Postponed for a year, Sparks’ rescheduled European tour finally arrived in London. It comes after last year’s studio album release ‘A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip’ and their recent film soundtrack ‘Annette’; they appropriately began the show on latter’s opening track ‘So May We Start’.

They played from their early material with 1982’s ‘Angst In My Pants’ from their album of the same name and from 1975’s ‘Indiscreet’ with ‘Get In The Swing’, vocalist frontman Russell Mael relating the band’s recognition difficulties in the early days when they were called Halfnelson, and also following the band name change thereafter. They then performed the first track of their first-ever album, ‘Wonder Girl’.

Sparks also played from their later material, with their last album featuring in the way of ‘Stravinsky’s Only Hit’, Ron Mael’s biographical songwriting about Igor Stravinsky. They also performed ‘Johnny Delusional’, the first single from their 2015 supergroup collaboration with Frank Ferdinand, FFS.

Sparks continued with their latest releases doing ‘We Love Each Other So Much’ and ‘Lawnmower’ from their last two releases. They ended their main set on ‘The Rhythm Thief’ and a selection of singles ‘When Do I Get To Sing ‘My Way?’’, ‘The Number One Song In Heaven’ (featuring Ron’s comical erratic dancing) and ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’, with Ron speaking to the audience directly before they headed off stage.

For the encore the band performed again from ‘A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip’ with ‘All That’, which they felt poignantly reminded them of everything they and the world had endured for the last couple of years with the pandemic, mentioning their almost finished new studio album and forthcoming soundtrack as they left the stage.

17/04/22: Sparks @ Roundhouse, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.