By Anna Arnone

“It was always the sound and the bass that I love. It just gets into you. The first Sound System that I actually went to was Jah Shaka, playing in Dalston. Jah Shaka, Sir Coxsone, Quaker City…and that was just un-be-lievable. Unbelievable! I think I was 14 or 15 when I went there. There were so many cables! Three Sound Systems and they hung [the cables] from the ceiling and in the middle of the hall, [it was] barely seven foot, the weight! Back in those days they had the valve amplifiers. So they had all the tops off because you just saw all these valve amplifiers. The bass was just unbelievable! Just like something pounding on you. And it’s like, you know, you’ll always like that. So that was my first experience with the three big Systems.”

Charlie and Jamie with the old Warrior Hi-Fi boxes
PICTURE: Anna Arnone

Says Charlie Woods, reminiscing about his teenage inculcation into the auditory, physical and visual joys of a Reggae Sound clash dance in the late 1970s.

Charlie and his son, musician Jamie Woods, are preparing their brand new heavy Humble Rumble Sound System for its first solo outing at Crowleys (where they played their inaugural dance with the Dub Generals back in April). This will also be the first session of their linked venture, The Hastings Dub Club. The crowd’s in for a heavenly Reggae treat of heavy bass. The sweetest tunes, vinyl and digital, old and new. The selection is bound to include a version of Love Vehicle, voiced by singer Milton Blake, released recently on 7” vinyl on Humble Rumble Sound System’s own record label. It can now be revealed that Love Vehicle was the ‘mystery’ exclusive tune that the massive Channel One was playing earlier this year.

Humble Rumble Sound System has been a long time in the making, indeed it could be said that its roots go back to around 1978 when, as schoolboys, Charlie and his friend Ian Johnson set up Warrior Hi-Fi, a youth Sound, in St Leonards. More recently, Jamie started encouraging Charlie to explore the possibility of reviving Warrior Hi-Fi. Charlie explains, “So we hired our church hall about nine years ago. I got some new cables and we wired it all up to see what it sounded like…

Jamie interjects “It sounded like we needed to start again.

[he laughs]

Ian and Charlie with the new Humble Rumble boxes
PICTURE: Anna Arnone

It blew the dust off ‘em, and we were so excited. They are so old…the fact that they fired up was great. We played it, and that was really the moment…let’s start again…” And that is exactly what they did.

Humble Rumble is bang up to date with the equipment for a high power delivery. Jamie has the final word, “One thing that really drives me to want to do it; when I go to a dance, most of the time I’m standing in front of the speakers…. and the feeling it gives me, after I’ve been standing there, just roots blaring, when I get home I feel great. Body, mind, and soul. To be able to start doing that and give people that is going to be fantastic.”

Upstairs at Crowleys Bar, 56-57 Havelock Road, Hastings, Saturday 19th October 2019, 9.00pm till late. Free entry. 

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