John Parish

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John Parish
Parish performing live in July 2011.
Parish performing live in July 2011.
Background information
Born (1959-04-11) 11 April 1959 (age 63)
Yeovil, England
OriginBristol, England
GenresAlternative rock, experimental rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, composer, producer
Instrument(s)Guitar, keyboards, drums, bass guitar, trombone, percussion, vocals
Years active1983–present
LabelsThrill Jockey, Dreamboat

John Parish (born 11 April 1959) is an English musician, songwriter, composer and record producer.

Parish is best known for his work with singer-songwriter PJ Harvey.[1] He has also worked with such artists as Eels, Aldous Harding, Tracy Chapman, Giant Sand, and Sparklehorse. His sister is the actor Sarah Parish.[2] Parish was born in Yeovil, Somerset and lives in Bristol. In 1980s, his girlfriend was Maria Mochnacz.[3]


His first record release was a single "Mind Made" by the British new wave band, Thieves Like Us (1980).[4] In 1982, he formed the band Automatic Dlamini, with Rob Ellis. The changing line-up of Automatic Dlamini included Polly Harvey from 1988 until 1991. Automatic Dlamini recorded three albums: The D is For Drum (1987),[5] Here Catch Shouted his Father (1990 – unreleased but available as a bootleg), and From A Diva to a Diver (1992).[6] By the time From A Diva to a Diver was released, Harvey had left to form the PJ Harvey trio with ex-Dlamini members Rob Ellis and Ian Olliver, and Parish was playing guitar with Marc Moreland's band The Ensenada Joyride.[7]

In 1986 Parish had begun a parallel career as a record producer working with UK bands including The Chesterfields, The Brilliant Corners, The Caretaker Race and The Becketts. In 1995 he co-produced PJ Harvey's "To Bring You My Love", on which he also played guitar, drums, percussion and organ.[8] He co-wrote and produced The Eels album Souljacker (2001), and played guitar on the world tour that accompanied its release. He has produced and/or played on a number of Howe Gelb / Giant Sand albums and frequently appears onstage with them.[9] Parish produced the Giant Sand album Chore of Enchantment (2000), and a photograph of his wedding in Tucson in 1998 was used as the cover for the 2011 re-release of the record.

He also began working as a film composer in 1998, writing the score for Belgian director Patrice Toye's debut film, Rosie.[10] Parish's score won the Jury Special Appreciation prize at the 1999 Bonn Film & TV Music Biennale. He has since scored another ten soundtracks.

Parish has now worked on seven albums with Harvey, including two co-written albums: Dance Hall at Louse Point (1996) and A Woman A Man Walked By (2009). He played in the PJ Harvey touring band (guitar/drums/keyboards) from 1994–1999, from 2009–2012 and from 2015–2017.[11] He co-produced and played on To Bring You My Love (1995), White Chalk (2007), the Mercury Prize winning Let England Shake (2011) and The Hope Six Demolition Project (2016).

He has produced and played on two albums by New Zealand singer-songwriter Aldous Harding, two This Is the Kit albums and two albums by Malian artist Rokia Traoré. He has also collaborated several times with two established European stars, the Italian singer Nada and Belgian singer Arno.

Partial discography[edit]




  • John Parish & Polly Jean Harvey – Dance Hall at Louse Point (1996): Writer, Producer, Various Instruments
  • Spleen – Soundtrack To Spleen (1997): Co-writer, guitar, percussion
  • Spleen – Little Scratches (1998): Co-writer, guitar, percussion
  • EelsSouljacker (2001): Producer, co-writer, various instruments
  • PJ Harvey & John Parish – A Woman a Man Walked By (2009): Writer, producer, various instruments
  • Playing Carver[15] (2014): Producer, guitar, vocals
  • EelsExtreme Witchcraft (2022): Producer, co-writer, various instruments


Featured musician on[edit]


  1. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Parish, John and Sarah (2 April 2009). "John and Sarah Parish in conversation". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Maria Mochnacz's best shots". The Guardian. 18 October 2019. Archived from the original on 18 October 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Thieves Like Us (2) - Mind Made". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Automatic Dlamini - The D Is For Drum". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Automatic Dlamini - From A Diva To A Diver". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Marc Moreland - The Official Site". 4 February 2012. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  8. ^ To Bring You My Love (Island Records 1995) Sleeve Notes.
  9. ^ "home". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Rosie". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  11. ^ "John Parish official website". Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Water". Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  13. ^ "Waltz". Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  14. ^ a b c "Patrice Toye". Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  15. ^ "PLAYING CARVER - John Parish". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  16. ^ "John Parish". 12 April 2011. Archived from the original on 12 April 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  17. ^ "John Parish". Retrieved 11 May 2020.

External links[edit]