Review: The Duppies in Gainsville, FL

My roommates are not big music people, so when they told me they had gone out to a local show and checked out a band they really enjoyed, I was pretty shocked and surprised. The group they had gone to see was the ska group, The Duppies. The 7-piece has been a  Gainesville, Florida staple since 2004 but I (a person who is very involved in the local music scene) had somehow managed to not see this band perform.
With the revelation that my roommates had experienced something musically that I had not, I made it a priority to see The Duppies live. I was afforded the opportunity Wednesday night as the group took the stage at Common Grounds in Gainesville, Florida. When I walked through the door, I was immediately impressed with the turnout. It was apparent that the band is doing something right because they had quite a following. The majority of the fans in attendance had dark black X’s on their hands, signifying their youth. This meant shorter lines at the bar, which I was cool with.

The youngins’ in attendance all packed in toward the stage, many were dancing but most were just in sheer awe of the tight perfection that The Duppies displayed. Their 3-piece horn section belted out smooth rhythms, while the lead singer provided clear and soulful vocals reminiscent of the Jamaican sounds of the 60s and 70s. Though the members of the band appear to be quite young themselves, there was a style and sophistication about them that was very seasoned and mature.

There was also an energy exuding from the band members that poured out into the crowd. Along with the sounds of the horns, very positive vibes were resonating throughout the bar. Their rocksteady tunes will not soon be forgotten. You could even say their sound will stick with you or haunt you, just as their band name somewhat alludes. A Duppy is a West African term for a ghost or a spirit. A term quite often used in reggae music and popularized by the likes of Bob Marley and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

The Duppies are under the radar now but with their tight sounds and charisma on stage their success should have no boundaries. Catch the band live in a city near you!


Oct 01  –  Orange & Brew (UF) – Gainesville, FL
Oct 04  –  1982 –  Gainesville, FL
Oct 08  –  Mohawk Place w/ the SLACKERS – Buffalo, NY
Oct 09  –  Bushwick Music Studios –  Brooklyn, NY
Oct 10 –  Middle East – Cambridge/Boston, MA
Oct 12 –  Trash Bar  –  Brooklyn, NY
Oct 13  –  Castaways – Ithaca, NY


– Emily Smith


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