We love to champion new capital based talent, but Londonist also enjoys getting into a band at ground level as opposed to when you've no choice but to fork over £50 to a tout outside a sold out Brixton Academy gig, so we were eager to get to the Garage early last night to see She Makes War. This was only their second gig (after a warm up show in Cambridge the night before), but there are worse places to kick things off in in London than the Garage on a Sunday night as part of a five band bill.
She Makes War are a three piece: sisters Laura and Julia Kidd on guitar and bass with Sarah Stow on drums. Laura was the bass player for another London based trio The Bardo, but has now stepped up front and centre for her new band and with a voice as powerful as this it would have been a crime for her not to take over singing duties. Her sis Julia already has a Peel session under her belt and rattles off chunky bass lines that even the dregs at the back of the venue had to sit up and take notice of. Which leaves Sarah who manages to remain tiny while channelling Keith Moon - she must get through drum kits faster than the Conservatives get through leaders.
After an amp problem caused a bit of a false start things soon got into full swing. Think Sleater Kinney with a grunge sensibility recalling the glory days of Sub Pop and you're not far off the mark. A couple of songs in and with a growing crowd, snapped guitar strings and more than one killer song She Makes War were already proving that this was again going to be one of those topsy turvy gigs were more established acts due later in the evening were already outmanoeuvred.
At the moment there are two tracks up on the band's myspace website - focussing on the music means that a full website is yet to materialise - and we are looking forward to more songs being made available (in fact we demand a full CD and soon). Laura is certainly not afraid of politicising the music and we spent a fun evening chatting to the band as a precursor to a full interview that we'd like to run with them. In the meantime keep an eye out in the listings for their next gig as home grown punk rock hasn't been this fun or interesting for quite some time.
The rest of the evening's soundtrack was provided by The Longshots (a four piece from Leeds who managed to rock out despite an exploding bass amp and are another band we'd like to see down south again), Planet of Women (a too-many-to-count piece that consisted of a backing band, matching 'dolly birds' in the wings and Tina Turner styled frontwoman who was doing her best to evoke 1985 complete with power ballads - loads of energy, but not quite our thing) and the headlining powerful Die So Fluid who managed a wall of sound that was difficult not to enjoy. And hey, if it got Kelly Osbourne mixing with the likes of us it must have been a good show.
Special mention however has to go to Don't Say No. Without a doubt the worst band that Londonist has seen in quite some time. Five idiots with mullets, a Linkin Park fixation and the worst kind of drab metal that no amount of Bruce Dickinson style gesturing can possibly save. Remember the fire that broke out during that Great White gig a few years back? That was almost replicated here by people trying to set fire to themselves rather than listen to another plea from the frontman to move forward and rock out. We took refuge behind the bar like in the closing scenes of the siege in Shaun of the Dead, but alas we had no rifle to defend ourselves. We'll leave the final comment to the best web-comic in the world, Nothing Nice To Say: