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)
Because the Night
Prove it all Night
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
Tougher than the Rest
Darkness on the Edge of Town
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!