Craig from Lovers-Lament in St. Pete sent Sparta Philharmonic our way to Sarasota a few weeks ago; right now they’re winding their way along the west coast. We set them up with a show at our beloved Shamrock Pub with Devin Robinson (last show in FL) and a stripped-down but always fabulous Fancy Rat. In one evening, Alex and Greg of SP morphed from strangers into some of my favorite people I’ve met in passing. What classy gentlemen.
The whole show rekindled my love for the truly intimate sets I just don’t see too often anymore. Sparta Philharmonic did not skimp on enthusiasm despite the small room, though – watching Greg hunched, half-standing over the cello, layering sounds with his loop station and the unrelenting smile on Alex’s face was proof they were really enjoying themselves as much as we were. And oh, my ears! It was a torrential, abstract, beautiful, shipwreck movie soundtrack with sprinkled-in lyric phrases that made me adopt their music in my soul. I scored a copy of their double-disc vinyl LP, “(trans)migratory birds,” as well as a good ol’ dose of friendship. Me being an irresponsible vinyl owner, I left it in my car overnight. What I found, though, is that the warped versions of their songs (especially my favorite favorite favorite, “Never, Ever, Ever”) are somehow even more beautiful.
Cheers, Sparta Philharmonic. Breeze on through anytime.
Here’s a video of Fancy Rat’s “Hands for Shaking” live at Shamrock Pub as an extra present for your eyes/ears.
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