Graham Parker and the Rumour, one of the UK’s pioneering pre-punk bands return with a new album, Mystery Glue out 18th May. The Rumour formed in 1975 and although deemed too edgy for the traditional rock scene and too traditional for the emerging punk wave, they were critically acclaimed and are remembered for their incendiary live performances. Reforming a couple of years ago after a 30 plus year hiatus, they recorded a new album, Three Chords Good and took to the road. Now, fresh from the excitement around that release they return with Mystery Glue, again featuring the original line up of Graham, Bob Andrews, Brinsley Schwarz, Martin Belmont, Andrew Bodnar and Stephen Goulding.
Written in Graham’s second home of New York and recorded in just 6 days in the legendary RAK studios in London, Mystery Glue is a real return to form for this seminal British songwriter and powerhouse band.
Often cited as a major influence on amongst others Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Paul Weller and Bruce Springsteen, Parker’s song writing prowess and live intensity lead Springsteen to declare “It was ‘76, that was when Howlin’ Wind came out and, you know I was just getting’ my own ball rolling and suddenly I felt all of this heat. I felt all of the heat on my back when I put that record on because it was so good and it was one of those records that you’re gonna say ‘every single cut is spectacular. And his voice was so…it was one of those ‘cuts through the bullshit’ voices”.
Whether onstage or in the studio the chemistry and energy between Graham and the Rumour was riveting yet by 1980, after 5 studio albums together and 2 live sets, they split, Graham pursuing a solo career that has seen him record some 25 albums in the years since.
Mystery Glue is an album of conscious rock that harks back to Graham Parker & the Rumour’s genre-defining music of the 70s whilst paying homage to Dylan, reggae, soul and rock ‘n’ roll. Of the album title Graham says: “When Swiss astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky described Dark Matter in the 1930’s, he got the name wrong. It is of course ‘Mystery Glue’ that holds the Universe together. As always, when I present new songs to the Rumour they work feverishly to make sense of them, often starting out with wildly disparate and alarmingly wrong diversions. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, everything falls into place, as if by dint of some Mystery Glue that holds us all together.
The Graham Parker Duo (with fellow Rumour member and guitar legend Brinsley Schwarz) is about to head out on a UK tour, starting 15th April in Sale then travelling the length and breadth of the country.
“Graham’s music was always aggressive sounding because of his voice. He always had that caustic attitude that he balanced with tremendous soul and warmth so it was a beautiful combination of things. There was a hint of a chip on his shoulder but when you got underneath it, there was Fools Gold, Black Honey, these things were just filled with such soul and such beauty there was a beautiful tension between those things.” Bruce Springsteen
“The first couple of times I saw Graham Parker was with a band. So from where he was standing to the wall the energy was like was like ‘boom’!” “You could tell that he was feeling it”. Black Francis
Film producer and Graham Parker & the Rumour fan Judd Apatow got the band to play themselves in the 2012 movie This Is 40.
Beats headphones supremo Jimmy Lovine produced the last Graham Parker & the Rumour album (The Up Escalator) before they split in 1980.
Sounds once asked “Could this be the new Bob Dylan?
“This guy combines the best of Van Morrison, Eric Burdon and John Lennon … he’s the only guy around right now I’d pay money to see,” Bruce Springsteen
In 2000 Graham Parker’s fictional book Carp Fishing on Valium was published. It’s a seven ages of man story following a boy learning about wildlife before becoming a Mod in his teens, getting married, joining a band, fishing (on Valium) and finally retiring.
“He’s a prolific songwriter. His stuff really grows on you.” Phil Lynott
“This influence stuff,” says Elvis Costello…I appreciate the comparison you drew with Graham Parker.
“Graham was punk, before punk music was invented; he was a harder version of Bruce Springsteen. He always had a very high credibility threshold and the music was all that was important and it seemed to write its own story” Dave Robinson (Stiff Records founder & former manager)
“Graham Parker is one of those guys that people that know love and respect” Paul Rudd
When he’s not writing or performing songs, Graham Parker enjoys soaking up wildlife and the wonders of nature.
Legendary arranger Jack Nitzsche (Performance, The Exorcist and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest) produced the GP & The Rumour classic album Squeezing Out Sparks – a Rolling Stone magazine all-time top 500 album.