NEWS

Review: Those Damn Crows – 04/02/20 – Think Tank, Newcastle

07/02/2020

A triumvirate of hard-rocking Welsh bands descended on Newcastle’s Think Tank for a sold-out night of no holds barred noise. Definitely not a bad way to spend a Tuesday evening…

Packed from the moment the doors opened, the venue played host to gig number one on Those Damn Crows’ new release tour. Despite vocalist Shane Greenhall’s tongue in cheek comment that we were probably getting the short end of the stick being the first stop as “things would only get better”, it was obvious that their loyal following heartily disagreed. 

Their sophomore album ‘Point of No Return’ mixes their earlier penchant for harder rock in with more introspective tracks, even veering at times into ballad territory. Variety is no bad thing though (unless you’re post 2006 Muse) and their setlist played to the strengths of their evolving sound. Let’s walk things back to the beginning. 

Openers Tribeless kicked things off with a solid mixture of great riffs from Latif Bryant (choppy early Biffy Clyro meets anthemic alt-rock) driven by Max Rhead’s beats and pulled together with powerful vocals supplied by Lydia McDonald. 

Playing through their 2020 ‘Gravity EP’ to a very receptive crowd, the three-piece did the packed room justice with a blazing 30-minute performance. It set a pace which wasn’t let up for the remainder of the night.

Followed up by the mighty Florence Black, whose opener can best be described as Deftones meets Alter Bridge. Things went from strength to strength as the Merthyr Tydfil trio rode a sea of horns through a powerhouse set spanning EPs I, II and the ‘Final EP’. There was also a nifty little nod to Jimi Hendrix thrown in for good measure.

Tristan Thomas and co. left the stage on a real high having gotten everyone suitably hyped to welcome the headliners.

Those Damn Crows were greeted as most bands would hope to be, by a roaring crowd of which at least 25% were rocking their new merch. This ratio would increase as the set went on. It was certainly one of the most passionate crowds I’ve seen. Especially crammed into the intimate Times Square venue.

Striking a solid balance between plugging the new tracks (it was an album launch tour after all) and digging into their older material, it was a great opportunity for a newcomer like myself to truly experience what all the fuss was about. 

Verdict: fuss justified.

Songs like ‘Who Did It’ and the slower-paced ‘Never Win’ from their new album hooked the audience just as much as their tried and tested tracks. ‘Behind These Walls’ and ‘I Don’t Give A Damn’ were highlights of the latter.

Greenhall isn’t one for sticking to the stage, running from one end of the room to the other and jumping on every elevated surface going from the bar to the sound booth. I even got a sweaty handshake mid-song at one point when he appeared right in front of where I was perched, giving me a bit of grief for being at the back for good measure. Fair play.

Aside from their own bangers, Those Damn Crows also managed to populate their set with several part-covers ranging from instrumental allusions to full-throated singalongs including The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’, Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ and Macca’s Bond banger ‘Live and Let Die’.

Closing the night with fan favourite fist-pump anthem ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Dead!’, they left the stage to a chorus of chants for more, which sadly couldn’t be. The lights were turned up and Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ came on signalling it was time for everyone to do one. But that didn’t stop a prolonged chant of “Those Damn Crows!” to cap off the night. 

After basking in the adoration of their cult following, it was time for Greenhall and the rest of the Crows to fly off to their next stop – here’s hoping Glasgow’s Cathouse is ready for them.

WORDS: JOHN PATTERSON

Those Damn Crows were brilliant at Think Tank Underground weren’t they? Go and check out our Gig Gallery to take yourself back… 

Share

More like this

Back to top