The Dube by Dion Dublin
After knowing Dion for a couple of years socially our Electrical MD Nigel (Scotty) O’Conner were out with a mutual friend having a pint and some food in Stratford. Dion had been retired from football for about 6 months and they were all chewing the fat over a pint of bitter and a burger when he mentioned that he had invented this instrument he had called The Dube, a fusion of Dublin and Cube which was a ‘wooden box’ percussion instrument. Scotty mentioned that Foxwood Electrical’s sister Company was a Shopfitting Company and from there the Marriage was born.
They went back to Dion’s and he showed him The Dube so after taking some measurements and pictures, off he went on my way. He spoke with Roger Havenhand, Bedford & Havenhand’s MD the day after once back in the office and with slight hesitance he asking Roger how he felt about the possibility of making an instrument for an ex premiership footballer out of wood that was his very own invention! Listening to himself speaking Scotty thought it was a crazy idea himself !! But he was glad to hear Roger was really enthusiastic about getting on board and set to work getting some prototype drawings and samples knocked up.
Dion was really pleased with the finish and more importantly the sound that he got from the DUBE. It wasn’t finished there though by any means. Variations on handles from pre-fabricated steel ones to the now used in house custom made handle. We had several variations on microphones and microphone connections and where this connection was best placed to cause as little hindrance as possible to the end user.
We got there and the next stage was to get it out to people” in the know” to get the opinion of the professionals to see if there was any mileage in producing The Dube and releasing it to market.
The connections Dion has has allowed him to get The Dube in front of people such as Legendary musician Courtney Pine and Karl Brazil who drums for Robbie Williams, Feeder and James Blunt amongst others. Karl then introduced Dion to one of the Worlds most renowned and respected drum teachers Mike Dolbear and to a man they all loved the new concept and the sound that The Dube produced which in turn spurred on the passion that Dion already possessed to drive on the project.
Courtney pine used it on his next album and Mike introduced it to loads of bands and professional drummers. The next step was to take The Dube to the trade shows and wow we could not have seen what was waiting around the corner at these shows! First up was the London drum show, at which Mike Dolbear had a teaching room. The drummers that Mike introduced to The Dube to that weekend was truly unbelievable……..Mark Richardson (Skunk Anansie) Craig Blundell (session drummer and Roland ambassador) Steve White (style council and Paul Weller) and the world renowned Thomas Lang to name but a few (please Google Thomas Lang and see what he can do with a set of drumsticks let alone a drum kit!!!) The feedback was unbelievable from these guys who are amongst the most highly respected in the world!
Again spurred on by this Dion was told at the show ”you have to go to NAMM and take this instrument with you” and so, Dion being Dion, he did just that and booked in for NAMM show in LA. If you have no idea what this show is it is the industries BIG BIG trade show open only to artists and manufacturers and when we say artists we mean the crème de la crème of the musical world. The rest of this trip is boys own stuff!!! The Dube out of 8000 exhibitors was chosen to be one of only 20 instruments to be given a pass to the Press Day, which as it suggests is the day prior to the show where a special area is dedicated to these few exhibitors to showcase their wares to the waiting press. Could it get any better than this for The Dube in LA………..Bet your bottom dollar it could!
The list of drummers and bands that loved it was endless Beastie boys, Prince’s drummer, the drummer from Michael Jacksons ill-fated “This is it” tour, James Gadson who played with Bill Withers on Lovely Day and many more hits, 4 non blondes, Pete Locket world renowned percussionist, Steve Smith from Journey – it was a non-stop conveyor belt of stars! Then the golden egg moment when none other than Mr Stevie Wonder, surrounded by his security and fans came over to the stand and started to play it; jamming along singing one of his tunes along with Dion and his brothers. Stevie Wonder played all the different size Dubes, his famous dreadlocks flowing with each flick of his head and that famous jig and smile was beaming as he enjoyed himself jamming away. Dion presented Stevie Wonder with his own DUBE and without a doubt this was the singular moment that you stand there and think WOW !
This trip and the subsequent one in Frankfurt (Music Messe) has seen the interest in The Dube rise and rise with it being shipped out to various distributors and outlets (including Amazon) and as the saying goes it is most definitely going in the right direction. So onward and upwards hopefully we will continue to go from strength to strength………………………………
Watch this space !