There was trouble at Birmingham Glee Club last night when multi-instrumentalist and legendary bass guitarist Jah Wobble rolled into town with a 22-piece ensemble for his Chinese Dub show.
The group featured singers from Tibet and Yunnan Province, dancers from Hangzhou, an Anglo-Chinese dub band made up of bass, drums, guzheng, yangchin, bamboo flute and gourd pipe, and the star attraction, the Sichuan Opera Mask Changers.
Zi Lan Liao, or Mrs Wobble, plucked the zither, whilst Wang Jingqi, from Yunnan Province, and Tibetan Gu Ying Ji sang alternately ear-piercing, spine-tingling and chillingly haunting melodies which seemingly hypnotised the captivated audience - and herein lay the problem.
As the watchers were 'charmed out of the trees', strange things were afoot. Firstly, a man sitting in the front row failed to notice his glasses being charmed off his face. A woman sitting further back found that her trousers were missing and, even after the show had finished, her feet wouldn't stop tapping.
And a group standing at the bar realised, all too late, that their drinks had vanished and mysteriously reappeared in the hands of the thirsty band members onstage. Clearly some mystical force was at work!
The Mask Changers stunned the crowd with their face-swapping trickery, and Wobble summed it up succinctly in his chirpy Stepney twang, when he laughed:
"I've seen some two-faced f*ckers in my time in the music business!"