Like a sort of Pokémon hunt, it took three attempts to catch and count them all.
The timpanist and the harpist were wedged in the corner hiding (I didn’t miss the harp but I did miss the harpIST), but there were 17 members of the Polyphonic Spree on the small Venue stage on August 16. 17 smiles. And a further couple hundred if you included the audience.
They started with the opener, all pomp and circumstance and the warm reminder that Tim De Laughter is exactly the kind of finger-snapping-orchestra-conductor-cum-preacherman that a brood of 70s tablecloth-wearing bandmates need for the ship to sail. “Hold Me Now” came after, “Light To Follow”, “2000 Places”, “Soldier Girl” and “Night and Day” all sounded so sunshiney that the crazy disco lights switched on and off during the set (and augmented by Tim holding one light-throwing unit to his own, err, unit) were just a colourful bonus.
A bigger bonus, still: at one point Tim politely reached for my camera and framed up his guitarist in a halo of shining red lasers and snapped away, careful to get the right photo for me (see if you can guess which one it is in the gallery below.) Then, in another instance, he lay on the ground fiddling with knobs, and seeing my camera again, looked up and beamed into it. In its yellow haze, it might be among my favourite photos of this year. At the end, after some tittering discussion among the 17 on stage, it was agreed: DeLaughter hopped off stage, got the entire club to sit on the floor, which he did among them. Then, their cover of “Lithium” by Nirvana started, and everyone jumped up in a group musical hugthrash. It was just one of the always-dozen feel-good moments you can depend on the Polys to deliver. In fact, if ever there was a cure for any kind of blues, it is the Polyphonic Spree live. \m/
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