Published on September 16th, 2018 | by Gary Spiller0
Those Damn Crows with T.A.Y.N. @ The Band Club, St. Austell, Cornwall – 25/8/18
When this gig was first announced I must confess to being relieved that I was seated in a comfortable manner; else I would likely have ended up on the floor in shock! One of the hottest outfits gigging under the all-encompassing ‘umbrella’ of New Wave of Classic Rock travelling to Cornwall for a one-off gig; there was a tangible buzz created on social media. This had the hallmarks of being a night to remember.
Cornwall, a county with pride in it’s heritage and identity, has, over time, become an increasingly infertile location for rock and metal. Long gone are the days when rock n’ roll royalty graced the hallowed stage at the much-loved Cornwall Coliseum; the fabled Pirate in Falmouth burned brightly in the 90’s but the glory days seem to have passed by into the realms of history. Nowadays more than not oft-considered a backwater for touring bands, with the regional focus now upon Bristol, the musical tide seems to be against Cornwall.
However there is a determined, dogged resistance to overturn this and recent years have seen the area produce quality outfits in the form of blues-drenched rockers Wille and The Bandits along with hard-punching metallers King Creature. Following in their wake are Riders to Ruin and tonight’s support act T.A.Y.N; both being well-received. Alongside this resurgence of live acts there is an emerging undercurrent of venues to support the groundswell. At the forefront of this is The Band Club, an unassuming building close to the centre of this Cornish market town renown for it’s being central to the famed China Clay industry. Recent shows featuring some of the aforementioned groups as well as Devonian rockers Departed and Ethyrfield have demonstrated a healthy appetite for the New Wave of Classic Rock and so this evening’s entertainment became a reality.
By the time T.A.Y.N. take to the stage, amid a thundering intro, the Band Club is filling up nicely with a healthy sized crowd; including a sizeable contingent who had braved the Bank holiday traffic to travel from South Wales. These local hard rockers have only been gigging as an outfit since December and are gathering a good momentum; as demonstrated by their powerful 45 minute set. Well received by the gathered ensemble tracks like debut single ‘Living My Life’ and ‘Fire The Cannon’ give insight to their huge potential. Close your eyes and there’s a strong Sabbath influence entwined with elements from such thrash metal merchants as Anthrax. Out front engaging vocalist Lucy Walker adds her twist; a fantastic voice that is reminiscent of Souixsie Souix in her prime but brought forward into a brand new arena for a brand new century. Alongside Lucy energetic bassist Darren May combines with bustling drummer Tats McGhee to lay down a solid foundation for sublime six-stringer Denn Leavy to add further musical magic to. Their debut EP is due out soon, apply the ‘ones to watch’ tag for sure.
Feeling right at home in Celtic lands Welsh rockers Those Damn Crows storm onto the stage in their typical in-your-face fashion with engaging and extremely personable front-man Shane Greenhall leaping to the very front to announce their arrival. If there was anyone in any doubt to the identity to the main act’s then this had been swiftly dispelled in a burst of sound and light! Thundering straight into ‘Don’t Give A Damn’, the opening track of the soon to be released ‘Murder and The Motive’ album, The Crows have landed with intent and the Band Club is rocking. In fact the entirety of the forthcoming release – revamped for it’s launch on Earache Records – is played; the lads from Bridgend are in determined mood and want to show their Cornish cousins how things rock in their quarter.
The opening quartet of tracks is a concentrated salvo that begins the process of lifting the roof; structural damage is imminent. Already-classics ‘Someone Someday’ and ‘Fear of the Broken’ are sung along to by the crowd who are in party mood. Hard-rocking bassist Llloyd Wood works the crowd alongside Shane with fist-pumps and smiles aplenty for the punters as the ante is further upped with each song.
Such is the collective confidence that flows through the Crows’ camp that they have elected to play three of their new songs back to back relatively early on. ‘Say It’ and ‘Behind These Walls’ are destined for the forthcoming release whilst ‘Devil In My Pocket’ awaits it’s moment. The new material packs a heavy punch whilst maintaining the infectious choruses which is swiftly becoming a massive part of the Crows’ trademark.
The second half of the set is largely constructed from Crows’ classics with ‘Seven Day’s launching this segment before rolling into ‘One of These Days’; an excellent track that hasn’t made it from the self-released version of ‘Murder and The Motive to the forthcoming Earache release but clearly has a lot of love from the Crows.
Throughout the night high-precision drummer Ronnie Huxford has been thumping a tremendous beat and the crowd respond with a ‘Ronnie, Ronnie’ chant. Shane ensures all his partners in crime are treated to the same including Matt out on the merchandise stand!
The Crows have so many quality numbers but there is one that nudges itself above an already high standard; ‘Blink of an Eye’ is rapidly becoming the band’s signature track with it’s meaningful and accessible lyrics which the crowd sings along in harmony with Shane throughout. It’s also the six string virtuoso performances from David Winchurch and Ian ‘Shiner’ Thomas which culminates in the pair meeting mid-stage to trade riffs which makes this number shine so brightly. Long may this continue.
No thrills are required as ‘Breakaway’ is thundered through in inimitable style before the roof is completely lifted by ‘Rock n Roll Ain’t Dead’; a number which has been adopted as an anthem for the New Wave of Classic Rock. Whoever said that rock is dead surely wasn’t in St. Austell tonight. Rock has an endearing habit of reinventing itself over the years and it’s no different now in 2018 as the Crows outro in the same style as they entered an hour or so previously.