The KINGPINS were formed in 1994 in Montréal by a few friends and ska fans!
In its first five years, the band released several recordings including the "On the Run" EP in 1995, "Watch Your Back" in 1996, a 45rpm 7” vinyl in 1997, and what many consider their masterpiece "Let's Go to Work" in 1999. They also made several videos "Manon, Viens Danser le Ska", "Sick Valentino", "Bordel", "Supernova" and "Consequence"; not to mention hitting the road for six cross-Canada tours, two European tours, and two American ones!
In 1998, at the height of their popularity, the band played a unique conceptual « musical combat » show with their colleagues The Planet Smashers with whom they shared the stage simultaneously. The event was a sold-out triumph, and both bands that had created Stomp Records together in 1994 came out winners of the battle. The Kingpins played countless sold-out shows over the next few years; in fact, there was not a single hometown show that was not sold out between the years 1996 and 1999. They played such legendary venues as The Horseshoe Tavern, Club Soda, The Spectrum, The Métropolis (Montreal International Jazz Festival 1999 sold-out headliner) solidifying their place in Canadian music history.
In 2000 a huge change takes place within the band and Lorraine (aka “The Queen of Ska”) takes the lead as sole singer for a fresh-sounding new 5-piece band. The "Plan of Action" CD, produced by none other than King Kong Gírio of King Apparatus fame, makes big waves in college and commercial radio and is nominated for a few indie music awards. The single “L’Aventurier” which is a cover of a song by French band Indochine continues to be the band’s most successful song in streaming and in digital sales. The song was also featured in a video on YouTube « The Longest Way 1.0 » that up to now has over 15 million views.
In 2004, while recording a new album, the sole remaining original member, Lorraine, pays great respect to the band’s honorable history by changing the name of the band to reflect its new members and musical evolution, marking the end of an era. The Kingpins are dead; long live The Kingpins!
In 2015 the band celebrated the Sweet Sixteen of their opus “Let’s Go to Work” by preparing a show including the original lineup of members from that album who hadn’t played together since 1999. This celebration took place in October of that year, where they headlined the Montreal Ska Festival for a sold out, intense, and unforgettable night. This is where they were bit, once again, by the bug…
2017 saw the OFFICIAL release of “Let’s Go BACK to Work”: a re-imagined version of the quintessential “Let’s Go to Work”, and a special set on the main stage at the first ever Evenko ’77 Montreal festival. What’s coming up in 2018? Headlining Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival’s closing event in June, and an exclusive performance at Beau’s Oktoberfest in September. What’s not to love?