Post-‘Black And Gold’, pop prince Sam Sparro finds his groove thing during a showcase set in Melbourne.
“Nobody saw Chic?!” pleads Sam Sparro halfway through a set of tunes from his forthcoming second album at Melbourne’s ornate Toff In Town. The answer was mostly no, but who needs Chic when we have the new Sparro?
He’s been hard at work over the last three years, recreating that late-‘70s/early-‘80s disco funk for his second album Return To Paradise. Tonight, with a full band, this skinny white boy with a Chaplin haircut, Errol Flynn moustache, and a puffy black silk pantsuit is channeling his inner le freak.
While the new tunes are a joyous tribute to that grooviest of eras, he mostly steps on the soul rather than funk side of the road. He leads into new tune ‘Let The Love In’ with “This was influenced by Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan”. No doubt.
His voice is still sharp and clear. The also new ‘I Wish I Never Met You’ might as well be a self-possessed Kelly Clarkson torch song, more modern pop than the disco efforts and a big single contender. After a couple of older, sadder tunes, he wryly quips, “Then I thought ‘This shit is a drag, I need some happiness’” and bursts into what will be the first official single from Return To Paradise – ‘Happiness’.
Unnecessarily, he says in a faux-robot voice, “I like disco music” and continues the mirror ball party with another newy ‘Paradise People’. Again, another absolutely faithful polyester pelvis-shaker.
While the new material is so overtly glittery, he honours fans with his slow-burn smash ‘Black And Gold’, finishing with his mic hovering over a crowd in full voice. Off and back on for another new tune, which segues into a brief refrain of ‘100% Pure Love’ before the red curtains close.
The crowd love to dance. He likes disco music. Return To Paradise should do nicely.