Monday, 2 August 2021

You've got Mael


Yesterday was something of a red letter day: I crossed the threshold of Nottingham's fabulous Broadway Cinema for the first time in nigh on 18 months. That's right, I went to the pictures; who would have thought in those halcyon days of 2019 (seems lik
e a lifetime ago) we would have considered a pastime so (seemingly) normal to something we now shout from the roof tops.

Arriving at the venue 30 minutes before showtime for a coffee and I could see that they've not been sitting on their hands during Lockdown - the foyer, cafĂ© and mezzanine bar have all had makeovers - following on from the pre-Covid screen room upgrades. Our tickets were booked online so I knew where I'd be sitting (front row - always the front row), and with adjacent seats either side blocked out and every other row temporarily out of commission it meant that everyone felt really safe.

The Sparks Brothers is everything you'd expect a big screen documentary movie about Ron and Russell Mael to be. Brash. Clever. And very funny. How many bands improve with age? The answer to that rhetorical question is, I can tell you, not many. But after 50 years, 25 albums and almost 400 songs, Sparks just go from strength to strength. Their tour bus certainly shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Showing in selected cinemas now.



8 comments:

  1. Loving the trailer - really whetted the appetite for this film.
    Just got to get my sorry backside (and head) to go over the threshold back into the real world.
    It might just be this film that makes it happen.

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    1. It's such a great film - I'd recommend it to anyone (you don't even have to be a huge Sparks fan).
      Yes, you need to get back out there, RD. We all do; life's too short.

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  2. Remember when certain songs would just appear on Radio One or TOTP, seemingly out of nowhere and with no obvious antecedents, as if beamed in from another galaxy? 'Judy Teen' by Cockney Rebel was one that springs to mind and 'This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both of Us' by Sparks was another. I can clearly remember the first time I heard both of those - and the intense playground chatter they prompted the following day. Steve Harley's later music doesn't do much for me, but I'd say that the last couple of Sparks albums are easily as good as any from their career.
    Looking forward to catching this film at some point.

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    1. We’re the same age, TS, so I recognise everything you say. We were like sponges and soaked up so many brilliant songs that cannot be erased.

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  3. I think they're the best band in the world at the moment, and Lil Beethoven is probably my favourite album from this century.

    I saw Beat the Clock on Top of the Pops and I think it was the first single I ever bought. Sounds impressive, eh? Mind you this was 1979 when the charts were so strong that you could have sent a chimpanzee into Woolies with a quid and he would have come out with something cool (as long as he didn't spot the Pick n Mix first).

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    1. That really is a cool 1st single.
      A part of me died when Woolies closed their doors for the last time.

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  4. I can't think of another artist who I first heard as a kid, that is releasing new albums five decades later that I have to buy on release. A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip was a(nother) brilliant album and I'm so looking forward to seeing The Sparks Brothers.

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    1. Thank you, Khayem; there’s a lot of love for Sparks out there right now.
      You’re gonna love the film😊

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