Gig review: Jah Wobble & The Nippon Dub Ensemble
JAH WOBBLE & THE NIPPON DUB ENSEMBLE THE ARCHES, GLASGOW ***
"A LOT of other w*****s would have cried off!" barked Jah Wobble, after describing the flu from which he was suffering, in more detail than necessary. Shane MacGowan – who pulled out of a show this weekend – take note. Not that we're suggesting Wobble was pointing the finger.
The once hellraising ex-PiL bassist's solo career tour of world music styles – previous ports of call have included Tibet and China – has seen him visit Japan by way of collaboration with The Nippon Dub Ensemble. Revolving around Wobble's idiosyncratically sinister, subsonic bass motifs and animated conducting, the opening Japanese ritualistic Shinto music-flavoured numbers were coloured by pounding taiko drumming from Joji Hirota.
A set which shifted mode several times gave way to a clutch of heavy dub numbers, including a fine cover of Dawn Penn's No, No, No voiced by guest singer Clea Rose. Much less arresting was the set's long final furlong, a series of jazzy improvisations full of duelling trumpet and flute solos.
At its best, this was one of those unlikely Celtic Connections bookings that made perfect sense in the moment. "You'll have noticed the notes aren't very different to Scottish or Irish music," commented Wobble on the Shinto sound. And he was right – the banjo-like shamisen melody of the menacingly cool Cherry Blossom of My Youth was just one number among many that proved how narrow the gap is between eastern and western folk styles.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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