LIVE REVIEW: SHE DREW THE GUN

She Drew The Gun

Future Yard, Birkenhead, 19 September 2020

Words and Photos by Gary Lambert

The live music scene has been devastated by the response to COVID-19, venues are closing all over the country, and both doom and gloom are present like Red Stripe and Jack Daniels in the hearts and minds of music fans all over the nation. There is only darkness. Unless you’re looking to Birkenhead. In which case, lighting up Argyle Street like the Bat-Signal, we have the pink and green of Future Yard our beacon of hope and rebirth.

Saturday 19 September 2020 saw the venue open its doors for the first of a series of Near Normal gigs. These are gigs for music fans. There’s no getting away from it. If you want to dance around, bellow along, and let your spirits soar with the power of community and the heat of crammed in bodies, then you’re just going to have to wait a few more months yet. The Near Normal gig meant that certain additional measures were brought in to help keep people safe and comfortable. The first of those measures was being appointed an arrival time at the gig. This could have been up to an hour before She Drew The Gun took to the stage. I was pleased that my arrival was later on, but only because it meant that the venue could maximise their bar takings (more important than ever now). I’d have felt more than a bit guilty if they had me in early buying my one can of Coke than a group looking to buy several beers in that time – the nearby Wetherspoon’s loss should be Future Yard’s gain. When the appointed hour came, I was invited into the venue, given a short, excited explanation of events, and then taken to my pod. The pod was a table made of beer crates with a space for me marked around it.

The gig was obviously sold out albeit in low numbers, but having the audience spread through the room made it feel properly full. With good tunes playing the mood felt right. She Drew The Gun also felt like the right band to be opening this venue. Apart from the obvious parochial link, their politically charged anthems of togetherness, hope and the destruction of the capitalist chains holding down the working classes set to a danceable-yet-not-raucous beat made me feel ready to take on the world. Seriously. It was like sticking Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky) on in the morning such was the reflexive jolt of adrenaline and self-belief.

She Drew The Gun are a wonderful band. Their coiled energy on stage was contagious and vibrant. With Louisa Roach leading them, excelling with both her warm singing and the spoken word interjections. The latter acted like a teacher whispering to get her audience to take note. There was a feeling of importance and purpose generated by the band rather than just a slice of socialist musical fun. “They’re a bit preachy” was a word of warning someone gave me before the show. If that’s true then I’m ripe for conversion.  Tracks like Resister, Poem and Something For The Pain are like the Pet Shop Boys sang… Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat.

Future Yard have announced some more Near Normal shows. Seatbelts and Beija Flo (15 October); Eyesore and The Jinx with Stores (16 October); and By The Sea alongside Astles (17 October). Get yourself a ticket, follow the rules, and have a great time. As well as washing your hands and wearing a mask.

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