The Upcoming

The Polyphonic Spree at Clapham Grand | Live review

The Polyphonic Spree are a bit of an unusual creature when analysed in detail: the fact that they have a band members list, both past and present, as long as a spoilt child’s Christmas list makes them seem somewhat like the parents of Blazin’ Squad. The success of their music in the media world is also a potentially thorny issue as the overplaying of tracks can lead to a band’s sound becoming stale and repetitive, while also running the risk of them being viewed as a novelty act. We headed down to Clapham Grand to investigate, to discover what a The Polyphonic Spree gig entails.

Upon arrival at the famous venue it was crystal clear to see that there is drunken joy in the air: everyone seemed to have a beer in hand and balloons were bopping all around the crowd. A narrow curtain was stretched across the front of the stage, adding to the tipsy anticipation. After a brief introduction from a town crier (we don’t know why either), the words “WE ALL WIN TONITE” were graffitied onto the other side. The curtain eventually dropped to reveal the band in full 60s attire and the audience were greeted with a burst of joyous noise as the set kicked off with a rapturous bang.

This was a night of fun and passion as lead Tim played with the audience throughout the set, keeping them in the palm of his hand, interacting with as many people as possible, filming with people’s phones and telling stories. A particular highlight was the a cappella version of Diamonds and the sentiment behind it, while Live and Let Die was blasted out in full passion with impressive cello head-banging skills. By the time Light and Day was played the audience were in a fit of hysteria, bouncing to every word.

The Polyphonic Spree showed last night that if you have the talent and tracks you will always be able to create a breathtakingly fun and atmospheric show. The use of their songs in films, TV shows and commercials only added to the sense of excitement and joy when they were played, and every member of the band shone in their own light. By the end The Polyphonic Spree seemed more like Arcade Fire’s cool jazzy uncles and aunties, leaving any association with Blazin’ Squad far behind.

Keir Smith
Photos: Erol Birsen

For further information about Polyphonic Spree and future events visit here.

Watch the video for Light and Day here: