"The tracks which Roach performs in melody are those which appear most profound"@andymurray15/Twitter

There were times, stood in the sweaty backroom of The Portland Arms, that Louisa Roach, lead singer of She Drew The Gun, assumed the form of a political demagogue. At some points I was in a Marxist rally, at others a climate convention, and at some points I could not quite fathom what the message really was, as Roach declaimed that the "death star was coming" and that we should arm ourselves with lightsabers.

It seems that little in modern society escapes the wrath of Roach and her cutting lyricism. Standing eerily still in front of a swaying crowd, she moved from songs which demonstrated her evident vocal talent, to tracks of spoken word, and finally to simplistic and cringeworthy prologues to her songs.

"It seems that little in modern society escapes the wrath of Roach and her cutting lyricism"

Such diversity prevented the set from dragging, aided by a powerful quality in the band's performance. Roach et al. displayed a sneering defiance that captivated. At no point was the audience raucous or vibrant, yet it was wholly gripped by their sincerity and stubbornness. The hard-hitting opener, 'Resister', set a bullish, and rather unrelenting, tone, which was maintained throughout.

The tracks which Roach performs in melody are those which appear most profound on the live stage, and their sporadic appearance was given greater gravity by the more underwhelming messages of her spoken word. 'Since You Were Not Mine' shone as an exemplar of Roach's vocal talent, as well as for its subtlety. It wasn't preluded by a blatant political message, as many of her tracks were, and thrived in this subtler context.

Alex Spencer

The show found its highlight in the mellow 'Poem', a poignant shift from the preceding musical power. A desolate contrast to the more in-your-face politicism, Roach's emotion was touching, while refusing to give up the political tinge.

The set was littered with powerful episodes of guitar by Roach, and illuminated by a backdrop of vaguely artistic graphics. Atmospheric and engaging, it never took off fully, but remained a captivating experience.

Aside from the tired soundbites, which implored a fairly conservative crowd to resist and question the status quo, She Drew The Gun provoked and entertained in its typical haunting fashion. At times, the delivery was painful, but elsewhere, it was hard to tell whether it was Roach's cutting intensity, or The Portland Arms' lack of air-conditioning, which was making the audience sweat so profusely.    

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