The Annandale isn’t a big venue, but its’ status as an icon of the Sydney music scene makes a sellout show pretty impressive. Sparkadia are like that, it would seem. Their fans are certainly enthusiastic- one in three wants to pull you aside and tell you just how wonderful the band are. The crowd nodded along to Adrian Deutsch’s bluesy alt-country pop stylings, and later to the Dirty Secret’s Presets-meets-the-Strokes funky electro rock, but once Sparkadia hit the stage, even the reserved hipsters in the audience seemed to lose their cool.
At first listen, Sparkadia sound remarkably like the massively popular Snow Patrol. There are certainly similarities- sweet, reverbed vocals, sing along hooks, overdriven chords- but a deeper listen reveals that they are so much more. Where Snow Patrol have become one-trick ponies, Sparkadia still sound fresh. Their songs are varied enough to keep you interested, but stylistically they’re on the same wavelength- every song is a Sparkadia song.
The highlight of the show, the very radio-friendly Too Much To Do, came early in the set, and was closely followed by Just Let Go- another earworm waiting to happen. The band’s big numbers, as well as being a lot of fun, prove that Sparkadia aren’t afraid to write pop songs- and good ones at that.