She Drew The Gun offered plenty of promise, having already attracted the backing of the Coral’s frontman James Skelly and Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq. This four-piece from the Wirral has evolved around the awesome talent of singer/songwriter/poet Louisa Roach.
The current tour comes on the back of the release of their debut album, Memories of the Future, and arrived at Sneaky Pete’s – a small and intimate venue in the heart of the Grassmarket.
They opened with a selection of tracks from the album, with the intensity of Since You Were Not Mine and If You Could See sounding even stronger on stage. Between songs, Roach recited her poetry – an insightful and unforgiving commentary on the state of the nation.
When the band launched into Poem, the crowd heaved forward to hear Roach’s perfect combination of poetry and song – a true anthem for the disaffected. By this time, the Edinburgh audience had been won over and gave a huge cheer of solidarity when she cried “here’s another song about how pretty f***ed off I am with the way things are”.
Amidst the more familiar songs were covers of the Sugababes’ Overload and, from the 60s protest movement, Malvina Reynold’s No Hole In My Head. Both were repackaged and delivered by Roach in her own unique style.
We were also treated to a blistering rendition of a yet-to-be-recorded new song, Hallow’s Eve.
With the mix of song and politics, She Drew The Gun are like Gang of Four wrapped in psych pop – though they are more than that. Roach has a poetic soul and is real and relevant to the issues of today. She is a voice to be reckoned with – and yes, they lived up to the promise.
Finally, a shout-out for the support acts… I Am Pluto, an Edinburgh boy made good with some fine tunes, and Mamatung, a Liverpool trio of hippy chicks in leather and wrapped in flowers – both were well worth a listen.