HAVING swept to the public's attention back in 1976, Graham Parker rode the so-called "pub rock" genre, punk and then new wave with his tremendous fusion of blues, punk, reggae and swing.

Despite ground-breaking appearances on Top of the Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test and his first five LPs being among the greatest albums ever made (two of them appear in the Rolling Stone best-ever top 100), the contemporary commercial accolades went to the likes of Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson.

Both of the aforementioned were magnificent singer/songwriters but Parker was, arguably, the best. Backed by has band The Rumour, he put on live shows like no other at the time.

Locating in America since the 1980s, Parker has continued to produce music of quality. The fact that he has a new CD out (Cloud Symbols) and his new band is called the Gold Tops is an indication that he still strives for creativity.

It would have been so easy for him to regurgitate the back catalogue of greatest hits but of the 20-odd songs performed here only 11 were from those heady days of the late 70s.

Starting off with New York Shuffle, the tone was set. Forty years ago this was a frenetic charge of energy and raw rock and roll; today it's a mid-tempo blues number. Understandably, the voice of the 68 year old Parker might not be as strong as the 20-something but it is still as distinctive as ever and adapted to suit the slower blues, swing, country, jazz and rock fusion he and the band, which included The Rumour Brass, so eloquently exude.

Compelled by the beat, people were on their feet from the off. New songs Girl In Need, Ancient Past, Dreamin' and Every Saturday Nite stood proudly with classics like Hotel Chambermaid, White Honey and Heat Treatment. The whole joint rocked for Hold Back the Night and then, with Soul Shoes, 90 minutes had passed in what felt like an instant.

Ed Waugh