I’m Not Numbed Out Anymore

Before the gentrification of city centre Manchester the whole Market Street area was a shithole. Some of it still is. Underneath the pedestrianised road, with an entrance opposite where Urban Outfitters is today, there were some steps and an escalater which rarely worked leading to the Underground Market- a rabbit warren of alternative clothes shops and boutiques, market counters, places that would print Who targets onto the back of your parka and sold sew-on patches for denim jackets, formica cafes and shops you never dared look at never mind go into. Out the back was a record shop called Yanks, which sold records with the corners of the covers cut off. At some point in the late 80s Yanks moved to large basement behind McDonalds on Oxford Road. I think it changed it’s name, but I can’t recall what to for the life of me. They still sold records with the corners cut off, but far more of them, a totally random selection of stuff, old, recent and new. They also sold 12″s, and had huge numbers of dance records. It was in there in 1991 I bought this single -Jah Wobble’s Visions Of You. The A-side had the single version and other side, the AW-side had three Andrew Weatherall remixes- Pick ‘n’ Mix 1, Pick ‘n’ Mix 2 and The Secret Love Child Of Hank And Johnny. All three on one side of vinyl added up to about twenty minutes of tripped out, mangled, looped and loopy, clattering drums, organ, one of those Jah Wobble basslines, droplets of Sinead O’Connor’s backing vox, and all kinds of lovely stuff. The art of the remix isn’t represented any better anywhere than on this 12″, where completely new music is made out of source material. The one I’ve posted here is the Pick ‘n’ Mix 2, seven minutes plus to make your Sunday better for you. I love this record.
Incidentally Jah Wobble’s autobiography, Memoirs Of A Geezer, is a good read- the PiL years (or 18 months or so) brilliantly described, Wobble’s myriad of projects with a variety of people and few punches pulled, the London Underground announcement ‘I used to be somebody, repeat I used to be somebody’, the time lost to boozing. There’s a three cd round-up on Trojan that’s good too. Recommended.
Postscript- it’s just occured to me I have a Wobble story. A good friend (who’ll probably read this, maybe he can chip in) tried to get Wobble to headline a mini-festival he was involved in a year or two ago, and apparently Wobble’s list of demands didn’t go down too well. I can’t remember the details but pine nuts were muttered about frequently. As in ‘he can get his own fuckin’ pine nuts…’. The festival went ahead, without Jah Wobble.

And finally, I don’t know why there’s two pictures of Jah up there, but I can’t get rid of one of them. We’ll have to live with it. Jah Double.

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