Mono hosted Merseyside’s indie-pop band She Drew the Gun as they chimed through songs from their 2016 debut Memories of another Future and the more recently released Revolution of Mind.
As the album titles suggest, smashing systems and challenging the status quo are what Louisa Roach and the band are aiming for.
Although the dismantling of social structures as a topic tends to subsume everything around it, there are some threads of personal insights involved in some of the band’s tunes.
‘Something for the Pain’ has an old-school pop vibe and showcases the band’s ability to write choruses that can stick in your head for several hours after hearing the song. Another bass-driven song, ‘Paradise’, is equally memorable and had the strongest, most confident sound on the night.
The visuals on the night had a cool aesthetic; the lyrics occasionally being projected up onto the wall in a number of styles. This was actually quite helpful as the system didn’t always allow them to be heard all that clearly. Not that this stopped cheering or screeching from the crowd anytime Roach mentioned a buzzword or catchphrase like “Keeping it real.”
She Drew the Gun seem to head in a few different directions. There are brief, precautious dips into Kasabian’s pool of bouncy pop-rock, a few flurries into Miles Kane and Alex Turner’s indie territory and a couple of excursions through Metric and Camera Obscura’s keyboard-swathed world of vintage pop.
One of the products to come from this eclectic range of influences is ‘Sweet Harmony’, the band’s cover of a semi-obscure, early 90s dance tune. The well-arranged rendition made up part of the encore and the well-oiled crowd were more than willing to honour the song’s dance roots with some questionable gyrations and fist pumps.
On the recorded versions of many of their songs, the keyboards course throughout in a strong and worthwhile way, which seems to be a little lost in the mix in a live setup, seeing the tracks lose a certain something. Whether they need time to boil down their influences or are a little unsure of their own sound, the lack of a definite path and definite style can work against She Drew the Gun at the times where they look to hammer home unwieldy political messages.
There are enough glimpses of pop acumen, technical ability and, most importantly, a fashionable message, that shows the band to be capable of climbing halfway up festival bills, as well as playing bigger and better venues next time around.
review by Luke Hawkins