She Drew The Gun – The Crescent, York, 15/10/2019

She Drew The Gun – The Crescent, York, 15/10/2019


Welcome to the Trouble Every Day tour. It is the first night of She Drew The Gun’s 22-date trek round the British Isles on a tour that is named after their brand new single, itself a cover of Frank Zappa’s original song.

When the late, great American avant-garde composer and jazz-rock innovator first penned ‘Trouble Every Day’ back in 1965 he did so in the wake of that year’s Watts Riots in his home city of Los Angeles. A destructive demonstration of civil unrest, the Watts Riots set the tone for the then nascent Civil Rights Movement and Zappa’s song was a stirring protest against social injustice, racial discrimination and the manner in which these subjects were reported in the media.

With the approval of Zappa’s estate, She Drew The Gun’s talismanic frontwoman Louisa Roach has updated the original lyrics to reflect many of the issues and concerns that we are now facing today, “from the rise of the far right to the threat of climate change and the role the global media corporations play in supporting neoliberal ideology.”

Tonight in front of a sell-out crowd – the third such capacity gig put on by local promoter Please Please You at The Crescent in just over a week – ‘Trouble Every Day’ takes its rightful place in the She Drew The Gun pantheon of powerful polemics, joining an existing collection of searing reflections upon our turbulent times. These are songs of solidarity, dissent, resistance and survival. And they are brought to us in a hypnotic swirl of psychedelic pop, contemporary blues, Scouse-flavoured, rock’n’roll-driven spoken word, performance poetry and passionate proto-rap.

As the set gathers further momentum, ‘Trouble Every Day’ is launched from the perfect spot where it lies between ‘Paradise’ and ‘Revolution of Mind’ (both songs taken from She Drew The Gun’s second album, Revolution of Mind which celebrated its first anniversary 10 days ago). It rightly draws the biggest cheer of the evening, with Roach’s machine-gun sprechstimme delivery splattered all over the contours of the song’s relentless rhythm. Her voice is one of revolt and reason.

Three songs later the set rises to a staggering crescendo with a febrile reading of ‘No Hole In My Head’, written by the American folk singer-songwriter and political activist Malvina Reynolds in the very same year as Zappa’s ‘Trouble Every Day’. Their powerful messages of emancipation, anti-discrimination and liberation remain just as relevant today and She Drew The Gun have become their modern messengers. This is more than a gig; it is a happening, taking place alongside like-minded people who have the strongest commitment towards the principles of unity, community and inclusion.

Photos: Simon Godley

More photos from this show are HERE

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