“He sent thunder and lighting,” says Mark Stewart, frontman of the Pop Group, of Jah Wobble. Stewart has teamed with the bass legend for a new punk/post-punk supergroup of sorts and the new single, “A Very British Coup”.
Recorded with Martin “Youth” Glover (Killing Joke, the Orb, Fireman with Paul McCartney) and featuring Wobble’s former Public Image Limited bandmates Richard Dudanski on drums and guitarist Keith Levene, the track, according to the vocalist doesn’t mention “the bloody Brexit”. However, some listeners might believe the track is about the very event.
He notes, “I can’t really answer questions [about lyrics] without getting into arguments with people about the meanings of my cut-ups. I often believe lyrics singing and the music [and] world are free. Or is context king? I, for one, have been pondering this for centuries.”
Asked if he views music as a historical endeavor, the ever-enigmatic vocalist adds, “For me, it’s sometimes like cinema verité, yes. But chance procedures are totally crucial, and I think at this [point in] history risk is everything, otherwise so-called civilization has a chance of going backward.”
Is this truly the birth of a new band? Stewart seems optimistic. “There’s talk of gigs, etcetera,” he notes. “I see this as the first post-punk supergroup, although some of us are protean punk as Levene formed the Clash. Inspirations pour from this fellow. It’s totally magical to be in the studio with him.”
“It’s the Cream of post-punk for me, the Dream Team, a new wave supergroup,” says Stewart. “The song’s alternative title is ‘Forbidden London’.”
The musical results of the collaboration are both expected and unexpected, laden with a groove that feels not unlike U2’s “The Fly” (no doubt inspired by the coup crew in the first place) and buoyed by Stewart’s singular vocal style. The track bodes well for the future of the group and its very British sound.