- Wed, 2010-04-14 15:52
La Shark live @ White Heat, Madame Jojos, Soho, London 6/04/2010
It is said that there is a fine line between genius and insanity. If this is so, then La Shark do not simply walk this tightrope, but twirl and pirouette down it with glee.
Taking to the stage dressed uniformly in beige jumpsuits, with thick gold chains around their necks for good measure, the band dive headfirst into opening track 1958. From the keyboard’s opening carnival wheeze the band are in full swing. Sam pin-balls around the small stage before lurching to the front, where he teeters on the edge, feet half-on, half-off, his shock of pink hair flopping this way and that as he sings to each and every member of the audience in turn. The tacit barrier that so often separates crowd from performer dissolves immediately.
Rather than let momentum slip, as soon as the opening song has run its course, Nick catches the audience by surprise as he screams the refrain of Bones from behind his drumkit: “I don’t know what to do!” There follows another tumbling cascade of skewed pop music. The bass lollops beneath conversational phrases from the guitar and keys, as vocals touch on everything from nursery rhyme couplets to reggae harmonies reminiscent of The Specials.
All the while the band exude implausible levels of energy, and continue to do so throughout the all-too-brief set. As his companions contort and thrash behind him, Sam totters hither and thither, pausing between songs to eye the crowd with an amused air of propriety, or share a wry self-deprecating comment or joke. For the final two songs he jumps from the stage and all but disappears in a swell of rowdily dancing punters. Proceedings come to a close with new single A Weapon, building from is squelching bass intro to a sweaty, group-vocal climax.
La Shark’s music lends itself to spectacle. Exuberant with occasionally sinister undertones, it is unremittingly catchy. Comparisons don’t offer themselves readily, but the spirit of early Faith No More is present, if not the sound. Different without being contrived, eccentric without being pretentious, it’s funky and visceral leftfield pop with a ruddy great smile across its face.