The Parkinsons are a punk rock band originally from Coimbra, Portugal, formed in the year 2000 and based in London, known for their outrageous live performances.
The band was formed by singer Afonso Pinto (aka Al Zheimer), guitarist Victor Silveira (aka Victor Torpedo), and bass guitarist Pedro Chau, and took their name from Parkinson's disease.Torpedo and Xau were already well known in their native country having played in the bands 77 and The Tédio Boys, releasing three albums between 1994 and 1998.The band soon built a reputation for riotous live shows and clashes with police, and relocated to the United States, where they were asked to perform at Joey Ramone's birthday party. The band secured support slots on tours with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and The Fall, where they caused further controversy and excitement by often appearing on stage naked.The band relocated to London in 2000 and recruited former Apostles drummer Chris Low before recording their debut album, A Long Way to Nowhere (2002), which was produced by Ben Lurie and Jim Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain, and was described in The Times as "a melody-soaked revelation: 30 minutes of blank generation brilliance".The band were compared to The Stooges by the NME, who also called them "Europe's snotty, messed up answer to The Strokes",and to Sham 69 by Q.The band played at the Reading Festival in 2001, where a drunken Pinto greeted fellow-performers The Strokes whilst smearing chocolate fudge cake on his genitals before flicking it in his visitors' faces, and Pinto's girlfriend was "forcibly ejected" by security staff after running onto the stage topless.In 2001 they were described as "a danger-junkie's wildest fantasy, a journalist's wet dream, and a venue-promoter's nightmare",and a year later as "the most dangerous live band around", with gigs variously ending abruptly with the band destroying the lighting rig, urinating on the audience or damaging stage equipment.
Pinto left the band in 2003, with the band's songwriter Torpedo taking over on vocals, and new guitarist Jet and drummer Eric Baconstrip added. The same year, Pinto was involved in a recreation of The Cramps' infamous 1978 performance at the Napa Mental Institute in California, taking on the role of Lux Interior in the show at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts. The band split up in 2005, but reformed with Pinto in 2006 for a gig to celebrate 10 years of one of their favourite venues, the Dirty Water Club in North London.
The Parkinsons reformed in 2011 for some concerts. In July 2012 they will play in the Optimus Alive! festival and in September they will launch a new album, "Back to Life". In 2018 a new album "The Shape of Nothing to Come" will be released.
- Afonso Pinto (vocals)
- Victor Torpedo (guitar)
- Pedro Chau (bass)
- Ricardo Brito (drums)
- João Jorri (Keyboards)