Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
There are many voices in Liverpool, an abundance of words written about the musical city by the Mersey cannot find enough paragraphs or sentences to contain them all, to allow them to flourish and see the artist as someone who espouses a different kind of freedom, one in which the mind should be allowed to grasp and nurture the urge to see fairness and reflect the major differences between the Government lie and the Westminster village definition, and that of the truths of the area. It is a truth that has always been searched for, experienced by and audibly resonated by Alun Parry, the Freedom Rider.
Catching Alun Parry live is one thing, his intimate style is a journey of emotions and expressions, the sense of knowing that someone cares deeply about the way we have become, intolerant, quick to judge and in many ways deeply disturbingly in tune with greed and the alright Jack mentality, these are the undesirable traits of humanity, of society, in which Alun Parry rails wisely against.
Catching Mr. Parry live is good for the soul, listening to the albums comes an even greater perspective; the songs, although rightly made for a large audience, when played in the solitude of your own space, they find a way to talk to you with greater passion; a crowd will always find peace in amongst their comrades, the battle is changing and enlightening the single person in the room’s mind. It is a battle that Alun Parry has always been graceful at and in Freedom Rider, the battle continues, not one fought with arms and weapons, but instead with words of truth, of passion for the subject and with a great voice that really gets down deep in your spine.
In songs such as Dig Boys Dig, in which the listener can really feel the claustrophobia and always near danger of the pits, On This Old Guitar, The Odd Couple, the excellent Jack Jones and Song For John Hartwell, Mr. Parry once more supplies the thoughts and the touch of a man very much in touch with his surroundings and the knowledge of his lyrical craft.
Freedom Rider is an album in which to understand that the battle against ignorance and selfishness may be far from over, but it is at least one that the good hearted and compassionate can hold aloft as they thumb a lift to a land that isn’t filled with the sense of dread and fear; one where hopefully we shall not be afraid.
Ian D. Hall