Review: Jah Wobble Band & Maâlem Said Oughassal @ Tabernacle W11, 16/11/13

Tucked up in bed with my mobile, racing against battery life to spill this out of my head before sleep.

Anyway, this venue is in walking distance from me, so when I came too early I just went home for a bit. At the end I could’ve stuck around to meet the original PiL bassist but I would’ve felt like a swot as I don’t bring any money for merch. He roughly knows me on Twitter anyway and would be cool with that.

So, I was there and managed to claim a side-stage seat and be mesmerised by a 2hr mix of dub and Afro-Arab music; divided into two sets, the former without the main guest Maâlem Said Oughassal, but still featuring an energetic Arabic singer and percussionist.

The band were on fire from the go as Jah acknowledged and even brief keyboard failure couldn’t stop them overrunning a bit, ending with a declaration of being a socialist!

The lengthy songs were all unfamiliar to me but it worked out as a nice surprise. Though obviously well-rehearsed it had an improvised feel. I particularly enjoyed the colourful percussion and felt that the trumpet player stood out, adding chaos and emotion when required.

The whole venue was packed and many down the front were dancing along. The presence of pro video cameras suggests that a DVD might be in the works for this.

The smallness of the venue, the intimacy, the not so loud unblurred sound and the purple lighting all added to a hypnotic experience, and I found it even easy to relax, which is not something that’s fully possible with most of my music choices.

I’d like to see Wobble again and he’d make my day if he returned there. I’m actually inspired to see more stuff at the Tabernacle now, regardless.

Okay, I need sleep and I’m tired now to clean up any probable typos in this post, but see it as freeform writing; almost like the music I heard

Link to 11min video (SkyDrive), compressed video, but pretty good audio.


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