© Heikki KerkkänenMåsse's satanic look at Bepop
Line-up: Måns Groundstroem (bass), Jari Kettunen (drums), Esa Kotilainen (keyboards), Jim Pembroke (vocals, keyboards),
Pekka Rechardt (guitar)
See Suonna Kononen's article Freddie on valmiina, edelleen ja aina vain in Karjalainen 18.04.01, and photos by Heikki Kerkkänen.
The fifth gig of Wigwam's April tour gathered a fair attendance at Joensuu's Bepop club. A local association of senior pop musicians and fans, Grand Old Rockers, provided a free entrance for its members, which may have been one reason for the large number of the middle-aged, not only men but ladies as well. It seemed that for many this was the first time since the 1970s to see Wigwam play live, and they were hardly disappointed. "Sounds just like in those old days", said one of the amazed veterans when the band launched Freddie Are You Ready.
Wigwam has obviously got more and more air of assurance in its playing while the tour has proceeded, but even Finland's best band hasn't been able to escape technical problems. In Kurkimäki Måsse's bass broke up, in Turku and Tampere it was Jim's piano. Joensuu provided troubles with PA, the left channel hissed and the right channel occasionally died, especially during Kettunen's drum solo. Another inconvenience was the low ceiling of the venue.
Pedro Hietanen, who played keyboards on last year's gigs, has been replaced by Esa Kotilainen whose equipment - mini-moog, string-synthesizer, clavinet and accordion - have been in a delicate use. Excluding the late Ronnie Österberg of course, this tour has thus featured the same personnel as on the succesful 1975 album Nuclear Nightclub. With a slight variation, the set list has based on NN songs and other classics of that era. Compared to last year's gigs, Tramdriver has been a pleasant new selection.
Even entirely fresh songs may be heard in the near future. Jim ja Rekku are going to work out some new stuff that might find its way to a record, if everything goes ok. Also, more gigs may follow later in this year.
-- Mikko Meriläinen