Monday, February 15, 2010

Graham Parker: Live at Marble Arch

"(My) songs had an unthematic apocalyptic feel that was tough and hard and somehow developed an extremely aggressive stance which was a reaction against the progressive music scene. It was rebellious youth, how society was controlling us, and the other hippie themes - but rocking hard while doing it."
Graham Parker

Graham Parker killed pub rock.

Pub rock was an umbrella term for dozens of mid-70s English groups, each playing their own amalgam country-r&b-rockabilly in gritty pubs rather than stadiums. It's a fascinating era, as the films Oil City Confidential and Sex & Drugs & Rock n' Roll will remind us. However, to those raised after punk, some of those bands can sound timid, as if they feared creating something too new.

Parker, when he broke out with Howlin' Wind in July 1976, was brash as hell and damn sure he was onto something new.

Dave Thompson, in his minutiae-packed memoir London's Burning, records Parker's reaction to hearing one of the former bands of a member of this then-backing band, The Rumour. "I was amazed to find out it was some sort of soft wimpy country rock. I thought, 'What the fuck has this got to do with what I'm doing. I don't get it! People are calling me Pub Rock , what is this?'"

Like the pub rockers, Parker revered the raw vitality of sixties rockers but like the punks to come he wanted to clear the deck and start again.

More on Parker is yet to come, but till then here's part two of That's When You Know, which is actually the legendarily rare Live at Marble Arch recorded with the Rumour. I kept the two parts separate because they are completely different eras and styles and were likely only forced to co-habitate to help sales before it went out of print (though it now fetches $150.00 on Amazon). Its a stunning speed-drenched set of originals (plus a trio of well-chosen R & B covers) perpetrated one sunny afternoon in July of 1976 before an audience of American record executives.

Live at Marble Arch CD

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  1. Thanks for this. I own a really poor copy that I got just after the original release. So I am dead pleased to get this. One of my favourite live albums of all time.

    Cheers Fatbhoyjim

  2. Many thanks for this excellent replacement for my long-lost cassette. Interesting that they've edited out most of the cringe-inducing intro by the record company rep. This has to be one of the best live albums ever (imho!), shame it didn't get a wider release at the time as it cuts the officially released Parkerilla to shreds.

  3. Fatbhoyjim
    It's amazing how Parker's career often turned on his live performances (think this as well as "Live Sparks"). While he's released a butt-load of live albums, it's amazing how many of them are great.

    And again "The Parkerilla" is STILL available on CD and this isn't. Sold as a stand-alone with basic packaging this would keep selling.

  4. Thank you very much for what you do.

    My understanding is that Live at Marble Arch is a promo only LP. I have not heard it and would love to. Is there a legal reason that you have only posted the acoustic demos?

  5. BTW, have you heard GP and the Figgs?
    I see that they are coming to a venue near my home.

  6. Mitch You're welcome and keep listening to the download - Marble Arch is there - just a few songs in because I split the double CD wrong (374 d/l's later someone would've pointed out it wasn't there!)

    I would love to see GP and the Figgs if they ever came close to Winnipeg (my home town) which is unlikely...

  7. so if I have an autographed copy of this on bootleg LP signed by graham and the rumour... any idea what that might be worth?

  8. Dwight
    I'm no collector so I can't say what it'll net you on e-bay (or discogs) but it should be more that worth the trouble (assuming you want to get rid of something that seems like a keepsake!)

  9. I think the Link is Down.Could you please Re-up?

  10. Carlo
    Maybe try the mediafire link again in a bit. It's had 660 d/l's with no problems (and I'm just trying it myself now- so far so good...)
    Let me know if you just can't get it.

  11. Tried it again and again on now 2 different Days but couldn't get it.It starts normaly but then stopped with"Your Download is starting" but nothing happens.Could we find another Way?So sad if I can't get Part 2 of this Great Record.

  12. Thanks for the awesome GP posts, been after a copy of Marble Arch for ages.
    Saw him at a small club in Brighton in 86 and he was great, but tiny!
    Must catch up with his recent work

  13. Thanks for the d/l - I too had a ropey vinyl copy of L@MA! I remember sneaking backstage to watch rehearsals when GP played at Leicester circa '77/'78 - great stuff!

  14. Pretty fabulous stuff! W.

  15. I was a bit late to the party, but thank you nonetheless.

    I had forgotten how vital this LP was--and still is.

  16. I've owned a copy of Marble Arch for many years and have just recently rediscovered it.Holy Crap!These were great musicians just going for it!Really wonderful playing and Mr.Parker is fantastic.Found this copy at a small used record shop in Media,Pa called Who's Next.Got it for 20 dollars.


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