She Drew the Gun returned from the South by South West Festival to a sell out homecoming gig at Liverpool’s Central Library. For a band that makes no apologies for being politicised, the venue was in itself a most fitting choice, as libraries are in the firing line of local government cuts.
Marvin Powell, label mate at Skeleton Key records, opened up the evening’s proceedings. His mellow acoustic vibes evoked the spirit of Woodstock, creating a most chilled, welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Some had wondered about the acoustics of a circular building designed for quiet study and reflection, but the sound quality on the night was worthy of a custom built venue.
As a non licensed event, instead of drinking alcohol, the audience was able to drink in the architectural wonder of the building, its history, and the pure poetry of powerful heartfelt songs. A perfect blend of young and not so young people joined esteemed members of the Wirral music scene to come together to enjoy real music from the soul.
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The set opened with singer songwriter Louisa Roach addressing us as “Friends, citizens, children of the earth, pacifists, internationalists and people who know.” We were all Iike minded souls, called to arms, like people on a demonstration, ready to march off.
A constant stream of amazing projections, further enhanced the whole experience, a picture of a bare scorched earth with the caption “Sorry future generations, we were drunk on petroleum” particularly grabbed my attention.
One of the stand outs which particularly hit home was ‘Poem’, from the first album, “Cos that’s what we need now to make the place neat, take the homeless man’s rags, no sleeping bags, no place to sleep” . As we all trundled home, we would pass the ever growing numbers of homeless people, huddled up in doorways in the city centre. The song was a truly poignant, hard hitting reflection of what’s happening out there right now.
The anthem ‘Pit Pony’ brought out the most enthusiastic dancing near the stage. An energetic track, tinged with a hint of 50’s guitar lines. It was impossible to resist the temptation to dance to that, and the whole audience swayed along behind the exuberant youths in the front row.
Final song, ‘Thank you’ was dedicated to all the ladies who had influenced Louisa and touchingly she also paid tribute to her young son “for allowing his mum to go on tour”.
The audience demanded an encore, so ’No hole in my head’, their recently released single and cover of Malvina Reynolds’ protest song, played the audience out. It’s refreshing that SDTG are compelled to write these songs as we have been waiting a long time for someone to carry on what Billy Bragg started in the 1980s. We need these voices of protest to be heard more than ever in these testing times.