Channy Leaneagh has spent the last two weeks blogging extensively on the hardships of touring; illness, tension and the struggles of being a mother away from her young daughter. Amongst all these doubts she promised one thing at the end each post- that Poliça will provide a night to be remembered. And that is exactly what she, and her live band of Chris Bierden on bass and two accompanying drummers provided.
‘Spilling Lines’ showed how such masterful production on record would be portrayed in a live setting. With no vast vocal effects for Leaneagh to hide behind, she brought forward a raw new feeling to each song without losing the seductivity of both debut ‘Give You the Ghost’ and last year’s compelling ‘Shulamith’
Half way through the show, Poliça made it clear that they, more than anyone, understand the beauty in the construction of a set list. With the first half maintaining a mellow constant, it wasn’t until fan favourite ‘Vegas’ came out of nowhere with a seemingly drastic personality change onstage for all four members. With two drummers mixing in their newfound aggression whilst creating perfect space for the tracked synthesiser to shine through, they maintained this attitude through to ‘Say My Name’ and ultimately all the way through to the penultimate song of the evening. Leaneagh was clearly taking from her band members and creating a new confidence for herself, interacting with the fans in a way she hasn’t before and breaking out her trademark dancing. She was controlling the stage as hers in a way only the most dedicated pop star could.
An encore followed the blistering set and it was here that the final transition was made, dedicating ‘Matty’ to their aptly titled tour manager Matty (no relation as Leaneagh made overly clear) for helping them during the past four weeks in Europe. It was hard, but they did it. It was here that the Poliça sound on record was portrayed to its closest form in a live setting. The minimal yet rich electronics, the incredibly rhythmic drum patterns and vocals heavily effected yet still holding the emotion and intensity that has been present throughout. Extending out into an impromptu jam session and finishing on an incredibly sensitive minimal cover of Lesley Gore’s ‘You Don’t Own Me’.
It was clear that the touring struggle was present but when the end came Poliça provided an unforgettable finale to the tour and to ‘Shulamith’.
Catch Poliça at Green Man Festival this summer.
Words: Kane Anson