11 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre
13 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
14 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
15 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
18 – St. Paul, MN – Fitzgerald Theatre
19 – Chicago, IL – Copernicus Center
21 – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern
22 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
24 – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival
25 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theatre
26 – Washington, DC – Lincoln Theatre
28 – New York, NY – Town Hall
29 – New York, NY – Town Hall
30 – Boston, MA – Boch Center Shubert Theatre
1 – Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theatre
2 – Toronto, ON – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
10 – Dublin, IR – Vicar Street
11 – Belfast, UK – Ulster Hall
13 – Glasgow, UK – Barrowland
14 – Manchester, UK – Albert Hall
16 – Bexhill-On-Sea, UK – De La Warr Pavilion
17 – London, UK – The Roundhouse
19 – Paris, FR – Casino de Paris
21 – Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso
22 – Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique, AB Flex
24 – Berlin, DE – Metropol
25 – Hamburg, DE – Mojo Club
27 – Oslo, NO – Rockefeller
29 – Stockholm, SW – Annexet
30 – Copenhagen, DK – DR Koncerthuset
3 – Helsinki, FI – Kultturitalo
4 – Tallinn, EE – Alexela Kontserdimaja
6 – Riga, LV – Hanzas Perons
7 – Vilnius, LT – Compensa Concert Hall
# # #
There’s never been a better time to be a Sparks fan. Levels of interest in the work of Ron and Russell Mael are at a height unseen since their 1970s breakthrough.
2021’s acclaimed career-spanning documentary film, The Sparks Brothers, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver), brought an awareness of Sparks to parts they previously hadn’t reached. Their 2021 film musical Annette, directed by Leos Carax and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, has been showered with awards, especially in France where Carax won “Best Director” at Cannes, and where the film won three Lumières Awards and five top César Awards, including a prestigious “Best Original Score” prize for Ron and Russell. The ultimate cult band are suddenly center stage, in the full beam of the spotlight.
Most people, with even a passing acquaintance with Sparks, will know the basics by now. How Californian brothers Ron and Russell Mael, both students at UCLA, began making music together in the late Sixties, originally under the name Halfnelson. How their Top Of The Pops debut with “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us” stunned a generation and nearly scored them a UK #1. How their career moved through many phases, including (but not limited to) art rock, glam, big band swing, electro-disco, new wave, and synthpop, taking in collaborations with Todd Rundgren, Les Rita Mitsouko, Tony Visconti, and Giorgio Moroder, and Franz Ferdinand, to name but a few.
How keyboardist and songwriter Ron’s intricate staccato arrangements combine with the hysteria-pitch falsetto in which Russell delivers his brother’s always-on-point lyrics. How Ron’s stillness and stern, intimidating visage contrasts onstage with Russell’s hyperactivity. How their popularity has spiked unpredictably in different territories at different times: Britain, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Japan, and their homeland the United States. And how the influence of “the greatest band you’ve never heard of” or “your favorite band’s favorite band” has been recognized by successive generations of artists from Joy Division and Duran Duran to Depeche Mode and Björk to Beck, The Darkness, and beyond.
The early 21st century, that crucial period in the 2000s between the “Crackerjack Years” of their first flushes of fame and their current success, saw Sparks rediscovering their muse and releasing some of the finest work of their career, including five albums – Balls (2000), Lil’ Beethoven (2002), Hello Young Lovers (2006), Exotic Creatures Of The Deep (2008), and The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman (2009) – set to be reissued later this year in remastered deluxe editions featuring an array of previously unreleased bonus material; pre-orders are available HERE. Sparks’ more recent studio releases – Hippopotamus (2017) and A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip (2020) – plot out the path of an extraordinary renaissance for the Mael brothers.
CONNECT WITH SPARKS: