Those Damn Crows, Wolverhampton, Feb ’20
Those Damn Crows
KK’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton. 8th Feb 2020
My friends from North Wales, who I’d met at Hard Rock Hell, had been rav(en!)ing about this band for a while having seen them play in small rooms to 40odd people so I decided to take a punt and ordered their first album, Murder and the Motive.
It’s chock-full of great hard rock songs plus two absolute bangers that wouldn’t sound out of place if Jon Bon Jovi or Dave Grohl were urging you to sing along to them from the biggest stadium stages in the land. Blink Of An Eye and Rock n Roll Ain’t Dead are truly great songs worthy of the biggest audiences.
A late night, drunken singalong at HRH with said friends cemented my partner Lucy & I’s love for the band so we headed off to the Buckley Tivoli in September 2019 to see them play one of their first ever headline shows. Singer Shane’s onstage charm quickly won over the crowd proclaiming, “fucking hell lads, 4 hours travelling and we’re still in Wales, what’s that all about!?” before stating, “shit, we’re only used to playing forty minute sets but here we are needing to fill a headline slot!”
They filled it with ease of course having already done the bulk of the work on second album Point Of No Return and booking tickets to see one of the album launch shows in Feb 2020 was a no brainer for Lucy & I.
KK’s Steel Mill in Wolves is a purpose built venue in one of Wolverhampton’s old industrial buildings inside the ring road and just a ten minute walk from the city centre and the Giffard Arms rock pub so perfect for a night out as well as a gig. It’s a really good place to see a band and I look forward to many more nights there!
Sheer hard work, support slots, festival sets at HRH, Planet Rock and Steelhouse have given the Crows a well earned platform. Everyone who sees them tells someone else how good they were and it is this word of mouth support that has seen them grow their fanbase to the extent that several of these launch shows got moved to bigger venues to accommodate bigger crowds. Launching the set with new album opener Who Did It and following up with Long Time Dead also from PONR shows the confidence the band has in their new material and these songs are every bit as well received as Behind These Walls and Fear of the Broken that follow from MATM.
We’re told that Shane is under the weather, the transition from short sets on the recent Monster Magnet support tour to full headline sets on concurrent nights has taken it’s toll on his vocal chords but you wouldn’t know it tonight. He comes running out into the crowd to sing a verse from the sound deck, bounces around the stage with his bandmates, clearly buoyed by the size of the crowd and the way they are singing his words right back at him. We get him on the piano for Never Win then an acoustic intro to the aforementioned Blink of an Eye at which the room erupts. Kingdom of Dust, Send the Reaper, Sin on Skin and Go Get It follow from the newy before we’re taken back to Murder and the Motive for a barnstorming close to the set with Don’t Give a Damn, Breakaway and, of course, Rock n Roll Ain’t Dead which has us all chanting “who said, rock n roll’s dead?” at the tops of our voices, joyful smiles on our faces knowing that we just saw a very special band playing a very special show that, surely, will be a big stepping stone on the way to the recognition they truly deserve.
Of course, the guys (excluding Shane who needed to rest his voice) came out to the merch stall for signings & selfies afterwards as they always have, sending us off back to the Giff smiling. Nice one lads! (Full setlist below thanks to setlist.fm)