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Gig review: Graham Parker & The Rumour, Glasgow

Graham Parker: Vital spark has never died. Picture: Getty

Graham Parker: Vital spark has never died. Picture: Getty

  • by MALCOLM JACK
 

IT’D BE nice to report that the band’s unlikely starring in a recent Judd Apatow movie has turned a whole new generation of fans on to the reunited Graham Parker & The Rumour.

Graham Parker & The Rumour - Glasgow ABC

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Though that might be a stretch considering the sea of grey and baldness that faced them here.

The band themselves, on the other hand, sounded rejuvenated as they promoted their first new album in over 31 years Three Chords Good, which fortuitously became intertwined with lifelong fan Apatow’s hit comedy This Is 40 last year.

Despite admiration from Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, bandleader Parker – a perma-sunnies kinda rocker – never quite set his age aflame, much as his whipsmart lyrical style was arguably echoed, to immense success, by Elvis Costello. That vital spark has never died, however, and there was a wonderfully joyful, reflective tone to this show, from the choppy reggae rhythm of Howlin’ Wind forth.

The country-flavoured Black Honey, Parker reported, has been restored to their set for the first time since 1976. A Lie Gets Halfway ‘round the World showed they could do rocket-fuelled too, though it was soulful Hammond organ-licked new song Long Emotional Ride which produced optimum pace.

Local Girls was a fine heartland rocker of Tom Petty-esque quality. Before that, the reaction to Watch the Moon Come Down had brought a note of humble appreciation from Parker which said it all. “To watch people singing along after all these years,” he responded sincerely, “means a lot.”

 

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