Imagine yourself in a pub, somewhere far away from home, with a beer in one hand and a half burnt cigarette in another. Just a smooth, pleasant evening, spent in enjoyable company on talking, laughing and drinking. And when you think about it, you cannot believe it took hundreds of miles to finally achieve this peace of mind. Let’s start with this one, somebody says, and the flat screen on the wall in front of you lights up. A man appears, young pale guy with an acoustic guitar and a microphone. He does some kind of an exercise to warm up and it is enough to catch your attention, because in the very first seconds of his performance you notice his skills. When he starts singing, you hunch a friend sitting beside you and ask who that guy is. Ahh, that’s Tim. Tim Parkes, he says.
Timothy Parkes, a former art teacher currently living in Midlands, started his music career some time ago. Playing in a band was where he took off from, but right after quitting he continued as a solo artist. During one of the Open Mic Nights at the Horseshoe Inn he managed to enchant Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff. Parkes’ appearance there resulted in collaborating with Hunt, Erica Nockalls and Dirty Ray. Together with other various artists they took part in Hunt’s project Shared and recorded tracks for the first Shared CD in 2009. Somewhere in between, Timothy succeeded to put together his EP called The Nature Of Gothic [six songs, all available to download for free from his last.fm page]. Not to mention countless live performances both as an opening act for Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls and as a solo artist.
People sometimes say acoustic music is dull, because there are not many ways to play a guitar without all the loops and effects combined with the electric sound. They believe only lyrics distinguish one singer songwriter from another. Well, seems like Timothy Parkes has a great chance to prove them wrong. I consider him one of those artists who tell stories not only with words, but also with sounds. Tension, moods and tales handmade with strings and passion. It is extremely rare to hear this kind of thing nowadays. The sound seems busy, with multiple layers and planes, though it is still a single instrument playing. An illusion of the whole band – drums, bass, second guitar. The result is very extraordinary and leaves you wonder how a one man band can make this kind of trick.
The range of different types of emotions Timothy Parkes puts into his music makes him unforgettable. Anger is here, it tastes Irish, but there is also a softer, more melancholic side and it comes up uncovering sensitivity and gentleness, both in lyrics and chords. Vocals on the surface seem careless, to the point of a bit grunge like. The almost percussive guitar in one song is crushed into a surprisingly delicate sound in the next one. The lyrics, on the other hand, influenced much by poetry, are based on subtle metaphores to describe passing moments and certain feelings . Henry Miller once said the moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. I think the charm of Timothy’s music comes from the very close attention he gives to each situation he tries to describe using his guitar and words he sings. There is a lot of passion he brings into every single song, whatever subject he is taking on, emotions he tries to deal with. Timothy Parkes is a rough diamond – a very precious discovery for anyone who appreciates valuable music. He is not going to seduce you with nice and easy melodies. He will not try to win you with simple rhymes and predictable chords. You need to look closer, listen more carefully, give him all your attention to fully realize what an amazing artist you are dealing with. Because this young pale guy with an acoustic guitar is a wonderland of sound on his very own.