Many thanks to Paul Coates-Black who has done some brilliant vinyl reviews for us – the first of which is here. Once again, acknowledgement to Demon Records for kindly sending us the records to review. More to come! Keep an eye on the blog for more uploads! Chris
Jah Wobble – Live (Access All Areas)
Picture Disc, Vinyl LP, CD
John Wardle was a long time friend of John Lydon and Sid Vicious, prior to the formation of the Sex Pistols. John Wardle was renamed Jah Wobble by an inebriated Sid, who couldn’t pronounce his name properly, which Jah kept as it was much more memorable. When the Sex Pistols imploded Jah Wobble joined John Lydon in Public Image Limited, with whom he recorded two albums before leaving and embarking on a hugely successful and prolific solo career, spanning across many genres including world music, ambient, folk and dance, which has generated thirty-eight albums to date.
This release is a live recording from 1992 of five tracks spanning from 1983 -1991. First comes ‘Egyptian’ , a track lasting around 6 minutes, which is a stunning mixture of world music that gives the listener an image of belly dancers in a Bedouin encampment with their accompanying musicians from the country that the track’s title suggests. We then move seamlessly onto ‘Saeta’ another 6 minute track which carries immediately on in the same style, before moving on within the track to Jah’s bass setting firmly in place a two tone beat. We then move onto probably the best known track ‘Visions of You’ originally a Top 40 hit in 1992 and Jah’s biggest solo success, featuring Sinead O’Connor on backing vocals. Whilst it is more commercial than the two previous tracks, probably down to the fact that this track features haunting vocals, with the two vocalists complimenting each other, as opposed to being largely instrumental, it retains the same mystery with the spectacular rhythm, using a variety of instruments to maintain the same world music style that Jah favoured at this time. We then move onto a medley of ‘The Best Things In Life Are Free/Trance’, an 11 minute jam periodically featuring Jah’s snarling vocals. Musically speaking a more rockier tune, however the trance within the title is certainly apt for a song that, featuring a dub beat alongside some eastern vocals leaves you easily lost within yourself thoroughly chilled out. Finally Invaders of the Heart, the track originally released in 1983, named after his line up of accompanying musicians from 1982. Coming in at just under eight minutes long this is a jam of all the musicians on stage that night, and I’m sure was probably the encore. The rhythm of the track as the drums, keyboards, guitars steadily build up throughout leaves you, the listener, in no doubt that the atmosphere that night for both the listener and band was electric, a fabulous finale for a great album. It’s not always possible to capture the feel of a gig live, Jah has and on listening I’m sure this would inspire many people new to Jah’s music to investigate where he can be seen playing live today, I’m sure he wouldn’t disappoint.