Gra­ham Parker & The Gold­tops

Cloud Sym­bols 100%

Classic Rock - - Reviews - Chris Roberts

New Wave sur­vivor still ask­ing ques­tions.

Gra­ham Parker hasn’t lost his knack for nifty near-rhymes – such as ‘Congo’ with ‘long ago’ or ‘dream­ing’ with ‘win­dow clean­ing’ – and his all-live vo­cals remain as richly rough-edged as ever.

What’s ‘new’ on Cloud Sym­bols is the Gold­tops (de­spite The Ru­mour re­union end­ing in 2015, guitarist Martin Bel­mont is still part of the gang as are the old brass sec­tion, who favour six tracks with plenty of swing). Celebrity fan Judd Apa­tow nudged Parker for new songs to in­clude in var­i­ous TV projects, and the gritty vet­eran obliges with straight­for­ward num­bers which don’t reinvent any wheels but flesh out the blues/pub-rock for­mat with quick wit and keen ob­ser­va­tion. There’s an easy, breezy con­fi­dence to the re­flec­tive Maida Hill and the lan­guid Love Comes, while Ev­ery Satur­day Night re­calls the con­trolled R&B bravado of Squeez­ing Out Sparks.

Sadly, en­gi­neer/pro­ducer Neil Brock­bank died mid­way through mak­ing the al­bum, and the team de­ter­mined to fin­ish it in his hon­our.

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