Jah Wobble’s forthcoming biography is to be called ‘Life of a Geezer’ and this was an exercise in Geezerology. Jon Savage sat perched on his chair swivelling his head like an owl, peering through his little round professorial glasses, while Wobble charmed the audience with his cockney banter. His cosmic reflections ‘It’s all a load of bollocks’ and anecdotes were funny as he’s an honest sort of bloke who likes to tell a tall tale, but always adds that little bit extra, sometimes a little observation about someone’s character, sometimes a reflection on life.
John Lydon was ‘one of those blokes who would dump you if something better came along’. Sid was ‘uncomfortable to be around, with a vicious mother and an in-built tendency to self-destruct. He couldn’t take The Clash seriously, singing ‘My father was a bank robber’ and Maclaren and Westwood were dismissed as cold fish who didn’t really care about other people.
It’s always interesting hearing about that fateful year or so when punk exploded, like inserting your finger into an electric socket. But it faded fast for Wobble as the arrivistes took it all too seriously, bringing a dark vibe that destroyed the working class ‘have a go, have a laugh’ attitude. Above all, this is a geezer who just loves music and has followed his own path, away from punk into world music, Egyptian, African and black American rhythms. He abhors the snippy, sneering world of Graham Norton, Jools Holland and Jonathon Ross. An added bonus was meeting another geezer, not a cockney but a Glaswegian, who runs the music company Funkystar, and is at The Great Escape with his current protégé Rumer. Hadn’t seen him for 20 years, so loads to talk about.