It’s a Riot
19th August 2011
Little lord Fauntleroy running the show
For the bankers and co, in the back row
posturing, posing, pouting. Adopting a firm position.
For the sake of middle England he’s a man on a mission.
Bemoans the lack of fathers; oh the irony, oh the temerity…
his colonialist ancestors smashed fatherhood, in the race for their prosperity.
And what about the other one; f****** Billy bunter.
Porky porky pig; what a f****** grunter.
More uncouth and vulgar,
than the subclass he berates
And he has made more mess in life than they ever could create
Little Lord Fauntleroy licked up some weed
Porky Billy Bunter he spread him seed
Nether of them has done much proper work
Rest assured ….that they would shirk
And look at them, protecting them ‘ends’.
As feral as the subclass; let’s not pretend
Oh what a malarkey ; go tell David Starkey.
The problems bigger than he thought
The situations desperate ; it’s really rather fraught .
The store of noble white guys is really quite bereft ; Quick!
Go get David Lammy he’s the only white guy left.
PSYCHIC LIFE – by Jah Wobble & Julie Campbell
17th August 2011
Psychic Life is a new collaboration between Jah Wobble and Julie Campbell (aka LoneLady). Former PiL guitarist Keith Levene also appears on the album.
Psychic Life will be released via Cherry Records on 14th November 2011.
Here, Jah Wobble writes about how the collaboration began and how it all came together.
I first made the acquaintance of Julie Campbell via Email on the Eighteenth of February 2011. We arranged a meeting at Manchester’s Deansgate a couple of days later, on a Saturday afternoon. It was a very confused beginning to our collaboration, reminiscent of a Larry David scenario. I thought that her record company (Warp) were interested in me remixing or possibly producing her. She was under the opposite impression and thought that I was looking to find a singer for a band that I was supposed to be forming. I had first heard her voice when Steve Beckett, the boss of Warp Records, played me her the title track of her 2010 album ‘Nerve Up’. Initially, I knew her by her stage name LoneLady.
At first, I assumed that ‘Nerve up’ and the single ‘Intuition’ were cover versions, simply because they immediately sounded familiar to me. It was as if I already knew them. To my ear, they had a dry tautness and a melodic sensibility that strongly suggested Manchester of the late seventies. I assumed they were classics by the Buzzcocks or Joy Division (during their later Martin Hannett period), that had somehow eluded me. The Buzzcocks were the first punk band, other than the Sex Pistols, that I liked. I first saw them at the Vortex in 1977. They were lyrically adept, with a taut, focused sound with just the right amount of irony. I bought their début EP ‘Spiral Scratch’ (great title). I particularly liked ‘Boredom’, especially the one note solo.
However, LoneLady had an edgy aesthetic about her, way beyond any seventies band. She had intelligently paired down and reduced her sound to the bare minimum, thereby making it even more starkly dramatic and effective. She was obviously a smart cookie. I checked out her performances on YouTube and was struck by her commanding presence (and what I felt was a rather haughty demeanour). She had what I would call that ‘beautiful androgyny thing’ that the British (Bowie et al) tend to do so well. I hoped she wasn’t as difficult as some singers tend towards being.
When I sat opposite her, I sipped cappuccino and slurped down snails (enveloped in a rich buttery garlic sauce). Julie drank a Belgian beer. I was relieved to find that she was an intelligent and articulate woman; both down to earth and knowledgeable culturally. She had a background in fine arts. I explained to her how I had a lingering ambition to make an album that was in the (for want of a better term) ‘post-punk’ tradition. This longing had been exacerbated by the talk of a PiL reunion a couple of years before my meeting with Julie. I had always felt that it was unlikely that I would ever play under the PiL banner again; and predictably, negotiations stalled at a very early stage.
However, that episode further whetted my appetite to make a post-punk album in the original PiL mode (but with a modern sensibility – there’s no point in making ‘museum music’). The thing that had always thwarted me was the distinct lack of a charismatic (in the right ‘uncharismatic’ way) singer/front person. I had been on the lookout for ‘the one’, on and off, for twenty odd years. To be honest, I had never even come close. However, not being able to find the right person has never baffled me. It is, after all, a tall order. They would need to be able to deal convincingly with a number of styles of music, whilst always being their own (authentic) idiosyncratic self. (Up to this point, I have never even seen the particular ‘ideal’ that I was looking for contained in any one performer.)
Spoken word needs to be part of the package in a venture like this. For all its darkness and trauma, post-punk is connected (inextricably) to the ideals of late nineteenth century romanticism; especially its poetry, which rails, quite rightly, against the rationalisation of life and nature. Back then, the industrial age was the enemy, whereas now it’s the information-led age, the new Tower of Babble, in its myriad forms, that stands infantile and all-pervasive in opposition to the romantic ideal.
Facebook and the industrial revolution point towards the same thing. Unthinking, unhappy uniformity – well, fuck that. (That’s why post-punk came about; because ‘punk’ became unthinking, unhappy and uniform – and artistically restricting.)
So as I sat there, on a bright fresh early spring afternoon, I had one question on my mind: “is this the one?” The early indications were very positive. Julie was well up to give it a go. All I could promise, at that point, was that it was highly likely that the process would be a lot of fun and that nice dinners would be eaten in nice restaurants. She also told me that she was a serious PiL fan, which delighted me. That meant that we were halfway there already. I suggested that we get Keith Levene to play some guitar for us. Keith had been in contact with me in the months leading up to my meeting with Julie. In fact, I had already had a bash with him at the end of one of my gigs. I knew that he was very aware that he had wasted so many years pursuing the wrong things. It was a good time to be getting him in. We decided that we would cut some basic backing tracks, and if all went well, we would get Levene to play on them. No-one has ever come close to Levene in terms of playing the non-square, non-bourgeoisie, harmonically hip, ‘guitar wash’ a la ‘Poptones’, ‘Theme’, etc.
So a few days later, just to get the ball rolling, we cut three basic rhythm tracks, ‘Psychic Life’, ‘Phantasms’ and ‘Ruinlust’. Julie put vocals down. I noticed her thick, bound notebook of lyrics. I asked if I could peruse them. I was astounded; there was page after page of typed (as in typed with a typewriter) lyrics. A torrent of dark, haunting and troubled images was conveyed by the words. It was momentarily overwhelming. “Game on!” I thought, “this girl’s the real thing. She’s a poet!”
I also found that she could really sing. Additionally I discovered that, similar to myself, she was a psychogeographer and long distance urban pedestrian (facts crucial to the creation of this project).
Above all, the post-punk period was about having fun and shedding shackles. That ethos is as strong as it ever was, as far as I’m concerned. It’s about working with a melange of influences, approaches and aesthetics. (It also allows an old bloke like me to travel backwards and forwards in time.) Here is a list of some of the people, places and things that have influenced the making of this album and its accompanying images/artwork:
Georgio Moroder, Biba, Emily Dickinson, Chaka Khan, Ingmar Bergman, Helmut Newton, The Yellow Wallpaper, Karl Lagerfeld, French Film Noir, J.G. Ballard, Disco, Andrei Tarkovsky, Blade Runner, The Robbie Vincent Show.
Jah Wobble, Stockport, August, 2011
PSYCHIC LIFE by JAH WOBBLE and JULIE CAMPBELL
CHERRY RED RECORDS
Release Date: 14TH NOVEMBER 2011
For review copies/interviews/further information please contact Dorothy Howe
Tel: 020 8995 3920 Email: email@example.com
14th July 2011
I thought that it might be fascinating to see how a band leader works…therefore I am going to release a confidential email that I sent to my band in the lead up to Glastonbury. Organising the Nippon Dub Ensemble is akin to leading a small army into battle. Logistically it is a demanding task…this email shows the consummate ease that I display when dealing with these matters in my typically humane and humble way.
I have changed some names and places to protect the identity and locations of my band members.
We rehearse at Vatican Studios at 12 on Saturday. We will be done by about 6PM. We then drive to the hotel which is at Wookey Hole, Wells, BA5 1BB United Kingdom
|We will all travel on this to the hotel except for:
Mr N Williams of Stoke Newington London
Mrs R Telfer of Guilford Surrey
Mr N Smith of Watford Herts
I am not an unfair man and I know that driving alone along deserted motorways can be a daunting (and lonely) task therefore I think every driver should nominate a ‘drive buddy’ . Obviously the ‘drive buddy’ should be selected from amongst the ranks of personnel contained with the entity that is the ‘Nippon Dub Ensemble’. I.E you couldn’t just nominate anybody as a ‘drive buddy’. If that was the case I dare say I’d see names such as George Clooney or Beyonce on the ‘Drive Buddy ‘ application forms. Obviously trying to secure the services of such luminaries would prove extremely difficult, if not impossible.
We will leave the hotel at 10.30.
I have a parking pass for the bus which will go to the stage area.
Unfortunately I only have 2 car passes. Cars must go directly to the artists car park.
I suggest that we load all the gear on the bus when we leave London. That will make life very easy. I also respectfully suggest that R leaves her car at the hotel on Sunday morning. She can come , with H (who I wager will be her ‘drive buddy’, in the bus to the gig.
After the gig R and H will need to get back to the R’s car.
I think walking back to the car makes most sense. I have mapped out a route (across country) for R and H. It will be necessary to traverse at least two fast flowing rivers. This is where I have been ingenious; The Kotos , I wager, would be perfect as flotation devices. I am confident that R & H would have sight of the hotel by sun up.
Alternately we could drop R&H off at R’s car in the bus within minutes of leaving the site.
I HAVE BEEN APPROACHED BY Greenpeace to go and record a track at the ‘Cowshed Studio’ on site at Glastonbury. They are going to release vinyl 12” s of a selection of top bands…. it’s not a payer…all the money goes to the Rainbow Warrior.
Attendance is not compulsory, although obviously anyone not attending would be seen as uncaring and lacking in compassion.
S is in the process of sorting out the transport from WH Stage to the Cowshed Studio.
I think this recording session will get a lot of publicity. Publicity is the very Oxygen of life to attention seekers such as myself so that’s the bit that I’m really looking forward to.
Whilst I preen and pose you lot can get on with the hum drum process of ‘cutting a tune’.
I reckon we should all be out of the site by about 7 PM
13th June 2011
First things first. I have to thank James at jamessui.com for redesigning this website. As is clearly evident, he has done an excellent job. and of course this is another first….my first blog. As a world renowned arbiter of good taste, and political and economic commentator, I fully expect this blog to have an impact in many diverse ways; from how movies do at box office, indeed what movies get made, through to the global price of Gold and oil. It’s a good thing thing that I’m a level headed sort of a bloke….I’ll keep my feet on the deck. It won’t all go to my head.
It’s been a busy and at times worrying month or two. I have had to consider take out restraining orders on over zealous fans. Basically I have been the victim of ‘stalking’. Both the perpetrators have been women, and oddly enough both are celebrities. One is a well known British TV presenter and the other is a famous American R&B singer. They are very devious; they wait for me to fall asleep and then broadcast lewd and depraved thoughts and images into my brain. However, I too am cunning. I have fashioned a crude, yet effective,hat from tin foil; I sleep in this hat. Their depraved broadcasts can no longer reach my mind. Nevertheless, they are persistent, and will try to gain entrance to my mind in other ways. They have enlisted the help of their friends in the media who also try to ‘reach me’ via subtle inflections in their patterns of speech as well as conveying messages from the perpetrators via their facial expressions. So when for instance, upon waking, I tune into a certain 24 hour rolling news station, the presenters might, ostensibly, be discussing the poor economic climate in the Euro zone, in actuality they are saying, (to me), fly now to the such and such luxury hotel in Caracas for a ‘threes up’ in a presidential style suit. It’s disgusting; I’m a happily married man for God’s sake. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not adverse to visiting Venezuela. Only I want to do it properly. I want to retain my dignity. Is that asking too much for God’s sake ?