Sunday, 29 April 2007

The Polyphonic Spree, Enmore Theatre, Sydney, 27 Jan 2005

Found this while archiving in Gmail. Don't think i ever sent this to anyone except the band. Added a few comments in [italics].


Confused post-gig ramblings, which I'll reorder into coherence and post in the forums later:

I've just come back from their gig at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. This has been the strangest, most uplifting, most ecstatic gig that I have ever been in.

I'd never actually heard their music before I got the tickets to the gig. I'd read some articles about them, and of all the post-Big Day Out shows - the Hives and Chemical Brothers also had gigs on the same night - decided this would have to be the most unique. Twenty-piece plus band, with guitars, drums, horns AND theremin, how could it fail? I asked a guy at the music store to describe what they sounded like - was it like choir music, 60s pop, or more like gospel? He had one word - "happy". I eventually managed to get a copy of the album, but had only listened to it a few times, and the most familiar ones have been the poppier tunes like Hold Me Now and Two Thousand Places. Unfortunately, I won't be able to give an accurate setlist, as the songs are still quite new to me, and I don't have the first album.

My friend and I arrived to see support act Sarah Blasko nearing the end of her set, to my regret. Damn. The last song was pretty good, with some layered vocal effects at the end that reminded me of recent Bjork. I wonder if this was a single. Sounds like it. Faster than the previous song.

I'm glad I didn't get any seated tickets. I originally wanted to get seats for the dress circle/balcony, but they only had General Admission, and Reserved Seating at the bottom. Since everyone was gonna stand up eventually, seats at the bottom would be useless anyway.

What does it all remind me of?

  • Sesame Street --- pampam, papap, papapam, papaman.. sunny days sweeping the clouds away...

  • Pokemon - because they're also cute

  • Sanrio - because it's the asian symbol for happy, hehehe...

  • The intro to the Velvet Underground's "Head Held High", which starts with these voices in harmony going "haaa..." then the drums kick, and you keep on jumping back to the start, so you can figure out which air drums to "play" when you're pretending to be Mo Tucker... did
    the kick drum come first, or was that a snare?

  • Speaking of "haa..." does anyone remember that Jim Henson animated movie from the 80s, the Dark Crystal? There was a part where all the turtle-like creatures come out and also go.. "haaa...", and it piles up, all these deep bassy tones converging...

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, though not as wide-eyed and funky. Hmm.. must be the robes and the hair then!

  • tibetan throat singing

Oh my god, I've got a crush on someone from the band! O gorgeous Lady of The Orange Robe, of the first row in the choir, standing beside the lady in Red robe, who was also looking extremely cool in her choreography. Love those head-shakes! Does anyone know all their names, and more importantly, *her* name? There's a list of names on the PS website, but no pictures to match the names to!

[I later found out her name: Apotsala Wilson]

We're all high, and we don't wanna come down!

There was one part of the gig where they're playing a song, and then it all goes quiet and everyone onstage was standing still in a pose, except for Tim, who got the audience to start singing this single note for what seemed like ages - ME: "Haaaa......" "Aaaaa......" "Aaaaa......" "Aaaaa......" "Aaaaa......"

They returned to the stage for their encore by coming through the theatre entrance, and going through the crowd.

Little kid in robes at the side of the stage on his little drum kit, sooo cute!! Later, the percussionist came to him and got him to play tambourine.

[This was lead singer Tim De Laughter's son]

Percussion guy comes out and lifts one of the drumkit cymbals and stand, and goes to the left speaker.. I think the's the same guy who went offstage and into the crowd with the cymbals.

Drummer comes out with drum hanging from his neck, like in a marching band

Songs played, in no order:

A Long Day Continues
Hold Me Now
Two Thousand Places
One Man Show
Suitcase Calling
When The Fool Becomes A King

I dont' have the prev. album, but this song -
"It's the sun... It's the sun.. " - must be from that one...

Short verse of "Oh what a night"
A bit of "You are my sunshine"... don't know if this was a request from someone in the audience, but I assume so, seeing Tim holding up a sheet of paper with "You are my sunshine" written in red marker.

Last song of the night - Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (!) - main song and reprise.

[Best cover ever of Sgt Pepper! They played it regularly during this tour. My friend in San Francisco also heard it there.]

The dials were always at 11. Not in terms of volume, but in how it made us all feel. Every song was played like it was the last song of the night.

You don't watch The Polyphonic Spree - you become one of them, if only for the hour and a half that you share the same room.

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