October 13th 2014
When I saw Jah Wobble was playing featuring Aziz Ibrahim I thought that should be a good gig but nothing could have prepared me for the range and depth of music that was pumped off the stage at Under The Bridge (UTBLondon) that night.
This gig couldn’t have been any better. A great venue, great musicians and a fusion of genres delivered in true style. I got there just in time for the start. Jah Wobble took the mic straight away and chatted between the first few songs which broke down any potential walls between the audience and performance space. The rapport really was superb and the crowd were hanging on his every word and I thought what a great guy with master quality. He really made us laugh and when Jah apologised for talking too much and said “it was really all about him…” there was even a cry out from the audience……talk more !
I’ve never seen a gig build so naturally from good banter into an electrified crescendo of music styles, instruments and deep grooves. F**k genres… this was an experience beyond that, almost a realm of existentialism….but not by one human subject. It was the acting, living, feeling human individual / musician in a collective and meeting of minds. The core driver was Jah Wobble bringing it all together from his past three decades in music which started out meeting John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) and Sid Vicious (The Sex Pistols) at Kingsway College, London in 1973. It was Sid Vicious who not only named John Wardle (Jah Wobble) but also loaned him his first bass guitar.
The genius of any great musician is to surround yourself with other great musicians and that’s exactly what we got with Aziz Ibrahim, The Sound of Japan, Keiko Kitamura, Marc Layton-Bennett and forgive me for naming them, but the rest of the collective that made the performance and show.
Aziz is no stranger to Music Earth Rise and his influence as a guitarist and artist is quite phenomenal. He kicks out the riffs weaving in and out of the groove whilst creating jaw dropping sounds and effects. He creates the most ethereal soundscapes sending you into hypnotised dream like state and then wakes you up with an uppercut riff to be thankful for. One way or another, Aziz will wake you up and in the words of Jah Wobble… “This guy knows how to play” !
Marc’s solid drumming and overall vibes from the engine room enabled Jah to unleash his earth core bass lines which were joined on some songs by a Taiko drummer, Japanese flute and vocals along with the wonderful Keiko Kitamura playing the traditional Japanese stringed instrument called Koto. The intricacy of the Koto and versatility of the flute amongst the other instruments (forgive me as some are not mentioned) all played an essential part in Jah Wobble’s grande vision.
It was evident that this gig was not all about Jah Wobble. Jah Wobble is a King Pin, connecting people together and a true musical force who promotes musical greatness other than himself. This gig was a journey, a journey of the heart! Because that night Jah Wobble’s Invader’s of the Heart did exactly that….. They opened our hearts through pure inspiration and passion. Not just mine, but the whole audience. You could feel it. The invasion wasn’t so much an invasion but an open invitation.
This was really one of the most memorable gigs i’ve been too.
Next live dates are:
7th November – Bradford | 8th November – Manchester | 14th November – Stockton-0n-Tees
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