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Sparks release new music + announce Radio 2 documentary

Prior to their European tour Sparks, Californian brothers Ron and Russell Mael, release ‘Check Out Time 11AM’ on May 18th 2018. Previously only released on vinyl for Record Store Day US 2017, the song is now released on all digital platforms.

Boys To Blighty’. Part 1 – ‘Sparks on Sunset’ – is broadcast on May 23rd 21:00-22:00. Katie Puckrik talks to Ron and Russell about their formative years growing up on Sunset Strip in the late 1960s, meeting and mingling with the stars and emerging artists of that vital Los Angeles music scene and how that experience both shaped and influenced them over the years. Part 2 – Sparks in London’ – broadcast at the same time on May 30th, traces their move to Britain and role in helping to define the 70s as one of musical innovation where art school sensibilities met operatic spectacle.

Following an exceptional 2017, that saw them release the extraordinary album ‘Hippopotamus’, Sparks will return to Europe for a run of dates in May and June.

MAY 2018

22 – UK, Glasgow, O2 Academy

23 – UK, Leeds, O2 Academy Leeds

24 – UK, London, O2 Forum Kentish Town (sold out)

26 – UK, Southampton, Common People Festival

27 – Oxford, Common People Festival

28 – UK, Bournemouth, BIC (Beck’s special guests)

30 – France, Toulouse Le Bikini

31 – Spain, Barcelona, Primavera Sound

JUN 2018 

1 – France, Nimes, This Is Not A Love Song Festival

5 – Germany, Munich, Freiheiz

6 – Germany, Cologne, Gloria-Theater

7 – Belgium, Antwerp, Arenbergschouwburg

9 – Netherlands, Utrecht, TivoliVredenburg Ronda

10 – Germany, Hamburg, Mojo Club

13 – Norway, Bergen, Bergenfest

14 – Norway, Oslo, Rockefeller Music Hall

16 – Sweden, Stockholm, Cirkus (sold out)

17 – Sweden, Malmo, Kulturbolaget (sold out)

18 – Denmark, Copenhagen, DR Koncerthuset

The accompanying world tour saw Sparks and their band play a set that was euphoric, vital, brilliant and uncompromisingly typical of a band that refuses to rest on their laurels. The new songs (from ‘Hippopotamus’ including ‘Edith Piaf Said It Better Than Me’, ‘What The Hell Is It This Time?’ & ‘Missionary Position’) sounded like classics, the classics (including ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both of Us’, ‘Amateur Hour’ and ‘The Number One Song In Heaven’) sounded as vibrant and essential as ever, and audiences, and critics, were left in no doubt this genre-hopping band is on sparkling form.

Watch highlights of Sparks’ performance at the BBC 6 Music Festival

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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