Unmistakeable voice honoured
THEY lived on opposite sides of the world, but gravel-voiced Englishman Joe Cocker and equally gritty Aussie vocalist Doug Parkinson had many things in common.
Both were born in steel towns - Cocker in Sheffield and Parkinson in Newcastle; both had hits with Beatles songs - Cocker’s With A Little Help From My Friends and Parkinson’s Dear Prudence; both were born with unmistakable voices; and both lived rock star lifestyles tainted by drug and alcohol abuse that jeopardised their health and often got them into trouble with authority.
So it makes sense that, a year after the Englishman’s death, Parkinson is honouring the achievements of Cocker, backed by some of the finest R ‘n’ B musicians in the land.
After just a handful of live shows, sell-out crowds at Doug Parkinson Honours Joe Cocker concerts are proof that the tribute is something special.
“I’m a completely different singer to Joe Cocker,” Parkinson said.
“Our styles are poles apart, yet the common perception is that we are very similar.
“The punters want to hear the songs again, sung by a voice that reminds them of the originals.
“We have sold out every show to date enjoying standing ovations and great feedback via social media.”
Parkinson said he hasn’t attempted to copy Cocker’s twitchy visual antics, leaving that to his imitators.
“It’s completely about the music,” he said.
“I like to think that somehow I’m helping to preserve his memory and the respect that is his due.”
Adding another element to the mix, the opening half of the show features Parkinson’s own impressive hits and favourites.
Audiences clearly believe the “two-sides-of-the-same -coin” format is a winner.
See Doug Parkinson Honours Joe Cocker at Sawtell RSL on Friday, May 6.
For tickets ($45), visit the website: www.sawtellrsl .com.au.