The Polyphonic Spree
The Dance Academy, Plymouth on 28th October 2004
Reviewed by Brennig on 8th November 2004
All 24 members assemble on the crowded stage (which has a huge banner simply saying HOPE on it) in their brightly coloured robes and wait. After what seemed like hours due to the rising anticipation in the crowd the sound of a harp can be heard. An amazing exhibition of the harp player's skills then occurs before the whole band get into the swing of things by playing 'We Sound Amazed' the opener from the latest album 'Together We're Heavy.' Leader of the group Tim DeLaughter then gets the crowd going by encouraging a sing along to 'Reach for the Sun' a particular favourite of mine from the first album. We then move into an exhibition of the latest album. 'Hold me now' and '2000 places' induce an epidemic of smiling and yet more singing in the crowd. A break in the exhibition of the new album occurs with 'Hanging around the Day' making an appearance. Back to the new album and 'Suitcase Calling' and 'One Man Show' are performed before what is described in the set list as a 'Drum-Off' this in where the 2 drummer/percussionists of the band take in turns to show off. This is followed by 'When the Fool Becomes a King' and the all members leave the stage.
The usual shouts for an encore begin and before too long all members walk through the crowd from the back of the venue towards the stage holding hands in the long chain. The encore includes 'Soldier Girl' which the crowd goes crazy for along with 'Light and Day,' 'Together We're Heavy' and finished on 'Sun Machine'. The whole gig has a feeling that it was more one long performance being given out than lots of individual songs being performed as you would usually expect from a guitar band, but then the Polyphonic Spree are not an average guitar band.
This is the first time I have seen the band since the release of the new album and the show has given me much greater appreciation for it. The songs are far better live than on the record as the huge and amount of energy of 24 people getting into a song really has to be seen to be believed. Everyone left the tiny venue this gig took place in happy and smiling, even writing up about the gig has made me start smiling again! Simply Fantastic.
Go get the albums, Now.
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