“Choral symphonic rock pop” is how Polyphonic Spree describe themselves on their website. We reckon “psychedelic gospel” would be a more faithful (not to mention succinct) summary. Occupying the sacred middle ground between The Flaming Lips and the Hare Krishnas, Tim DeLaughter’s cultish entourage of multi-instrumental happy-clappers must be the most ambitious and unusual “band” of the past 20 years.
Their debut LP ‘The Beginning Stages Of…’ was one of those records people either loved with a passion or didn’t get at all. To the receptive, it was an emotionally intense head-rush, with choruses that flooded your system with brain-exploding intensity; evidence that joyous music doesn’t have to be drippy or saccharine.
Subsequent albums never reached comparable highs (it would have been a miracle if they had), but their forthcoming gig at the Concorde 2 on Friday 4th September will see The Spree showcasing their debut in full.
Considering how many of them there are, they can’t possibly make any money from touring — buying a ticket almost feels like donating to charity. And if they can get anywhere near re-creating the atmosphere of ‘The Beginning Stages Of…’, this promises to be a transcendent experience.
Concorde 2, Friday 4th September 2015