A few weeks ago, a tongue in cheek ‘event’ went viral on Facebook, an ‘ad’ for a gig starring a mash-up band mixing Joy Division and Boyzone. The band were called Boyz Division, and naturally, don’t actually exist. I think it was popular, comedy aside, because people love this kind of stuff. Who doesn’t want to find out, live, what ‘Love Will Tear Me Apart For A Reason’ might sound like.
The She Street Band (who will definitely thank for me that introduction), are only loosely linked to such silly comedy, but there is a common ground to be explored. Like the posited Boyz Division, they take songs and twist them. In this case those songs belong to Bruce Springsteen, and are immaculately reconstructed in a kind of loose-fitting, fiery, female image of the Boss. In their role as ‘the world’s only all-female Bruce Springsteen cover band’, they variously rock, croon, and soar their way through a host of instantly-recognizable but cleverly altered classics.
They’re about to set off on their first one-off tour, having already grabbed a whole load of media love, and they’re dropping in on Dublin. I got on the email machine and asked the seven-piece’s resident Irishwoman, glock player Clare McGrath, about the early life of her London-based band…
How did this project come about?
It came about after Jody (our bassist and one of the vocalists) saw Springsteen at Wembley in London. She was so buzzed after the show that she immediately called some pals and said I have this crazy idea… and the band was born!
How difficult is the process of changing Bruce’s songs – to suit your vocals, or musicality, for example?
It’s actually really fun. It’s quite an experimental process. We don’t aim to sound exactly like Bruce or cover his songs to the note, but more embody his energy and good vibes!
How closely matched is the band to E Street?
It’s the same in the sense that we play the same core instruments, but there is no one Bruce. We each take the lead on different songs and make them our own. We’re all about the band as a whole group rather than one front-woman.
In what way do you most want to be like Bruce?
That ENERGY! He’s famous for how he can just play for hours and hours. Regardless of curfews at venues he just loves his audience and gives them the best night. We want people to leave our gigs with that buzzed feeling!