Kingston Wall


Kingston Wall was a progressive/space rock group from Helsinki, Finland, formed in 1987. The group combined eastern themes and vivid psychedelia. They consisted of Petri Walli (guitars, lead vocals), Jukka Jylli (bass, backing vocals) and Sami Kuoppamäki (drums, percussion). Walli took the most active role in the band. He formed the group, composed most of the material and wrote all the lyrics. He was also Kingston Wall's producer and manager and ran the band's own Trinity record label. During their active time, Kingston Wall never achieved mainstream popularity. It was only after the group had disbanded that their popularity slowly grew through word-of-mouth. All their albums were printed in limited amounts and released on Walli's own independent label. All the original Kingston Wall albums and singles under the Trinity label are regarded collector's items. Although Kingston Wall never played outside Finland apart from one gig in Tallinn, Estonia during their early days, the group is considered as one of the country's best hard rock groups. Their albums have appeared on the Finnish Top 40 album charts. The cult following status of Kingston Wall has also gained them a steadily growing fan base around the world, mostly thanks to the Internet.



HISTORY

Kingston Wall released their first album, Kingston Wall (later referenced and re-released as Kingston Wall I) in 1992 under the Trinity label. Their debut album consisted mainly of psychedelic hard rock along with a cover of Jimi Hendrix' song "Fire", which gained the group some popularity among the Finnish radio stations. This is perhaps their rawest album.

With my mind

Waste of time


Their second album, Kingston Wall II, was released in February 1993. This time the group brought in some more acoustic and folk elements to their songs, like acoustic guitars and violins in "Istwan" (violin played by Ufo Mustonen) and saxophones in "Shine On Me" (saxophone played by Sakari Kukko). They also included a cross-genre cover version of the Donna Summer disco classic "I Feel Love". This is their most accomplished album, which features broader and more exotic textures. 

Could it be so?


Palékastro


Love tonight


Their third and last album Kingston Wall III - Tri-Logy, was released in autumn 1994. It was a very different album compared to the two previous ones. With this album, the band somewhat tried to distance themselves from hard rock. It still features plenty of acid guitar, but also includes drum machines and synthesizers arranged by Kimmo Kajasto (of Koneveljet and Rinneradio); an interesting concept but not quite as convincing as Kingston Wall II. Most of the lyrics on Tri-Logy have almost religious philosophical/mythological tone in them, and they are partially based on the Bock Saga, an eccentric explanation about the origins of the alphabets, words and the whole human history. When Tri-Logy was released, Petri Walli said in an interview that it was probably the most expensive self-financed album ever made in Finland. The last song on the album, "The Real Thing", runs for 18 minutes and again features Sakari Kukko on saxophone along with ambient synthesizer pads played by Kimmo Kajasto.

Another piece of cake


Tri-Logy was to be the Kingston Wall's last studio album. They played their last public show in Lepakko, Helsinki on December 1994 and their last show ever was some days later in Sörnäinen' prison at Helsinki. After this, the band called it quits and each of the members went on their separate ways. On 28 June 1995, Walli jumped to his death from the tower of Töölö church in central Helsinki. This marked the end for Kingston Wall. Walli was later buried in the Hietaniemi Cemetery, about one kilometer away from his place of death. The Kingston Wall III - Tri-Logy was re-issued by the Finnish record label Zen Garden in 1998. A limited amount of 1000 copies included a bonus CD along with each of the three original remastered albums. The limited re-issues sold out quickly. The bonus CDs contained single B-sides and previously unreleased live recordings. In 2000, a remix album titled Freakout Remixes was released. This tribute album included remixes of the original Kingston Wall songs, made by such Finnish artists as Accu, Squaremeat and Texas Faggott. After a long period of silence, the live CD box set, Real Live Thing, was released in 2005. The box set featured three CDs recorded from various gigs during the bands existence. The tracks for this album were selected by bassist Jukka Jylli. In 2011 the compilation The Essential was released. Jukka Jylli and Sami Kuoppamäki currently play in the Finnish rock outfit Zook.



DISCOGRAPHY
Studio albums

Kingston Wall I (1992):

1. With My Mind (4:39) 
2. Used to Feel Before (4:02) 
3. I'm Not the One (3:43) 
4. Fire (2:58) 
5. Waste of Time (6:26) 
6. Nepal (8:37) 
7. And I Hear You Call (4:55) 
8. Tanya (3:51) 
9. Mushrooms (21:09)
a) Prelude (1:18) 
b) II On My Own (6:50) 
c) III The Weep (2:01) 
d) IV Mushrooms (3:04) 
e) V Circumstances (2:18) 
f) VI Captain Relief (2:15)
g) VII More Mushrooms (2:07) 
h) VIII The Answer (1:16)

Kingston Wall II (1993):

1. We Cannot Move (4:39) 
2. Istwan (4:02) 
3. Could It Be So? (5:52) 
4. And It's All Happening (6:07) 
5. Love Tonight (6:40) 
6. Two Of a Kind (6:23) 
7. I Feel Love (6:39) 
8. Shine On Me (7:05) 
9. You (10:11) 
10. Palékastro (4:54)




Kingston Wall III - Tri-Logy (1994):

1. Another Piece Of Cake (3:48) 
2. Welcome to the Mirrorland (3:46) 
3. I'm the King, I'm the Sun (4:56) 
4. The Key: Will (1:07) 
5. Take You to Sweet Harmony (3:24) 
6. Get Rid of Your Fears (2:56) 
7. When Something Old Dies (1:21) 
8. Alt-land-is (5:12) 
9. Party Goes On (4:25) 
10. Stüldt Håjt (8:59) 
11. For All Mankind (6:17) 
12. Time (7:07) 
13. The Real Thing (18:02)

Live album

Real Live Thing (2005):

CD 1 
1. With My Mind (6:12)
2. Two Of A Kind (7:15)
3. I'm The King I'm The Sun (6:35)
4. Get Rid Of Your Fears (1:19)
5. When Something Old Dies (2:35)
6. Take You To Sweet Harmony (3:05)
7. Love Tonight (7:03)
8. For All Mankind (6:26)
9. Istwan (2:03)
10. Could It Be So (5:51)
11. Time (8:01)
12. Waste Of Time (13:00)

CD 2 
1. Nepal (8:52)
2. Mushrooms Prelude (2:05)
3. And I Hear You Call (5:10)
4. Circumstances (9:09)
5. I'm Not The One (2:20)
6. Can't Get Thru' (5:36)
7. Used To Feel Before (5:03)
8. Shine On Me (8:45)
9. You (10:52)
10. Palékastro (7:12)

CD 3 
1. Skies Are Open (7:26)
2. Welcome To The Mirrorland (2:15)
3. On My Own (10:04)
4. We Cannot Move (9:01)
5. And It's All Happening (5:30)
6. Another Piece Of Cake (4:01)
7. The Real Thing (7:54)
8. The Answer-Mushrooms VIII (5:09)
9. Have You Seen The Pygmi-mies (2:11)