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Ska-popping with Wobbly Bob

THEY’RE ska-poppers who like to break musical boundaries.

THEY’RE ska-poppers who like to break musical boundaries.

And five-piece Wobbly Bob want to see you party to their music.

Singer and guitarist Peter Dawes often tells gig-goers to ‘move five steps forward and join the party’ before striking the band’s first note.

And it’s obviously striking a chord with music lovers too, who have followed the band since they first formed in 2006.

Peter says: “When we got together we started as a prog-rock band because that’s the sort of music we liked, but then realised ska was much more fun.

“I guess that’s what we’ve always been about, we like to party on stage and we want our audience to feel like they’ve been to a great party.”

Peter and guitarist James Davison are the only two original band members remaining in Wobbly Bob.

They’re also the only two who can recall the story behind the band’s unusual name: “There’s been many stories but the truth is we were a bit drunk once and we’d been drinking a Manchester beer called Wobbly Bob, it just stuck.”

Original members didn’t stick, however, and Wobbly Bob has seen musicians come and go.

“We always say our latest line-up is the definitive line-up, but this really feels like it is now, we just need a trombone player and then we’re complete.”

Peter and James are joined by Joe Bicker, bass player, and drummer James Walshe, both from Dalton.

Alex Kerwin, a Lockwood-based trumpeter, is the band’s newest member and admits joining the band was “a massive challenge”.

Alex says: “I was in brass bands before I joined Wobbly Bob. I played with the Black Dyke Band but wanted to do something out of my comfort zone.

“I’d say this is definitely it. I’ve gone from reading music on a sheet in front of me, to playing live with people who improvise.

“It’s been brilliant though. The first gig I did I’d never seen an audience like it. I had to google ‘moshing’ afterwards to know that it was normal, but the crowds are amazing, you kind of feed off them too.”

Together Wobbly Bob mix original songs with covers, al la ska-style.

“We have the advantage that we have a bit of a poppy two-tone style,” Joe says. “It’s difficult to say we’re like the Foo Fighters or ACDC because we have a horn section.

“We play our own songs but do covers too because it helps when a new audience have something they recognise, we do Ghostbusters, Under the Sea, Baggy Trousers and Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, I think people are surprised by it but it’s in our style.”

That style has won them a growing fan base, which includes members of bands they’ve supported.

They’ve opened for Sonic Boom Six, The Beat and Californian ska band Suburban Legends.

On Wednesday they’ll play support for Amsterdam-based Jaya The Cat when they come to The Parish.

Peter adds: “They’re massive in Huddersfield, they’re well known in the music scene anyway, but they have a massive following in Huddersfield for some reason.

“It’s great to be opening for them as The Parish will be packed so it’ll give us the chance to play to a new audience.”

The following night Wobbly Bob will play at the Pit and Pendulum in Nottingham, where they have a big fanbase.

The unsigned band admit it can be tough in the music industry. They were closed to signing a Publishing and Distribution deal but that fell through when band members left.

“It can be tough getting noticed, but we want to be noticed by music lovers and we are,” Peter adds. “Huddersfield seems to like ska music, which is great for us.”

The band say their last album, Life Lessons for Losers, was something of a party bible and a stepping stone to their next album.

“Getting our music out there is what being in a band is all about,” Peter adds. “Playing live is the biggest part of that, we love what we do and want to keep doing it.”

See Wobbly Bob at The Parish on Wednesday with Jaya The Cat. Tickets £7. Visit wobblybobmusic.com or search for them on Facebook and Twitter for latest gig dates.

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