Sparkadia, A.Human and La Shark

The Jericho Tavern
24th February 2011

Sparkadia have played to thousands of people back home in Australia, so tonight’s sparse audience must be a bit of a shock. Luckily, they (well, he – the bequiffed Alex Burnett – and his touring band) fill the room anyway with their lush, epic guitar/synth pop. Talking Like I’m Falling Down Stairs is a Bowie-esque joy; Mary a beautifully heartfelt crescendo, China filled with great 80s power chords, and the cover of Kelis’s Acapella a stadium romp. The whole thing is a cinematic melodyfest, and I’ve totally fallen in love with it.

The crowd is still small for A.Human, but it doesn’t seem like much would stop A.Human having fun. There’s space to mingle, which brings the engaging sequin-jacketed singer, Dave Human, to the dancefloor for the whole gig. So now everyone in the room is dancing – on Dave’s orders – to the shaggy disco pop of songs like the insanely catchy Take Me Home.

La Shark, however, are extraordinary – mostly due to the presence of flamboyant and uninhibited singer Samuel Geronimo Deschamps. There are headstands, manic dancing and gradual disrobing – he gets down to his underpants by the third song. Then backflips, breakdancing and writhing around on the floor. And at one point, Dave Human is challenged to and loses a dance-off with a member of the audience. This would all just be silly were the music not so quirky – a sort of cosmic avant-garde funk pop, veering towards Muse-like levels of orchestration and pomp in Hotel Chevalier and 60s jangles in Modern Man, but never seemingly taking itself too seriously amongst the slap bass and dischords. The highlight is the angular, paranoia-laden I Know What You Did Last Summer, a double A-side with A.Human’s Take Me Home.

I haven’t had this much fun at a gig in ages. Brilliant.


From Nightshift, April 2011