Live Review

Polica, SWG3, Glasgow

A disconcerting fury presents itself in the diminutive singer which grants a new found power to the songs not present on the album tracks.

This evening, Channy Leaneagh explodes. Like any explosion of great note it is both shocking, exciting and those present are taken aback by what they have witnessed. Initially timid, she takes to the stage of Glasgow’s artsy SWG3 like a nervous ballerina with no pomp or grand showmanship. Delicately setting up her effects pedals she looks around the stage to ascertain everything is in order with the quickest of glances to the audience only to confirm that there is indeed a large, expectant and excited crowd who eagerly await their first chance to hear live the alluring songs of their debut ‘Give You The Ghost’. Slight first date nerves may be an undercurrent to the palpable atmosphere of the room, that some of the lilting magic of the effects drenched vocals present on the album may be lost in live translation. As soon as the go ahead is nodded from the band and the familiar electronics pulse this initial reservation is soon blown away.

Backed by perfectly synchronised dual drums and outright funky bass, Channy blossoms slowly through the first few tracks like a growing fire and soon erupts. The personal content of the lyrics, apparently documenting the end of her marriage, are seemingly an avenue of great catharsis for the singer and this is incredibly evident in a live airing of these intimate tales. Although the auto tune device, much lauded (Justin Vernon) / criticised (Jay Z), is present and utilised very well on stage the most powerful effect on the voice here is emotion. Eyes closed and weaving back and forth across the stage, she laments and pulls the crowd into her world, which soon grows savage. A disconcerting fury presents itself in the diminutive singer which grants a new found power to the songs not present on the album tracks. These bursts of raw vocal power pierce through the electronic swirls like a siren through the mists.

Crowd pleasers ‘Dark Star’ and ‘Lay Your Cards Out’ are highlights. The electro-kissed groove of these songs causing toes to tap and heads to nod, though to dance or wave arms around seems almost disrespectful. Most stand simply bearing witness to this compelling, strange, beguiling and utterly charming band as the work their way through all of their album tracks with a couple of promising new songs thrown in which grants hope for a follow up release. Talk is kept to a minimum on stage with simply a genuine expression of gratitude and joy to be here voiced.

Far too quickly the last song arrives, fortunately a firework has been left in the box as the alarm like electronics of ‘Amongster’ herald the closing of the show. This evenings swan song is an epic affair. A completely mesmerising and moving performance.

Tags: Polica, Features

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