The Polyphonic Spree
Live @ O2 Academy Oxford
September 5, 2015
Review & Photography: Steve Bateman

Stopping off at Oxford's 02 Academy, one of the most unique collectives in popular music are this year celebrating their 15th Anniversary by performing their debut album, The Beginning Stages Of..., for the very first time in its entirety, along with an additional set of fan favourites, deep cuts and choice covers.

Led by their musical director and lead vocalist, the charismatic Tim DeLaughter, tonight, he and his robe-clad disciples (which although can swell to more, today number 13) serve-up a lively, contemplative and uplifting collection of pop, orchestral and gospel songs which have the crowd enraptured from the opening note to the finale.

And with a show where you never know what is going to happen next, or what you will even hear – onstage there is a choir, a pair of keyboardists, a percussionist, drummer, bassist, guitarist, flautist, trumpeter, trombonist, violinist/violist, harpist, French horn player, pedal steel player, theremin player and an electronic effects person – experiencing The Polyphonic Spree live in person (who hail from Dallas, Texas) emphasises just how colourful, joyous and inclusive their concerts are.

With the melodious Soldier Girl and Light & Day being personal favourites from the set list – although there were many standout moments, including Tim climbing in amongst the audience to sing with them / encouraging people to crouch on the floor with him, as well as a couple of tracks which were beautifully lit to resemble the halcyon days of disco. This was a real melting-pot of choral and symphonic rock music, the likes of which, I have never witnessed presented in such a remarkable or striking fashion.

If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of their gigs, you certainly won't be disappointed, as The Polyphonic Spree are a true feast for the eyes and ears. This is pure, feelgood entertainment!

A very special thanks to Nicole @ AGMP for all of her time and help.

"I Found My Soldier Girl"