Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sparks @ La Gaité Lyrique, Paris - October 1st, 2017

The Mael Brothers are back in Paris with a full band for the first time in over ten years if you discount the FFS concert at the Bataclan in 2015. Their new album Hippopotamus is as usual a fantastic collection of clever sophisticated pop songs full of rich harmonies and idiosynratic hooks.

They played a lot of the new songs which went down extremely well. All eras of the band were well represented, from the glam rock beginnings of Kimono My House to the Giorgio Moroder produced electronic disco or N°1 Song in Heaven through the euro dance inspired Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins and the band played it all with ease and panache. 

Russell of course regaled us with his little dance routine during which he abandoned his jesuitic demeanour and let loose for a whole thirty seconds. French director Leos Carax later joined the band for a rendition of their new song, the aptly titled When You're A French Director. 

It's hard to describe Sparks music and their shows are similarly impossible to explain. What they do for sure is answer the question once posed by Frank Zappa: does humour belong in music? with a resounding yes.

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