Graham Parker showed Britain's punks you could be angry without being ignorant. However, as the punks got angrier Parker felt the need to match them hate for hate, while continuing to school them on how to focus that anger. Once again, Dave Thompson's London's Burning provides the money quotes:
"Our attitude to punk was, we were kind of jolted." We were in a field of one, doing things like : "You Can't Hurry Love" really aggrressively, doing reggae with this angry attitude; we had it all together and suddenly we were not the only ballgame. There was this thing called [Punk Rock]....and it was a bit scary for us. So we thought we'd better crank it up another level and came back really nasty."And Parker's records did grow more vitriolic throughout the seventies. So to follow up the live show from '76, here's the ever-more belligerent Parker's Live on the Test. This set is made up of BBC TV performances on The Old Grey Whistle Test from 17 March 1977 and 20 March 1978. It's further proof of Parker and The Rumour's live fire-power. If, like Parker himself, you believe Mutt Lange's production of his second album, Heat Treatment, is sterile, then you'll find these versions raw and bloody enough to be a bio-hazard.
MRML readers, leave us a comment about your favourite era(s) of GP's work.
Live on the Test CD
Support the man:
And don't forget Parker's current home Bloodshot Records,where you can order this new old live album or some of his blood-stirring recent work.
Also Wolfgang's Vault has some vintage Parker/Rumour material for streaming or purchasing.