Wigwam - guestbook

Name : Urpo
Current favourite song : Vapaa maa / Niko Ahvonen
Message : Uusimmassa Soundissa Timo Kanerva esittelee Jonathan Simmondsin kirjaa Number one in heaven - the heroes who died for rock'n'roll. Kanerva kertoo Ronnie Österbergin tarinassa olevan virheitä. Ehkä tämä kiinnostaa muitakin, joten näin se kirjassa menee... Joulukuun 4. päivä torstaina kuoli siis Ronnie Österberg (synt. 15.1.1948): "Drummer Ronnie Österberg was one of the leading protagonists of Finnish progressive rock during the late sixties and early seventies. He started out with the John Mayall-influenced jazz-rock outfit Blues Section in 1965, graduating to the more successful Wigwam three years later. With English singer Jim Pembroke at the helm, Wigwam proved a hit at UK music festivals for a number of years, although the band managed only modest commercial success outside their native land. Their best-known song was 1969's Luulosairas - a number fourteen hit in Finland (!) - though later album Fairyport (1971) is generally considered the group's best work by prog fans. Österberg died completely unexpectedly from heart failure at the age of just thirty-two"
  13/02/07 17:46

Name : Claes Johansen
Current favourite song : Hovioikeus by Ettone
Message : Thanks EsaJii. The first 4-5 Shu-bi-dua LPs were amazing, and lyrically extremely funny. Otherwise, if you're looking for something more in the vain of Wigwam, some of the music by the instrumental group Bazar and Anders Koppel's solo albums have a bit of the same spirit (in places) - and some nice Hammond. Also the flamingo guitarist Christian Sievert toured and recorded with Jukka Tolonen as a duo. (And to Timo V., thanks for the Koivistoinen reference. Nice site with free sound samples.) All the best, the Tanskalainen
  12/02/07 16:37

Name : TimoV, Tampere
Home page : http://www.sahkorecordings.com/news.php
Current favourite song : Eero Koivistoinen: Boots & Roots
Message : Sähkö-recordingsin alamerkki Jazzpuu on julkaissut cd-muodossa kaksi Eero Koivistoisen harvinaista aikanaan Otavan julkaisemaa levyä, eli "Odysseus" vuodelta 1969 ja "For Children" vuodelta 1970.

Sähkö-recordings' sublabel Jazzpuu has rereleased on cd two extremeley rare albums by Eero Koivistoinen. The albums are "Odysseus" from 1969 and "For Children" from 1970.
  12/02/07 09:29

Name : EsaJii
Message : Good analysis, Claes. I listen to a small amount of Danish stuff, but certainly not much compared to Finnish. My wife has a little, including all of Shu Bi Dua. Sort of the Eppu Normaali and Juice Leskinen category in Denmark. Music for the common man.
  11/02/07 21:24

Name : Mietaa
Current favourite song : Whitesnake: Long way from home
Message : Youtube paljasti, että MMEB:in Chris Thompson omaa loistavan laulutaidon ja -äänen lisäksi myös soolokitaristin taidot. Budapest livellä (myös aikoinaan kiekkona julkaistu) mies heittää For You biisissä näytteet kehiin.
  10/02/07 17:51

Name : Pertti, Hyvinkää
Current favourite song : Modry Efekt: Hypertenze
Message : Pakko käydä täällä hehkuttamassa: löysin "Lucky Goldenin" japsipainoksen, vinyylinä siis, ja se on soundeiltaan _aivan_ mahtava! Vielä en ole tehnyt vertailuja sisällön osalta mutta ainakin Timedance alkaa lennosta, eli sitä ei ole käänteisfeidattu sisään.

Kansi on sama kuin UK-painoksessa, paitsi yhtyeen nimeä ei ole kohokirjaimilla. Sisäpussi on semmoinen läpinäkyvä muovinen, mutta mukana on liite, jossa toisella puolella on UK-painoksen liite ja toisella puolella sama Japaniksi :) Etiketti on kaunis vihreä Virginin "Neitsyt"-logo, erilainen siis kuin UK-painoksessa.

Claes: I agree with your comments about CD sound. I've never heard a cd that sound better than the original LP.

  10/02/07 14:00

Name : Claes Johansen
Message : I thought Raittinen was a great, great singer with Tasavallen Presidentti. Robson has a fine voice but his performances are a bit inconsistent, with a tendency to wobble in the lower register. With regard to Mikko's book (which I unfortunately can't read because of severe limitations in my Finnish), I don't know what the laws are like in Finland, but when I wrote my books on Procol Harum and the Zombies for SAF Publishing in London, the band's publishers wouldn't allow me to print lyrics, not even fragments (I suppose I was lucky I could mention the titles). That made it a bit difficult to analyze them, but at least with Harum I could refer to their website where - ironically - all the lyrics are freely available to anyone. I think a thorough look a Jim's lyrics would be appropriate; they are ridiculously overlooked in all the articles Timo and I have translated. Perhaps there is a slight chip on the old shoulder problem somewhere (or a snowflake, or perhaps some dandruff). However, no one would say that Finnish rock is great just because of Pembroke (and/or Robson)- it's the unique combination of his profound influence and the extreme musicality of Finnish players and songwriters in general that makes the equation. Comparing with the situation in Denmark, we had a few English imports, too, who did a lot to help, though not to quite the same extent. Alt godt, Claes
  10/02/07 13:21

Name : Tane
Found : Just surfed on in
Message : Hi there! Check this out! Playout trailer (Jim, Jukka, Pekka,Rekku)


Televion document: Wigwam
I have seen this 25 min;)) It is a wonderful, true story, telling how Being and Nuclear Nightclub were born ...

YLE Teema, autumn 2007
  10/02/07 07:57

Name : EsaJii
Current favourite song : Losing Hold
Message : Pressa had a couple of good albums, even Lambertland, near the end of that era. Somehow people did not like Raittinen singing. It was not that bad. But I think Robson would have sung his own lyrics, not Jim's.

My favorite lyrics are mostly on Nuclear Nightclub and Lycky Golden. I somehow liked the absurd stuff, like In A Nutshell. Jim I think does not care for the song. Or maybe the album itself does not bring back pleasant memories.

The music of Wigwam in the 70s was such that when the musical part worked, the lyrics were just a plus, if it meant something. I rarely think of the meaning of Losing Hold though I can recite the lyrics.

Mikko's book does not get into the lyrics issue much at all. Someone could dig a little deeper on how Rekku and Jim interact to come up with a song. There was a lot of biography to cover.
  10/02/07 03:48
Reply: I agree with Esa in that someone should analyse Jim's lyrics in a more thorough manner. Forty years have passed and no serious attempts have been made at this. A task for a future Pembroke biographer?

Mikko Meriläinen

Name : Claes Johansen
Message : EsaJii. Certainly, a lot of rock lyrics are stupid. But be fair: lyrics are not poems, the same way a film manuscript isn't a novel. They both need something extra to work, and what might look silly or weak on paper can sound great with the right tune or in the mouth of an actor. I think Jim Pembroke hits a perfect balance, because a lot of his lyrics actually read extremely well on paper, too. I think "Some Several Moons" deliberately quotes older songs, the same way as you will find it on Procol Harum's reunion CDs. Still, to my mind his best lyrics are probably on "Milky Way Moses" by Tasavallan Presidentti. I first listed to that album at a public library in headphones and had some serious problems because of the humor that got me laughing out loud.I think I was 16, a difficult age. Thanks to Jim & Co for brightening up my youth in 1970s politically correct Copenhagen. Venlig hilsen, Claes in Clon
  10/02/07 00:32

Name : EsaJii
Message : Claes, I guess I enjoy the lyrics, but would not go quite that high in my praise. Rock lyrics typically are pretty stupid, which I only learned after I was about 20-22. So on that standard these are worth a listen. Some Several Moons had some OK songs, if you did not make out every word, it does not matter all that much. I liked the touch of surreal in some.

As a point of criticism, some lyrics on that album are pretty disjointed. Seems they might have been patched together from older bits of lyrics here and there.

Not to take it too seriously. But take Grass For Blades seriously, my favorite.
  09/02/07 23:29

Name : Mikko Meriläinen
Home page : Nuclear Netclub
Current favourite song : Tuomari Nurmio: Aavaa preeriaa
Message : Rupesin poistamaan toimimattomia linkkejä, joita tällä sivustolla on paljon. Kotimaisista merkittävistä sanomalehdistä Turun Sanomat ja Karjalainen ovat viimeiset, joiden arkisto on vielä kaikille avoin, mutta nekin sulkeutunevat lähiaikoina, joten jos joku haluaa näiden lehtien vanhoja juttuja talteen, niin ne kannattaa käydä seivaamassa äkkiä.

I have started removing dead links from this site. Which will take some time since there are many of them...
  09/02/07 23:06

Name : pili peili ja mäki reili (radiossa sanottu)
Message : UK:n ekan (se Whetton, Bruford jne. ryhmä) avausbiisi kopioitu vahingossa aikalailla suoraan - ainakin soundeittain - Policen Ghost In the machinelle (paras Policen levy).

Philip Bailey ja Maggie Riley
  09/02/07 22:55

Name : A.R. Cheologist
Current favourite song : Tuomo Prättälä: My thing
Message : Any idea when rumoured Wigwam-dvd might be released, or is the project postponed for now/for good?
  09/02/07 21:21

Name : Suonna
Home page : http://www.devilducky.com/media/54707/
Message : Ei liity mitenkään Wigwamiin, mutta tästä vähän Maidenia perjantai-iltaan hyvän tuulen takuulla.
  09/02/07 20:11

Name : Risto
Message : Noista Pohjolan levyistä on tullut varmaan uusi painos. Joskus muutama vuosi sitten kun ostin nuo levyt, oli etenkin Visitation loppunut melkein kaikista levykaupoista.
  09/02/07 13:18

Name : Jore
Message : Perkkaa Pohjolan Visitation- ja Kätkävaraara´n lohikäärme CD:eitä myydään nyt halvalla: esim. swampissa 5 euroa kappale. Mistään ei näytä löytyvän tarkempaa tietoa. CDON ilmoittaa julkaisuvuodeksi 2007, mutta tuskin kyseessä on remasteroitu versio. Onko kukaan hankkinut ko. levyjä, jotta voisi kertoa tarkemmin.
  09/02/07 09:25

Name : Claes Johansen
Current favourite song : Anything from Ettone's latest CD
Message : Good to see a fan write in English about a new release so we non-Finnish speakers can get some fair product information. And yes, one of the great things about CDs is the availability. Still, there's no beating the originals: My "Corporal Cauliflower" LP has a huge and pretty chaotic lyric sheet. A wall poster for all us Finnophile space cadets, really. Jim Pembroke is probably the most original and intelligent of all English rock lyricists ever, so having lyrics with the records is essential. Which again brings me back to my critisism of "Some Several Moons". Great music but harsh sound, and no lyrics. Come on guys and gals, back me on this or it'll just be worse next time! There's got to be a (Mannerheim)line somewhere. All the best, Claes
  08/02/07 22:29

Name : EsaJii
Current favourite song : spatial rubbles of the universe
Message : Well, we will suffer with what hifi sound we get, at least most of the CDs can still be found.

Meanwhile, finally got the Corporal Cauliflower CD version. I only played it in the car, sound is OK. Big plus is that finally the booklet has the lyrics. My LP had none.

  08/02/07 16:43

Name : Martin, Sunderland
Current favourite song : Oh Sister Josephine - Jake Thackray
Message : Gerry - trying to reply re Wigwam Plays Wigwam,but your e-mail address bounces back.
Any thoughts?.
  07/02/07 00:02

Name : ojk
Current favourite song : losing hold
Message : Juuri meni YLE Teemalla vanha Anki Lindqvistin dokumentti Ungdom för helvete, jossa vilahteli mm. Ronnie ja Mats kommentoimassa kysymyksiin kuten "miksi sinulla on pitkä tukka", taisi olla sen Hair-produktion aikaa.
  06/02/07 23:25

Name : Claes Johansen
Message : Kære "engineer". Thanks for joining the debate. What you and others seem to suggest is that the fault can be either in the studio or at the mastering stage. That may well be true. Often, mixes are squeezed up to right under distortion levels, using compressors to pump them up and limiters to hold them back (roughly explained), perhaps in order to make them sound even on a car stereo. Unfortunately, it also makes them sound flat, harsh and unexciting. Obviously, that isn't the way to produce serious, dynamic music (dynamic strictly meaning: varying levels in volume), including the rock groups we're dealing with here. Still, I'm just speaking as a general customer and a longstanding fan of certain Finnish groups, and it isn't really up to me to analyze the problem technically (though I have made a few suggestions, and you have added some more, which I thank you for). Also, I can't be expected to make a study of recording and mastering engineers every time I buy a CD. Whether the problem is this, that, or the other, the responsibility is basically with the record labels to make CDs that sound as good (i.e. open, natural, dynamic) as possible. And if you can't hear the difference in "fidelity" towards the music when listening to, for instance, "Fresh Garbage" compared with "Some Several Moons", I'm afraid there is hardly any basis for a constructive debate. It may be that the bits all look the same on a computer screen, but they are not the same when they reach my ears. Bedste hilsner, the Tanskalainen
  06/02/07 22:51

Name : engineer
Message : If a cd sounds hars, there are many factors that can cause it. First you should look at who mixed and recorded it. Do their other stuff sound like that also? Secondly, by who and where was it mastered?
Glassmastering has nothing to do with a cd:s sound. Wether it is a cd-r or commercially produced cd it's just bits, really.

The big question is why are most modern rhythm-driven cd:s so compressed and loud? Because it feels so fuckin' goo in the old ears... If you just don't have the bals anymore you just add dynamite and punch from your L2 or whatever brickwall dynamics processor and it at least sounds loud!

It's totally pointless to compare one cd to another compression or dynamics wise if the content is totally different. You kill fish and cows with different instruments.
One more question: How can a cd sound analog? Those kind of comments belong to hifi-humour magazines...

  06/02/07 18:17

Name : Claes Johansen, Clonakilty
Current favourite song : Bride's Polska by Arto Järvelä
Message : Dear EsaJii. Thanks for your reaction. I'm not quite sure why some CDs still sound so harsh, other than the labels are going for some cheap option, omitting glass masters etc. Personally, I'd rather pay a Euro more and get good sound! There is also the view that some people who have been in rock and roll for many years now can't hear the upper frequencees any more, making the rest of us suffer. Anyway, I have just bought the new CD by Ettone and "Polska Differente" by Arto Järvelä (via the amazing levyvirasto.net site) and not only is the music completely outstanding, as we have come to expect from Finnish musicians, they also sound fantastic - very varm and natural, almost analogue. As far a I know, these discs are made by very small independent labels. If they can get it right, why not bigger ones? Venlig hilsen, Claes
  06/02/07 10:51

Name : Seppo, Lahti
Current favourite song : Wigut: Häätö
Message : Heippa Helsinkiläiset.
Onko jollakulla ystävällisellä sielulla tallessa taannoin LOVE-radiosta tullut "Pembroke-spesiaali". Itselläni ei ole ja olisin kiinnostunut.
Vastapalveluksena löytyy samanhenkistä aineistoa akselilla Wigwam-Pressa-Puhjola-Tolonen-Gustavson-etc.
terv. Seppo Lahdesta
  06/02/07 09:23