Sparklehorse

The Waterfront, Norwich

The Waterfront, Norwich

When Mark Linkous stands in front of an audience of students and sweater-wearing indie fans, it is something of an achievement that he is here at all.

The Sparklehorse front man was on tour 10 years ago when he passed out from a drug overdose in his hotel room. He was pronounced dead in hospital, and when he came back to life was wheelchair-bound for six months.

He has struggled with addiction and depression, struggled to deal with the September 11 attacks in New York, and mourned a murdered friend.


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After a five-year gap between albums, the latest album and this tour have been motivated by the simple need to pay the rent.

It's not clear whether there were enough people there on Tuesday night to pay the rent, but they certainly had an experience. Sometimes the sound creaks, sometimes the ethereal backing vocals are the star of the show.

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There are moments of revelation, such as Spirit Ditch, which is a delicate, butterfly's wing of a song.

And an encore of Homecoming Queen is a beautiful thing, so understated it is barely there, before the band erupts into three songs you could almost dance to.

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