Royal treatment: the Kingpins' story
planned the plan, then they put it into action... The Kingpins
are a road-tested, consumer-approved quintet that rocks toward the future
without denying its respectable past as a leading ska unit. What does the future
hold? Beginning with the new songs already being played since Spring 2003, a major
summer Canadian tour, as well as several exciting events being booked as you
read this, the future is bright indeed!
In '94, the world was
blissfully unaware of the impending "third wave" of ska. A motley crew
of diehard Montreal mods and rudies, musicians all, decided that their town, and
by extension their nation, needed a lesson in how old-school ska was done. That
meant a solid brass section, warm organ sounds, spy-flick guitar licks and
rock-steady rhythms. They called themselves the Kingpins, and in matters
of traditional ska party music, they were. They are easily one of the nation's
best live acts and party bands.
The first Kingpins
single "On the Run" won a MiMi (Montreal Independent Music
Industry) award for Best Single in '95, coinciding with swelling crowds and a
proliferation of younger bands eager to ape that Kingpin cool.
The following year saw the dawn
of their own label Stomp Records and the first Kingpins CD, "Watch Your Back?.
By '97 the band was on newspaper covers and national TV; all eyes were on the Kingpins,
stylish ambassadors of ska. Trapped between grunge and techno, people were
hungry for satisfying, kick-ass live music that one could dance to. Who better
to turn to?
band burst out of the alternative sub-category that contained it with mainstream
radio play, a second album in '99 "Let's
Go To Work" that outdid the first, numerous headline gigs all over Europe, North America,
Japan, breakout slots on packages like the Warped Tour, TV appearances, video
airplay and soundtrack material
for film and TV.
With their most current full-length, "Plan of Action" aggressive choices were made, and they paid off. First, the lineup was stripped down to a tight, well-oiled five-piece party machine, with Lorraine ?The Queen of Ska? taking up vocal duties full-time. While maintaining solid ties to the rhythms and positive energy of ska, they explored punk, pop, new wave, moving balladry and even breakbeats. The results, far from a corny, unfocused cash-in, were vital, solid and the best and most exciting thing the band had done to date. Not surprisingly, the album raced to the top of the Canadian college charts in a time when most ska releases were serving as drink coasters.
only have Canada?s Monarchs
come through shining, that shine will light the way to the most creative and
engaging stretch of their career. And hey, everybody's welcome to hop on for the
Long live the Kingpins!!!
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