Featuring classic tunes, serious musicians, and a whole tonne of girl power, the She Street Band is adding a unique spin to The Boss’ catalogue of hits.
Thanks to a series of shows throughout the UK, the all-girl Springsteen covers band – set up to honour his music and philosophy – is already gaining impressive attention and a growing fanbase. The band, made up of musicians from the UK, Ireland, Sweden and The United States, will perform a Valentine’s Week bash on February 16, at London’s Clapham Grand.
Bass player and vocalist, Jody Orsborn, spoke with Script & Sound Magazine’s Megan Gnad about the importance of Bruce Springsteen’s back catalogue, adding their own twist to the songs, and their big plans for the future.
How did this project come together?
I went to see Springsteen at Wembley Stadium in 2016. It was my first time seeing him, and basically, I just had the best time ever! I was blown away, not just by the band, but also by the audience. Everyone was so friendly and the communal spirit was intoxicating. When I left the concert, I was like…'I need more of this in my life. How crazy would it be if I started an all-girl Springsteen cover band'. So, I did!
How long have you been playing together/known each other?
We’ve been playing with most of the girls for a year and a half now. Two of the girls, Mara and Isabel, joined last year. We’ve known each other everywhere from seven years to six months. They are all amazing people and ridiculously talented humans.
Who are the individual members and what does each person bring to the band?
There are seven of us. Yasmin (UK): sax/vocals. Calie (UK): drums. Lynn (UK): keys/vocals. Clare (Ireland): glockenspiel/vocals. Mara (US): rhythm guitar/vocals. Isabel (Sweden): lead guitar/vocals. Jody (US): bass guitar/vocals.
As you can see, we are quite different from a normal Springsteen tribute band in that we have multiple singers. Four girls take lead vocals at different times, and six of us sing. We love doing it this way because each girl represents a different side of Bruce and each brings a different understanding and interpretation to the songs…instead to just singing them note-for-note exactly the same and trying to BE Bruce. We try and bring something new and different to the songs, whilst keeping the spirit of Bruce alive and kicking!
What are their day jobs when you're not performing?
Four of the girls are full-time musicians. One runs a start-up. One is an actress, and one runs digital comms for a charity. What brings us together is our love of music, playing together, playing as a band…and of course…Bruce!
What reaction do you get from people when they find out about the group?
First, it’s usually disbelief…as in, “are you serious?!” and then they love it. It has seemed to strike a chord with a lot of people.
As far as you can tell, are you the only all-female tribute band?
Yep! As far as we can tell, we are the world’s first, all-female Springsteen tribute.
Tell me about the upcoming show on February 16...
We wanted to do something special for our next London gig and as Springsteen is the master of all things relationship, both good and bad, a Valentine’s blow-out felt right. We’ll be playing two sets. We’ll then be joined by DJs from Hungry Heart, a new series of Springsteen-inspired events set up by Pizza Pilgrims founder Thom Elliot and Hannah Summers from the blog Burgers and Bruce. They'll be spinning tunes from The Boss’ back catalogue between sets. The party will continue late into the night with The Grand’s own massive 80s disco, which ticket holders get free access to. There will be a light up dance floor, photo booth, 80s-themed cocktails and mountains of confetti until 3 am. Should all be pretty epic!
Will it be an ongoing project or one-off?
It will be on-going! We will be select in what we play, but we love the idea of creating a space for people to share their love of all things Springsteen.
What inspires you about Bruce's message?
He’s a fighter. He’s honest. He's very open about his challenges, about the challenges of life. He speaks out for what he believes in. Also, he has this philosophy that if he doesn’t give you the best show of your life every time you see him, why is he still doing it. It’s so refreshing!
How important is that to spread that message right now?
I think it’s super important. With everything going on politically in both the US and the UK, messages of inclusiveness and bringing people together is vital. If we can do anything to help spread that message further…it would be an honour!
Any word from Bruce himself? What would you hope his reaction is?
No word from Bruce, but some of the other E Street members and their wives have commented on us or liked things we’ve done on Twitter, which is amazing. I’d hope he’d think it was super cool!
Catch The She Street Band live at Clapham Grand, on February 16, 2018