They came on the stage while the post-support, pre-gig record spun on. Took their places. Both drummers to the rear, bassist stage right, vocals remaining left.
The wails start and the worries are ignited. I’m not concerned about Channy’s voice though – on no. My fears of that failing were unfounded. I’m worried when I remember that wails are a main feature of the Poliça production, that I was here for another one-and-a-half hours, and that I hadn’t noticed track 1 slide surreptitiously into song 2, nor had I caught a lyric or even a word.
But something else I didn’t notice until the second the music paused for breath was that I was moving
Awkwardly, alternating my shoulder blades in time to Drew’s drumbeat.
And then it was Channy’s body sinuously jerking to meet me at the centre of the stage, not quite daring to greet us head on, then making a prowling retreat. Under her Dad’s jeans and a cowboy’s boyfriend’s shirt, her bones rumbled to Chris’s energetic bassline. His neck flexes back and forth and his shirt begins to darken after he asks for more bass and drives on, facing the audience, the all-important gateway between band and crowd.
The brass in Dark Star blares out. Except of course there is no section in sight; musicians as well as production geniuses, Poliça maintain the zone they are in, that they share with the audience, without allowing it to be infiltrated. The audience is permitted to continue its steady, angular bobbing without disturbance or disappointment. The less the music sounds like a song, the more intense, a scarf flowing around the audience and holding them in. By moving the vocals on Lay Your Cards Out away from the recording, the group lauds Channy’s voice as much more than a lyrical motor, rather as a finely tuned, technically trained instrument.
Timed to precision &
Poliça do what they do and they do it well,and that’s not an evening singalong