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   Sunday, June 23, 2002  
A potted plant sits on the shelf, a once-thriving gift from a green-fingered friend, now a sad withered presence having signally failed to prosper in it's new home. Had reallyrather appreciated more fully just what a galvanizing experience The Polyphonic Spree live would be, it would have been brought along and placed at the foot of the stage in confident anticipation of miraculous revival. This free show (their 2nd performance at David Bowie's Meltdown festival) took place on the ballroom floor of the Royal Festival Hall foyer ahead of the Coldplay concert; it's a guess, but reallyrather would like to bet it's not the palid Brit-rockers their fans will be telling their colleagues about this morning. Doubtless arriving hot foot from another challenging afternoon at IKEA, these innocents and sundry other South Bank strollers were drawn delighted and gaping to the heaving stage - full band plus theremin, synths, brass section, violin & choir, all bouncing - by the irresistible positive energy generated by the Spree and channelled by lead singer Tim deLaughter. Stirring, anthemic pop tunes supporting lyrics often dishing out simplistic, beatific wisdom, the hour took on the air of a pagan revivalist gathering. All the best tunes from the The beginning stages of..' were unleashed plus several more. As on the album, reallyrather's pick of the bunch was Track No.8 (they're all untitled), a spectacularly catchy ditty consisting of just two lines -

I've found my soldier girl, she's so far away
She makes my head spin around

- repeated over. It works, believe me. Concert over, the cassock-clad band filed out of the hall to the rapturous acclaimation of the throng of newly converted true believers. They're coming back to the UK & Ireland for some Summer festival dates - go, bring a friend (and maybe that old watch that stopped working years ago)...

As anticipated, the Arnold July 4 Borderline listing is an error - the band play there Aug 5, doubtless plugging the new EP, imaginatively entitled Arnold...

Meanwhile, over in Boston, The Woolly Sessions is what Lemonpeeler have called theirs...
   posted by SMc at 12:34 PM |