Gig preview: Polica at Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

Channy Leaneagh of Polica
Channy Leaneagh of Polica
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Poliça take no prisoners and suffer no fools. Being censored, being a feminist, being creative are not new traits to the music or arts industry, it’s just Poliça feel authentic in their vision and beliefs.

With new album ‘United Crushers’ and an upcoming tour heading to Leeds, the Yorkshire Evening Post spoke to vocalist Channy Leaneagh to put the world to rights.

Whilst the internet has afforded more artists to be heard, the music world has got too noisy to hear everyone. You’re in a room full of noise, explaining your music to a potential fan but have less than 30 seconds to do it...

We cut through the fake s*** with slow down disco dark waves that are made from our own souls not a room full of suits. De-programming music.

Justin Vernon has been a very loyal and staunch supporter of your band. Would you ever consider remixing ‘For Emma, Forever ago’ into a more electronic Poliça album? I think his lyrics regarding love and relationships are from a very feminist perspective.

That’s a very interesting idea...I’ll mention it to him. We’ll be sure to give you credit on the liner notes!

Channy Leaneagh of Polica

Channy Leaneagh of Polica

In today’s politically aware society, it is essential to be a feminist to be a female fronted band, or it is more essential to give the tools to the audience to forge their own conclusions?

It’s important for me to be a sincere and whole person. I front the band and of course I am a feminist so who I truly am will find itself in everything I make; sometimes more than others. What’s best for the song? Creating music feels beautiful and uplifting – these are the tools I want to give to the audience above all; the ability to feel my soul and theirs.

You’re quoted as saying your latest album ‘United Crushers’, as your ‘last chance....final paper’. Is this the end for Poliça or was there more context behind the quote?

I regret saying that because that’s the most commonly asked question since I said that. When I released United Crushers in March I was drowning where the river of Poliça meets the ocean of having a new baby. I shouldn’t have answered any questions or talked to anyone till about now (my baby will be one in a month). Who knows what the future holds but I do know we have a s*** ton of more music to put out and make so ask me again in five years if I’ve numbered my days in Poliça.

It’s important for me to be a sincere and whole person. I front the band and of course I am a feminist so who I truly am will find itself in everything I make; sometimes more than others.

What are your influences musically and personally?

Music like Lauryn Hill, Joni Mitchell, Portishead, Aaliyah (Romeo Must Die soundtrack), Nina Simone, Caetano Veloso, Sinn Sisamouth, La Tana...modern stuff I listen to Rihanna, Helena Hauff, Boys Noize, Task Force...

What can we expect to hear on your upcoming tour, any lesser heard or EP tracks made the set list?

We are playing a pretty inclusive set...lots of stuff off the first two records and one off the EP.

The artwork to your second album ‘Shulamith’ (depicting a female with a red stain on her neck), was censored, yet badly maimed and suffering children in war torn countries are paraded on our screens on 24-hour news channels. Care to discuss the hypocrisy?

Some people like to wield their power by censoring art and making devices without headphone jacks. So many things make no sense these days – the powers that be are trying to wear us down to give up and accept the idiocracy of it all.

You’ve played Jools Holland a handful of times whilst in the UK. How does British music television differ from promoting music on American shows?

It all feels pretty much the same – nerve-racking and fun.

What comforts do you miss from America when on tour in Europe?

Nothing – I miss the comforts of Europe when I’m in America. So many beautiful green spaces in Europe and UK. I always feel healthier in Europe and stimulated by the challenges of language learning and new cultures.

Poliça play at Belgrave Music Hall on Friday October 14. For details visit www.thisispolica.com

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