It’s not often that a song stops me completely in my tracks, but today, whilst listening to Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music on the way home from work, this did. I had to pull the car over and sit in a layby, listen and absorb. I think the last time that happened was Adele's Rolling In The Deep.
In a place where music becomes ever more banal lyrically (I simply can’t take any more songs about being ‘drunk in da club’ or ‘doing what we want’) Poem by Liverpool’s She Drew The Gun is the absolute antidote. It’s an outpouring of disbelief and anger, a song for those who want their pop music (and I use the term pop music in the broadest sense) to create a musical culture that is far more than just being about a narcissistic and hedonistic lifestyle.
With a hint of old-school Laura Marling, singer-songwriter Louisa Roach starts with an image of the ‘police getting busy cleaning up the streets’ as they ‘take the homeless man’s rags, no sleeping bags, no place to sleep’ because ‘we’re far to civilised around here to see an unkempt human being, a broken human being.’ From there she goes on to explore her concerns for our future: ‘How long until they build a wall and call it a private city?’ as well as the way that profit and so called efficient 'wealth creation' is ruining people's lives. It’s one of those rare songs that actually makes you think, not just about life, but your place in all of it. It's not all despondency though. Poem doesn't just spell out the problems, it offers some hope in its words as well.
This is a song for our times.
What’s more She Drew The Gun is on the longlist for this year’s Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, which I helped judge (I would have undoubtedly selected the band if they had been on my judging list), will soon release their debut album (Memories Of The Future through Skeleton Key Records and produced by James Skelly of The Coral) and play a series of dates in late April.
She Drew The Gun - Poem