Former Norwich City star Dion Dublin designs music Dube
Matthew SparkesAs a former Norwich City footballer Dion Dublin was used to calling the tune on the pitch.But now the former-city star is hoping to score with a new musical venture - a six-sided electronic instrument known as the 'Dube'.Matthew Sparkes
As a former Norwich City footballer Dion Dublin was used to calling the tune on the pitch.
But now the former-city star is hoping to score with a new musical venture - a six-sided electronic instrument known as the 'Dube'.
After ending his playing career at Carrow Road, the ex-England, Norwich City and Manchester United star has embarked on a new project linked to his second passion, music.
Designing and building the instrument during his playing days in Norwich, he is now almost ready to launch the quirky cube-like percussion instrument in shops around the country.
Dion, who scored 12 goals for the Canaries, said he had the idea for an unusual instrument many years ago but his hectic football career stopped him from working on it.
But on a quiet day off while living in the city, he decided to buy some material and build a prototype.
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'I literally went to Jewson and got some off-cuts of wood - I bought a hammer and some nails and I made a cube,' he said.
'I made it myself and got a few cuts trying to play it. It's just sort of snowballed from there.'
Each of the four playable sides on the Dube has a different tone, and it will also come in four sizes, all of which will have their own unique sound.
The 9in version will sound higher than the rest, while the 12, 15 and 18in versions will get progressively deeper.
Each one is also wired up with a microphone and amplifier, allowing them to be used on stage and in loud groups.
But the big question will surely be whether the Dube can provide the music for the Carrow Road faithful to sing along to.
'It sounds like a mixture of congos, bongos and snare drums, but it's got its unique thing,' said the 40-year-old.
Dion has always had a passion for music as his whole family played instruments.
He took up the saxophone in 1992 and said that he is 'always trying to tap things and make music, all the time with my hands'.
'I love making music and I thought I'd have a go at something out of the ordinary, and it's keeping me busy,' he said.
Several people already have their hands on prototypes, including Radio One's Comedy Dave and jazz legend Courtney Pine, and Robbie William's drummer has expressed an interest.
But it will not be released to the public until a few final tweaks are made to the design and it is put into mass production, whiche expects to take another two or three months.
Eventually customers will get to choose between white, black and wood-effect versions, or have fully custom instruments made to their own specification.
And Dion hopes that the Dube will reach a wide audience and be used in a range of different styles of music including rock, jazz, pop and drum and bass.
'I'm not in it to make money, I just want them to use it on stage, and use it in bands and use it in schools,' he said.
'A child of three or four will be able to do it, and that' learning. It's an educational tool.'
Helping to promote the new instrument is Norwich-based design firm Selesti.
Managing director Ollie Blackmoore said that he had seen Dion play the Dube on a couple of occasions and that it was a 'fantastic bit of kit'.
'It sounds a bit like a bongo but its got a unique sound,' he said.
Dion had two spells at Norwich City, from 1985 to 1988 and again from 2006 to his retirement in 2008.
After stepping down from playing he has remained in touch with the game by working as a pundit for Sky Sports.
For more information visit the official Dube website at www.thedube.com.
Do you have a quirky invention? Contact Matt Sparkes on 01603 772439