Their future took a wobble at the end of last year-but now the only thing that remains shaky about Huddersfield’s favourite ska-poppers, Wobbly Bob, is their name.
The boundary-breaking, skank-inducing band has well and truly bounced back into their stride despite playing what was supposed to be their farewell gig last November, following the departure of several band members.
Lead singer and guitarist, Piper, said: “Some most of our members were leaving and the rest of us just weren’t sure what was going to happen.
“We were a little disheartened and didn’t want to have to train people up again. So we played the gig but then bizarrely everything just snowballed from there.
“We were contacted by a member of the audience, Sumo, who said that after seeing us he wanted to be part of the band – he’s now our trumpet player.
“Then a few weeks down the line more people got in touch and it just took on a life of its own.”
The constant requests to join the band made Piper and other remaining full time members guitarist James Davison (Dibble), bassist Joe Bicker and drummer Jay Walshe realise that despite the changes, the end of Wobbly Bob certainly was not nigh.
“Although our line up has changed a lot over the years, I’d been holding onto a dream of getting the perfect line up who would stick around forever.
“But we’ve come to realise that it doesn’t work like that – so now we’re just happy to play with people as they come and go but who are committed when they are with us.
“We worked out some arrangements to our songs and now give copies of it all to everyone who plays with us. It’s not conventional but it works for us.”
They now have a complete four-piece horn section, which is currently made up of new and former members, live wire saxophonist and Northern Monk head brewer, Brian Dickson, Philip Houlton on flugel and Gavin Brown on trombone.
They tested the waters with a gig at the Parish in March, where they were met with such a riotously positive response they were in no doubt that they had to give it another go. Since then they have brought down the house at several venues, including Holmfirth’s Picturedrome, where they supported two tone heavyweights, The Beat, at the annual Ska Splash.
“We’re now officially back on the road. I’m still on a high from the show with the Beat – Usually at Ska Splash people only really tend to go in for the headliner but last night people came to see us, which was awesome.”
Their last gig also provided another surprise avenue for the band, thanks to a recording of it that was made by a local filmmaker.
“We’re now working on the rushes and hope to release it on DVD in the next couple of months.”
They have added several covers to their oeuvre, including a handful of two tone classics and the Tetris theme tune.
This is in addition to several new songs, which although rooted in hilarious party beats, will have a more serious side.
“We’re still all about playing energetic party songs that are a lot of fun but basically, we’ve got something to say now.
“One new one, Weapon of Choice, I’d call a protest song – we’ve looked at the world and we don’t want to accept some of the things that are going on and we want to do something about it.
“It would be great to get another album out but we’re not laying down tracks yet although we’re writing all the time.”
Not ones to shy away from experimentation, the band has also embarked upon a project with dance project with dance artist, Mindtrap, who they hope to release a collaboration with in a few months time.
“Let’s just say it’s very unique and we’re doing things with hardware in a way that’s very different to what people have heard before-and that’s all I can tell you!”
To keep up to date on Wobbly Bob, go to: www.facebook.com/wobblybobmusic .