Monday, March 21, 2011


When Finnish band Wigwam signed with England's Virgin label in 1974, it was an indication they wanted international success, and Nuclear Nightclub, the first fruit, showed they'd changed enough to hopefully achieve it. This reissue of that disc, with seven bonus tracks, highlights the wonderfully idiosyncratic songs from the pen of Irish keyboard player/vocalist Jim Pembroke, backed up with some superb, tight musicianship. "Tram Driver," a single, never hit the charts, but still sounded good with its maddening chorus of "tram driver," while the title track offered quirky prog lounge music for a new generation. The band toned down the extended pieces and instrumentals that had featured heavily on its previous albums in favor of new work like "Freddie Are You Ready" (more catchiness) and "Save My Money and My Name," while the playing on "Do or Die" highlighted the chops without the tedium. In many ways they allied themselves to the British Canterbury Scene, especially Caravan, with a strong sense of the absurd, a good sense of the pop songs -- choruses always featured heavily -- and a deftness and lightness of touch that was never more in evidence than on this record. Why it never broke through remains a sad mystery; they certainly deserved better, and this expanded edition of what may well be their finest album (outside of a greatest-hits package only available in Finland) does them and their lovely little ways full justice. ~ Chris Nickson

Tracks :

1. Nuclear nightclub (2:45)
2. Freddie are you ready (5:36)
3. Bless your lucky stars (5:58)
4. Kite (4:15)
5. Do or die (5:03)
6. Simple human kindness (4:02)
7. Save my money and my name (4:07)
8. Pig storm (4:39)


  1. thanks for this one preacher, another one I thought I'd never hear,I have their 'Being' lp so will sit down and check out the musical differences, as this is the follow up lp to it.
    cheers from Oz.

  2. turn me over/play me againApril 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM

    Goodness Gracious ! Another long forgotten nugget from the glorious era of '70s prog...good thing i found your blog ,man,impressive stuff. you never cease to amaze me. cheers from the-not-so-sunny-Greece.


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