14 Aug 17

The first Sunday of the month at Boxpark Croydon can only mean one thing – Rub-a-Dub-Dub. This event has been making huge waves in the BoxBar for bringing in the biggest and best sounds in Reggae, Dancehall and Dub. The magic of Rub-a-Dub-Dub is made possible by Brighton’s very own Venum Sound. We caught up with co-founder Kris Lewis (Snakes) to give you the lowdown on what you can expect from Rub-a-Dub-Dub, as well as his favourite events and just why people call him Snakes…

Tell us who you are and what you do.

My real name is Kristian but most people call me Snakes because, apparently, I look like Kaa from the Jungle Book movie. I am married with two kids and I live in Brighton. I also have a massive addiction to reggae and dancehall music.

What lead to the creation of Venum Sound in 2011?

Basically, I acquired a stack of reggae sound system speakers from my brother-in-law who used to run a sound system, back in the day, and needed a sound system name to go with; so I came up with the name Venum Sound as it fit perfectly with my nickname – Snakes.

Venum celebrates the best in Reggae, Dancehall and Dub – who are some of your musical influences?

I’m pretty much influenced by all the legendary sound systems and selectors who helped pave the way for what Reggae and sound system culture is today. Saxon, Love injection, Coxsone ,Stone Love, Bass Odyssey and David Rodigan; as well as Mungos Hi-Fi and Reggae Roast, who are currently doing big things in the UK Reggae scene! 

I grew up mainly on Jungle music and Hip-Hop before I really got deep into Reggae. My favourite selectors from that time are the likes of DJ Randall, Kenny Ken, DJ Hype, Congo Natty, Soul to Soul, Scratch Perverts and Q Bert. I also have to mention the Nextmen as a big influence, as I have always really admired their DJ-ing skills and productions.

Venum Sound has toured events and festivals with David Rodigan’s legendary Ram Jam – tell us about some of your favourite events and performances.

Playing on the main stage at Bestival 2016, before Damian Marley, was probably the biggest and most nerve-racking gig ever! Playing at the prestigious Reggae Geel festival in Belgium was special and a real honour to be on the line up, as well as Snowbombing in Austria. It was memorable as we had to get a cable car up the mountain to reach the venue which was in the middle of the ski slopes. 

Playing in an underground carpark at the Warehouse Project in Manchester was a totally crazy experience too. It’s always a pleasure to play at Rodigans Ram Jam events, whether it’s a festival or night club; I have truly enjoyed every single one of them.

You’ve also performed with a number of iconic artists – who have been some of your favourite people to share the stage with?

It’s been a massive honour supporting Reggae legends and icons like Lee Scratch Perry, John Holt, Damian Marley, and my favourite artist, Chronixx. Being on line ups with superstars like Nas, Busta Rhymes, Public Enemy, Major Lazer, Skrillex and Soul 2 Soul makes me want to pinch myself! 

I recently played before Norman Jay at Camp Bestival which was another memorable moment.

Tell us a little more about your radio show on 1BrightonFM.

I have been doing my show for just over two years now on this great newly formed radio station based in Brighton. It’s something I really love doing and it’s a great way to spread that Reggae love. 

The station itself was set up in 2015 and is self-funded by two music lovers and has grown from literally nothing into an amazing station broadcasting 24/7 with a great roster of DJs catering for all musical tastes.   

You can catch the Venum Sound Show on the 2nd (4-6pm) and 4th (12-2am) Sundays of each month, playing the latest and greatest new Reggae and Dancehall releases and riddims . You can tune online here or use the Tuneinn app. Otherwise, we’re on locally on 101.4fm and DAB. You can also listen back to all the shows on the Venum Sound Mixcloud page.

Where else can fans catch Venum Sound this summer?

House of Common Festival (Clapham) on 28 August.
Bestival (Dorset) 9 September
Patterns (Brighton) 19 October 
Boxbar – 1st sunday of every month at Boxpark Croydon
1BrightonFM – every 2 weeks

What was the last track you listened to?

Jah Cure – Lion in the jungle.

The next Rub-a-Dub-Dub comes to Boxpark Croydon on Sunday 3 September. You can register for your free tickets here