Al Zheimer - Vox Victor Torpedo - Gtr Pedro Xau - Bass Chris Low - Drums
The Parkinsons have come to save rock & roll's soul - incinerate it's bloated corporate corpse & start all over again - reborn, not stillborn.
Currently kicking in heads & minds all over the UK with their explosive live performances (including nakedness & crowd abuse) - the Parkinsons/Ikara Colt/The 80's B-Line Matchbox Disaster tour has been the hottest live ticket the UK has witnessed in many a year. Snapped up by trend setting experts, Fierce Panda Records, their 7 trak mini LP debut, "A Long Way To Nowhere", is absofuckinlutely incendiary. Aided & abetted by The Mary Chain's Jim Read @ the controls, The Parkinsons look like they've been time-machined in from Portobello 1976 & sound like Pure Mania era Vibrators. From the r&r gtr intro of "Primitive", via the splenetic "Hate Machine" & the anthemic "Nothing To Lose", to the closing "Scientists", with it's speaker mangling finale - these boys know what we want & they know how to give it. 7 trax of brilliantly observed, deftly executed, primal punk rock energy (8 including the "hidden" live trak - "She's A Bad Girl"????).
The UK has spectacularly failed to produce a band this venomous, witty & potentially self-destructive for such a long time it's no wonder we're frothing @ the mouth. Not only do they walk the walk, as Jean Encoule recently discovered, they talk that old minimalist insurrectionary talk just as well;
trakMARX - Who/what inspired you to pick up your instruments?
Pedro - The idea of getting a band.
Chris - Crass. They demonstrated you didn't need any ability or expertise to get up and do it.
trakMARX - It's a long way from Portugal to the UK. What's the story?
Al - Too boring and restrictive to do anything at all.
Pedro - Looking for something new and exciting in a rock'n'roll scene. Portugal is part of the past.
Chris - I'm from Scotland - it's not such a long way for me.
trakMARX - Was it a case of make the break here or remain in obscurity there?
Al - The original idea was to form the band here in London and then leave for the States, but since we started playing things just rocketed to what's happening now.
trakMARX - What is the alt/rock/punk scene like in your native country?
Al - Fucked.
Pedro - In my opinion there's no rock scene in Portugal. Probably bands are trying to do that but it doesn't last because the bands are not helped.
trakMARX - "Long Way To Nowhere" is a superb opening salvo. Why a mini lp instead of a 7" or album?
Al - Label decision. That's what was offered to us.
trakMARX - The mini lp was recorded under the guidance of jim reid. What was he like to work with and what made you go with him?
Al - Pure coincidence, but it definitely was good to have Jim on our side.
Pedro - Jim was a good man.
Chris - It was Jim Reid and Ben Lurie from the Mary Chain. They're great to work with, understood us and did a great job.
trakMARX - Do you regard yourselves as punks?
Pedro - Probably more than just punks. We enjoy all the good rock'n'roll since the 50s, but obviously the 77 thing is very important for us.
Chris - I'd never say I was 'a punk', I don't like rules and regulations.
Al - We play punk rock. That's what we do, so call us whatever you want.
trakMARX - How did you hook up with Fierce Panda etc?
Pedro - I don't know.
trakMARX - How did the tour with Ikara Colt & The 80's B-Line Matchbox Disaster work out?
Pedro - Fine.
Al - Both us and Ikara Colt share the same agent and since both our records were being released at the same time, everyone thought it was a great idea.
trakMARX - What's next for The Parkinsons?
Al - Hopefully, we'll keep playing for as many people as possible and if some offer comes along we'll definitely start working on a new record.
Pedro - I don't care about you! (ah, bless - attitude editor)
Well, there you go, but don't just take our word for it. Below you'll find some professional journalism culled from the bulging Parkinsons press file. Elevator - going up.
Jean Encoule (he cares) - March - 2002
Still reeling from the "melody-soaked revelation: 30 minutes of blank generation brilliance" review in THE TIMES on saturday, the parkinsons continue to receive rave reviews from around the globe
Portugal/UK Britpunk quartet The Parkinsons yesterday released their debut mini album, A Long Way To Nowhere, on Londons Fierce Panda label. Mixing up the song craft of The Damned, the youthful angst & aggression of the Sex Pistols, The Stooges, and The Dead Boys; and the romance, existentialism, and sardonicism of The Buzzcocks, the Parkinsons manage to sound vital and fresh in 2002 with a musical attack worm-holed directly from 1977. The Parkinsons started collecting in London in 1999 and include Coimbra, Portugal natives Alfonso Zheimer (vocals), Victor Torpedo (guitar), and Pedro Xau (bass)all previously in Portugals Tédio Boysalong with Scottish drummer Chris Low. They love chaos, nudity, and noise, and say they got their first gig in London without a demo tape, based solely on their reputation as wild kids. Guitarist/songwriter Victor Torpedo told NMEs Stevie Chick, ...the club owner knew what we were like as people, and just wanted to know what sort of noise wed make. Among those taking notice: Ben Lurie and Jim Reid of Freeheat, and both formerly in The Jesus And Mary Chain. The pair took The Parkinsons under their collective wing and have applied a production technique so perfectly adapted to the genreallowing all the noise and aggression to steal the spotlight, without sacrificing a perfect balancethat the production magically disappears into the shadows exactly as it should. Genius. Tracks on the new mini-album are Primitive, Too Many Shut Ups, Angel In The Dark, Universe, Hate Machine, Nothing To Lose, and Scientists, along with a bonus, unlisted live version of their first single, Bad Girl. Theres just nothing quite like the raw energy generated by 70s London/Ann Arbor punkin particular, the special sort of melodious noise that came from The Damned and The Stooges. If The Parkinsons get their way, a whole new generation can grow up properly subverted. Four bites out of five. http://www.rockbites.org/2002/parkinsons/
2/3/2002 Gloucester Guildhall
Gloucester is as far from rock n&Mac226; roll as Nu-metal is to reviving soul in song writing, as far as Tony Blair is from running off to Vegas to marry a stripper (well maybe a little further to be fair; but you get the idea). Tonight between The 80&Mac226;s Matchbox B-Line Disaster and headliners Ikara Colt are Portugese THE PARKINSONS, the night was set to be theirs.
Launching into a raucous, battering rendition of Bad Girl&Mac226; the crowd slowly stirs, unprepared, un-nerved. An electric atmosphere was set. Unaware the audience were transported to their classic choice 70&Mac226;s punk gig; The Parkinsons supporting The Pistols, The Stooges, The Clash and everybody goes home singing the support band's songs.
At which point the band bacome half naked is uncertain, just the same as when the guitarist becomes one with the enthralled pit, when singer Afonso Pinto climbed the PA stack and hung from the ceiling, or even when the stage invasion took place leaving the band dubiously confused.but still played on.
From pin point punk rock the set finished by playing out on an anthemic jam, and The Parkinsons were gone. Punk rock sensibility? Ladies and Gentlemen The Parkinsons are living proof that it still cannot exist.
THE PARKINSONS A Long Way to Nowhere (Fierce Panda)
This is a debut mini-LP from the three quarters Portuguese four piece based in London. They are easily one of the most exciting live outfits currently on the scene, playing blistering 60s US garage punk with a snarling bad attitude and a penchant for public nudity. This eight track taster only hints at that literally in the flesh experience but is more than adequate for a wet Sunday indoors. Though recorded in the studio, its all so raw, it feels like a semi live performance.
Most tracks clock in at little over two minutes so theres little chance of boredom as you surf along on an aural wave of sonic sweat and spittle. The highest points are the Seeds-ish Primitive and the Stooges-esq Bad Girl but there are no lows in evidence though track seven, Nothing to Lose, will work better live with its four minutes of guitar wigout giving the boys an opportunity to roll around and goad the audience. Anyway, its all short but far from sweet. Quite nasty, actually, and all the better for it.
Reviewed by mawders http://www.soundsxp.com/albums/home.html#parkinsons
The Parkinsons: 09/03/02: 13th Note Club (Glasgow)
In a dirty little club that nestles on the banks of the river Clyde I had the pleasure to witness what must be one of the most passionate amphetamine fuelled displays of down right dirty rock n roll that a wet and windy Glasgow has ever seen. The Parkinsons dont play rock n roll. They simply grab the tail of the beast and hang on for the ride. With the ghost of Stiv possessing the diminutive frontman from the word go, we get too witness his demonic fury unleashed through one trash anthem after another. This is just what Ive been missing, and its been a mighty long time since I have had such a potent fix of sleazy punk. As long as bands like the Parkinsons continue to worship at the alter of sex, drugs and rocknroll then the future of rock will shine like a fuckin supernova. This band aint big, they aint clever and you could never take them home to meet your mother, but in my book that aint what rocknroll is about. Its about leaving your hang-ups at home and playin from the groin. Its about sleazy fuckin sex and lyin in the gutter and lookin at the stars, its about living fast and fuck the consequences, its about being a star and leaving the boredom of reality behind you and these guys deliver the goods in a totally effortless fashion. Flashes of the NY Dolls, Dead Boys, Stooges and just about any other glam trash gods pepper the set they play. This isnt about plagiarism though. Its simply gut wrenching undiluted rocknroll thats on offer, and I aint ashamed to admit that they had me moving like a spastic with saint vitas dance at the front of the stage. Go and see these guys before they get promoted from the club scene to the concert halls. Theyre a sleazy legend in the making and you owe it to yourself to be blown away. Oh yeah, one last thing. Two other bands played, but they were shite.
the parkinsons are currently on tour in the middle of the greatest triple bill, well, ever.
here's a bit about the greatness of ikara colt:
and here's a bit about the mighty eighties matchbox b-line disaster:
and in the interests of balance, here's a fantastically bad review of the parkinsons ("the parkinsons take a hatchet to all that is good about music") and ikara colt ("a touch more adept") from the bbc: