Live at Leeds Brudenell Social Club 21st February 2019
It’s nice to be right. I’d seen She Drew The Gun open for The Coral only four months ago and, despite the usual support band crappy sound, could see this was a band that could shine. Here they are on their first big tour, promoting the new album and they nailed it. With solid songs, a trenchant attitude and very polished arrangements, the band showed why this gig was sold out.
She Drew The Gun have struck a chord with their committed lyrics that aren’t afraid to make the personal political and the political personal. I spotted some first time gig goers with their parents, drawn there by the focus this band brings to wanting real human change in this country, loving Louisa Roach’s winning style. This band knows that this is their big chance, having finally got substantial radio play and lots of interviews and coverage and they have worked amazingly hard. The five-piece band is perfectly practised and every song is shaped how they want it. Each is integral to the sound, though all eyes are on Louisa (thanks to the lighting) and the light show demonstrates a focus on getting the message over. “It’s alright to have a couple of love songs before we start dismantling capitalism”, says Roach before a song.
The bassist, Jack Turner, dances as he plays and that’s a good sign. The guitarist, though lurking in the shadows, alternates leads with Louisa and can rip off excellent lines. The keyboardist dances too, waving side to side and enjoying the sounds, while the drums stay interesting. Still; the focus and spotlight is on Louisa Roach and her lyrical forays into how things are and how they should be. She introduces another song with; “this one’s another critique of capitalism, basically, but you can bounce along to it”. The material moves between pop-rock and chat-rap, with her poems / paeans accompanied by either a rolling Fall-like rumble (in Revolution Of The Mind) or semi-improvised tumbles of sound. Poem, one of the most popular songs of the evening, sees the band hushed and just Louisa’s guitar and a wash of synth behind the vocals. I’m delighted to see a tip to the cap to Zappa’s Trouble Every Day, which catches fire as the keyboardist moves onto guitar and the energy levels shoot up.
Louisa’s confident presentation and distinctive voice were a significant feature – the voice somehow vulnerable and human, while strong and inspiring. This is a really well-drilled band blessed with great sound – a speciality of The Brudenell – and the set builds very nicely, maxing out the energy levels in the second half of the set and leaving a satisfied crowd.