Garema Place, Sunday Dec 22 4.00-8.00pm (free entry)
Melbourne: Bar Open, 317 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Friday, Jan 24 10.00pm -1.00 am (free entry)
Check out updates from the band at https://www.facebook.com/AgencyDubCollective
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