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Music: Split Enz & Sparks

March 29th, 2007 · 4 Comments · Blogroll, Blogs, Culture, Music, New Wave, Performance

Ooh, I think it’s high time for another musical interlude, before Ocelopotamus goes into New Wave withdrawal. We don’t want the Ocelopotamus getting antsy, hissing and splashing around in some kind of hypo-wave-onic panic and scaring the crocodiles.

In fact, let’s start off with a welcoming doff of the cap to all of Ocelopotamus’s new visitors from New Zealand, courtesy of the lovely welcome we just got from the fine folks at the NZBC.

So, here are those New Wave heroes from New Zealand, the immortal Split Enz, doing “I Walk Away”: a song from their last album that would also turn up in slightly different form on the first Crowded House album. In fact, with Neil Finn taking charge of the band and Paul Hester on drums, this is really the evolutionary missing link between the Enz and the House; between New Wave and Cardy Pop.

And let’s make this a double-header, with the quintessential proto-New Wave band Sparks, who I think consorted with a similar comic muse as Split Enz. This is Sparks on Top of the Pops in 1974, doing “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us” — one of their classics. Both of the Mael brothers are wonderful performers and the way they stay in character during this is brilliant.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Aaron

    Wow, I never even knew the Sparks were AROUND in 1974…I thought they came out in the 80s and that “Cool Places” song with Jane Wiedlin was their only big hit.

    I love Split Enz, too. I sort of miss that kind of new wave/post-punk stuff, like “I Got You.” Our band did some retro-stuff like that, but the two T girls in our group didn’t get along real well. So we broke up. :-)

  • Ocelopotamus

    Yeah, I remember being astonished when I found out about the early part of Sparks’ career — just how visionary and ahead of their time they were. They really pioneered the kind of camp and irony that came to be identified with early New Wave. And you have to love a band that comes up with titles like “Angst in My Pants.”

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