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Hippopotamus tour
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freeke
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Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 394
Location: Turku, Finland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got back from...Helsinki. Excellent. One hour, pretty much Glasgow setlist. I was right in front of the stage. Russell spoke a few words in Finnish "for those of you who don't understand English " ☺ Ron's birthday didn't go unnoticed, even though he didn't get "Outer Spaced " as I had hoped.
Nice to see lots of young people there. The very moment I exited the concert tent, it started raining. Heavily. People started running. We're talking mass stampede under a waterfall. Took me quite a while to find the way out of Helsinki as the sight was so poor. Oh well, it was my 6th Sparks gig and possibly the best so far. 5/5 .
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freeke
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Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 394
Location: Turku, Finland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just read on the Flow website that the huge "Sparks tent" was closed after their performance and needed repair. All performances on outdoor stages were cancelled due to the weather. Whew, that was close. 😥
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PeterE
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Joined: 02 Oct 2002
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Location: Idstein Germany

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your review ...

Looking forward to see Bratislava gig ...(plus Luxembourg and Brussels)

guess R & R will relax in one of the small baltic countries
until Sept 4th
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PeterE
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Joined: 02 Oct 2002
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Location: Idstein Germany

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

from rosvot.fi

As the store was approaching, the Red tent was hot and humid. Come think of it, that was the right atmosphere for Sparks. The bandís 14-song set was heavy on the most recent material, including four songs from their upcoming new album Hippopotamus, their first in eight years. Contrary to many legacy act, the newer songs were among the highlights of the show. Songs like the the opener What the Hell Is It This Time? and Missionary Position were fun and a good example of the Mael Brothers witty art-pop. The show ended with a couple of glam rock classics (This Town Ainít Big For Both of Us and Amateur Hour) off their most popular album, Kimono My House. Visually, there was something terribly comforting in Sparks blue stripped sweaters. Plus, Ron Maelís trademark tap dance, on the day of his 72nd birthday, was a stroke of pure genius.
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Sparky Rickmaniac
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Joined: 21 Jan 2009
Posts: 4501
Location: Edge of the rhubarb triangle

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tix just arrived for Manchester
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allydodd
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Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 664
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tickets for the first week of the UK tour: Norwich, Manchester, Edinburgh have arrived at my end ok from AXS.

Newcastle through a different agency, WeGotTickets, was an e-ticket.
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Billy Stevens
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Joined: 23 Oct 2002
Posts: 2419
Location: London UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got my Norwich Yesterday, Fan Club presale. Bought one for my Wife June 29th direct from the Waterfront cheaper and an e-ticket. Luxembourg was an e-ticket direct from venue. Still waiting for Nottingham and London. Looking forward to Friday at Rough Trade. Am I the only one who thinks Missionary Position should be a single and would actually enter the charts? I literally cannot get that song out of my head since Copenhagen.
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rod
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Joined: 12 Jan 2002
Posts: 350
Location: cardiff, U.K.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No sign of Bristol or London tickets both booked via fan club pre-sale link?
Have to agree Billy, MP is possibly the best song they've written since the 70's! It encapsulates everything I love about Sparks
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Billy Stevens
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Joined: 23 Oct 2002
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Location: London UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amen to that! See you at Shepherds Bush. Rod I honestly think this could be a number one.
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allydodd
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Joined: 12 Dec 2004
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Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Norwich awesome! One of the best gigs I've ever been to. Russell's glee at being in the top ten was infections. The band are so dynamic and enhancing the songs with a real live edge. None of the muted seas of the maiden Glasgow journey - this was full throttle boogey with individual flair being the polite complement to sparks fantastic new album and brilliant back catalogue. Steve nistor is a tornado of a musician, an excitement of energy and precision to behold, certainly one of the GREAT drummers. And throughout Ron gazed forebodingly to the crowd..

Special thanks to Tyler taking the stage as vinyl backed crooner as a very unique warm up act before joining the band for a blistering set.
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allydodd
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Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 664
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a lot of folk going to Bristol and London. Anyone want to suggest pubs to meet up?

Note the Hatchet, besides the 02 Academy is only open till ten. Nearby is the "Smoke and Mirrors" which sounds fitting for Sparks fans but it only does basic bar snacks.

In Shepherd's Bush we met up in the Defectors Weld which was nice and sufficiently roomy and provided meals. Again?
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miss sparks
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Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 893
Location: Surrey, England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be going to both London gigs, not keen to walk into pubs on my own. I will go to the Westfield shopping centre on Thursday, something to do before the 2nd gig. Are there any female fans going to Shepherds bush?
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allydodd
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Joined: 12 Dec 2004
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Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A certain fan, celebrated for her arty elegance, is already making her way to the Hatchet. On that basis, the Bristol venue has been selected. This precludes me from any complaints and [/i]whippings and apologies
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allydodd
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Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 664
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bristol = wow!!! They played the impossible. Oh my giddy aunt, if they aren't the best band in the world who the hell is??? Couldn't believe they could do it. No spoilers but .....
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sjadey
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Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 3450
Location: High Wycombe, Bucks., England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Bristol was excellent. I'm so happy they played the song after This Town...
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SteveBoyce
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Joined: 17 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rod wrote:
No sign of Bristol or London tickets both booked via fan club pre-sale link?
Have to agree Billy, MP is possibly the best song they've written since the 70's! It encapsulates everything I love about Sparks

Funny how opinions differ, I find it probably the weakest song on the album!
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Zebedee
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Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Posts: 35
Location: London, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I saw a message on the Forum saying the Shepherd's Bush gig has an early stage time of 8pm. Does that mean the Maels will be on stage at 8pm rather than the support band? If so, when will it end?
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dinky
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Joined: 26 Jul 2003
Posts: 397

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On stage at 8.45pm
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allydodd
Sparkologist


Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 664
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sparks on steriods is this tour. Facing virtually sell-out crowds everywhere, they are challenging audiences to keep up with their energy of performance and innovation in music. Firing on all cyclinders and a bit more this exhilarating tour is high impact. Hippopotamus rocketed into the charts one glorious week, thanks to a hungry and growing fanbase, as impressed as curious with the snippets on the back of some deserved far-reaching promotion thanks to the worldwide record deal with BMG. Bolstered in a seven strong line-up (and strong being the definitive word), Sparks have have ascended to new heights of gusto. Even indefatigable Russell looks as if heís riding on a second wind .. a hurricane.

The measure of how contemporary a band are could be along the lines of how well the new material goes down. In Hippopotamus, new songs are generating as much excitement as the old favourites. Radio 6 music previewed four at its Glasgow gig, and last nightís London audience was word perfect. Bristol introduced a certain song from the album, and Russellís stratospheric vocals has had audiences open-mouthed on two successive nights in different cities.

Driving the band is 21x21 hero, Stephen Nistor, on drums and percussion. If anyone knows Sparks music inside out its Stephen. A revelation this tour has been in terms of his drumming, declared a more musically knowledgeable fan than me. Lots of bands Iíve seen, some with stunning drummers, and Iíve always rated versatile and technically adept Stephen among the top. Yet, the thundering thrills from the last fortnight convinced me heís the best.

A second keyboard is always what Sparks music merited. Even early songs have had piano type playing with organ / synth behind it. From US indie pop outfit, Mini Mansions, Tyler Packford, ably provides this as well as backing vocals, even effortless falsetto. Also showcasing this range, he takes centre stage as the support act, the tongue-in-cheek smoothie crooner, Mr Goodnite.

Mini Mansions bandmate, Zach Dawes, is more than dependable on bass. So swiftly heís developed a feel for the dramatics in Sparks music and ramps it up in style.

Already impressed we were with Evan Weissí acoustic session with R&R on numbers such as Edith Piaf. On stage and amplified, he is electrifying playing solos and rythmn at break neck speed. And, he has a fine voice too.

And, where did they find Taylor? Great on guitar, says Russell, and sparklingly so. There are some sophisticated musical workings between Evan and Taylor on stage which excite into untrod territory. Sometimes heís rythmn, then does a solo, occassionally even playing guitar almost like a metallophone. Sometimes the duo even play the solo together Thin Lizzy style. And thereís that new song with an uncharacteristic device for Sparks Ė its bliss. With incredible backing vocals, Taylor is always there, even the tortuously high register Good Morning.

As for Russell, well heís a live wire all leaping about, trying to fill every available corner of the stage, as if trying to fight through the lights to assimulate every beaming face of his audience. With a voice that defies convention, he continues to raise the bar on what he can sing, and sing it with power and quality.

Immobile yet hard at work on the piano is the great master, Ron. Is there sometimes just a hint of a smile at the way the audience are responding to this success? No but, the genius of the lyrics, would probably say himself, he is smiling on the inside.

September has been a combination of several personal fantasies rolled in to one, witnessing Sparks score a chart hit album and to hear songs played live with such verve, creativity and such fullsomeness to packed, cheering houses everywhere.
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rod
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Joined: 12 Jan 2002
Posts: 350
Location: cardiff, U.K.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What he said.....!
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