Gig review: She Makes War at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

She Makes War. Picture: Ania Shrimpton
She Makes War. Picture: Ania Shrimpton
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“It’s nice to impress my parents for once,” muses She Makes War’s Laura Kidd.

The Bristol based singer-songwriter is reflecting on the news that her recently released fourth album, Brace For Impact, entered the independent charts at number 15.

In truth, her family has plenty aside from this in which to be proud. Having crowd-funded the release and distributed it from her local post office, it’s testament to the spirit of her DIY ethos that she’s been rewarded with a modicum of success.

Touring it with a four-piece backing band (“It’s very hard to find people who don’t piss you off…”), she makes for a convincing glitter warrior throughout her set. It may be relatively short but she manages to straddle a breadth of sounds and emotions.

The foundation for her work is 90s indie, with ‘Undone’ and ‘Devastate Me’ having the grungy pop of Nirvana. This is nonetheless built on with the space western of ‘Fortify’ and the country vibe of ‘Slow Puncture’. The latter wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Belly’s comeback album, and it’s little surprise the band’s Tanya Donelly made a guest appearance on Kidd’s third album Direction Of Travel.

It’s when she performs solo, however, that the intricacy of her compositions really becomes apparent.

‘Paper Thin’, which is built around voice and ukulele, could soundtrack a low-budget indie film if This Is The Kit were unavailable. ‘Delete’, which may be interpreted as a comment on social media, is even better. Constructed solely out of looped vocals, the layers become a swirl of confusion as multiple voices intone, “I’d like to delete myself / Don’t like to repeat myself.”

With a set this all encompassing, repeating herself should be the least of Kidd’s concerns.