Whilst it may not be immediately obvious Pop Will Eat Itself are one of the important and influential bands for us at Funkdub HQ. The last time they played together with the full line up, way back in 2005, we made a pilgrimage to see one of the shows in Birmingham. News emerged that the Poppies were back with almost all the original members (Clint Mansell excepted) and for the 30th Anniversary, would be playing the classic “This Is The Day….This Is The Hour…This Is This!” in full, excitement levels ratcheted up a notch. When it also turned out that they were finishing off in our home town of Chester, the levels went even higher. When, on the afternoon of the show, 3DJ got a call saying that they needed a DJ for the support slot …well!
Before getting to the show itself we have to give a shout out to this mix by Plimsoul, absolutely outstanding; “An hour long mix of PWEI original samples, interviews and influences for their first 3 albums”, the mix includes excerpts and samples from Robocop, Steppenwolf, Christine, Althea and Donna, Public Enemy and a hefty slice of Bomb The Bass. It show cases the sheer breadth of influences taken in by PWEI, and why they’re so important:
The band were playing at The Live Rooms in Chester, the venue was packed with plenty of fans both old and new. 3DJ played an excellent forward thinking set before the band, taking in digital dub styles / PWEI influences ruff beats and head nodding skankers.
- Dubmatix – Dread & Gold
- Pama International & Mad Professor – Dub I Wait
- Stalawa – Traitor ft Blessed San
- Brother Culture – New Generation
- Althea & Donna – Uptown Top Ranking
- Lee “Scratch” Perry & Subatomic Sound System – Super Ape Returns to Conquer
- Congo Natty – Nu Beginningz (Jinx in Dub Steppa Remix)
- Wrongtom Meets The Rockers – Dub Session
- Shimon & Benny L – Yeti (Original Mix)
- Dubmatix – Show Down ft. Tenor Fly (Bassbin Remix)
- Turtable Dubbers – Rasta Be Good
- Capital Letters – Smoking My Ganja
- Sly & Robbie meet Dubmatix – Frenchman Code ft. Treson
- Danakil – Classical Option (ft. General Levy)
- Tenor Fly – Rude Boy Talk (Toddla T & Mele Remix)
- Lee “Scratch” Perry & Subatomic Sound System – Black Ark Vampires (Bass Steppers Mix)
The band came on and ripped right into album opener “PWEI Is A Four Letter Word”. It was clear from the outset that the band were full of beans, and the crowd (a substantial portion sporting classic and new Poppies t-shirts), responded in kind. The album from 30 years ago still sounds as fresh as a daisy, blending multiple genres a very long time before it became common place – Hip-Hop, Metal, Rave and Reggae all sit next to one another. Fuzz (past Funkdub guest with Pama International) smashing through them all with insane skills.
The entirety of the album comprised the whole 1st portion of the show, and sounded fresh as ever, and more importantly the punk rock spirit of the record and the band still has a lot of meaning in 2019. The encore was really the second part of the show, given it lasted for 30+ minutes and encompassed a range of other classic tracks, including the outstanding “Ich Bin Ein Auslander”. The set closed out with a killer one two punch, first came fan favourite “Bullet Proof” , which had the crowd jumping. Finally they left us with a touching and rabble rousing tribute to Keith Flint, in the form of PWEI / Prodigy collaboration track “Their Law”.
A fitting end to great night of music, and a life goal achieved for that man 3DJ!