Gig Seeker Pro



Band Alternative Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"That Dangerous Sparkle CD Review"

THAT DANGEROUS SPARKLE - Reviewed by Evan Parker - Base.Ad May 2007

To be honest, when I first pressed play on Brummie singer/songwriter Simon Scardanelli's third album That Dangerous Sparkle I was expecting to hear dreary and inoffensive James Blunt type music. I was even more put off by the fact that he was previously in an (now defunct) '80s rock duo called Big Bam Boo which some of you older music fans might have heard of, or not. However I was surprised with the versatility of the album. What isn't a surprise however is the fact that Scardanelli is currently taking a PhD in electro-acoustic composition. The album sees him flirting with folk flutes, subtle keyboard textures and bleepy electro bits.

The album can be divided into two parts musically. The first half packed with powerful melodic ballads, with Scardanelli crooning away over flutes and acoustic guitar.

The album takes a dark experimental twist halfway through the tense ‘She Comes' where Scardanelli's wail pierces through the tranquil acoustic guitar and summons a frantic saxophone solo from the pits of hell. The second half also sees Scardanelli breaking away from his croon and singing in his own natural accent. The album highlight is the vocoder heavy ‘Risky Business' which sees the return of the unsettling saxophone, which this time battles with a haunting organ. At 9:11 minutes long the track never feels bloated or pretentious.

You never know what is lurking around That Dangerous Sparkle's dark corner, but whatever it is will always shock and surprise. Scardanelli is always prepared to take a risk, and we should all hope that it is this experimentation that is the future of British singer/songwriters. -

"That Dangerous Sparkle CD Review 2"

Artist: Simon Scardanelli
Album: That Dangerous Sparkle
Label: Resonator Records
Genre: Alternative Folk/Pop
Sounds Like: Roxy Music, David Bowie, U2, Coldplay
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Let There Be a Place, It's Only Life
CD Review: This disc is off the well-worn path of what I listen to most, which makes it both challenging and refreshing. Simon Scardanelli reminds me of a couple of lush-sounding artists from the past (Roxy Music and Roger Waters’ solo work, for example) and also brings to mind some of the atmospheric, dramatic pop offered today (such as Coldplay and Keane).

The album opens with the prettily-strummed, synth-washed “The Valentines.” This tale of star-crossed lovers builds in intensity, Scardanelli’s low rumble of a voice becoming more plaintive as layers of instruments and backing vocals are added. On “The Dance,” Scardanelli’s vocal might be a bit overwrought, but the percussion-and-arpeggioed-synth loop is hypnotic.

Then comes perhaps the best track, the gospel-ish “Let There Be a Place,” a well-conceived blend of electronica and power ballad. A choir of backing vocals is the perfect heartfelt foil for Scardanelli’s weathered, world-weary delivery.

The title track is a letdown after “Place,” and “She Comes” also starts out ponderously. But a couple of minutes in, tension starts to build, and "She Comes" bursts into frenzied sax and thumping bass guitar and snare. I would like to hear that groove developed with lyrics. “Risky Business” starts with sweet yet mournful sax, and it drags some before settling into a heavy backbeat and sweeping synth/strings. 

“It’s Only Life” is the fully-realized serious groove that “She Comes” and “Risky” hint at, a Bowie-meets-U2 burner. Scardanelli’s guttural spoken vocal is by turns humorous and sinister.

“When You’re Lying” is a simple, pretty acoustic ballad – a nice change from the density of the other tracks. And the closing “Take Your Hand Away” is similarly charming, morphing back and forth between a Cole Porter-style jazzy plea and a Harry Nillson-style tear-jerker.

That Dangerous Sparkle stumbles just a few times, but overall it is an ambitious grand statement from Simon Scardanelli. As a writer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, Scardanelli is a craftsman who deserves an in-depth listen. - Chip Withrow/

"That Dangerous Sparkle CD Review 3"

Properganda Magazine June July 2007

Conceived on an epic scale this CD proves a real surprise. Once a hit maker as half of pop-rockers Big Bam Boo, Scardanelli has been emersed in serious music study over the past decade, following a period of living in New York composing installation works for art events and scores for experimental films.

He has definitely brought some of that experimental flair with him into this new CD,although here it’s used to add texture to what can mostly be described as conventional song structures. The albums opener, The Valentines, starts with the sound of waves before the acoustic guitar and piano kick the song into life. Simon’s vocals have something of the David McComb about them and The Triffids are a good reference point.There’s also a touch of Scott Walker as the first half of the album gives up a series of epic ballads.

In the middle of She Comes the tune suddenly gives way to clattering percussion and soprano sax drenched in reverb and the ground has shifted. Surpise twists follow, with Risky Business and the following It’s Only Life taking serious left turns. This is ambitious stuff that demands serious attention. Sid Cowens

- Properganda Magazine

"Newbury Festival Live Review"

“Simon Scardanelli's performance was particularly memorable. Powerful melodies, an impeccable vocal performance, decent song structures and lyrics that are actually worth listening to. Perfect.”
BBC Radio Berkshire, Newbury Fringe Festival
- BBC Radio Berkshire

"Live at Viva Viva"

“Simon Scardanelli is completely individual and utterly uncompromising. His dynamic performance takes you on musical journeys through seedy underbellies to profound ruminations. An expert guitarist with a unique voice, Simon has talent in abundance but his ability to make a stage his own is a strength unparalleled by most performers. Currently touring the U.K. to promote his new album 'Hobohemia' make sure you check out one of his stunning live shows.” - Academy of Sound

"VF All-Dayer"

“Simon Scardanelli both opened and closed the show for us with an exquisitely crafted set of perfect songs from a singer/songwriter with well over 15 years experience in the trade. Simon’s original brush with pop stardom came in the late 80’s when he charted in the US with his then-band Big Bam Boo – but now he is back with a new album (Hobohemia) and you can catch him on the road at venues across the country. Powerful emotions run throughout lyrics delivered by a rich voice that reaches out to parts that other singers can only dream of. Iron Strike and Uncommon Times are stand-out examples of songwriting from the heart, and to be frank we can’t rate Simon’s talents highly enough.” -

"Hobohemia CD Review 2"

“Simon Scardanelli says a lot with an acoustic guitar and incredibly emotive voice. He uses the guitar very well to support his message full of grit and Scardanelli means every word. You really get the feeling that Scardanelli is on a mission to make us aware of what’s going on around us. I like where Scardanelli is coming from, I visited his website and this guy is into some really cool and interesting stuff.”
Anne Klein – -

"Hobohemia CD Review"

“HOBOHEMIA…there’s plenty here to engage and enfold with songs that pitch into downbeat takes on politics, love and social issues, be it be the depressing urban vision of A Town Called Iron Strike where he sounds like an anti-Martyn Joseph, the angry homeless-lined streets of the largely spoken Why?, or the despairing folk blues My Punishment which evokes the early work of Roy Harper.

On the dramatic speak-sing fable The Ballad of Genevieve, Chris DeBurgh collides with Nick Cave, while the soaring cry for reconciliation and redemption of the dramatic If You Could See Me Now provides a hopeful contrast to the pessimistic view of humanity encompassed in Uncommon Times. It’s good to have him back...” – Mike Davies,

"Hobohemia CD Review 3"

“The sensation you get when you listen to a really good album for the first time is of excitement, joy and exhilaration. Despite its irritating title, Simon Scardanelli’s first album for ten years, HOBOHEMIA, has already warmed my heart and I’ve only had it for three days.
When I first opened the jiffy bag and pulled the CD out, I was confronted by an extraordinary looking man. The face that stared back at me from the cover was gaunt, drawn and extremely intriguing. Scardanelli’s curious appearance made me most anxious to find out what sort of sounds might emanate from this individual.
Most importantly for any work, I like my expectations and preconceptions to be baffled or exceeded. Rarely does a work come along that succeeds in doing both so effectively.

This collection of eight songs is like an open wound. Sore and red raw in places the lyrics are stuffed with powerful imagery which, when rendered in Scardanelli’s delicious whine, become imbued with melancholy and passion.
The subjects touched on include politics, love and homelessness. All are dealt with effectively and in a style which offers comment only through a comparatively unbiased statement of the facts.
The listener is invited to make up their own mind rather than being told specifically what to think on an issue. This sort of delicate handling of complex and difficult topics gives the body of songs and the album its flavour.

I had not heard of Scardanelli before this album arrived on my desk but it is clear both from listening to his material and looking at his biography that he has a long history as a songsmith.
His work is full of the intricate lyrical turns of phrase present in the songs of writers who have spent a lifetime behind the guitar and pen. Nevertheless, this record sounds remarkably fresh and exciting to me.
The guitar work is consummate in its ease and sounds quite literally perfect to my ear in places; the result I think both of great writing and a real knowledge of how to translate sounds into songs through recording media.
I suggest anybody ought to go and buy this album if they have any love of singer-songwriters.”
- St Albans Observer


THAT DANGEROUS SPARKLE (2007) Resonator Records
HOBOHEMIA (2005) Resonator Records
The Eye Camera (1994) Red Line MusicWorks
Fun, Faith & Fairplay (Big Bam Boo, 1989) MCA



The latest album THAT DANGEROUS SPARKLE brings an epic sound to Scardanelli’s already larger than life vocal performances.

Simon Scardanelli released HOBOHEMIA (Resonator Records) in 2005, his first album after a silence of over 10 years. Scardanelli’s songs combine gritty realism with soaring melody and quirky English eccentricity. THAT DANGEROUS SPARKLE was released nationally (UK) in June 2007

Simon is currently (November 2007) at work on a new album, recent acoustic demos for two of the album songs - "Song For A Soldier" and "In Honour" are featured here. A single (title top secret!) will be released in January 2008. Musicians featured on the new album include drummer Alex Thomas from Badly Drawn Boy, and bassist Jonny Miller, who played on That Dangerous Sparkle.

“Simon’s greatest asset is a fantastic singing voice, and he makes full use of its capabilities here. His performance on tracks such as “They Dance” bear comparison to the likes of Scott Walker.”
– Sam Inglis, Sound on Sound Magazine