Mile End, London05/05/10
If this New Cross 5-piece are your cuppa tea, you’re clearly not a plain ‘ol Tetleys kinda guy or gal. You’re even more daring than the faux-left-field Earl Grey or anything Twinings are pushing, in fact. The genre’s that La Shark blend (yeah, like tea) are as vast and wide as their physical form suggests, which is how they’ve scooped a number 1 fan in Orlando Weeks, who is over there bobbing to their tight urchin ska. They’re a scruffy Specials one second, players of a more dishevelled Prince pop the next and, at one unquestionably low point, a burlesque show-tune band that sees flame-mopped singer Samuel Geronimo Deschamps creep in front of the audience to an organ playing ‘Stairway To Heaven’. Largely, though, they seem to be what Larakin Love would have been if they’d traded their Pogues obsession for a Blockheads one. It’s less overtly geez than that but the thrust and bounce is there, particularly in Deschamps who skanks about and half speaks his prose, his bassist behind him in Dexy’s dungarees, grooving away and surrounded by misfits that make The Levellers look like common clones. And when not hitting with a rhythm stick but rather weaving it into a new kind of carnival punk, Le Shark are a cuppa splosh more lip-smacking than most.
By Stuart Stubbs
Originally published in issue 15 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2010