Dub Sex are a British indie band formed during the mid 80's in Hulme, Manchester. Consisting of Cathy Brooks, Dave Rumney, Guy Ainsworth, Mark Hoyle and Roger Cadman, the group are often cited as one of Manchester’s greatest “lost” bands. They recorded four John Peel sessions; released four critically acclaimed EP’s and performed on local and national TV (Snub TV, Tony Wilson’s Granada TV show The Other Side of Midnight). The band split in 1990, with members joining other musical projects before reforming back in 2014.
Links to Peel
Peel claimed on his 15 September 1987 show to discover Dub Sex on a flexi, issued by Debris magazine in 1986.
Mark Hoyle, the singer, paid tribute to Peel when interviewed for Louderthanwar to mark the 10th anniversary of Peel's death in 2014: 
Louder Than War: Dub Sex recorded 4 radio sessions for John Peel’s radio 1 show, was it important to the band to acknowledge his anniversary?
Mark Hoyle: Yes, it has been ten years since John’s death, but in my opinion, that’s pure coincidence. After all the progress we’ve been making this year, we were always going to celebrate with a hometown show in the Autumn. The fact that it falls on the same day as John’s anniversary wasn’t deliberate. It feels more appropriate to be celebrating the day of his birth, really. That said, our relationship with John Peel is a long and very personal one, and he’s been such a huge influence and loyal supporter of our music, that he won’t be far from our thoughts that night. For me and Cathy, he entered our story that bit earlier. He was a great fan of Cathy’s ‘Performing Ferrets’ and he played my first efforts back in 1979! He’s been in my life for longer than almost anybody I know, relatives and everything! It will be a thoughtful night, no doubt about it.
Louder Than War:You’ve also re-released a Peel favourite, Dub Sex’s track North by North East, to celebrate his legacy haven’t you?
Mark Hoyle: Yeah … one of the great lost Dub Sex songs. We recorded it for our fourth Peel session, and we hadn’t long written it when we brought it to Maida Vale. When I hear it, I hear a band fizzing with optimism, excited by the potential of the sound they’re making, almost surprised by it. Peel sessions were like that, especially if you were trying new stuff out. You’d kinda knew it would be special, but when you heard it back … well … life changing stuff!
It’s been released on ’21 Songs for John’ a FREE compilation album which is downloadable for one month only as a mark of love for the man himself. We’re on it, as are The Wedding Present/ Cinerama, Half Man Half Biscuit, Talisman, I Ludicrous and, oooh, loads of people. Worth investigating.'
Louder Than War: What were your own fave Peel moments, whether playing on his sessions or just listening to the show?
Mark Hoyle: Peel moments? I’ve many many many beautiful experiences, running right through my adult life! Apart from listening every night as a teenage manc punk, I mean … the stuff we were exposed to on his show shaped not only my musical tastes, but led me to new ways of thinking, as the music led me to other cultures, steered me to ask questions about politics and society, and most importantly was brave enough to showcase the new music. It kick-started and changing many lives, mine included.
I was only 18 the first time I met John Peel. I just turned up with a sweaty cassette at Broadcasting House. On it was some lo-fi extremism that I’d done with Lee Pickering and Karl Burns (on a Jeremy Kyle-style ‘break’ from The Fall). We went to his car and he only listened to about a minute of it, before saying he’d ‘be in touch’. I hadn’t slept for about a week and I must have looked like a right urchin, dangerous, even, but he still risked it, in case he heard something ace. Didn’t even have a name for the band, and he still gave me the time of day.
Two weeks later, Chris Lycett, his producer, phoned to offer us a session but we were so untogether we passed on it, can’t believe we did that. I had to wait until the first Dub Sex session, some years later, to finally get to work down at Maida Vale. The first Dub Sex session was one of the pivotal experiences of my musical life. We’d only done three gigs, we only had a handful of songs, but we bonded big time and when we heard ‘Then and Now’ back for the first time, I knew I was right all along!
John came to see us once, in Leeds. Going to gigs wasn’t always easy for him with so many well wishers wanting to talk to him, so I felt really honoured. The trouble is that he brought David Gedge with him, and the entire audience were too busy rubbernecking to look me in the eye! haha!
Maybe not directly, but it feels quite a different place without him in our music world, you feel we really miss his whole presence, opinion and ear as well as his legendary and much missed radio show?
Yeah. John’s radio career spans a really long time and at different eras of musical history, he’s been important in different ways. He was always a champion of minority music, and his love of African music, and reggae, for instance, led to a real change in thinking in this country, which was much more racially and culturally polarised when I was a kid. People forget how straight people reacted to punk and reggae early on, it was no joke. I was beaten to a pulp in Middleton by three grown up men when i was only 15. We were hated and at times listening to Peel was the only proof that a different life existed. That’ll be missed.
Mainly though, it was the music. Above and beyond snobbery or commercial clout, you never heard such a diverse set of tunes anywhere else. That’s pretty well still the case.
Festive Fifty Entries
- 1989 Festive Fifty: Swerve #39
- Then And Now / Play Street / Kristallnacht / Man On The Inside
- Push! / Voice Of Reason / Kicking The Corpse Around / Splintered
- Caved In / Snapper / I Am Not Afraid / The Big Fleece
- Swerve / North By North East / Kumina / Time Of Life
Other Shows Played
- 02 January 1987 (BFBS): 'Tripwire (single-sided 7" flexi shared with Two Thieves And A Liar)' (Debris)
- 12 May 1987: Man On The Inside (12" - Dub Sex) Skysaw
- 15 May 1987 (BFBS): 'Man On The Inside (12"-Dub Sex)' (Skysaw)
- 15 May 1987 (Radio Bremen): Tripwire! (12" - Dub Sex) Skysaw
- 04 June 1987 (Rockradio): Green (12" EP) Skysoar
- 12 June 1987 (BFBS): Tripwire! (12" - Dub Sex) Skysaw
- 11 October 1987 (BFBS): Tripwire! (12" - Dub Sex) Skysaw
- 05 January 1988: Play Street (LP - Push!) Ugly Man
- 08 January 1988 (BFBS): 'Voice Of Reason (LP-Push!)' (Ugly Man)
- 01 February 1988: Believe (LP - Push!) Ugly Man
- 18 March 1988 (BFBS): 'Push! (LP-Push!)' (Ugly Man)
- 27 June 1988 (BBC World Service): Caved In (12" - The Underneath) Cut Deep
- 28 June 1988: Caved In (7" – The Underneath) Cut Deep
- 16 July 1988 (BFBS): 'Every Secret (That I Ever Made) (12"-The Underneath)' (Cut Deep)
- 19 July 1988: Caved In (12" - The Underneath) Cut Deep
- 20 July 1988: Instead Of Flowers (12" - The Underneath) Cut Deep
- 26 July 1988 (Radio Bremen): Instead Of Flowers (12" - The Underneath) Cut Deep
- 27 July 1988: 'The Underneath (7")' (Cut Deep)
- 30 July 1988 (BFBS): 'The Underneath (7")' (Cut Deep)
- 08 August 1988: Instead Of Flowers (12" - The Underneath) Cut Deep
- 26 August 1988 (BFBS): 'Every Secret (That I Ever Made) (12"-The Underneath)' (Cut Deep)
- 14 February 1989: Swerve (12") Cut Deep
- 07 March 1989: Swerve (12") Cut Deep
- 22 March 1989: Swerve (12") Cut Deep
- 31 March 1989 (BFBS): 'Swerve (12")' (Cut Deep)
- 13 April 1989: Swerve (12") Cut Deep
- 02 May 1989: Barber Barber (v/a album - Edward Not Edward) Wodern
- 23 May 1989: Voice Of Reason (v/a album - Bananas!) Rodney, Rodney!
- 19 August 1989 (BFBS): 'The Underneath (album - Splintered Faith) Cut Deep
- 24 August 1989: Tripwire! (album - Splintered Faith) Cut Deep
- 07 September 1989: Caved In (album - Splintered Faith) Cut Deep
- 07 October 1989 (BFBS): 'Swerve (12")' (Cut Deep)
- 18 November 1989 (BFBS): 'Time Of Life (12")' (Scam)
- 21 November 1989 (Radio Bremen): Time Of Life (12") Scam
- 09 December 1989 (BFBS): 'Time Of Life (12")' (Scam)
- 13 December 1989: Kamina (12" - Time Of Life) Scam
- 21 December 1989: 'Swerve (12 inch)' (Cut Deep) FF #39
- 16 January 1990 (BFBS): 'Time Of Life (12")' (Scam)
- 22 December 1990 (BFBS): 'Swerve (2x Compilation LP-Manchester, So Much To Answer For)' (Strange Fruit)