Wigwam - guestbook

Name : EsaJii
Message : No news of Jim. I think he has disappeared. I can't find his KC buddy, taxi driver, either.

Wigwam is afraid of the dark? According to
Big man walking in the park
Wigwam frightened of the dark
Some kind of solitude is
measured out in you
You think you know but you haven't got a clue

  09/04/09 14:26

Name : Jesse
Message : Pembroke was working a solo projekt with Tolonen, but as far as i know Tolonen is now in prison and Pembroke lives in divided states of America.
  09/04/09 13:41

Name : the Tanskalainen
Current favourite song : "Kite" (with the lyrics in front of me!)
Message : I've just seen that Suonna has put all the lyrics for the "Nuclear Nightclub" album on this site in corrected form. I've been longing to see that done since 1975, so thanks, Suonna. As they say here in Ireland: Good man! "Kite" is an even more remarkable lyric than I thought, a bit like the the songs on the "Corporal Cauliflower" LP, but more serious and poetic. A small masterpiece. I always loved that song, and now it's even better. Wow! Great use of synths by Kotilainen on this track, actually. I think this is the effect that he and the groups have tried to replicate ever since, but never quite getting there.

Two quick questions. Is there any truth at all in:
1) The rumour that some of the Ponsi pressings of "Flat Broke" had a lyric sheet?
2) The rumour that Pembroke is currently working on a new solo album?
  09/04/09 12:46

Name : EsaJii
Message : Sorry, no such thing implied. The group just collapsed. It was up to Jim and Ronnie to figure something out and I think Måsse arrived to encourage them to continue. Rekku had some odd role initially assigned in the 5 man group, then settled to a standard guitar post. Jim and Rekku had not composed anything together at this point.

Can't help you with the Flat Broke lyrics.
  09/04/09 01:37

Name : the Tanskalainen
Current favourite song : Anything from "Galleries" by Young Tradition
Message : EsaJii, you're almost making it out as if the arrival of Rekku forced Jukka Gustavson out of the group (and perhaps Pohjola, too). I wouldn't know, because though I have Mikko's book I can't read it. My own impression is, however, that it was more a question of Gustavson wanting to do his own thing. Still, the sad fact remains that my favourite Wigwam line-up only recorded the live 2LP, a few tracks on the "Fresh Garbage" 2CD, the wonderful "Silver Jubilee" and Jim Pembroke's solo album "Pigworm". Does the latter then represent the peak of the group's career? In some ways I suppose it does to me, despite my love of "Lucky Golden Stripes" - but again things went wrong along the way, as I recall. Something about the use of the Dolby noise reduction equipment. Furthermore, the sleeve must beat the British group Legend's famous "Flaming Boot" LP (which was actually awarded the title of "Worst Album Sleeve Ever"), though "Flat Broke" is another obvious candidate. But even worse - there was no lyric sheet with "Pigworm".

Talking of which, didn't "Flat Broke" have a lyric sheet in the Ponsi version? Mine is an EMI copy and it came with no lyrics. If the Ponsi presseing had a lyric sheet, could we see those words in print on this site, please?
  08/04/09 22:04

Name : TimoV, Tampere
Home page : http://cgi.ebay.com/WIGWAM-JAPAN-5-Mini-LP-CD-SS-PROMO-BOX-SET_W
Message : Ja se e-bay linkki on:


Eli kiinnostaa ainakin niitä joilla on ylimääräistä rahaa.
  08/04/09 14:55

Name : TimoV, Tampere
Current favourite song : Madder Lake: "12 lb. Toothbrush"
Message : Ebaysta löytyi tälläinen ilmo, eikös tällä listalla joku japanilainen ilmoitellut tälläisen olevan tulossa:


WIGWAM / SHM-CD / 5 titles Japan MINI LP CD (Paper Jacket Sleeve) SET!! with PROMO ONLY BOX
150 set Limited Promo Box

We'll ship this item as soon as we receive it.






  08/04/09 14:48

Name : EsaJii
Message : Claes, you have to realize that without Rekku and the guitar, we would never have had NN or Lucky Golden. For those two albums it was probably a conscious decision to not have the Jukka sound anymore.

Finland is overrun by metal bands these days, I guess some of that idea trickels into all rock that comes from there. Though to my ears the world music approach...Värttinä Kalaniemi etc. that comes out of Sibelius Akatemia has been the freshest sound. I do not need rock that copies the world all that much from Finland. And now that they all want to have an international hit, it is all following Him and Nightwish. Juice is long gone, it seems.
  08/04/09 14:16

Name : the Tanskalainen
Message : I will maintain that Kotilainen is a brilliant keyboardist, it's just that in my humble opinion he has never done Wigwam much good. Give me Gustavson and a Hammond/Lowrey any old time.

With regard to big accordions, don't get me started. It is a tragedy of the place I was born and bred that we have the Swedes on one side and the Germans on the other, and when they didn't invade us they played those bloody things until the cows came home, their annoying wobbly sounds comes in over our borders and disturbing our peace-loving intake of Tuborg and røde pølser.

With regard to Hammonds there are people out there who think they sound "sad and sorry", like "a bad excuse for themselves". I can see their point, and perhaps it says something not particularly flattering but nevertheless true about us Hammond fans. However, I think that description also reflects the mood of Jim Pembroke's lyrics quite well. His songs are often engulfed in a strange kind of surreal sadness, if not self-pity, contradicted only by his pronounced sense of humor.

The other views by "inspired" I mostly agree with. To give Wigwam a heavier drum and guitar sound is a bit as if Motorhead recorded the greatest hits by Abba (though at least that would be funny).

I think most will agree that Wigwam's career has been marked by missed opportunities due to bad luck and too many cooks etc. Their uniqueness lies in their Englishness combined with exquisite Finnish musicianship and determination, and a typical Nordic clarity. But it's a very difficult balance to get right, with forces pulling in either direction. Getting Ronnie Leahy to produce "Lucky Golden Stripes" was a great choice and - to my mind - resulted in their best album ever, even without any Hammond worth mentioning. But it should probably have been recorded and promoted better in Britain, and something might have really happened. Then again, the timing was wrong - of course.
  08/04/09 13:22

Name : EsaJii
Message : OK, I really have no major problem with Kotilainen. And even Pedro got it right mostly on studio albums. Bitesize was my TW favorite.

Good comments about the drums and guitar. Quite up front.

Meanwhile, managed to download Toinen Maisema off iTunes. I like it, nice use of Finnish. The new one I will get in Finland. CDs are still more permanent than downloads.
  08/04/09 02:03

Name : Inspired
Message : I also wish to add to my previous post: In my opinion the biggest problem on TW is the dominance of guitar. There's a lot of guitar tracks everywhere with quite harsh, distorted sounds. Combined with Kepa's quite heavy drumming this gives the album a very heavy overall feel, with not much breathing space. In the middle of this crash-boom-bang that is going on, it is sometimes difficult to notice that Esa is even playing!

And furthermore, I think he actually softens the overall feel, instead of making it gloomy or doomy. Just listen to the intro of Remains To Be Seen, for example, or the bright, soaring Moog on Bitesize, or the beautiful layers of mellotron on The Lost Lizard King... Of course there is some harsher, AOR-ish synth stuff present, too, but on the other hand it just fits the overall feel. The gloomiest thing Esa does on TW must be the atonalic ambient whirl backing up the verses of Bitesize - and I must say I really like it, all the down-bending, "falling" clusters and that. Modern thinking.

For synth and Esa fans, I recommend his newer synth piece "Visions" which was released on "Tone of Finland" a few years ago. It is quite a rare compilation CD, but the track is available at least in Spotify.
  07/04/09 22:59

Name : Inspired
Message : Of course it is a matter of opinion whether one likes some sounds or not. But I really wouldn't say that synths ALWAYS sound limp. Analog synths, which Kotilainen has specialized in, are very expressive instruments that sound, in their own way, somehow natural and warm. The cold synth sounds on TW are a choice made in production, I guess. I remember that Kotilainen told in a Soundi interview that he recorded a wide selection of keyboard tracks for the album. Other people made the selection, then, and for example decided not to use any of his Moog solos that he provided.

Personally I think that Kotilainen handles Hammond well. But it is also generally acknowledged that his main instruments are various synths, like Moogs and huge, old ARP 2600s, plus mellotron. I must say I like his playing most, when he is playing those instruments. For example his trademark Minimoog sound, which is quite oboe-like but does NOT sound like a poor imitation of any other instrument, is really ear-pleasing.

Here he is seen playing Hammond B3, Mellotron and Minimoog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzIs08zCxek
  07/04/09 20:53

Name : the Tanskalainen
Message : I admit I'm a Hammond freak. Kotilainen is a fine Hammond player and I wish he would stick to that. Synths always sound limp, and they don't exactly get a breath of life by being sampled. One of the things that made "Light Ages" a fine reunion 2LP was Rintanen's incredible handling of the Hammond. (Still, the lyric sheet was a bit of a shambles there too.)

However, the overall productions is a problem as well. "Titans Wheel" sounds to my ears the way you would produce a heavy metal album. Just listen to the drum sound, particularly the bass drum. It almost sounds like a drum machine.

That kind of production and the spacy synths work well on Rekku's "Snake Charm" CD. But to me they are not the sound of Wigwam.

About a year ago there was a rumour that JP was in the process of making a new solo album. I wonder what's happened to that, but if it happens I hope he will make sure it is produces sympathetically by someone who understands what he is all about.

Having said all that, I agree that there are som good material on both "Titans Wheel" and "Some Several Moons". At the moment, "To the Other Side" is my favourite. It reminds me of both Dylan and Zevon, and at the same time it's pure Pembroke.
  07/04/09 17:37

Name : EsaJii
Message : Heh. Wait till Tanskalainen gets to analyze Some Several Moons.

We have been living with the faults of the last two albums some years now. I agree the arrangements were a bit overdone, too much stuff in there.

In SSM, if you pick out the less proggy items, you get close to what Jim used to do in his solo albums.

You could easily construct ONE really good album out of these last two.

Going back to NN, the music is essentially the same band and style, but NN was that deep pop stuff with just a touch of synthesizer added for effect. Some of us think that Kotilainen or Pedro were a better addition when they were on accordion, as they often were live, as on Nuckear Nightclub the song.
  07/04/09 14:29

Name : the Tanskalainen
Message : Thanks to TimoV for clearing up the mystery about the Karma Music DVD.

I also have a few questions and comments regarding the CD "Titans Wheel".

1. Was this album released outside Finland?

2. How was it received in the reviews at the time? (I don't read Finnish, so I'm asking for someone's overall opinion).

I have listened carefully to the CD lately and find I have a few problems with it. First, the way the lyrics are presented is a complete mess - so small they're practically unreadable, with sentences broken up all over the place (I've been cleaning all that up on the computer and hope Mikko will put it on the site).
Second, the production is quite cold, made even colder (as usual) by Kotilainen's choice of keyboards. I think there is a mismatch here with the character of the songs, Jim's voice and Rekku's playing, and since there were both a Hammond and a Mellotron available (thank God), not to mention grand pianos, why all this synthetic, spacy doom and gloom engulfing everything from start to finish? Also, the arrangements are generally very long for what is basically pop music with a straight-forward, unchanging, groovy backing. It's not a bad album, but speaking strictly for myself (and that's all I'm trying to do) it could have been better if it didn't try to sit on too many stools. Perhaps I'm stepping on someone's toes here, but maybe this needs to be said. Just listen to Tassa's "Take Six" CD, a wonderful album with a good, natural sound. Or take some of the amazing younger Finnish bands today, like Scarlett Thread, Uzva, Oddarang, Husband and Ettone. It can be done.
  07/04/09 13:01

Name : Suonna
Message : Gutsin Community Jazzia tässä ensimmäistä kertaa kuuntelen. Huh kun lentää oksat pois avausraidalla Cohesion Promotion!

Blue Grace -kappale oli tuttu melodia vanhoilta Moments-keikoilta 1999-2000, kulki silloin nimellä Blue Groove ja oli Gutsin spiikin mukaan Moments-cd:n outtake.
  07/04/09 10:44

Name : TimoV, Tampere
Current favourite song : Merrell Fankhauser: "Move to Higher Ground"
Message : To the Tanskalainen "Going Underground Vol 1" DVD, the Wigwam clip is "Colossus" from Pop-Liisa program, Tolonen clip is a very short and only bit jazzy version of "Säkkijärven polkka", the lineup is Tolonen, Apetrea, Carson, Hanski and year is said to be 1976, they play outside of big Finnish or Swedish countryhouse.
  07/04/09 10:33

Name : EsaJii
Message : My iTunes is only offering Toinen Maisema for Jukka.

En ole huomannut että tuossa on noin paljon suomeksi laulettua. Kai se uusikin sitten tulee. Kympin ne maksaa täällä.
  07/04/09 01:36

Name : Matteus
Message : www.supersounds.fi/main.php?viikko

Tuolla hieman luonnehdintaa Gutsin uudesta levystä sekä kansikuva.
  06/04/09 20:11

Name : the Tanskalainen
Current favourite song : "Bright Morning Star" by the Young Tradition
Message : Hi! It seems that Karma Music in Copenhagen have sold out their remaining copies of a DVD called "Going Underground Vol 1". It claims to include one or several tracks by Wigwam and also of Jukka Tolonen. Has anyone got this DVD and can they enlighten the rest of us about its content with regard to these two names?
  06/04/09 14:39

Name : Inspired
Message : Tuskin julkaistaan, mikäli ei Warnerilla ole mieli muuttunut radikaalisti. Sen sijaan Gutsin uusin, Community Jazz, on jo saatavilla ainakin iTunesista. En viitsinyt levyä sieltä ostaa, kun tahdon sen ihan oikeana levynä, mutta preview-klipit ovat tosi lupaavia. Näiden perusteella joukkoon ei tällä kertaa ole eksynyt viime aikojen levyillä esiintyneitä vaivaannuttavia sanoituksia sen enempää kuin kehnoja Wavestation-syntikkasoundeja. Biisimateriaali, sen perusteella mitä puoliminuuttisista voi päätellä, vaikuttaa vahvalta ja melko instrumentaalipainotteiselta. Organ Fusion Bandin debyytin linjoilla ollaan, vaikka levyllä soittaakin käsittääkseni myös Gustavson-Rantamäki Quartet.
  05/04/09 15:08

  04/04/09 12:27

Name : Seppo H., Espoo
Current favourite song : Snakecharm: Prayer Arising
Found : Just surfed on in
Message : Tuo Virgin Oilin spektaakkeli 21.5. kokonaisuudessaan Rekkuineen kiinnostaa meikäläistä kovastikin.
Hienoa että Agenessiltakin tulee uusi levy.
Edellisestä kai jo melkein 10 -vuotta aikaa.

Time Traveller on ihan uus tuttavuus mulle,
onneksi tässä iässä aika kuluu nopeasti.
  03/04/09 17:45

Name : Jouko, Kerava
Message : Sitä olen aina ihmetellyt, miksi antoivat albumille saman nimen kuin oli Jukka Haurun sooloalbumilla 1972.

  02/04/09 16:54

Name : Friend from the Fields
Message : Ja syytä olikin, kyllähän Information on selvästi aliarvostetuin levy Wigwamin kataloogissa. Soundit tietenkin vähän tökkii, mutta biisit ovat tukevaa tavaraa. ;)
  02/04/09 12:45