Tommy Sparkles at the Birmingham Academy
20th May 2009 O2 Academy 2 Birmingham

Image copyright:  Adrian Brown -

In a pre gig chat I had with Tommy on his way to Brighton for his support slot with Ladyhawke, Tommy Sparkes was very vocal about making a connection with the crowd during a live performance: “I think live shows are all about connecting…my ideal show would be like everyone would be on stage and we’d all be singing along.”  

True to his word, even as he set foot on the stage Sparkes was alive and looking to get the crowd involved.  Accompanied by an excellent backing band, he had the crowd on side by the end of the first song ‘Much Too Much’ and three songs in he hit them with the current chart single ‘She’s Got Me Dancing’, which does exactly what it says on tin.  The crowd just couldn’t help themselves.

As recognition dawned on their faces and they realised who the frisky, bouncing ball of energy on the stage was, as one, they began to bounce along with him.


This was a performance only restricted by the size of the meagre stage, which was far too small for an artist determined to emit as much energy into the room as he could, and the all too short set which left me wanting more as he rounded it up with an amazing cover of the Stardust track ‘The Music Sounds Better With You’, which in my opinion was far better than the original.

Not if, but when the support slots turn in to headline gigs and he’s stacked up a few more hits, we will see Tommy on bigger stages and in his natural environment and this will be the time to see him live.  Amongst other festivals, he is due to play Glastonbury this year and if he can push out the same energy to an audience of that magnitude, he’ll have the crowd dancing themselves into the mud.

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