When various members of Brinsley Schwarz and Ducks Deluxe – including Schwarz himself – went on to work with singer songwriter Graham Parker, they became more than just his backing band. Graham Parker and The Rumour formed in 1975 with Schwarz and Martin Belmont on guitars, Bob Andrews on keyboards, Andrew Bodnar on bass and Steve Goulding on drums. By 1977 they were on Top Of The Pops performing Hold Back The Night from their Pink Panther EP. And the following year’s Parkerilla album records one of the band’s scorching live shows.
Their first album, Max was a play on words. Just as Nick Lowe released the Bowi EP in answer to Bowie’s Low, The Rumour released Max as a nod to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. Latterly compared in sound to early Huey Lewis and The News, it’s the kind of album that works as a solid bookend to Stiff bands like Ian Gomm, Costello and Parker himself.
The second album, Frogs, Sprouts, Clogs & Krauts (SEEZ 013) was their first of two for Stiff and was heralded by the single Frozen Years (BUY 43) that signaled a new, synthier, weightier and generally more contemporary feel. But The Rumour could never break out of backing band status in the public’s imagination, despite even trying a name change to, wryly, The Duplicates.