By Rob Jones
Jah Wobble is a beacon of the beat and since he arrived in 1978 his musical meanderings have taken in a vast array of genres including post punk, dub, jazz and a galaxy of global grooves. The man who first came in to the public eye via Public Image Limited has never resided in one pop pigeonhole; and, his long list of collaborations confirm his status as one the most influential figures on the sonic scene. The audience that gathered at The Globe, Cardiff had no problems gyrating to a ream of rhythms as Wobble and his Invaders of the Heart band took an incredible journey through the regal realms of a multi-faceted career.
The release of his six disc Redux best of set on Cherry Red has allowed for the man born John Wardle to assess a tome of tunes and take them on tour. This means a polished package of diligent diversity and a Celtic crowd responded with affirmative acclaim. The subtle, supple and substantial skills were evident via the maestro and his quality quartet of professional players. The mix of bass, drums, guitar and two keyboards accounted for the majority of the show with Wobble also demonstrating his dexterity on percussion.
There were many highlights and it was a treat that the likes of Seaside Special, Fodderstompf, Visions of You and How much are They? Appeared. A tamer Public Image worked on a different level to its original as compositions are twisted and turned to give them a new and valid identity. Such songs also illustrate the array of aural angles that Wobble has perfected. When it comes to the perfection of Poptones we are in dreamland and our hero adopts a trademark sitting stance. On a subjective note the latter opus would rank as an all time favourite; and, Wobble and his PIL cohorts performing this number along with Careering on a February 1980 edition of The Old Grey Whistle Test is a cherished memory.
Thus was a concert to savour-and, there was so much more to admire! The main man can even create a credible reggae tinged version to take the 70’s cop theme of The Sweeney on another path and a fine cover of the Harry J Allstars anthem, The Liquidator is also a hit. There are also other dalliances with a variety of material and it all comes out in credit.
Wobble is also a showman throwing out his quips and shapes and icing them with an immense stage presence. It was a wet and windy July evening that needed a huge uplifting tonic. Thank goodness Jah Wobble and his merry men delivered a sensational set to offer us some sonic sunshine!