1 December 2013

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

My second visit to see Sparks: The Revenge of Two Hands, One Mouth was much the same as the first and just as good.

It was a week after the previous concert, on the same day at the same time and in the same venue.

Having tested the logistics the previous week the only change I made was to leave slightly earlier aiming to catch a specific London Overground train. The buses were horrible to me and I waited twenty minutes for one negating the earlier start immediately. Still, it was a good plan and the fall back was to catch the train eleven minutes later and that I did.

I got to Union Chapel at almost exactly the same time as the previous week and seemed to be in about the same place in the queue. I was a little further back but it was thinner with fewer groups.

The queueing worked better this time too and with three of us together we were able to go and get drinks from the Costa across the road to help to keep the chill away.

The doors opened promptly at &pm and the polite scramble resulted in me getting a seat in the middle of the third row, one row in front of where I had been the previous week.

With an hour to play with I went in exploration of the bar and found it in a corner upstairs. This was a surprisingly large and comfortable space that was technically separate from the chapel despite being connected to it. The signs on the bar explained that alcohol could not be taken into the chapel so I stayed up there for a while with my pint of Landlord.

The concert was an almost identical copy of the previous week. The set-list and even the banter was the same, if not quite word-for-word.

And that was fine with me and (there must have been a few) with all the other people treating themselves to a second does of Sparks. The only change was that we did not get the guest guitarist on This Town but he was not missed by me.

Just out of interest, I have counted how many songs they played from each album just to show the date range covered: Exotic Creatures of the Deep 2008 (1 song), Lil' Beethoven 2002 (3), Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins 1994 (1), In Outer Space 1983 (1), Angst in My Pants 1982 (1), No. 1 in Heaven 1979 (3), Introducing Sparks 1977 (1), Big Beat 1976 (1), Indiscreet 1975 (1), Propaganda 1974 (1), Kimono My House 1974 (3). Even this wide selection barely covered half of their back catalogue.

They also did some excerpts from The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman 2009 and two unreleased songs, including the eponymous Revenge of Two Hands, One Mouth which closed the show.

The audience were livelier than the previous week and there was even more clapping, singing and cheering. It was an uproariously joyful hour and a half. The standing ovation was long, enthusiastic and thoroughly deserved.

I would happily have gone to see them again the following night but for other commitments. Sparks are that good. Here's hoping that there plans for 2014 include another tour.

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