- Genre: 'Indie'
- Release Date: '30th October 2017'
John Parkes is a performer worthy of the term ‘veteran’: a longstanding favourite of John Peel, he’s not only still here, but still going, and still getting the kind of exposure so many artists would kill for – and on his own merits.
Marking a return to simple values, Virtually Alive is a self-referential pointer to the direct approach espoused in this latest collection: one man with an acoustic guitar, it’s not about layered production, but about recreating the experience of sitting with a guy playing in your local, and it’s virtually a live EP (boom boom).
The first song, ‘The World’s End’, is a strangely upbeat song, revelling in misery, while ‘The Devil Takes’ has a chunky, rhythmic focus. Parkes’ stripped-back direct approach works well, especially given the rebellious, political protest currents which lie at the heart of most of the songs. It might not be the stuff of revolution, but it’s solid and packs an immediacy that’s hard to ignore.