JOHN WARDLE – AKA JAH WOBBLE – ROSE TO PROMINENCE AS THE MAVERICK BASS PLAYER IN JOHN LYDON’S POST-SEX PISTOLS ART-ROCK OUTFIT PUBLIC IMAGE, DURING THE LATE 1970S.
He’d met Lydon – and Sid Vicious – a few years earlier during the heyday of punk, and he’d earned himself the reputation of being something of a wild man. It was, actually, Vicious who coined the nickname Jah Wobble after a drunken binge. With his long-term obsession with dub reggae, combined with the DIY punk ethos, Wardle created an original rock / reggae hybrid of his own. His distinctive ‘low end’ bass immediately put PiL on the map and he became the backbone of the band.
Following his split from PiL after the seminal METAL BOX album, Wardle became a well-respected solo artist developing a passion for a diverse range of genres from Eastern global music and Japanese dub to ambient music, working with a range of musicians that would include Bill Laswell and Brian Eno, releasing many recordings. In addition, he formed his own funk-meets-dub-meets-worldbeat project known as The Invaders of the Heart. They had several hits in the 1990s, including signature song VISIONS OF YOU featuring Sinead O’Connor, before Wardle seemingly put the band and its ever-shifting line-up on indefinite hold – until 2015 when they embarked on an extensive UK tour.
The Invaders Of The Heart are about to play a very special (and rare) club date at the famous Ronnie Scott’s in London, performing tracks from new album THE USUAL SUSPECTS. In this new edition of The Mouthcast, Jah Wobble talks about the new album, reflects on the early days of Public Image Ltd (and his own public image) and, as a spiritual being and a practising Buddhist, also discusses the current state of the world…