Gig review: Polica, Glasgow

Minneapolis outfit Polica
Minneapolis outfit Polica
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Judging by this tasteful and almost entirely non-arresting performance, Minneapolis outfit Poliça appear to be part of the tame trend towards coffee table electro pop – a kind of 21st-century trip-hop with all the menace and claustrophobia drained away – which is more usually the preserve of British groups.

Polica - The Arches, Glasgow

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Poliça started life as a collaboration between producer/musician Ryan Olsen and vocalist Channy Leaneagh before the duo hired in some rhythm section muscle and took this rather bloodless show on the road.

Live, much of the sonic interest was provided by Chris Bierden’s plangent basslines, whereas their two drummers, Ben Ivascu and Drew Christopherson, often made a one drumkit sound. They set out with a throbbing Krautrocking momentum but this promised more than the mid-paced groove they ultimately settled into.

Leaneagh was left to front the operation with a certain demure detachment. Her cool, collected voice, coloured with a folky wispiness, was pleasant enough but, along with everything else about the group’s sound, you would struggle to pick it out of a line-up.

A hooded figure emerged to twiddle some knobs at one point but that was about it for intrigue. However, the gig belatedly came to life during the encore with the injection of at least some melodrama, equivalent to, say, a polite Portishead. Leaneagh chose this point to lose her vocal composure but her momentary jarring tone made sense enough when set against the electro punk clatter of their set-closer.

Seen on 7.2.14.