The She Street Band at the Scala, Kings Cross, 4 October 2018

The She Street Band are an all-female Bruce Springsteen covers band. They played a short session at Latitude this year at the Guilty Pleasures dance night on Friday/Saturday. That one was a greatest hits selection; the show at the Scala gave the band a chance to show their true Bruce colours. And it was a total celebration!

Bruce’s music means a lot to me, and has done since I was a teenager at university in the late 70s. It’s fair to say that, to an extent, it is boys’ music – not from the perspective of who likes it, but from the narratives in the songs. Those narratives of anger, loss, hope, celebration, redemption. Music as the way of expressing those feelings and as the redeemer, the healer. So, I liked the idea of a band of seven women taking that music and giving it their own take, without changing lyrics to reflect gender. Some people might not (I know some!) but to me that is the joy of music – it can be interpreted through so many lenses – our personal lenses.

Another striking thing about last night was that the Scala was not full of old-timers like me and my mate Tony, although there were a few of us. It was predominantly 20 and 30-somethings, and they knew all the words! I like that: the music of Bruce passing down through the generations.

And the She Street Band last night, with plenty of time to play, showed that they are true Bruce aficianados. They played with love, energy and sheer joy. And they had the crowd, myself included, responding in kind. They came on to “Born in the USA” and joined in the singing with the crowd with huge smiles on their faces. Coincidentally, that has been the introductory song for both the concerts I’ve been to this week. See my Muncie Girls review for the other. And then it was bang into a glorious “Thunder Road”, with the crowd singing along to every damn word! It was a sensational feeling. And it continued that way. Here’s the set list in full, for Bruce nerds (of which I am unashamedly one).

(Born in the USA)

Thunder Road

Rosalita

Two Hearts

Because the Night

Cover me

Candy’s Room

Prove it all Night

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

Hungry Heart

Grown’ Up

Tougher than the Rest

Darkness on the Edge of Town

The River

Sherry Darling

Jackson Cage

Bobby Jean

Badlands

Dancing in the Dark

Born to Run

I feel like punching the air just writing that lot out!

So many highlights, but I loved “Tougher than the Rest” and “The River” (playing that one for the first time on this tour I think). The country-style harmonies at the beginning of “Two Hearts” were great, and any band who can do justice to the dark songs of “Darkness on the Edge of Town” (my favourite album of all time) really does have Springsteen in their blood. And those last three: what can I say? Like I said at the beginning, a total celebration.

So, if you are partial to a bit of Bruce, check out the She Street Band. They will not let you down!

 

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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7 Responses to The She Street Band at the Scala, Kings Cross, 4 October 2018

  1. Anonymous says:

    Because The Night my favourite. An excellent night, faithful covers performed with a lot of energy, and, as you say love!

  2. I’m not much into tribute/cover bands but I’m intrigued by this band.

  3. Dood says:

    Mmmm….nice tip, Bantering Ram. I clicked on Brass Against covering Tool’s THE POT(neither the band nor the song ringing any bells), and I really, really liked it. Will explore more.

    Back to She Street, and it sounds like a great gig. Loved the setlist, with some all-time faves that don’t always make the cut (COVER ME, SHERRY DARLING, BOBBY JEAN). I’m totally relaxed about who chooses to cover whom – music is nothing if it is not the broadest church, and more or less any interpretation can add something to the original. And as we’re saying here, it can also just be…..fun!

    Without starting to wage culture wars (or mild skirmishes), I find it more challenging to fully embrace, say, a man playing Hedda Gabler, or a woman playing Hamlet. But I realise that that’s a whole other hill of beans.

    Dood in peace.

    • John S says:

      You would have loved the show, no doubt! Interestingly, re your comment on theatre, the amazing production of Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre earlier this year – possibly the best Shakespeare production I have ever seen – had a woman playing Cassius and it worked brilliantly.

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