WhatsUp Interview: Graham Parker, British Rock Icon Coming to Greenwich Odeum Thursday May 9

40th Anniversary of Seminal Album Squeezing Out Sparks

Graham Parker

Graham Parker and The Rumour exploded out of the UK “pub rock” scene in the mid-1970’s to critical acclaim behind early releases like Howlin’ Wind and Heat Treatment. The band brought a raw edge to rock and roll, along with pointed lyrics full of frustration and a touch of rage.

Parker is still out there kicking things up, still full of a mild dose of angst and sarcasm along with a voice weathered a touch by time. We tracked him down earlier this week in advance of his Greenwich Odeum show Thursday May 9. He’s clearly very much on top of his game, squeezing out sparks and reaffirming that passion is no ordinary word. 

Here’s our quick interview – see you at the show!

Congrats on the 40th anniversary of Squeezing Out Sparks. Tell us a little about the decision to do an acoustic remake of the album.

- Advertisement -

It was Rumour guitarist Martin Belmont who kicked me into it. He’s done a book of the guitar parts which is now published. Someone reminded him that it’s been 40 years since “Sparks” was released and I thought I’d join in with the anniversary and record the solo versions.

  • Those songs were loud!  How do approach them in an acoustic environment?

Well, I wrote the songs on an acoustic guitar and although they most certainly worked well with the Rumour playing them, I’ve done many of the songs solo onstage so in the controlled atmosphere of a studio it wasn’t that hard. Some work a lot better than others, but I think overall it’s a decent piece of work and because my vocal style is completely different to the way it was back then I reinvent the songs anyway.

  • How do you view the current musical landscape?

I don’t! Music by other artists is not at the forefront of my attentions and hasn’t been for a long while. I do hear acts here and there of course, and as always in any time period there’s varying degrees of good, great or not so much! I just live in my own musical sphere with my own material and am privileged that anyone still pays any attention.

  • What advice do you have for “upstart” musicians today?

It’s a job, like any other, work hard to be the best you can be at it. And don’t take advice from me or anyone else!

  • What else have you been up to lately?

I’m only focused right now on getting through a tour vaguely in one piece and hopefully keeping my voice in shape night after night. As stated, it’s a job!

Check out Graham Parker this Thursday at the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich. James Maddock opens. Complete details here.