She Drew The Gun review: An empowering call to arms
- Credit: Archant
When a band's main focus is politics it often comes off as either patronising, dull, or both, however She Drew The Gun's rebellious Norwich Arts Centre gig was an empowering call to arms.
Taking the audience through chilled out psychedelia to spoken word bordering on rap, via Link Wray-style reverb-drenched guitar. The band draws from a wide array of genres, bringing them together under a manifesto of coming together in the darkness.
Further amplifying the group's mission statement is a collage of cartoons, photos and historic but relevant quotes, which melt in with the fuzz on 'Something For The Pain' and swirl with the organs on 'Between Stars'.
While some songs are cut through by razorblade feedback, others are easily accessible pop songs which stick to the brain like chewing gum.
One of the evening's most impressive moments comes when they unleash a rasping, reworked and modernised version of Frank Zappa's 'Trouble Everyday'. With Extinction Rebellion logo on screen, singer Louisa Roach has cleverly modified some of Zappa's original lyrics to reflect modern day troubles.
She Drew The Gun's sound is typified by the ferocious 'Arm Yourself', with a crunching Seeds-esque riff munching through clouds of organ before thinning out into a heavenly jangle. While the track doesn't sound like the MC5, the lyrics carry that same revolutionary spirit.
Midway through Roach laughs while reassuring the crowd, "not all the songs I write are political", before giving the band's interpretation of a Bond theme, which she says is how it would sound if Killing Eve actress Jodie Comer played the lead role.
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It's not a perfect set, with some of the spoken word parts slowing its flow, particularly about two-thirds of the way through when a few very similar songs are played which threaten to tune out the crowd. The group's spoken word element fits perfectly on record, but in a live environment with ringing ears not every word is heard clearly.
Thankfully a triumphant encore of 'Thank You' and a cover of The Beloved's 'Sweet Harmony' provides a powerful return to form.
Firstly 'Thank You' sees Roach pay tribute to some of the legendary women that have influenced her as a wide variety of musicians from Debbie Harry to PJ Harvey appear on the screen behind her.
The grand finale of 'Sweet Harmony' sees the more reflective audience dancing for the first time, with its simple but infectious beat finally getting the feet tapping.
Over the course of the evening the band has managed to merge delicate psychedelia with serious political statements, whilst still sending the punters home humming their tunes, a difficult thing to do whilst many others use politics to mask the fact they can't write a song.