Sharks – London, The Lexington – 24 September 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rowland   
Sunday, 01 October 2017 04:00

Two years ago, founding members Steve ‘Snips’ Parsons and Chris Spedding reformed the legendary Sharks to complete some unfinished business from their original tenure. Along the way, they delivered some outstanding and electrifying gigs and, in the shape of ‘Killers Of The Deep’, produced an album so good that had it been recorded by the Rolling Stones, a band they are often likened to, it would have been hailed as a return to form.


Sharks Islington 1


Tonight it all comes to an end as the band deliver their final performance, at least ‘for the foreseeable future’. It’s not quite the end of the line for Sharks though, as that whole two year period, including tonight’s show, has been captured on celluloid for a documentary film, ‘One Last Thrill’, to surface sometime in the not too distant future, along with another brand new album, this one likely to be a double.


Tonight, a planned acoustic set is scrapped in favour of the full band experience from the start, and Sharks surface once more to deliver a set that will live long in the memory, that’s for sure. Gems from the original band’s Seventies output, like ‘Ole Jelly Roll’, ‘Sophistication’ and ‘Snakes and Swallowtails’, blend pretty seamlessly with stormers from that comeback album from last year, such as ‘Ya Ya Pop’, ‘Killer on the New Tube’ and ‘Can’t Get The Devil’. ‘Can’t Get the Devil’ is actually an obscure cover, and shines given the Sharks treatment, as do the less obscure ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and ‘The Last Time’. Perhaps most pleasing of all is the power and quality of a couple of new tracks from the next album, scheduled for next year. ‘Crash Party’ packs a powerful punch, and a radical re-working of ‘Hey Joe’, entitled ‘Mr. Sloane’ (as far as I could tell), provided one of the most jaw-dropping and exhilarating moments of the evening.


Parsons is on fine form tonight, prowling the stage like a twisted hybrid of John Lydon, Lou Reed and Mick Jagger, defying his 66 years of age. His voice has lost nothing over those years, and is as good as ever, with a performance as passionate and eccentric as ever. At 73, Speeding is no spring chicken either, but he delivers an assured and tasteful display that enhances his reputation as an unsung six string hero.


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It’s a crying shame that a band of this quality has not been able to reach a wider audience with this reformed project over the last two years, as both times I have seen them live have been one of the best club gigs I have seen last year and this. It’s also a shame that we won’t be able to see Sharks on stage again, at least for the foreseeable future.


Still, there’s the documentary film and what promises to be a cracking new album to look forward to next year.


PHOTO CREDIT: Photos by the author.


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