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Graham Parker gets sweeter with age

Graham Parker says getting older has brought an added “sweetness” to his songwriting.

Parker and his band The Rumour released latest album Mystery Glue earlier this year and the mainman accepts he’s moved on from the “angry young man” of his youth.

He tells “In the early days, because of my intensity, there probably was an element of anger infused in the music. Most people who knew me personally probably thought I was a nice guy.

“I think if there was any anger in my performance, it was just a vehicle because I wanted to stand out. These days I don’t feel the need to express my anger as much.

“I suppose when I was 25, I really thought that my career would surely be over by the age of 30. ‘How could one possibly keep doing this beyond that?’ That was pretty much just a young man’s attitude, but now I’m thinking more about the final stretch. You don’t really want to think about it, but a certain sweetness creeps into the music that wasn’t there before.”

Parker, 65, adds that the description of him as an “angry” artist early in his career often saw him branded a punk in the music press.

He says: “The comparisons to punk were probably because I sang in a very harsh, in-your-face vocal style. I found that easier to do because I wasn’t a very good singer. I’m almost a good singer now.”

Parker played what he called his “final show” with The Rumour in London in October.