Jah Wobble and his group Invaders of the Heart keep the flame alive for a legendary figure of English post-punk, as Wobble was a founding member and original bassist of Public Image Ltd.
Public Image Ltd. (or PiL) was the group that arose from the ashes of the Sex Pistols. Lead singer of the Sex Pistols, aka Johnny Rotten, retook his birth-name John Lydon to lead PiL. And Jah Wobble as the bassist replaced Sid Vicious, who had become a self-destructive junkie.
Wobble played with PiL only on their first two albums, but these are musical landmarks: “First Issue” (1978) and “Metal Box” (1979) renamed “2nd Edition.” Especially, “Metal Box” by PiL with its haunting vocals and cryptic lyrics of Lydon, and Wobble’s steadfast musicianship with a relentless, hyper-rhythmic assault on bass that melts into a gloomy trance-dance music. At that time, it was the perfect antidote to proclaim the death of the English (UK) punk-rock era.
Wobble has revisited “Metal Box” by PiL for a 2021 recording with Invaders of the Heart, titled “Metal Box-Rebuilt in Dub.” The core basslines are the same (as they must be) but in his updated Dub versions, the songs are faster and reborn with a more upbeat dub rockers’ vigor.
Wobble will be performing many songs from this recording on his 2022 tour, since his expected 2021 tour for “Metal Box-Rebuilt in Dub” was hindered due to Covid restrictions.
Dub was also a close cousin (politically) to many of the early Punks in 1970s England. And Jah Wobble was a part of this scene, as John Wardle (his birth-name) born 1958 in London’s East End.
The Jamaican music community in London with its renegade Reggae and Dancehall Dub Sound Systems of the 1970s strongly influenced The Clash, more than any other leading Punk group. So Jah Wobble’s Dub versions of “Metal Box” are not even surprising to his older fans.
Wobble and his group Invaders of the Heart have several other solid recordings of their own music, which is not only influenced by Dub and Reggae, but World Music and Rock as well.
Their 1991 recording “Rising Above Bedlam” was a shortlisted nominee for the UK’s prestigious Mercury Prize in 1992. This one has a pop-oriented yet gritty World Music groove.
It also includes most notably Sinéad O’Connor and Natacha Atlas as special guest vocalists.
Jah Wobble with Invaders of the Heart brings together top artist-musicians from across genres for full-hearted sounds of a global musical community above all else. They are playing at Palac Akropolis, Thursday, November 3.
For more info: Jah Wobble & The Invaders of the Heart – Rachot