Posts Tagged ‘Brinsley Schwarz’

Graham-Parker

Graham Parker & the Rumour Returned, One of the most significant groups to emerge in the new wave boom of the 1970s, Graham Parker & the Rumour, one of the UK’s pioneering pre-punk bands return with a new album, Mystery Glue through Chess’ cutting-edge imprint Cadet Concept. 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 an album of conscious rock that harks back to a genre-defining music of the 70s whilst paying homage to Dylan, reggae, soul and rock ‘n’ roll.” released their new album, ‘Mystery Glue,’ in May. The album will be released on the newly-relaunched Cadet Concept label.

The new record follows the band’s successful reunion with the 2012 album ‘Three Chords Good,’ their first album together since 1980’s ‘The Up Escalator.’ The new set contains songs about their love for London and features many subtle references to their own much-travelled history. The track ‘Railroad Spikes’ was launched on their own Vevo channel at the end of March.

The band put together a UK tour, billed as the Graham Parker Duo featuring Brinsley Schwarz, After a long gap of over 30 years,  their 2nd recent album in relatively quick succession. Graham is in good voice, obviously not the angry young man of the late 1970’s, but he still has plenty of relevant things to say for himself. The original Rumour band are back together, and provide accomplished support, sometimes veering maybe towards a more country style.  The track listing for the album is as follows:

1. Transit Of Venus
2. Going There
3. Wall Of Grace
4. Swing State
5. Slow News Day
6. Railroad Spikes
7. Flying Into London
8. Pub Crawl
9. I’ve Done Bad Things
10. Fast Crowd
11. Long Shot
12. My Life In Movieland

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Yep Roc Records is excited to announce that for the first time in decades, you can now own Nick the Knife, The Abominable Showman, Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit, The Rose of England, Pinker and Prouder Than Previous, and Party of One all on CD and LP! Bundle all of them together and get a great discount PLUS a limited edition Nick Lowe lunchbox is for free!

Nick Lowe first came to prominence during the British pub-rock scene of the early ‘70s as a member of the legendary band Brinsley Schwarz. Between 1969 and ’75, Lowe sang, played bass, and wrote songs for the band’s six albums, which today are cherished collectibles for the faithful pub-rock fan. After the break-up of Brinsley Schwarz, Lowe tinkered around as a solo artist, releasing singles like “So It Goes” for Stiff Records, where he also worked as the label’s staff producer (working with Elvis Costello, the Damned, and Dr. Feelgood). Lowe also performed as part of the band Rockpile with Dave Edmunds. Lowe released his solo debut, Jesus of Cool (titled Pure Pop for Now People in the U.S.) in 1978, followed by the hit album Labour of Lust.

After marrying singer Carlene Carter (Johnny Cash’s stepdaughter) in 1979, Lowe recorded a single album with Rockpile, 1980’s Seconds of Pleasure, the band enjoying a modest hit when the album charted Top 30 in the U.S. After the break-up of Rockpile (whose members had also played played on various Lowe and Edmunds solo LPs), Lowe returned to his solo career with Nick the Knife. Recruiting former Rockpile bandmates Billy Bremner (guitar) and Terry Williams (drums), Lowe brought friends like guitarist Martin Belmont (from the Rumour) and keyboardists Steve Nieve (the Attractions) and Paul Carrack (Squeeze) into the studio. Nick the Knife features a solid set of Lowe’s pop-rock originals (including two songs co-written with Carter, who also sings on the album) as well as a version of the Rockpile song “Heart.”

The following year’s The Abominable Showman found Lowe returning to his pub-rock roots, recording with a stripped-down band that included Belmont, Carrack, and drummer Bobby Irwin, who formed the core of Lowe’s Cowboy Outfit backing band throughout the decade. The album offers up some fine rockin’ country-tinged moments and a few great songs like “Ragin’ Eyes,” “We Want Action,” and “Time Wounds All Heels,” the last two co-written with Carter. A cover of Moon Martin’s “Paid the Price” fits nicely on the track list.

Reissues of both of these long out-of-print albums is certainly welcome, and comes at a nice time as Lowe’s friends and Yep Roc labelmate’s Los Straitjackets will be releasing their tribute to the songwriter with their new album, What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and

Brinsley Schwarz released a string of classic Pub Rock albums in the early 1970s, and this could be their best. “Its All Over Now” was intended to re-launched the group in America, but like their much-hyped visit to New York it didnt go as planned. Indeed, the album languished in Rockfield Studios tape library for years until rescued by the bands guitarist Ian Gomm, who mixed it at Royal Studios for release on record. But even that didn t go as planned and once again the album disappeared. A few years ago, Gomm made a few homemade CDRs available from his website, but the album has remained largely ignored.

Until now. Twenty-five years after Ian Gomm rescued and mixed the album, Mega Dodo is set to release a newly mastered version on limited vinyl and CD. The best Brinsley Schwarz album you have never heard now sounds even better.

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There are some songs that we wish weren’t still relevant, But  “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding” would now sound hopelessly dated, as if it were the relic of another time. Instead the song, written by Nick Lowe in 1974 and performed by his band Brinsley Schwarz, is as timely as it’s ever been, its searching questions begging for answers in this day and age now more than ever.

Nick Lowe, has said he originally intended the song to be tongue-in-cheek, only to rethink the tone along the way. “I wrote the song in 1973, and the hippie thing was going out, and everyone was starting to take harder drugs and rediscover drink,” he said. “Alcohol was coming back, and everyone sort of slipped out of the hippie dream and into a more cynical and more unpleasant frame of mind. And this song was supposed to be an old hippie, laughed at by the new thinking, saying to these new smarty-pants types, ‘Look, you think you got it all going on. You can laugh at me, but all I’m saying is ‘What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?’ And that was the idea of the song. But I think as I started writing it, something told me it was too good of an idea to make it into a joke. It was originally supposed to be a joke song, but something told me there was a little grain of wisdom in this thing, and not to mess it up.”

Adorned with Who-style power chords and Beach Boys-flavored harmonies, Brinsley Schwarz’s take on the song charges full-on into the breach even as Lowe begs us to stop and consider his pleas. His narrator attempts to navigate “this wicked world” and “searches for light in the darkness of insanity.” He admits that despair is never too far removed: “My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes.”

“Is all hope lost?” he wonders, and he laments about the ubiquity of “pain, hatred and misery.” Yet he suggests that the only way out of this malaise is vigilance, the kind that constantly presses and pushes for something better than the status quo, which he expresses via a series of queries: “So where are the strong?/ And who are the trusted?/ And where is the harmony?”

By keeping any kind of specifics out of his tale, Lowe ensured that his song would resonate in times of worldly turmoil or personal angst. It all builds to the scorching common sense of the refrain: “And each time I feel it slipping away, it just makes me want to cry/ What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding.

Elvis Costello’s 1978 hard-charging, heart-on-sleeve version of the song, which was produced by Lowe, brought it to a wider audience and became one of Costello’s best-known recordings. Lowe, however, probably preferred the 1992 version by Curtis Stigers. Why? Because it appeared on the multi-platinum soundtrack to The Bodyguard, thus producing a royalties windfall for the writer.

In any case, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding” endures. Hopefully we’ll reach a day where we can appreciate the song based on its artistic merits alone and not because the title sounds like it could be the headline of an editorial in this morning’s newspaper rather than the lament of a songwriter written fortysomething years ago.

Image result for graham parker and the rumour

What a great performance and a singer with total commitment and a band who can really kick ass! It doesn’t get any better! I’m going back to schooldays to put things right!! . Not many other acts played such energetic live gigs than GP!!!! The guy is sincere about his music and that’s easy to hear when watching this concert, even confronted with a zombie audience. maybe Springsteen learned a lot from GP !!.

Formed in London in 1975. Initially managed by Stiff Records founder Dave Robinson, Graham Parker was put together with former members of Brinsley Schwarz by his management and they became a huge and electrifying live draw, bridging New Wave with the earlier Pub-Rock scene. They recorded five albums together until they split in 1980.

If you’re a Graham Parker fan, you must have this jewel. from 1978 , capture the frenzy and energy of Parker and the Rumour in their salad days; nearly over the edge raucous, yet tight and in total control. The audio and video is a bit crude, but considering the vintage of the source tapes, it’s more than adequate.

There was no better singer, songs or band or energy. A fine band at the peak of their skills. Brilliant ensemble playing. Andrew Bodnar, Bob Andrews, Brinsley Schwarz , Graham Parker, Martin Belmont, Steve Goulding

Setlist:  Heat Treatment 0:15 Soul on Ice 6:40 School Days 9:56 Heat in Harlem 12:50 Fool’s Gold 20:52 Watch the Moon Come Down 25:30 Thunder and Rain 31:10 Stick to Me 34:45 I’m Gonna Tear your Playhouse Down 38:10 Don’t Ask Me Questions 41:50 Not If It Pleases Me 47:30 New York Shuffle 50:25 Soul Shoes 53:40