Sparks’ Busy 2023 Includes Tour, New Album

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Sparks 2023 (Photo: Munachi Osegbu; used with permission)

Sparks – brothers Ron Mael and Russell Mael – have announced a major world tour that will see the band playing some of the biggest venues in their more than 50-year history. The run is in conjunction with their 26th studio album, The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte, due May 26, 2023, via Island Records. The tour begins in May with dates in the U.K. and Europe. They’ll then visit North American beginning June 27 at New York’s Beacon Theatre and then continue through a hometown finale in Los Angeles on July 16. Tickets are available here.

The album is described by the brothers as a record that is “as bold and uncompromising as anything we did back then, or for that matter, anytime throughout our career.” The title track, featuring Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett, was released on March 3.

“We met Cate Blanchett in Paris at the César Awards last year,” say the Mael brothers, “little knowing that a year later, one of the great actors of our time (and a splendid person!) would graciously consent to lending her bootie-shaking skills to the first video from our new album, ‘The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte.’ Dreams really do come true. We will sleep well tonight knowing that forever we can say we co-starred in a film with Cate Blanchett!” Pre-order The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte in the U.S. here and the U.K. here.

A second track was released on April 21. The musical account of the actress Veronica Lake, and her peek-a-boo hairstyle, displays Sparks’ ability to craft intricately detailed stories into perfect three-minute pop masterpieces.

A 22-hour-old baby is the protagonist of the catchy punk-pop of “Nothing Is As Good As They Say It Is,” the third single to be released.

From the Jan. 30 tour announcement: 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” nearly scored them a U.K. #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.

How keyboardist and songwriter Ron’s intricate staccato arrangements combine with the acrobatic vocals 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 to Duran Duran to Depeche Mode to Bjork to Beck and beyond.

Their lauded career-spanning 2021 documentary film, The Sparks Brothers, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun Of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver), brought them a new awareness.

Sparks’ 2021 film musical Annette, directed by Leos Carax and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, has been showered with awards, especially in France where the film won three Lumières Awards and five César Awards, including “Best Original Music” for the pair. In addition, the film’s “So May We Start” was shortlisted for “Best Original Song” at the 94th Academy Awards. Focus Features have recently announced plans to develop X-Crucior, a new musical epic written by Ron and Russell.

Sparks 2023 Tour (Tickets are available here and here)
May 23 – Oxford, UK – New Theatre
May 24 – Liverpool, UK – Philharmonic Hall
May 26 – Glasgow, UK – Clyde Auditorium
May 27 – Manchester, UK – Bridgewater Hall
May 29 – London, UK – Royal Albert Hall
May 30 – London, UK – Royal Albert Hall
Jun 02 – Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound Barcelona *
Jun 08 – Madrid, Spain – Primavera Sound Madrid *
Jun 10 – Porto, Portugal – Primavera Sound Porto *
Jun 13 – Paris, France – Le Grand Rex
Jun 14 – Utrecht, Netherlands – Grote Zaal
Jun 16 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Store Vega
Jun 18 – Berlin, Germany – Tempodrom
Jun 20 – Brussels, Belgium – Cirque Royal
Jun 21-25 – Glastonbury, UK – Glastonbury Festival
Jun 22 – Wolverhampton, UK – The Civic at the Halls Wolverhampton
Jun 27 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
Jun 28 – Philadelphia, PA – Keswick Theatre
Jun 30 – Washington, DC – Lincoln Theatre
Jul 01 – Boston, MA – The Wilbur Theatre
Jul 03 – Toronto, ON – Danforth Music Hall
Jul 05 – Chicago, IL – Copernicus Center
Jul 06 – Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater
Jul 08 – Kansas City, MO – Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland
Jul 09 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
Jul 12 – Dallas, TX – Texas Theatre
Jul 13 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theatre
Jul 16 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
Jul 24 – Osaka, Japan – Namba Hatch
Jul 25 – Tokyo, Japan – Line Cube Shibuya

* Festival Appearance

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

Best Classic Bands Staff

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