24 November 2013

Sparks: The Revenge of Two Hands, One Mouth at the Union Chapel

A Sparks concert in London is always a special event and this one promised to live up to that.

Firstly it was billed as The Revenge of Two Hands, One Mouth, and followed on from the success of Two Hands, One Mouth last year (which I saw twice). And secondly it was at the unusual location of the Union Chapel in Islington.

Sunday evening travel is always something of a gamble in London due to the mixture of a reduced service, planned maintenance and the things that go wrong on the day. My travel app suggested various ways to get there and I ended up taking another having first just missed a bus in Ham and then a London Overground train at Richmond. In the end it worked out OK and having left home at 4:45pm I was in the queue soon after 6pm.

An hour later the door opened and we all rushed in to claim our unreserved seats. The hour's wait proved to be good value and I was dead-centre in the fourth row. With Ron and Russell mostly ignoring each other on stage, they looked something like a weather house each in their own arch either side of the central pulpit, it worked well to be far enough back to see them both and also close enough to be fully involved.

We sat in pews which was both odd and useful. The bench seating was comfortable enough and the little ledge, designed for prayer books and Bibles, was a convenient place to put drinks and cameras.

Russell opened the show. He used a gizzmo (I believe that is the correct technical term for it) to record snippets of his voice and to repeat them to build up the layers of sound into a rhythm. This became the song Your Call's Very Important to Us. Please Hold.

Enter Ron to the traditional chant of "Ron! Ron! Ron!".

What followed for the next hour and a half was very much like Two Hands, One Mouth but with a different set list. It was good to see some of last year's songs make a reappearance, such as my favourite When Do I Get to Sing "My Way", but most were different and there were a couple that I did not recognise at all.

The set list I found on the web said they played; Your Call's Very Important to Us. Please Hold, How Do I Get to Carnegie Hall?, B.C., Here in Heaven, Academy Award Performance, Those Mysteries, Good Morning, Falling in Love With Myself Again, Big Boy, What Would Katherine Hepburn Say, Excerpts from The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman (different excepts from last year), Nicotina, Popularity, This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us, How Are You Getting Home?, Suburban Homeboy, When Do I Get to Sing "My Way"?, and for their encore; Tryouts for the Human Race, The Number One Song In Heaven (Part 2), and Revenge Of Two Hands One Mouth.

Somebody apparently famous and apparently called Thurston Moore appeared with them on This Town to play lead guitar laced with feedback.

Sparks did what Sparks do and delivered a succession of poppy and quirky songs that got everybody foot tapping and singing along. The audience absolutely loved it (I was no exception) and every song got a long and loud cheer that got even louder when they took their bows at the end.

Everybody left very happy.

1 comment:

  1. THURSTON MOORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    MY TWO FAVOURITE BANDS TOGETHER ON ONE STAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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