Just to give you a backstory on Wobble, his real name is John Wardle. Wardle ended up forming The Four Johns with John Gray, John Lydon, and John Ritchie. The latter two became known as Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious (of The Sex Pistols). Wardle would eventually take the name Jah Wobble from a drunken, mumbling pronunciation from Vicious.
Wobble took up the bass, citing massive influences from hearing reggae music by Bob Marley and The Wailers... and joined up with Johnny Rotten’s post-Sex Pistol project Public Image Ltd. (abbreviated as PiL). He left the group to pursue a different creative vision with The Human Condition (with guitarist “Animal” and PiL’s original drummer, Jim Walker).
By 1982, Wobble formed Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart and after a decade, found success with his song ‘Visions of You’, thanks to the collaboration with then-rising Irish singer Sinead O’Connor.
Many of these stories can be found in Wobble’s book Memoirs of a Geezer: The Autobiography of Jah Wobble— Music, Life, Mayhem (Serpent’s Tail), which you can purchase at the merch table at his show.
The band started the show with ‘Cosmic Blueprint’ from the new album Everything Is No Thing, and it would be the only new song. The rest of the show can be broken in several parts - with the first being purely instrumental interpretations of songs from the 60’s and 70’s, including playing PIL’s ‘Socialist’ and a John Barry cover of ‘Midnight Cowboy’ theme song.
The second half of Wobble’s set took place mostly in the 90’s, starting with fan-favorite ‘Visions of You’. To be honest, I didn’t think they would play the hit song, because it would require a woman to sing Sinead O’Connor’s part. The band achieved this by using a pre-recorded loop of O’Connor’s vocals dubbed over the chorus.
The last part of Wobble’s show were made mostly of PiL songs, including ‘Public Image’ and ‘Poptones’ and set closer ‘Fodderstompf’ (with the catchy chorus of “We only wanted to be loved” as Wobble does his foot shuffle to the song).
Jah Wobble will be ending his 2016 US tour at the Echoplex in Los Angeles tonight, October 2nd.
Jah Wobble & the Invaders of the Heart at Turf Club, St Paul (25 Sep 2016)