(The Lexington; 28/06/16; Photographer: Will Steadman)
I headed to a close-to-capacity Lexington to see a band I’ve been following with much interest for a while now, Merseyside’s She Drew The Gun.
This four-piece fronted by Louisa Roach has just returned from opening the John Peel Stage on Sunday morning at Glastonbury; a spot they secured via winning the emerging talent competition, seeing off thousands of other bands in the process. She Drew The Gun’s debut full-length record, ‘Memories of the Future’, was released in April and is receiving much deserved attention.
Roach opens with a politically-charged poem which draws rapturous support from the crowd, and the band continues with an impressively substantial set of their dark and dreamy psych-pop. The arrangements are sparse but interesting and the crowd appear genuinely captivated by Roach’s bluesy, timeless voice and her reticently confident stage presence.
“Alcohol is my biggest distraction” she announces to the crowd at one point (well that goes for most of us, right?) but despite this admission, Roach strikes me as a highly professional and switched-on young artist; someone who takes their craft seriously and has a legitimate determination to inspire people through music.
Stylistically the band has been compared to PJ Harvey, Portishead and Laura Marling, but in their own words they say they’re influenced by Bjork, Billie Holiday, The Beatles, Beck, Bob Dylan, and Bright Eyes. Roach, in particular, takes her encouragement from a long list of powerful women in music, a list which she reels off to a song towards the end of the set, which includes the late folk/blues singer and activist, Malvina Reynolds. The band cover Reynolds for their closing song, to great effect.
It’s in this final song that She Drew The Gun really play out and the drummer upgrades from her normal mallets and brushes to sticks, which provides an effective lift and really brings the place alive. While their lo-fi and understated sound kept the crowd engaged throughout, this shift in energy at the end left the crowd, including me, wanting more.
Writer: Will Steadman: @steadman_will