Back in the UK for the first time since 2009 Sparks were in London’s Shepherd’s Bush to preview their upcoming ‘Two Hands, One Mouth’ tour which kicks off properly in October.
‘Two Hands, One Mouth’ refers to the fact that this tour sees the onstage line-up stripped down to it’s barest minimum, which means that it’s just Ron and Russell Mael who take to the stage for tonight’s tiny, intimate show.
Rattling through an impressive setlist of hits and fan-favourites from across their career, the duo comfortably carry the show on their own and sound great to boot. Necessarily stripped down from their original versions, this style of performance breathes new life into Sparks’ catalogue and almost two hours of performance slips by all too quickly.
For us, highlights included the highly effective stripped-back versions of crowd favourites ‘The Number One Song in Heaven’ and ‘Beat The Clock’ (think MTV Unplugged, but using synths if that makes any sense!); This Is Not Retro’s own favourite Sparks number, ‘When Do I Get To Sing ‘My Way”; and – of course – Ron Mael’s legendary running-on-the-spot sequence, which has to be seen to be believed!
If you’ve not already got tickets to see the band’s shows in Germany and the UK in October then there’s a couple of hundred people at Bush Hall tonight who would thoroughly recommend that you get them quickly because this is a show you really should see…
LONDON BUSH HALL, 13/6/12
Metaphor / Hospitality on Parade / At Home, At Work, At Play / Sherlock Holmes / In the Future / Under the Table With Her / Perfume / My Baby’s Taking Me Home / Good Morning / The Wedding of Jacqueline Kennedy to Russell Mael / Excerpts from The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman / Something for the Girl With Everything / Dick Around / Looks, Looks, Looks / Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth / This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us / The Rhythm Thief / Suburban Homeboy / Gratuitous Sax / When Do I Get to Sing ‘My Way’ / The Number One Song in Heaven / Beat the Clock / I Married Myself
13 – London, Bush Hall
13 – Berlin – Postbahnhof / 14 – Hamburg – Grünspan / 16 – Frankfurt – Batschkapp / 17 – Bochum – Zeche / 21 – HMV Picture House, Edinburgh / 22 – HMV Ritz, Manchester / 23 – HMV Institute, Birmingham / 25 – Concert Hall, Brighton Dome/ 26 – The Barbican, London
Photographs by ANDY STURMEY. Review by This Is Not Retro from notes by Andy Sturmey.
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