Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jah Wobble & the Invaders of the Heart -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - Sep 23 2016

Jah Wobble & the Invaders of the Heart - After opening with a fine number from their new album, the band kicked in with a ferocious take on 'Socialist' from PiL's Metal Box LP. As my jaw dropped due to both the selection and the incredible version they concocted, I wondered what is next, 'Fodderstompf'? Well, no, that came later to close off a magnificent set by former Public Image bassist Jah Wobble and his superb bandmates. Having missed out on Wobble when he was in PiL, I was looking forward to tonight. But I had no expectations that this would be such a wonderful performance. It did not look good early on, as only 50-90 people seemed to be in attendance. But the excitement was there from the beginning and the energy built steadily with each fascinating song. Wobble played bass and percussion and handled lead vocals when needed. He was assisted with a guitarist, keyboardist, drummer, and a DJ who handled electronics, synth, loops, and samples. The latter two musicians added some vocals on a few cuts as well. Also from the PiL catalog were 'Poptones' and a irreverent 'Public Image' that was utterly fascinating. There were jazzier bits, loads of fascinating progressive and krautrockian moves, and soundtrack cuts as well. He explained he sits around at home a lot and watches a lot of TV and movies, so 'Get Carter', 'Midnight Cowboy'....
Wobble along with Gang of Four's Dave Allen and Joy Division's Peter Hook, pretty much invented the post punk sound of the bass guitar. Big, bold, and in your face. If he had a big hand in the invention of post-punk, I think he is on to post-progressive here. He also shows a nice touch as does his band, who can handle all kinds of tempos and volumes. The band was all smiles as was the crowd and this may have been small, but it was energized, fun, and fully connected between band and concert goers who were there to get immersed. Although small crowds do not help the band or the club financially, it was fun to be a part of such an integrated musical experience where everyone was involved. After a crazed 'Fodderstompf', the crowd roared and received an encore. I was almost back to 1980 with this vibe. For all the hundreds of people who clear their schedule for Public Image or Gang of Four shows, you really missed a gem tonight.

Quote of the Night: Wobble... "Now the bass is the King of instruments. It has no known natural predator--King of the Jungle."

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