It's been a very musical year so far... and the trend continued last night with a visit to the Polyphonic Spree at Shepherds Bush Empire.

They were ace. I saw them at Glastonbury a couple of years back, and on-stage you just can't beat 30 odd smocked up loons leaping about and being worringly gospel. My concerns that they'd be unable to repeat the overblown positivity of their first album in their new stuff were unfounded: the new tracks were great too.

And they know how to work an audience, teasing us all with the first note of Soldier Girl in the encore and correcting the crowd who'd started singing along to another track a couple of bars to early. They also managed to *just* get away with erecting a huge banner with the word "HOPE" projected onto it at the beginning of the performance. The whole thing reminded me of the show Andy Kaufman runs (as recounted in Man in The Moon), that strives to be as ludicrously over-the-top and positive as possible (culminating in Kaufman taking the entire audience out for milk and cookies...).

Any band that starts their act with a town cryer gets bonus points too :)