THIS IS OUR MUSIC: The Pop Group – “Where There’s A Will”.
Originally released as 7” single in 1980 and unavailable for several decades, ‘Where There’s A Will’ has been remastered from original tape for reissue as the opening track of The Pop Group’s compilation of rarities ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’.
An incendiary dance, it revels as much as it rebels. The song unleashes a feral form of torn, breakneck agit-funk with its potent urgency and savagely scathing vitality undimmed since its original release. A breathless torrent of writhing deviant disco bassline and volcanic free jazz sax, the song is electrified by Mark Stewart’s vocals, a rasping blitz of politically-charged calls for defiance and solidarity.
The countercultural militant message is delivered as a hysterical, riotous spree, as Gareth Sager (guitar, sax) explains, “The group’s best attempt to mix a message with a groove plus some real free playing. If you’re really unhinged you may be able to dance to this.”
The ‘Where There’s A Will’ video, which reworks rare footage of the band performing the song on Belgian TV in 1980, has been realised by The Pop Group’s visual collaborator, NY based artist Rupert Goldsworthy,
The Pop Group formed in Bristol in 1977 out of a sense of disenchantment with the increasing conservatism of punk.
Drawing on an eclectic range of influences from free jazz, conscious funk, heavyweight dub to avant-garde experimentalism, alongside contemporaries like Public Image Limited, This Heat and Throbbing Gristle, they were at the forefront of a musical period marked out by its ground-breaking innovation.