World Party

Amoeba San Francisco - November 28th @ 6:00pm

Welsh singer/songwriter Karl Wallinger and his World Party crew celebrate Arkeology - the five-CD set spanning 25 years - with a live set and signing at Amoeba San Francisco!


Arkeology contains 70 tracks that span 25 years including four albums worth of previously unreleased studio material, 15 live tracks, PLUS a stunning coffee table book with lyrics, stories, pictures, and more.


Also catch World Party later that night at the Great American Music Hall.



Born in North Wales, Karl Wallinger’s first foray into the music business was in 1976 as a member of the group Quasimodo, who were much later to mutate into The Alarm. Wallinger moved to London in the late 70’s to work as a clerk for ATV/Northern Songs music publishing, but soon became musical director of the Rocky Horror Picture Show in London’s West End. 1981 found Wallinger joining a funk band called Out and then The Waterboys in 1982 to record the albums A Pagan Place and 1985’s This Is The Sea.

World Party? A social-democratic ideology? A good time for all? A better name than “The Karl Wallinger Band”? Wallinger walked out of cult heroes the Waterboys and launched World Party with a surprising hit album and US hit single, “Ship of Fools”. Private Revolution charted in America, proving that 20th century philosophy could be set to good tunes and sell. It was never a prolific project, but through five educational and entertaining albums, World Party carried the torch for intelligent pop and outstanding live musicianship. Eclectic in every sense of the word, World Party took its leads from the Beatles, Dylan, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Junior Walker, Neil Young and Prince, making the music its own.

And God said ‘Look after the planet.’ But Man said ‘Fuck You.’

Wallinger’s insightful songs deal primarily with the responsibility of the individual to recognize and cope with the problems of the world. Next up for World Party was involvement in the Greenpeace Rainbow Warriors project. Further concerns for the air and fishes led to Goodbye Jumbo, which won the first ever Q Magazine “Album of the Year” award in 1990, was nominated for a Grammy and had hits with “Message in the Box” and “Way Down Now”. The third release, Bang! , was only held off the number one spot in the U.K. by R.E.M.

Contrary to its suggested democratic principles, Wallinger’s World Party is a whimsical dictatorship and the messages in the lyrics are definitely his. The party ethos has drifted as his philosophical allegiances have shifted. Private Revolution mirrored Dion Fortune’s Cosmic Doctrine. Goodbye Jumbo was Karl’s take on Carl Jung. Bang! was a paean to Bertrand Russell, with the single, “Is It Like Today” a four verse précis of “A History of Western Philosophy”. Everything and everyone involved with World Party is drawn in to realize Karl’s ideas and ideals. Photography, graphic design, video concepts and musicianship are conducted by Wallinger, driving a furrow through musical and artistic trends with a self-assured swagger.

1994 and 1995 brought contributions to the movie soundtracks for Reality Bites and Clueless.

World Party’s fourth album, Egyptology (1997), written following the death of Wallinger's mother, featured "She's the One", subsequently recorded by Robbie Williams, going to #1 and winning a Brit. Wallinger took a three year break from World Party and was able to acquire the rights to his entire catalog from EMI, allowing for the creation of his own label Seaview Records and the release in 2000 of Dumbing Up. After a short period of touring, disaster struck when Wallinger suffered an aneurysm. Effectively taking him out of action for two years, the royalties from “She’s The One” proved useful.

Legal manoeuvring and recuperations led to 2005 and the idea of taking World Party back on the road and into the public consciousness. Operating with his own label Seaview, Wallinger set about re-releasing his catalogue in 2006. This coincided with playing SXSW, Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot and two national tours and a Top 20 song at Triple A with “What Does It Mean Now?”.

In September 2007 World Party supported Steely Dan in their first tour of Australia. 2008 saw the release of Big Blue Ball, a joint project with Peter Gabriel with production work by Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order). A 2009 West Coast headline tour culminated in a performance at San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival that was one for the ages.

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