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SPARKS ‘Lilí Beethoven Live In Stockholm ’
Demon DEMONDVD001(2004)

Russell and Ron Maelís Sparks have been eccentric and eclectic electronic pop innovators for over 30 years now, and have kept a following ever since. The chart days may be over but the live performances certainly are not.

A Sparks show is a real event. You get a full show, lights, animation, the works. And this was no different.

Recorded in March this year, the show kicks off with the entire Lilí Beethoven album; the four piece produce a full sound, only with the help of many layers of backing tapes. These are needed to keep in synchronisation with the animated light show and costume changes etc.

But while Ron doesnít always put a lot of effort into his miming it does free him up to get up and take part in the show, using his persona to dance (and once or twice sing too) in a uniquely jerky fashion.

The reserved crowd are polite yet enthusiastic in their support, and with the backing tapes running there is little or no manoeuvre for spontaneity or rapport with the audience, this is much more of a stage show than a live show.

With the entire album over, we get an encore of several older tracks, including the classic hits 'The Number One Song In Heaven' and 'This Town Ainít Big Enough For The Both Of Us'.

With bonuses that include a backstage and soundcheck shorts and hidden tracks, the DVD is a fairly complete package.

The show itself is tight and well performed, although some of the arrangements do go on a little too long for the non fan. If you are a fan in any way itís still an excellent package and valuable insight.

****

Review by Joe Geesin

Buy this CD
£12.99

Keep On Running
© 2004 Angel Air Records. All rights reserved.

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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JOE GEESIN

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