23 March 2009

Exotic Creatures in Heaven

The second night of Spark's two nights at the HMV Forum in London saw them perform Exotic Creatures of the Deep and No. 1 in Heaven, their "come back" album from 1979.

Given the opportunity to see Sparks two times in two days I headed for a different part of the arena and managed to get a second row place behind two short women on the right-hand side of the stage. This gave me the opportunity to see more of Russell whereas the previous night it was mostly Ron.

Exotic Creatures of the Deep was delivered as on the first night but the familiarity improved the enjoyment rather than lessening it. My improved vantage point also gave me a full view of the video which had been partially obscured by Ron's keyboards on the first night. Here Ron is encouraging the monkey to play the piano during Let the Monkey Drive.

No. 1 in Heaven is rather an unusual Sparks album, not that any of them are that normal, in that it is pure disco. This is due to the influence of the producer, Giorgio Moroder who is famous for the classic single I Feel Love by Donna Summer.

No. 1 has longer songs than the earlier albums, thanks to the extended instrumental sections, but still provided Sparks with a few hit singles, including the crowd-pleasing opener Tryouts for the Human Race and Beat the Clock, which Russell reminded us they played on Top of The Pops (but I knew that).

Good though the other tracks are though, it's the final track, The Number One Song In Heaven, that makes the album a classic. There is a single version, which omits the opening section, but this should not be confused with the real thing that bounces along for over 7 minutes.

To say that the crowd was delighted would be an understatement, to say I was would be too. I do not dance and I do not like disco but I forgot both these rules!

The encore was completely different from the first night (which was three tracks from recentish albums) and took us unexpectedly back to 1974 with three tracks from Propaganda.

And the show ended with This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us, which is the opening track of Kimono My House and so was the opening song on the first night. A nice touch that added just a little something to what was already a special evening.

1 comment:

  1. The keyboard guy always reminded me of the grumpy boss in "On The Buses"! Ha ha ha!
    All the old bands seem to be out of cash or something, since so many of them have climbed onto the stage again. Even Spandau Ballet now, and I never liked them, could not stand Hadley's (?) Kermit voice!


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