Blond dreadlocks, a ukulele and a very big smile. This is Erik Parker.
An up-and-coming soloist from Frankston, this quirky fellow will be visiting Bendigo and most certainly leave his audience with a feeling of delight.
Erik has been playing music for most of his life, and after working with his band Hopwood for several years, he’s finally taken the leap into solo performances.
“I avoided playing my original songs solo for a long time because I didn’t feel like I could get anywhere without a band,” Erik said.
“I changed my mind this year and went about writing a solo set.
“The band situation changed when I kicked out the rhythm section, so this motivated me to write some different stuff. I took up the ukulele in June and it has been at every gig since.”
Erik’s solo music is entirely different from the music he performs with his band.
As a solo artist the music Erik produces sounds heart-warming, and is best described as honest.
Erik was hard to pin down on his influences.
“I never try to compare myself to my favourite artists, and I’m not sure that I’ve heard much that sounds like what I do,” he said.
“That’s not to say that I’m a pioneer in any way but I think if I write something that makes me sound like someone else I usually try to twist it as much as possible so any derivative sound or concept is buried by other ideas.
“I am influenced by everything I hear.
“In order to not evade the question completely I’ll say that Tom waits is my favourite singer, The Cruel Sea is my favourite band, and at the moment I’m weighing up whether Beck or Elliott Smith is my favourite songwriter.”
To fully appreciate Erik’s kind of music, it’s important to pay attention to the lyrics.
Most of his songs tell stories about his life, experiences he’s had, and the emotions he’s felt.
The music he shares bursts with originality and imagination; traits not easily come by in this day and age.
“My favourite song is my newest one. It’s called My Mother’s Smile,” Erik said.
“Most of my songs are personal and writing them is a way for me to work through issues.
“This particular song is about how proud I am to resemble my mother and to represent her in the world. We lost her to cancer when I was young, and the song is a happy way to remember her.”
Erik Parker will be playing at The Basement Bar on Saturday night alongside Old World Sparrow, Jimi Norrstrom and other local artists.