April 4th, 2014, 11:00 am by Greg
January 15th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Sara
“Don’t Ask Me Questions: The Unsung Life of Graham Parker and the Rumour”
Directed by Michael Gramaglia
(Virgil Films), 2013
Available on iTunes now
Available on DVD on Tuesday, April 8, $19.99
Funded in part through a Kickstarter campaign, documentary director Michael Gramaglia has captured an intimate portrait of veteran rocker Graham Parker’s journey from England to Woodstock, from the days of his early success with his band the Rumour, through his long and varied indie solo career, to the recent Rumour reunion – more than three decades after the band’s break-up.
In addition to a delicious array of vintage performance clips, there are a number of insightful talking heads in the film, most notably Bruce Springsteen, Nick Lowe, Judd Apatow and Joe Jackson. Naturally, the members of the Rumour also weigh in with some frank commentary, and Parker himself reveals a calm, comfortable and confident side of his personality that’s a far cry from his days as one of the guiding lights of the Angry Young Men of the British New Wave.
And for Local 518 music fans, yes, the Figgs – who have frequently been Parker’s backing band between the Rumour years – make an appearance as well. Only one song – “Broken Skin” from the 2010 album, Imaginary Television – is included, so there’s nothing from the legendary The Last Rock and Roll Tour, recorded live at Bogie’s in Albany in 1996. But both Pete Donnelly and Mike Gent (sporting as Incredible Casuals t-shirt) appear in brief interview clips.
AND, YES: The Figgs – minus Parker – are back in Nippertown tonight (Friday, April 4) for the grand opening show of the Low Beat in Albany. Chalaque opens the show at 8pm, and advance tickets are $10. You can bet that it’s gonna get mighty crowded, so if you want a good spot for the show, why not head over to the Low Beat at 10am today (Friday, April 4) for the official ribbon cutting, and then just hang out all day?
June 27th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Greg
Graham Parker @ Valentine’s, 4/19/12 (photo by Kirsten Ferguson)
April 16th, 2012, 12:00 pm by Greg
Graham Parker and Pete Hayes
Review and photos by Kirsten Ferguson. See more of Kirsten’s photos from this show here.
We can’t wait for August, when the Figgs play two back-to-back shows in the area to celebrate their 25 years as a band and their killer new double album, “The Day Gravity Stopped.” They’ll be at Valentine’s in Albany on Friday, August 17 and then the next night (Saturday, August 18) at Putnam Den in their hometown of Saratoga Springs.
But back in April, the Figgs played a special show at Valentine’s with their long-time collaborator Graham Parker (a line-up bolstered by multi-instrumentalist Scott Janovitz), the first night in a short tour with the rock-and-roll statesman, who has a new Graham Parker & the Rumour reunion album recorded for future release.
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August 5th, 2009, 11:40 am by Greg
“The first single that I bought – and this is a pretty strange one – was ‘Some Kind of Fun’ by Chris Montez. How about that? That’s pretty strange. It was a minor hit in England, but I was knocked out by this vibrant organ thing. That was the first record that I actually bought. I don’t know what year that was. When the hell was that? Was that pre-Beatles and Stones? I think it probably was.
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July 29th, 2009, 11:01 am by Sara
Back in the day, you’d probably never guess that you’d ever find the volatile Mr. Parker in a tiny, intimate coffeehouse in Saratoga Springs.
Back then, Parker was lumped in the British New Wave of Angry Young Men along with a pair of singer-songwriter-rockers who followed in his footsteps – Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson.
Of course, all of that was way back in the ’70s, long before Parker jettisoned the Rumor. In the past decade, Parker has recorded a batch of crack solo albums, teamed up with former Saratogians the Figgs for some equally crackling rock ‘n’ roll and published a collection of short stories as well as a novel.
Parker hasn’t lost his caustic wit, however, or his knack for superior songsmithing for that matter. And all were in evidence at Caffe Lena on Saturday, August 1.
Graham Parker (photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk)
“The news came as quite a shock to me. I’d just gone down to the Indian store on Westbourne Grove to pick up a pint of milk and some bread for toast when the headline on the Daily Mirror displayed in a rack of papers across the road outside the newsagents caught my eye: MICK JAGGER DEAD, it screamed across the rain-soaked street.”
(Graham Parker’s “Me and the Stones” from “Carp Fishing on Valium and Other Tales of the Stranger Road Traveled,” 2000)