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World Party - 9/5
at City Winery New York City
World Party is a British pop/alternative rock band which is the vehicle for the songwriter Karl Wallinger.
After a stint as musical director of a West End performance of The Rocky Horror Show, Wallinger joined a funk band called Out, before joining Mike Scott's Waterboys in 1984 to record the album A Pagan Place. After 1985's This Is the Sea, Wallinger departed to form World Party.
Recorded at the Old Rectory in Eversholt, Bedfordshire in 1986, his debut album Private Revolution yielded two minor hits in the UK, "Private Revolution" and "Ship of Fools". "Ship Of Fools", however, did much better outside the UK — it reached no. 4 in Australia, no. 21 in New Zealand, and no. 27 in the US, in the process becoming the act's only major international hit.
Between World Party's first and second albums, Wallinger aided Sinéad O'Connor in recording her 1988 debut, The Lion and the Cobra. O'Connor, then an unknown, had appeared as a guest on World Party's first album. She would go on to appear as a guest on the second LP as well.
Goodbye Jumbo, World Party's second album, contained the minor UK hit singles "Way Down Now" and "Put the Message in the Box".Goodbye Jumbo was voted "album of the year" by Q magazine and was nominated for a Grammy Award for "best alternative music performance" in the US.
After the 1991 EP Thank You World (including a cover of The Beatles' "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"), Wallinger recruited guitarist David Catlin-Birch and ex-Icicle Works drummer Chris Sharrock as fully-fledged members for 1993's hit album Bang!. It reached no. 2 in the UK Albums Chart, with the track "Is It Like Today?" (no. 19 on the UK Singles Chart) also becoming a moderately successful single in Europe. The success of Bang! saw World Party in the line-up for the Glastonbury Festival.
In 1994, Wallinger did the soundtrack to the film Reality Bites, his first foray into filmscore work.
Their fourth album, Egyptology (1997), included "She's the One" which was subsequently recorded by Robbie Williams. Wallinger took a three-year break from World Party, before the release of Dumbing Up in 2000. However, in February 2001 he was struck down by an aneurysm that left him with no right hand vision in both eyes.
After a long, five-year rehabilitation, in 2006 Wallinger re-emerged onto the scene. With his back catalogue reclaimed from EMI, a distribution deal was struck (via his own Seaview label) with Universal, and he played his first live show in a decade at the Austin, Texas-based South by Southwest festival. He played additional US dates in 2006. Big Blue Ball, a joint project with Peter Gabriel with production work by Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order) has also been released.
In September 2007, World Party supported Steely Dan in both bands' first tour of Australia.
In 2011 the band returned to the South by Southwest festival to play a free concert. In 2012 World Party released a new five CD collection of new songs, live recordings and cover versions, entitled "Arkeology".