Wigwam - Pop Liisa 03. 1973 Finland
CD issue: 2016 Svart (w/Taivaanvuohi)
LP issue: 2016 Svart
Wigwam were always something of a "Beatles Effect" type of band, whose diverse membership would compose their music along different lines from each other. But that lack of cohesion also allowed for a blossoming of original ideas. When it worked, such as on Fairyport or Being, the results were divine. In other cases, Wigwam lacked flow and purpose. And they predictably devolved into a commercial rock band in the mid to late 70s.
So it comes as no surprise that when Wigwam had a chance to perform live on the radio in front of a studio audience (November 7, 1973 to be precise), that their set would be random and all over the place. According to the liner notes, John Lennon's 'Imagine' was actually a warmup song, and was not broadcast that evening. Apparently this was a staple of their live act. It's a straight cover song, so we'll consider it a mulligan. On the other hand, Pekka Pohjola's 'Nipistys', from his own debut album, is an instrumental tour de force and easily the highlight of the set. Jim Pembroke's 'Grass for Blades', shows off his singer songwriter skills, though there are plenty of extended instrumentals to capture the imagination. 'Fairyport' is an extended version of the familiar track, but once again quite scattered, with a mix of heavy progressive, blues, rock n roll, etc... Overall, a very fine performance, and a wonderful archival find (as is the whole series). But for me, it was a bit too diverse to be considered excellent.
Tomorrow we'll feature the other performance on the CD, that of Taivaanvuohi.