“ Dub Sex .... one of my very favourites!”
— John Peel - BBC Radio 1. 8th March 1989
Dub Sex are often cited as one of Manchester’s greatest ‘lost’ bands. Formed in the concrete landscape of 1980s Hulme, their music is appropriately raw and intense, bass-led with wiry guitar patterns swirling around the impassioned vocal style and presence of frontman Mark Hoyle.
They came to prominence over the release of five critically acclaimed EPs and mini-albums in the late 80s. John Peel picked up on them from the outset playing a demo recording of ‘Tripwire!’ later describing the band on-air as “one of my very favourites”. Dub Sex went on to record 4 sessions for his BBC Radio show, the first of which incredibly aired 3 times in just 6 weeks during Feb/Mar 1987.
‘Tripwire!’ saw a formal release later in 1987 on the band’s debut EP. The mini-album ‘Push’ and ‘The Underneath’ EP soon followed. Enthusiastic music press reviews raised the band’s profile amongst the post-punk fraternity and incendiary live shows led to several TV appearances including BBC’s influential ‘Snub TV’ and Tony Wilson’s Granada show ‘The Other Side of Midnight’.
By early 1989, Dub Sex were at their peak and released what many consider to be their finest work - the ‘Swerve’ EP - the title track from which made John Peel’s ‘Festive Fifty’ at the end of that year.
But when seemingly on the cusp of greater things, the cultural landscape of their home town changed overnight. Hindsight shows ‘Madchester’ left Dub Sex side-lined. They didn’t sit comfortably with this new dawn and it was unfortunate their final and perhaps most commercial release ‘Time Of Life’ got lost in the euphoria surrounding the new phenomenon. A disappointment which indirectly led to the band’s demise in 1990.
At the core of Dub Sex were Mark Hoyle (vocals/guitar), Cathy Brooks (bass) and Roger Cadman (drums). They were joined on guitar most notably by founder member Dave Rumney and later by Chris Bridgett. Their sound was moulded on all releases by their studio linchpin Chris Nagle (Martin Hannett’s right-hand man and Joy Division engineer).
Mark, Cathy and Chris reformed Dub Sex in 2014 playing a series of successful festival and headline shows – more to follow in 2019 in support of the 'Search For The Right Words' release.