(AAZ Records 30/01/2006)
A 15 year career that has seen interest from John Peel and a stage appearance with The Wedding Present is set to continue in a upwards march, by way of some Billy Bragg styled world righting from a troubled troubadour with the backing of a robust and elevated acoustic guitar. The political mantle is hoisted up and dropped at the feet of our esteemed leaders in 'To Go Around';
"I owe it to the home Secretary
They got to crack down so they need me
Got to at least go on a killing spree
'Cause there aren't enough bogie men to go around
There aren't enough bogie men to go around."
Insightfulness is delivered with crisp clarity throughout; topics are tossed up and turned round in an authoritative and worldly manner by Parkes. For example, the addictive nature of love and lust in 'Cigarettes' and aquatic emancipation via 'Goldfish', are scythed through with cutting cogency. The acoustic guitar stands up to the robust strumming and, of course, things would not be complete without a haunting Dylan-esque harmonica inclusion that comes to the fore in the autobiographical; 'You've Never Heard Of Me'.
John Parkes turns in a mature and convincing performance, as he mounts his acoustic high horse and uses soaring vocals to lash out at the world's wrongs and provide compelling insight. This twelve track offering will touch hearts and tickle brains, with Parkes' striding up alongside the earnest old guard of Bragg, Dylan and Leonard Cohen to make a convincing front line in music's battle against ignorance.
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