Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 29 January 2015

Review: Graham Parker can cut it without the band

"Is Graham Parker playing tonight, or is it just a rumour?" said the waggish man to the girl at the ticket kiosk. Emerging from the Pub Rock swamp of the mid-70s as a kind of John the Baptist figure to new wave deities like Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, Parker has had to sustain a career on talent alone.

If the bespectacled nasal sneer has been filched, the songwriting ability and live attack remain intact. On the eve of a brand new tour with old comrades The Rumour, this solo spot saw him mean and lean.

Opening with a Van Morrison echoing Watch The Moon Come Down, he cut a compelling figure. Mixing between old material and newer favourites like Old Soul from latest album Three Chord's Good (sorry, I counted at least four) he was a man at ease with past and present.

Early material like Silly Thing and Fools Gold showed that he always knew his way round a pop hook, even if he only occasionally took advantage of it.

But judging by the affection shown by the audience, helping him with the odd senior moment, and gleefully singing along to Waiting For The UFOs, obscurity does not beckon.

Just make sure to bring the band next time.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

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You long to have some fun, but responsibilities require your attention. Set some reasonable goals and then reward yourself when you finish them in the allotted time. Having incentives will keep you focused and productive. Fortunately, a loved one is offering lots of support. Lean on this friend when you feel discouraged. With their encouragement, you'll be able to finish work in record time. After hours, you'll be able to share a good meal together. Do your best to balance work with play.More