Graham Parker: Higher Ground, South Burlington, VT 4/24/10

Perhaps only a fan who truly appreciates Graham Parker as much for his non-conformist attitude as his aptitude with a pop tune might find the unconventional approach of his April 24th Vermont show satisfying. In a sojourn through his independent discography of the 80’s and 90’s, the transplanted Brit spent most of his 90 minutes on stage picking and choosing tunes like "Bean Counter," from Acid Bubblegum, and offering a handful of culls from his newly released Imaginary Television (the source of the sole stage production in the form of a small TV on a barstool center stage).

Parker didn’t ignore his best known work, but made no effort to accede to shouted requests from a few of the passionate observers in the club. Apart from "Hole in the World," which GP introduced as not worthy of inclusion on his first album (or sardonic words to that effect), and a rowdy version of  1979’s  "Local Girls," from the hallmark Squeezing Out Sparks, the only number from his earliest days was a subdued version of "White Honey," performed as a duet with guitarist/vocalist Mike Gent.  It was a moment of intimacy comparable to Parker’s gentle reading of "Blue Highway," off The Mona Lisa’s Sister, performed with just the bass accompaniment of Pete Donnelly who, along with drummer Peter Hays, played with panache through The Figgs’  own opening set and throughout the evening.

Most if not all the 100 plus attendees were familiar with the entire setlist, and gave more than just polite response to the clutch of sharp new tunes Graham Parker played, such as "You’re Not Where You Think You Are" and "It’s My Party (But I Won’t Cry)."  But it was a rare atmosphere in the Showcase Lounge this late spring night, in which respect for the performer mixed with a certain polite distance from him, carried over after the performance into the the queue for autographs and photos.


Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide