CLOSE YOUR EYES AND… …imagine if Woody Guthrie joined The Jam. That is the sound of The Alun Parry Band. Referred to by the Liverpool Echo as “a Merseyside folk God”, Alun Parry is one of Liverpool’s foremost acoustic based performers and songwriters. His music is best described as gritty folk rock laced with social observation.
BUSKING BEGINNINGS Alun started off as a humble busker in Bold Street with a guitar that wasn’t even his (borrowed not nicked!) His aim was to buy a guitar of his own which he eventually did. He still has it to this day though it’s a bit warped now. If anyone remembers a scruffy youngster bellowing John Lennon’s Power To The People while stood opposite the side entrance to Central Station – that was him. All that effort didn’t go to waste though as he was later named Merseyside Busker of the Year.
RECORDINGS His 2006 album Corridors of Stone received widespread critical acclaim. Liverpool 800: True Love Of Mine was released in 2007 to mark Liverpool’s 800th Birthday. The CD is a six track collection of new, original songs celebrating the people and city of Liverpool.
INDEPENDENT BY CHOICE Alun is an independent musician by choice, which means he has no label other than his own. His two studio CDs and a live CD are available to buy from Al’s website, and all of the songs are available for download too.
BUSKERNOMICS Al uses a system he likes to call Buskernomics – this means that Alun suggests a price for each CD, but it’s up to you how much more or less you pay. You can even, if you want, download them for free – the only condition being that you don’t sell them on. For more information visit www.parrysongs.co.uk
THE ALUN PARRY BAND Although initially solo he now only plays with The Alun Parry Band. This consists of Al on vocals and guitar, Chad Draper on bass guitar, and Howard Northover on drums. Additionally, when they can make it, he’s joined by Gina Le Faux on fiddle and mandolin, and Barry Briercliffe on backing vocals and tambourine.
LIVE MUSIC As well as being a prolific songwriter and performer, Alun has also been heavily involved with the Liverpool acoustic music scene. Alun was the driving force behind the late lamented Acoustic Slice, a weekly acoustic showcase held at the legendary Parr Street Studios at their 3345 venue and which was named as Liverpool’s number one acoustic night. He is also the organiser of Payday Playtime at The Casa, and he previously ran the acclaimed Second Friday at The Pilgrim.
THE FUTURE Alun is keeping himself busy, as always, and has a number of gigs already booked for 2008. As well as festivals in the UK and Denmark, he’ll also be involved in events that proudly showcase his energy as an activist and and as a grass-roots musician with a keen social conscience. Today, 1st May 2008 he’s playing the May Day ‘Rock Against Racism’ gig outside the Liverpool Law Courts, on 26th July he’s playing the ‘Peace and Ecology’ day in the bombed-out St Luke’s Church, and in September Alun is organising the Liverpool Working Class Music Festival www.workingclassmusic.org.uk featuring acts such as Chumbawumba, Dick Gaughan, Leon Rosselson, Roy Bailey, Attila The Stockbroker, Tracey Curtis, Chanje Kunda, Claire Mooney, Al Baker, and (of course!) The Alun Parry Band.
Graham Holland is the owner and editor of the Liverpool Acoustic website, and runs Liverpool Acoustic’s award-winning live music events with local musician Stuart Todd. In real life he’s a Web Development Officer, has been producing podcasts on a regular basis since July 2006, and runs a number of websites for other organisations. He lives in Wavertree with his husband and their cat Xiao Hei.