Champion Love Soundsystem

Sub Rooms forecourt, Stroud  Saturday 13th 2023

Have you noticed how reggae brings the best out in people?

As a precursor to the Aswad gig taking place at the Sub Rooms later in the evening; the open-air event in front of the Sub Rooms promised an afternoon of reggae, ska, dub, rockysteady, roots, lovers rock and an amalgam of sub-genres to rejoice in the elusive sun.

Fittingly, the reggae event was late getting started. However, the arteries of cables, vulnerable turntables and bulky equipment must have taken an age to shift, arrange and make sense of? The ensuing parade of reggae music made perfect sense to those in front of the Sub’s classic portico…

From the classic chug of Pressure Drop to the unmistakeable casual singing style of Marley, to the corruption of Crying in the Chapel by Elvis to incorporate a reggae shuffle: the afternoon was both a carnival of standards and an education of the lesser known.

Even the elusive sun made a welcome cameo, a little late granted, to ensure the assembled limbs were warmed.

The youngsters who encountered the huge, art installation of speakers just accepted the opportunity. The intriguing shapes and spontaneous street dance which followed brought genuine smiles from the adults. Reggae does bring out the best in people. Respect to the young lady wearing the Unicorn-horn (sic), who made the paved dance floor her own. Many adults were content to just nod along, however, let’s not overlook the big kids who allowed themselves a moment to skank and enjoy the moment.

For the Djs of the Champion Love Soundsystem, they too were lost in the moment. The sun’s warmth caused some mild consternation regarding the impact on the valuable vinyl; their makeshift sunscreens certainly reflected the DIY aesthetic of the afternoon’s entertainment. Accordingly, the Djs handled their vinyl collections like a jeweller setting a gem-stone, only with greater care. Reggae really does bring out the best in everyone, have you ever noticed?

By: Swilgate Scuttler