Overproof Sound System started its life in 2000 as a monthly reggae night called “Overproof” held at the Medicine bar in Birmingham, England. The night was started by Different Drummer’s Richard Wittingham (Rockers Hi Fi) Adam Regan (Leftfoot) and Birmingham’s dub duo G.Corp.
Since the seventies, reggae music in Birmingham had become ghettoized, pushed out of city venues into illegal parties and split into genres. With violence on the increase it was only the brave that would get to hear it. The “Overproof” night was not only a way for those involved to escape the recording studio and party but a way of bringing reggae back to the masses. This was not a bashment or revives night. Not to be tied down to one genre the music policy was anything reggae or reggae influenced. From old school sixty’s cuts to modern Dub and remix’s. With its atmosphere of peace and good vibes and a reputation for a happy mixed crowd the night soon grew often bringing together 1500 regulars for what have now become legendary parties. From the start, the microphone and DJ’ing duties were shared by Ras-T-Weed (Rockers Hi Fi) and Juggla (Creation sound) over time percussion was added in the form of The Mighty Magoo (Substance). Messenger Douglas later joined Overproof in 2003, and has been part of Overproof ever since.
In 2001 a European promoter attended the club and so impressed with the good spirit and almost tribal quality of the party he invited Overproof over to Europe, thus giving birth to the “Overproof sound system”. The sound system has been touring constantly now since 2001 and has become a solid core of five people Messenger Douglas, Juggla, Mighty Magoo, Stallion (G.Corp.) and Jah Grizzly (G.Corp.).
Overproof have played along side most of there reggae heroes over the last 10 years, recording their own music project, at the start of 2002, the now legendary “Watch what you put inna” EP, a track which went on to be, and still is a club anthem around the world. 2003 saw Overproof take a break from touring and encamp in the “Elephant House”, the celebrated headquarters of Birmingham’s Dub miesters G.Corp. Under the production eye of G.Corp, Overproof’s first album “Nothing to proove” was written and recorded. The album reflects the true spirit of both the original club night and the sound systems live presence. Musical styles swing joyfully from the studio one’ish “Get With It” through the blissful roots of ” The Plea” to the cheeky dance hall anthem “Long time”. Kenijah Boothe son of reggae legend Ken Boothe takes on guest vocals on the track” Live it up right”. In order to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original club night Overproof have once again returned to the Elephant House to record their second album “Pull it up” the album includes vocals from the main crew messenger Douglas and Juggla and a guest appearance from one of the originals Ras Tweed. One of the tracks, an acoustic version of ”War must Cease” includes a unique appearance by the ‘Myspace Choir’. People from all over the world were invited to add their harmonies to what has ended up as a beautiful protest against the act of War. As with the first album this is a collection of styles bound together by a strong reggae influence, catchy melodies, heavy bass lines and conscious lyrics.
Overproof Soundsystem meets Ital Audio
“Some things are just meant to happen” After 10 years on the road in a sound system format doing main stages at festivals all around the globe as well as their own club tours, Overproof felt a need for change, a need for fresh inspiration and a way of pushing the project further forward. With a new album to promote, a full live band had been talked about on many occasions but the right team had never been found. First class musicians with a true feel for reggae music and a shared attitude are not easy to find, until now that is. Richie Dread (Bass), Paul Knight (Drums) Matt Kedracki (Keys) collectively known as “Ital Audio” had just returned from Rototom where they had appeared with Overproof’s Messenger Douglas on guest vocals. The crew had found themselves without a vocalist and were working as a formidable Dub band building their own following. The suggestion was made that these two mighty crews should join forces to perform a live show. The time was right; Stallion put away the decks and picked up his keyboard. Messenger picked up his guitar, Maggoo and Juggla stood firm in their roles to complete the band. From the first rehearsal we knew this was something special, not just a case of bringing in a generic backing band, this had its own chemistry, its own spiritual force and a unique sound. After only six rehearsals the first show was performed to a packed crowd on home turf. A killer show, and if this was the first one we can’t wait to see where this will lead. Join us and watch it grow.