(4 / 5)
This album came out on CD previously, launched at Glastonbury Festival when the band appeared there. Here’s a new limited edition, vinyl, gatefold, double LP edition to smile about. The former PiL bassist offers up a delectable array of choice cuts here, newly recorded versions of work from his solo, Invaders of the Heart and Public Image Limited output.
John Wardle originally met John Lydon, John Grey and Sid Vicious at Kingsway College, London, in 1973. It was Vicious who originally nicknamed John “Jah Wobble” after a drunken binge, and loaned him his first bass guitar.
During the glory days of punk rock in the mid to late 70s, John Wardle earned himself the reputation of being something of a wild man. His original introduction to the bass stemmed from a long-term obsession with dub reggae music.
Combined with the D.I.Y. punk ethos, he embraced punk and reggae, creating an original rock/reggae hybrid of his own. His career spans almost four decades and crosses genres galore. His current band are a latest line-up of the band he first formed back in the early eighties.
This album is the result of a 35-year “dream” of his. He says the music on this record is how he heard the Invaders sound in his head all those years ago.”A classy fusion of genres. Groovy, dubby but always changing and developing, and never standing still”.
The album offers versions of cinematic scores, “Midnight Cowboy”, “Get Carter”,, Dawn Penn’s “You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)”, which features the vocals of Aurora Dawn, and a new version of “Visions Of You”, a song which first appeared on the Wobble album “Rising Above Bedlam”, which was nominated for a Mercury Prize on its release in 1992.
Also here, two live cuts of the rocksteady classic “Liquidator”, and “Poptones”, which appeared on PiL’s acclaimed album “Metal Box”. The chemistry between his Royal Wobbleness and the chaps in the band is palpable. This record nicely encapsulates that old saying; “comfortable in your own skin”, as regards JW, methinks.
Jah Wobble and The Invaders of The Heart drop 23 very classy tracks, to showcase a versatile, envelope-pushing selection of material that more than proves that Mr Wobble treads his own path; never afraid to dip in and out of varying styles and genres, and seemingly never lacking drive or creative impetus.
Last word to a punter who stumped up the dosh to buy it, and sums up this record after first listen: “Great album …made me feel all sexy”. Oohhh, Matron…
By Simon Redley
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’