I first saw Jah Wobble in 1994 or 1995 at Zouk in Singapore. I can’t confirm the exact year let alone the month or day, because there was no social media and my research assistant Google Chrome says you can’t google stuff like this.
The house sound of Zouk is the 90s dance sound that I love so much, very deep bass, slightly Arabic or Mediterranean melody lines. Zouk Singapore has hosted big names over the years. Massive Attack. Bjork. Jah Wobble. I won’t go into the PiL and Keith Levene stuff because all that name-dropping is heavily written about already.
But I will say that I have read Memoirs of a Geezer which I found gripping, entertaining and moving.
Half Moon Putney is a cute vintagey venue with a retro feel. I mean just look at the sign (see pics). It’s like you’re in Memphis or something. It is a petite place, it cannot be compared to the cavernous space of Zouk but the sound man did a fantastic job. It was a very clear intimate sound with perfect resonant bass and it filled the room.
It was a tremendous performance from all the band members. It really brought me back to roughly twenty years ago (as said previously, exact year unknown). The tour is to promote the 6-CD anthology Redux from 1978 to 2015 by Cherry Red Records.
The Chinese connection:
From reading Memoirs I found out that Jah’s wife is Chinese and there was a Chinese lady in the audience right at the front of the stage but I don’t know if she is his wife. That would be presumptuous of me. However I do know the the talented guitarist Martin Chung is Chinese, from his name apart from anything else. That’s two Chinese connections, therefore I have to support this band.
Hug a Drummer Day 2015:
Marc Leyton-Bennett the drummer came and met the audience after the gig. I said to Marc that it was a fantastic gig and his drumming was phenomenal. But I did not hug him unlike two other ladies. Apparently 10 October 2015 was international Hug a Drummer day. Must be a drummer or a drummer’s PA who invented this catchphrase, occasion, event. When I had my band I did not hug the first or second drummer. Maybe that’s why they left. I am finding it a daily challenge/issue but I’m getting it sorted. In the near future I will have overcome my phobia and will be able to hug a drummer. But will a drummer hug me?
Stuff to buy
We went home with the vinyl, it is so beautifully made and packaged, almost like made by hand. There is also a signed classy black and white photo of the legend himself. The vinyl is numbered so everybody knows it’s limited edition, unlike the blue T shirt I bought (size S) which is probably mass-produced.
A week after the gig, the bass lines are still playing in my head. I am singing to Visions of You and I don’t usually dance or sing at any gigs let alone after the gig. When I go to gigs these days the crowd is usually very young and with beards. I felt comforted that a) there were women (albeit only 5) and b) there were grey-haired people dancing (albeit all blokes minus the 5 women). At the end, my school friend and fellow ex-Zoukian, Melvyn, said there should be more gigs like this.