Ok, What's the greatest pop group of all time?.....Correct......Public Image Limited mk1 & 2. So that leads us neatly to: Who were the greatest rhythm section in all eternity?.......Correct again.......Jaki Liebezeit and Holgar Czukay; but a close second is Wobble and Walker from Pil mk.1 . (Feel free kids to supply your own nominations in the comments section below; although Wobble and Liebezeit won’t be accepted due to the only one entry per candidate rule).
The unequalled Supernova of “Out There” creativity that emanated from the constellation of PiL, inevitably burnt itself out, leaving a Black Hole (Lydon) from which no light so escapes; a black dwarf (Levine), and an expanding debris field that is the eclectic creative force of Wobble. A musical gravitational force that attracts any passing melodious asteroid shard, eventually forming an over populous planet with a distinct Wobble in its orbital ellipse. Eclecticism is NOT my cup of herbal tea! It takes the “better” bits of all the dodgiest musical genres, and squeezes them into something not quite as good, or bad, as the original.
John Wardle has been incredibly culpable in this heinous crime against good taste!....but, in the earliest days after departing the sinking ship of PiL, the celebrated mark one rhythm section of “First Issue” reunited for some live improvisational gigs around Europe. Walker showing off his Jazzy roots, accompanied by someone called Dave Animal on exploratory guitar, anchored by Wobbles’ repetitious, dub funk bass. This was ‘The Human Condition’.
‘Twas a brave stab at exploring and testing the boundaries of a post-punk audience, akin to the similar New York Mutant Jazz stuff that Bill Laswells’ various combos and chums were churning out at the same time.
“Live in Europe” being the superior set, with a more interesting direction, more funky with some decent Sax fleshing out the sound. Moving it towards the unstable ground of Jazz Fusion, but thankfully its Red Shift is more towards the Miles Davis end of the light spectrum, a la “On the Corner”.
What is relevant to these blog pages is that Wobble rushed out the recordings of these gigs, days after, on self-released cassettes.(Incidently for some reason both of these cassettes have the same serial number!?)THC's recordings were only issued on cassette ("I like small, contained things - they're more refreshing"), recorded on a tight budget & knocked out so swiftly that Live In Europe, their second & final tape, was apparently on sale by the end of the gig(!)
"To my delight, I found that I could record an album in my bedroom for virtually zilch... spend another £100 cutting it before ordering 2,000 pressings at around 35p a shot. I'd pick up the records from the manufacturers & wholesalers & deliver them to various distributors, exporters & wholesalers, as well as specialist shops. I found that I'd come out of it with a good few quid". (J.Wobble)
These are the last vestiges of the great PiL line-up, preserved in all its hissy posterity on 4mm analogue tape. One can only yearn for the great Lydon caterwaul to finish these improv’s off. Rotten, we miss you.