So there we were on the 90's blog, discussing antecedents to Hard-Fi, as you do, and not coming up with much of a consensus, when the other day, while inspecting a refrigerated packet of Polish sausages in Sainsbury's (because I'm classy, like) I suddenly thought "ahhhhh, Graham Parker And The Rumour".
Almost forgotten today, at least in his home country, Parker was considered a seminal figure in his day, and, along with Dr. Feelgood was seen as one of the crucial antecedents of Punk. Emerging from the Pub Rock scene, his career preceded the likes of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson, whose fame would eventually far outstrip his own.
With his rasping vocals and bug-eyed sunglasses, Parker looked and sounded like an angry wasp. Fully equipped with chips on both shoulders from a background of dead-end jobs (he was once, famously, a petrol pump attendant) his gnarly, class-conscious lyrics were at times almost sneered out, ever in danger of tumbling over themselves into incoherent rage. On the other hand, when he slowed things down, he sounded pleasingly like Dave Angel, Eco Warrior.
It's a shame posterity hasn't found a place for him alongside his better-known peers. That said, they're probably making a film about him even as we speak....