Since 2002, Smerin’s Anti-Social Club have been keeping crowds jumping with their acclaimed performances in packed-out venues and muddy fields across the United Kingdom. Now the Bristol-based nine-piece have teamed up with Tru Thoughts records to release an ultra-dubby version of old live favourite, Doctor Who.
An instrumental take of the track is already available on Tru Thoughts’ latest Shapes compilation, while the single, featuring guest vocalist Tenor Fly (Freestylers, Congo Natty), will be released in early 2011. The track, produced by John Hendicott, has already been picked up by DJs such as Don Letts and Rob da Bank, and has found its way onto radio playlists from 6 Music to Radio 2, confirming the far-reaching appeal of a band who have played with acts as diverse as reggae legend Horace Andy and outrageous hard-rockers the Darkness.
Smerin’s Anti-Social Club’s live show owes much of its success to the band’s unique energy, which comes from mashing together a wide range of influences – from ’thirties swing to heavy dub, funk and drum ‘n’ bass – and playing out the resulting sound with a combination of skilled musicianship and punk-rock attitude.
The band was conceived shortly after the turn of the millennium when a group of friends – bored of the prevalence of acts with more hair products than musical ambition, and tired of a stale and unimaginative club scene – decided to put together a live band to entertain themselves and their mates at local dance venues in their former hometown of Southampton. Their frenetic danceable rhythms were soon attracting sell-out crowds and an increasingly diverse fanbase: right from the start they got the rockers dancing, the ravers rocking, the jazzheads crowdsurfing, and the sweat raining from the ceiling.
Before long the band were getting calls from further afield and, after playing regular gigs all over London, Wales and the West Country, they decided to settle in Bristol, where a resurgence of ska-influenced bands had already paved the way for their fresh
take on brass-laden big-band sounds, and they quickly became one of the city’s most talked-about acts.
The band’s huge and infectious tunes have made them one of the most popular up-and-coming bands on the UK festival scene, taking many new fans by surprise in the fields and marquees of Glastonbury, Larmer Tree, Green Man and Shambala, among many others. The festival scene has proved fertile ground for longstanding musical friendships, including that of regular guest vocalist and sassy Aussie songstress Nuala Honan, who appears on their single The Alibi (Jigsaw Records, 2009), and critically acclaimed MC Dizraeli, whose band Dizraeli and the Small Gods made their first ever live appearance supporting Smerin’s Anti-Social Club at a sold-out show in London’s Cargo nightclub in 2009.
At the end of 2010, after another very busy summer on the festival circuit the band are back in the studio working on new material. 2011 promises another full schedule, with Croatia’s Soundwave festival among the dates already confirmed.
Smerin’s Anti-Social Club are: Nic Bailey (baritone sax); Toby Riches (trombone); Tom Wilding (trumpet); Netty Hawker (trumpet); George Smerin (guitar); Humphrey Roberts-Powell (keyboards, guitar); Pete Bushell (drums); Steve Banting (bass); Tom Arnold (violin).