Old Man Parker is a songwriter based in London. The album is series of stories about life in the city, tuning into its history, exploring characters of the present as well as the past. 'Blackhearted Man' and 'What Goes Around Comes Around' are about the winners and losers in the high-stakes trading of the dealers in the famous Square Mile.
'Tyburn Tree' tells the story of Jack Sheppard, an 18th Century thief and hero of the poor, hanged at the infamous Tyburn gallows (where the modern Marble Arch now stands). Walk the streets of London and you'll come to the banks of the great River Thames - 'That Old River Rolls On By' explores its mythical hold upon the life of the city: people come and go but the endless tide of the old river forever flows.
At night the town shakes off the hustle and bustle of the working day. The cold daylight gives way to neon lights and inky shadows. 'Long Lives The Night' tunes in to the voices of lovers, drunkards, the lonely and the lost. The night also brings out thousands of migrant workers on late-night shifts who hoped to find a better life but end up in poverty - a 'A Million Miles From Home' is about their struggle. Even for those with a better paid job, the city can feel a soulless place, a creeping feeling that you're a tiny cog in a huge grinding machine - 'Modern Times' is about that strange, dystopian mindset.
'Cruel Little Hours' captures those horrible moments in the middle of the night when you can't sleep - you find your mind working overtime, replaying and amplifying the things you'd rather forget. 'The Ghost Of Richard Nixon' takes one of those thoughts and asks (to quote David Byrne) 'How did I get here?'. For those growing up in the 70s there was something deeply troubling and cynical in the air, but it's only when looking back you start to understand the story.
Old Man Parker's first home in London was in Bermondsey. At that time the area had an active group of fascists spitting out their vile, racist rantings: 'Beware The Wasp That Stings' is a warning to stay vigilant and be ready to confront and fight the thuggery that's in the DNA of all fascists.
'God Loves Everyone But You' explores politicians who wear their religion like a badge, but then distort the truth to their own ends. In February 2003, hundreds of thousands of people protested on the streets of London as the country progressed to war in Iraq. Perhaps one day they will be judged?
About Old Man Parker:
Old Man Parker is the nom de guerre of songwriter, David Pritchard - guitarist with UK band The Noseflutes, regular sessionists for the legendary BBC Radio's John Peel Show. After the band stopped playing he continued to write. This album is the first of a series he plans to record, so if you enjoy it please look out for future releases.