Joe Gideon and the Shark have a special kind of energy on stage. Their performance is effortless, yet manages to blow the crowd away as they watch in amazement.

It’s hard to describe what unfolds on stage. It’s also hard to see how just two people can make music so bursting to the brim with interesting sounds.

Viva aka the Shark is like nothing before seen on stage. She sits at her drum kit while managing a sound system to loop hers and Gideon’s vocals. She also plays keyboard, glockenspiel and later she straps on a guitar just for good measure. The crowd's awe is obvious as she plays with incredible grace not normally associated with drummers.

Gideon stands to her right with his guitar enjoying every second of their performance. He looks surprised to see the crowd squeezed right up to the stage filling every nook and cranny of the strangely shaped venue. There is no ounce of pretence despite the overflowing talent of these two siblings.

As the music starts the members of the audience's joy is written all over their faces. The band thrives on it and instantly looks at home. Many of the tracks from debut album 'Harum Scarum' have been played on stage before. The difference from other performances, however, is clear. While their live shows have always been impressive, each track is now tighter and more finely tuned with added depths of sound listeners wouldn’t have thought possible.

Viva plays drums switching from crashing pounding rhythms to gentle rolling symbol waves with a dance like elegance. Gideon’s vocals are rich and whimsical. Each song is a story told with tongue in cheek humour and open honesty. After playing ‘Hide and Seek’, a story about a young boy being bullied at his own Birthday party, Gideon jokes, "that might be true, that might be me."

When they switch to ‘Anything You Love That Much, You Will See Again,’ the crowd sways to Gideon’s careful guitar rhythm and Viva plays beautifully on keyboard. The contrast from song to song works brilliantly while capturing the originality of the band and the genius of the lyrics.

Describing this band live will never do it justice. Joe Gideon and the Shark should be at the top of everyone’s must see list.

The photographs that accompany this article were were taken by Mark Rowland.

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Commenting On: Borderline, London, 26/3/2009 - Joe Gideon and the Shark

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