Joe Gideon & The Shark

Sounds from the Underground
by Nick Parker

Joe Gideon & The Shark
Luke B. Ford photograph

FROM THE UK: Let me warn you, in case we happen to meet: I’m a real music bore. I’m that guy who wanders around Boston music venues proselytizing about new bands (or bands new to me) to random passers-by, and lately all my monotonous diatribes have been about just one: Joe Gideon & the Shark.

When I have a bad case of music-driven hysteria, as I do with this duo, I’m not even able to articulate why I’m so excited – I’m no more than a mouthpiece for the band’s name, seemingly expecting that will be enough to convince you to bother looking them up.

It’s not enough, of course, and so let me put it this way: if Nick Cave and PJ Harvey's sadly doomed relationship in the 90s had spawned a couple of kids, they would have grown into the brother and sister duo who make up JG&TS. What better (illusory) heritage could they ask for?

So JG&TS manage to be as eccentric as both these musical luminaries. Viva Gideon plays drums, various keys, and carries most of the actual singing in the band, while Joe plays guitars and bass, and drifts through one-sided conversations with us that are compelling, apparently true, and often amusing. Despite Joe’s skillful wit though, this is not really his greatest strength. He will make you smile often as you listen to tracks like “Civilization” and “DOL” (aka “Daughter of a Loony”), but this band are at their best when this slight humor is underscored with both the sinister and the poignant.

How can they bring these disparate ingredients together? That’s where my wonder is: I don’t know how it works, but it’s a very powerful concoction that I haven’t heard before.

So let me get this out of my system: Joe Gideon and the Shark’s 2009 album Harum Scarum is a MUST have. There. Perhaps now I’ve written that out to you all, I can stop the whole ‘chanting their name’ thing.

Joe Gideon & The Shark
Web / My / Fb


Unknown said…
They are awesome. I saw them twice. First time in London in 2007 and the second time as the opening act for The Black Heart Procession in Berlin 2009.
If you have a chance to see them, don't miss it.

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