Graham Parker Rockpalast Concerts Reissued with a Bonus: Review

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English rocker Graham Parker’s Last Chance to Learn the Twist, which came out in 2023, was just the latest chapter in a distinguished career that has spanned about half a century. The high-octane concerts on Live at Rockpalast 1978 & 1980, which come from the early part of that career, first appeared as a two-DVD set in 2012. In a new 2024 release, a pair of CDs that feature the same music augment the video discs.

Supported at the 1978 show by his muscular group the Rumour and a horn section, Parker conveys intensity as he performs 15 of his best songs, among them “Back to Schooldays,” “White Honey,” “Heat Treatment” and the addictively hooked “Fool’s Gold.” At the equally compelling 1980 gig, where the backup includes the late Nicky Hopkins on piano, a 19-song set features several numbers from Parker’s then-recently released Squeezing Out Sparks LP, which proved to be a standout: “Discovering Japan,” “Nobody Hurts You,” “Passion Is No Ordinary Word” and “Don’t Get Excited.” Only three selections are duplicated in the two concerts, which took place at Germany’s Rockpalast venue.

Not surprisingly, given the age of these recordings, the DVDs offer neither a widescreen format nor surround sound. The audio and video are more than acceptable, however, and Parker’s potent fusion of new wave and soul comes across loud and clear throughout.

The 2024 release is available in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here.

Related: Our Album Rewind of Parker’s Squeezing Out Sparks

Jeff Burger

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  1. Barry Coppinger
    #1 Barry Coppinger 25 May, 2024, 12:53

    Nice to hear Little Feat’s ‘Tripe Face Boogie’ played with respect by GP & Rumour, who were a great band. We saw them in 1976 at Middlesbrough town hall, in North East of England, supporting Thin Lizzy, and in 1977 at Newcastle City Hall, where they topped the bill. Brinsley Schwarz was a great guitarist and we saw their band, who included bassist Nick Lowe several times….likewise the other guitarist, Martin Belmont, who played in another great band Ducks Deluxe. Long live pub-rock !! Regards Barry

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