She Drew The Gun
I’ve been lucky enough to see SHE DREW THE GUN a few times over the years. From the Buyers Club loft in 2016 to Glastonbury’s Park Stage in 2017, The John Peel Stage in 2019, to a slot on this year’s BBC Radio 6 Music Festival at Liverpool’s Olympia. Their stages keep getting larger and their audiences greater. But there is something about a headline hometown gig in the main room of the O2 that feels bigger than all of these previous gigs. After all, there’s no place like home. A home crowd is special. No other city will get to experience this night.
It might feel like She Drew The Gun appeared out of nowhere and grabbed a headline tour and slots on some of the most famous stages in the world, but it’s been a long and eventful road. After winning Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition in 2016, Louisa Roach has been splashed all over the radio, been to Texas for SXSW and toured around Europe spreading the message of her revolution. If anyone is going to bring people together for a cause and a dance it’s these guys.
They’re known for their part gig, part political rallies. Their music aids their message with a beat, not relentless shouting like we’re used to seeing on the TV. If you’ve listened before, you know this is what to expect at these shows. Roach encourages sisters and brothers of the audience and her revolution to come together in Sweet Harmony – as one of their songs suggest. It works. We’re pretty used to coming together here in Liverpool.
This tour is to support She Drew The Gun’s second album, Revolution Of Mind. It’s an album of the times we are living in; a critique of the systems we are living in. Roach comments on everything from personal relationships, capitalism, depression, global war, politics, feminism. The list goes on. But she doesn’t preach, she raises current, everyday issues for us to think about and act upon – politically charged track Poem reminds us of this.
It’s a wet and windy Saturday night but that doesn’t stop people turning up for tonight’s show. Psychedelic trio MAMATUNG fill the stage with a range of instruments to kick off the festivities, with vocals and tracks reminiscent of Kate Bush and Haim. It’s fitting for tonight’s all-female line-up.
Chester’s PEANESS fit right into the second support slot with their sun-soaked indie-pop that once again touches on politics, Brexit and breakfast. The room is near full to bursting for their set and it’s nice to see people turning up to support the support. The contagiously charming trio are a joy to watch.
By the time the lights dim for She Drew The Gun, fists are already in the air, deep bass rumbles through the floor, a shredding guitar cuts through the anticipation and they delve right into Resister, the first track off Revolution Of Mind. It’s one of their most recognised songs and a perfect crowd-pleaser to kick off the evening. Carrying on with Something For The Pain and Wolf And Bird, each song carries a different theme and style. From the ethereal chillness of Since You Were Not Mine to the grungy bass of Paradise, the setlist tells a story of Roach’s thoughts and feelings about all aspects of the world today. Some tracks like Arm Yourself, which Roach claims we should do against the Tory government, inspire fists of solidarity in the air, while others, like Pit Pony, just encourage a bit of a dance. There’s spoken word, rapping, singing and moments where the music speaks for itself. It’s a show that keeps on giving.
Roach ends with a list of thank yous. She thanks her mum, friends and the audience for spending a rainy Saturday night with them with closer Thank You. It’s an ode to all the great female musicians who have come before her, from Aretha Franklin to Joni Mitchell, PJ Harvey and Tracy Chapman. If She Drew The Gun keep performing like they did tonight, it won’t be long until we can add Louisa Roach to aforementioned group of influential women.