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Graham Parker: Welcome Back

The voice has weathered well and he’s less angry, but The Rumour founder is still a hard-edged R&B legend

Graham Parker comes with ringing endorsements. Over a 40-year career he’s drawn praise from top-drawer admirers such as Phil Lynott, Elvis Costello, Paul Weller and Bruce Springsteen. The latter was a particular enthusiast back in the 70s when Parker, backed by The Rumour, first unleashed his potent cocktail of roots rock and hard-nosed R&B, stirred by a voice that sounded unnervingly toxic. Springsteen, who likened him to Van Morrison, Eric Burdon and John Lennon, declared him “the only guy around that I’d pay money to see”.

Parker made five albums with The Rumour before they split in 1980, since when he’s released a tranche of fine recordings under his own name. In 2011 he and his old bandmates reunited after three decades apart and started work on a comeback album, Three Chords Good. Now Parker & The Rumour have returned with Mystery Glue, an even stronger follow-up that sees them pump up their grizzly rock’n’soul like the redoubtable old masters they clearly still are.

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