Watch and listen:
Afonso Pinto - Vocals
Victor Torpedo - Guitar
Pedro Chau - Bass
Paula Nozzari - Drums
Hall of Fame:
Carlos Mendes - Drums
Chris Low - Drums
Nick Sanderson - Drums
Eric Baconstrip - Drums
Danny Fury - Guitar
Jet - Guitar
Glen Stix Champion - Drums
Bone Zeno - Drums
They're naked, they're loud, they're riotous and they want your soul. They are The Parkinsons and they are here to shoot you up with the passion that has been missing from your life for so long and inject the current music scene with a long overdue kick up its saggy arse.
Singer Afonso, guitarist Victor and bassist Pedro met in their home town of Coimbra, Portugal, land of Madeira, Catholicism and boredom. Realising in each other a shared love of outrageous and amoral behaviour combined with a love of sleazy rock'n'roll - New York Dolls, Iggy Pop, MC5. They saw that there was only one way to go - if you’re gonna implode young you might as well be a rock star.
Relocating to London the three Portuguese maniacs, especially Al, soon became known as the people to find if you wanted a wild time and it wasn’t long before their paths crossed with fiery Scot, Chris Low, who they soon enlisted on drumming duties. The embryonic band had begun their journey. A few rehearsals later and the force of The Parkinsons could not be denied.
The first gig took place in Soho to an unsuspecting audience. They blew the bloody roof off and swiftly built a reputation of chaos, revealing their penchant for getting naked on stage and attempting to abuse anyone or anything that refuses to worship at their alter of rock'n'roll damnation. Their energy on stage has been reported by one journalist ‘as making At the Drive in seem like The Corrs’ whilst another described Victor as the finest guitarist since The Clash’s Mick Jones. Lunatics they may be, but these boys can play.
After causing a rumpus with incendiary performances at 2001’s Reading and Leeds festivals (legend has it they advised The Strokes to "fuck their songs up the arse"), things happened fast. Sold out gigs at the Dublin Castle, subject of a TV documentary on UK horizons, rave reviews in NME, Independent, Sleaze Nation, Flux . . . supporting Suicide at the ICA (during which Victor fractured both legs), 15 plays of “Bad Girl” (a track which cost precisely £38.50 to record) on Steve Lamacq, (also an NME “Turn On” in September & November), support Sum 41 at Brixton Academy (“Gig of the year” in NME), Radio 1 session, tour with Jim “Jesus & Mary Chain” Reid’s new band, cause riots in Manchester and London, co-headline The Garage in London with Ikara Colt on New Year's Eve (filmed by BBC Choice). Phew.
New Year 2002 started with a full page in NME as one of the nine best new bands to watch out for in 2002. Then after a brief jaunt to the States, the boys went out on the road sandwiched between Ikara Colt and the 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, receiving ecstatic responses and rave reviews wherever they went (two page review in the NME) and culminating in another sold out night at The Garage.
Their first official release, a mini album on Fierce Panda entitled "A Long Way To Nowhere" spent two weeks in the Kerrang Top 40 album charts and was hailed as "Ace!" by Playlouder and "Genius - 4 out of 5" by Kerrang. The Times gave it 4 out of 5 too, calling it "A melody soaked revelation: 30 minutes of blank generation brilliance."In March the Parkinsons finally made it to their home country of Portugal to a heroes' welcome. Their home town gig in Coimbra was an absolute triumph (the venue ran out of alcohol before the band even hit the stage) while the Lisbon concert made the national television news.
The summer saw the band playing festivals everywhere, starting with a headline appearance at the ICA's Future Rock festival and taking in Glastonbury, T in the Park, Fuji Rock in Japan, Witness in Ireland, Sudoeste in Portugal and Reading and Leeds (where they headlined the Carling Stage!).
Shortly after this Chris gave up the drum stool and rock’n’roll legend Nick Sanderson of Earl Brutus fame took his place. In September the band released their first bona fide single, The Streets Of London EP, which gained more 1FM play and was Single Of The Week on Playlouder. They followed this with their first headlining tour of the UK, including their biggest headlining London gig so far at The Garage.
After an appearance on HTV’s Pop Factory in October, the band were nominated for best debut act at the show’s first ever Welsh Music Awards the following month where they behaved suitably disgracefully. Christmas saw the band headline another Portuguese festival and highlights from their Fuji Rock festival appearance were shown on Channel 4.
2003 began with a FIVE WEEK tour of Japan, the longest ever undertaken by a western act. Needless to say, it was a phenomenal success.
As the Guardian wrote: "A Parkinsons gig is probably the closest most of us will come to experiencing what an early Sex Pistols appearance was actually like."
It has been a long time since the UK music scene has produced as truly unique and exciting band. The wait is over! The Parkinsons are here and they are taking no prisoners.
Lindley/Chris Low/David Barnett 2001/2003