She Drew the Gun's Rescue Rooms headliner showcased some of the best female figures in music, protested against homophobia and celebrated punk's multi-layered sensibilities.
To begin the evening, Notts established punk-goddesses Babe Punch launched on to the stage, putting the audience right in their place with brute force. They may have been first on, but crowds had begun to overspill up to the balcony for the best first-hand experience at what the four-piece had to offer. Their hard-hitting drums (Adam Fletcher) and classic rock riffs layered with vocals often made you wonder how Led Zeppelin would have sounded if formed in Manchester late '76.
At the end of a few songs, Punch leaves vocalist Molly Godber hanging on the last note with instrumental accompaniment, proving how strong her vocals really are. She embraces a Stevie Nicks-like persona, often sporting a psychedelic shawl, with the mic taken off the stand she joins the other members in dominating the stage.
"The night ended with a warmth of positivity amongst all, and I dare say that was a shared effort from all the acts that contributed towards the showcase of great female-fronted bands."
Probably the biggest impression they left was how full and rich they sounded with only two guitars: bass (Abbie Roberts) and electric (Carys Jones). Often the song would transition to a solo bass riff building the tempo back up to a head-banging climax, forming a sonic conversation between the vocalist and lead guitar and enriching the tune at hand. After leaving the stage the audience was ramped up with excitement and engagement for the following act - not many first supports can possess such a quality.
Next came a surprisingly fast-paced punk-rock work out band, Dream Nails. They should probably consider changing their name to Ms Motivators; I haven’t been to a gig in a while where an act could conduct an audience so well to get on board with a mid-gig fitness demonstration. To be honest, it’s never happened. The classic “Everyone get down, get right down” request for audience participation during the break down of Julian came about and, too much amazement, everyone managed to get back up promptly, and probably only a few knees cracked on their simultaneous ascension. Definitely keep an eye out for these guys in the future.
Finally came She Drew the Gun, who managed to draw an almost sold-out crowd. Since winning the opportunity to play Worthy Farm in 2016 through the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Award, which I’m sure is now a distant blur, they have become more confident and abled in a live setting. They have reached a stage, live, where the music is transcending through themselves as much as it is their audience. Comfortable with their status possessing a stoic stage presence, the set featured a standout performance of their biggest hit of recent Something for the Pain, which earned them almost half a million streams on Spotify. Live, the track still shares similarities with Brighton-based band Black Honey, and it’s reassuring that lyrist Louisa Roach still looks to her fellow female indie icons for sonic inspiration.
The night ended with a warmth of positivity amongst all, and I dare say that was a shared effort from all the acts that contributed towards the showcase of great female-fronted bands. She Drew the Gun I'm sure will continue to prove, even to a cult audience, that they were well deserving of their initial recognition and will never take it for granted.