Rob Jones

Q. Where can you get post punk, dub, free jazz, funk, fusion, instrumentals, krautrock, ska, world music and lots more?
A. A Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart gig.
Goodness me, you can also add some storytelling, toasting and comedic diatribes into the mix to create the show of all shows at The Acapela Studio, Pentyrch, Cardiff.
Across two hours of music and conversation Wobble leads from the front. His four sidekicks provide the aural platform to bolster an array of beats – and, at the same time each one of this quartet of individuals also offer a canvas for Jah to employ his life observations and playful banter

Meanwhile, the gloved guru summons both bass and drums to rock the house.

Foot shaking, head bobbing, hand tapping – it is impossible to stay still as the infectious rhythms are aplenty. It is such a strange experience as one sits in the pews of the upper tier of an old church. However, a colourful senior crowd of no fixed fashion sense would no doubt have a few tales of their own to share but tonight they were united to thrive in a world of Wobble.
The emphasis on PIL material was a massive buzz. Public Image, Poptones, Albatross, Fodderstompf, No birds do Sing and Memories were to the fore with each and every one of these anthems given a new identity. Wobble took the legendary and lustrous Visions of You (famed with its original vocals by the late Sinead O’ Connor) on a trip. The cover of Liquidator with dips into classics such as I shot the Sheriff among others introduced a regal reggae rhythm and filled the tight downstairs dancefloor with a cast of characters throwing abandon into the breeze.
If the punk era was dismissed for a lack of paying panache then Wobble and his compadre – former Siouxsie and the Banshees guitarist John Klein can put that notion to bed. Add the skills of percussionist Marc Layton-Bennett, the other six string specialist Martin Chung, and keyboard colossus George King and we have a quintet of immense ability.

In turn over forty years of Invaders of the Heart material was also explored, with further meanders into the solo and collaborative material of the main man also known as John Wardle. Then there is a tendency to wander wherever the aural autobahn takes us and that is why the set list on the stage was not the one that was followed. The first half of the show was regimented to the schedule as the latter portion was far more free form and headed from the diligent discipline of Metal Box through to a more carnival atmosphere. Some of the arrangements went well over ten minutes but whichever way Wobble directed his troops they duly responded with precision and professionalism.

As a result the punters revelled and then as the gig closed with an instrumental cover of Fleetwood Mac gem The Chain – it was a furious finale to a Saturday night fever of the highest temperature. Our hero then made his way to the merchandise stall where he spoke at ease with his public – signing autographs and posing for photographs (and, it is thanks for both!). The good news is that there is a promise of a return before the end of the year at Jacs, Aberdare – so keep your eyes peeled for a date. Nonetheless, for now – it is ta Jah!