Mungo’s Hi Fi brings Scottish dub to SF 

click to enlarge Mungo’s Hi Fi
  • courtesy photo
  • Craig Macleod of Scottish dub soundsystem Mungo’s Hi Fi plays a record release show on his first visit to The City.
Scottish dub soundsystem Mungo’s Hi Fi brings its surprisingly authentic and warm vibes to the Mission for a DJ set and album-release party for the new LP “Prince Fatty vs Mungo’s Hi Fi.”

Mungo’s Hi Fi member Craig Macleod will run original Mungo classics, unreleased tracks and remixes off a laptop with the program Serato at Elbo Room on Sunday, while MC Solo Banton handles the vocals.

Apostasy? Maybe. But digital files just travel better than classic vinyl or a purist’s tape reels, Macleod said over Skype from Glasgow, Scotland. “You can never really trust the airlines.”

Playing digital also allows Mungo’s Hi Fi to finish a song in the studio and play it that night. “It allows you to play the freshest of things,” he says.

Mungo’s Hi Fi will keep it light and dancy Sunday night at Dub Mission, one of the longest-running reggae nights in the world.

“We’re going to have a good dance. When we play, we basically try and keep it lively. It’s for people to have a good time and enjoy. Our ace card is Solo Banton keeping it hype,” Macleod says. “It’s good, conscious music with a bit of humor and good fun.”

Chilly, rainy and severe, Scotland doesn’t sound like your typical reggae hotbed, but Britain and Jamaica are connected by hundreds of years of Atlantic trade. Although Scotland lacks the West Indian community that England has, reggae nights have existed there since the 1970s.

“The connection is punk-related, I think,” Macleod says. “Punks like certain reggae artists and we still get a lot of reggae gigs.”

Mungo’s Hi Fi recently reopened its monthly reggae night in Glasgow to packed crowds. Scottish label Scotch Bonnet released the double-LP “Soundsystem Champions” in 2008 and “Forward Ever” in 2011 and they have another release slated for spring.

The soundsystem, which also includes Tom Tattersall, Douglas Paine, James Whelan and Jerome Joly, is splitting up to tour the U.K. and beyond between March and the end of June, when they will reunite in Glastonbury, England.

Macleod, who has been all over the world, is coming to San Francisco for the first time.

“I’m sure it’s going to be good fun,” he says. “I’ll eat some big meals, walk about and soak up the vibes and see what it’s like.”


Mungo’s Hi Fi

With Solo Banton, part of Dub Mission with DJ Sep

Where: Elbo Room, 647 Valencia St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $12 to $17

Contact: (415) 552-7788,



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