The Polyphonic Spree
I caught The Polyphonic Spree on “Later with Jools Holland” yesterday. If you’re based in the UK, you’ll probably be thinking, “What weird kind of time-warp is she in? Isn’t Later on Friday night?”. Well, I’m such a sad old git that it’s after my bedtime, even on a Friday, so I tape it and watch it at a more civilized hour (when I can enjoy it in my slippers with a Horlicks.) This also has the side benefit of being able to spin through the boring acts.
Anyway, they were totally excellent. I’ve enjoyed their debut album, “The Beginning Stages Of…” for some time, but they really come into their own live. They just look like they’re having an absolute blast, which is just as it should be.
I used to sing in a choir at school, and loved the buzz of opening your mouth to sing, expecting to hear your own rather weedy voice come out, and hearing instead a gloriously rich and powerful explosion of sound. Well, that’s the theory. I went to an all girls school, so we were always a bit light on basses. Some of the butcher girls could make it down to tenor, but bass was a pitch too far. We had to recruit Dads, brothers and boyfriends to fill out the choir for pieces like Handel’s Messiah. The brothers and boyfriends added a certain frisson to the proceedings, I can tell you. Our music teacher, Mrs. Davin-Looby (no, that really was her name) did a great job of making us laugh and enjoy ourselves, but she was a total stickler for enunciation. I still can’t listen to the Messiah without hearing, “Fo runt oo wus a child is born. Unto wus, a son is given…” - Mrs. D-L’s rendering of our poor interpretation.
I only sing in the shower now, which is a bit sad. I should really join a choir and recapture that “hairs on the back of the neck rising” experience. I wonder if the Polyphonic Spree would have me?