Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Sparks Fly

Last night I went to Islington on purpose. I mention this because I tend to end up in Islington when I'm aiming for somewhere else entirely, like Yorkshire.

My purpose on this occasion was to see Sparks with klepsydra, bhata and his flatmate Kristof.

The Mael brothers are unlike anything else in my admittedly not infinite musical experience. My then boyfriend took me to see them in 2002 or 2003 on the correct hypothesis that I would like them - it's hard to imagine anyone not liking them, as live performers at any rate. For a long time I never even bought any of their albums, because I didn't see how they could possibly be as entertaining on CD (I now own Balls, which was £3 in Fopp).

Their current ker-razy project is to perform all 21 of their studio albums. Last night's was the penultimate, Hello Young Lovers, recommended as a good one by many discerning LJers.

Since I saw Sparks some years before the release of Hello Young Lovers, I went in not knowing any of the songs I was about to hear. Normally I wouldn't dream of going to a gig without being pretty sure I would recognise at least 50% of what would be performed, but with Sparks it's different. The songs are so simple and repetitive that by the time you're a quarter of the way through hearing one for the first time you're ready to sing along (apart from that one about cats and firemen, which lost me rather).

Simple maybe, but not simplistic - the words are witty, the rhymes clever, and the songs themselves go in unexpected directions. Add a bunch of wacky and apposite animations running on a big screen behind the performers and your multimedia experience is complete.

I wish now that I had bought tickets for more than one album; I could happily have seen the whole lot, although I would now be broke.

To make up for my earlier flawless navigation, on the way back I found myself going past Angel in one direction ten minutes after leaving it in the other. I still managed to arrive home ten minutes ahead of the all-night torrential rain, though.
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