Joe Gideon & The Shark
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Joe Gideon & The Shark

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Nylon Magazine Review"

The story behind Joe Gideon and the Shark is nearly as good as the stories the duo tells in its songs.

Twirling ribbons at the Olympics, judging models at the Miss Bolivia contest, and putting up with sibling rivalry are just a few of the tales from this British twosome. Which might explain why their songs are so good.

Life experiences seep out of Harum Scarum, their debut album out in October. Whether it’s recalling a childhood game of hide-and-seek or bemoaning the fate of a “daughter of a loony”, Joe Gideon and the Shark’s songs are equal parts scum and soul.

The duo behind the blues-driven sound are brother-sister duo Joe Gideon (aka Gideon Joel Seifert) and his younger sister Viva (aka Viva Seifert), who one-up the White Stripes by actually being related. They share their bare-bones stomp with another boy-girl band, The Kills, but Joe Gideon and the Shark goes beyond fuzzy guitar licks and dirty lyrics; every song is like a story being told, with Joe narrating and Viva providing the beat.

In fact, they’ve got more in common with that other British storyteller, Jarvis Cocker, than many of their lo-fi peers. Which doesn’t mean you can believe everything they say, but it sure is easy with lines like, “Said it's only natural if I've given them a fright/ Told this to my dad, who told me his belt was too tight/ Mother didn't say a word, but I know she heard/ And now I know the meaning of, 'Mum's the word.'" - Nylon Magazine

"Time Out Magazine Review"

After being spotted playing one of Time Outs "On The Up' shows, Joe Gideon and his kid sister Viva, aka The Shark, spent the endf of 2008 touring with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the beginning of 2009 supporting Seasick Steve. Before that they were in a doomy band called Bikini Atoll. Before that Joe was an English teacher and his sister an Olympic gymnast. And before that, you suspect the siblings spent a Gorey-esque childhood doing original things to the family gerbil.

Combining The Handsome Family's surreal fatalism and Nick Cave's literary irreverence with a certain shadowy, cross-hatched nostalgia, the duo's debut is a work of grindingly beautiful, raggedly rendered yet almost mythically pitched garage blues. While hammering piano and sensual whoops, Joe cranks his guitar and, in a voice that builds from a sinister whisper to a tremulous, inspired holler, tells stories. "Civilisation" is a bizarre bildungsroman in miniature, "Hide and Seek" a cautionary tale delivered with a sly grin, and "True Nature" a fable-cum-murder baled that distorts into a chiming, sob inducing epic.

To be funny and moving at the same time is one thing. Their combination of true grit and grace is rarer still. - Time Out Magazine

"Mojo Magazine"

"If you'd said when i was a gymnast that I would be drumming in a band with my brother years later, I wouldn't have believed it," says Viva Seifert, aka The Shark. Back in 1992, when she represented the UK in rhythmic gymnastics at the Barcelona Olympics and brother Gideon was living in Bolivia, it would hardly have seemed likely. Bu they worked together in four piece Bikini Atoll, singing and playing keyboards and guitar respectively, from 1999 until the band split in 2006. How did they come to the decision to continue as a duo?

"It was easy," says Gideon. "We had some of the songs already written so we thought we might as well just carry on. Then I started writing songs with just the two of us in mind. And Viva convinced me she could learn the drums.

"I insisted with don't need to work with other musicians," says Viva. "I was convinced I could do it because I played piano, and because I was also a dancer - that involved two arms, two legs and a lot of coordination!"

On Their debut album Harum Scarum, Joe Gideon & The Shark create a powerful, concentrated sound. They point out that compared to fellow duos like The White Stripes and The Black Keys, they are keen to overdub and experiment.

The album ranges from the souped-up 21st century rock'n'roll of DOL and the power-duo blues of the title track to songs built around spartan piano lines. Gideon's lyrics are acutely observed, droll, sometimes touching, and he switches between narration and melody.

At times, he says, he sings these stories so much he begins to wonder if they might have happened. However, Kathy Ray - a bittersweet tale of a woman who was a "backing singer for the Eurythmics at Live Aid 1985" and worked with Ray Charles - is completely based on fact.

"I was walking home on a winters afternoon and I just bumped into her," Gideon says. "She'd had a row with her boyfriend and was trying to get home to Brighton. She told me her story, but it was so amazing I couldn't believe it. I went home and checked it all and it was true."

An enthusiastic Jim Sclavunos spotted Joe Gideon & The Shark at a London show and they were invited to open for The Bad Seed' tour last autumn. they've since done a number of concerts with Seasick Steve.

Viva is surrounded by gear on-stage" a keyboard, a glockenspiel, an 8-track and a Space Echo. At times she is singing while playing the drums with one hand and another instrument with another hand. Have they considered getting extra musicians for live shows?

"Not at the minute," Gideon replies. "We're having too much fun."

- Mojo Magazine

"NME Review"

Joe Gideon and his sister Viva (aka The Shark), formerly of Bikini Atoll, have become a drums/guitar platform for Joe's spoken-word stories of surreal woe. Sounds shrug worthy? Well, it's astonishing. Somehow they've alchemised an epic album from the hypnotic voodoo blues of The Gun Club, the shamanic gabbling of Patti Smith and some damn good gags. "DOL" sounds like early PJ Harvey; "Harum Scarum" is The Black Keys looking for God. Both are bone-rattling, but the real magic's in their slowies. "Kathy Ray" is a beautifully melancholic tale of a washed-up singer, while "True Nature" is like Autolux doing a Nick Cave murder ballad. By turns ethereal and fleshly, this album showcases an inspired new band with fire at their fingertips. - NME

"Q Magazine Review"

Bands versed in the ways of visceral and darkly driving nu-blues are a dime a dozen these days, but this sibling London duo distinguish themselves. Minimal guitar, heavily fuzzed bass and stylishly clattered drums suggest that The Gun Club and PJ Harvey loom large in their record collection, but it's Lou Reed, Johnny Cash and Bill Callahan who provide the template for Gideon's compelling stories, whether he's recounting a singers failed audition for The Rayettes ("Kathy Ray") or recalling a hapless, hated schoolmate ("Hide And Seek"). - Q Magazine


Single - DOL/Harum Scarum
LP - Harum Scarum



London thoroughbred brother and sister duo Joe Gideon & The Shark are a sight and sound to behold. Barely 2 years old and their debut album "Harum Scarum" has shaken the UK press onto its knees in awe. The love they have inspired comes from not only the public at large, but their peers too. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have taken them out on tour, as have Archie Bronson Outfit, Seasick Steve, The Duke Spirit, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wire. The list is endless. They are also firm festival favourites.
Joe Gideon pounds bass and guitar whilst narrating his autobiographical tales of misadventure, and little sister Viva (The Shark) drives the whole thing along with glorious drums and piano and 8-track (often, incomprehensibly, all at the same time)
Meandering through soundscapes that take in beat-fuelled rifforama, voodoo-injected grooves and melodious beauty, their sound is both comfortably spacious and foot-stompingly intense. And highly original.
Viva’s artistry is gracious and almost gymnastic, evidently a trait learned from her days as a ribbon-twirling athlete (a rhythmic gymnast to be precise) who represented the UK in the Barcelona Olympics. Gideon was not around to witness his sister’s glory, instead he was on the opposite side of the globe on the jury panel judging Miss Bolivia. This truly befits the picture painted by the band.