For those not familiar with Those Damn Crows, they’re a rock five piece from Bridgend, South Wales. They released their third album – Inhale/Exhale – in February of this year.
This was the first time this reviewer had seen Those Damn Crows headline since February 2020. The venue size was two-and-a-half-times larger than that gig, and the band made the most of it. They’ve always been great to see live, and it’s good to see their fan base growing along with their number of albums. The stage was equipped with a riser along the front edge – this facilitated lead singer Shane Greenhall’s need to be higher and closer to the audience than a standard stage layout allows, along with protecting the monitors.
Their set – bookmarked by their declaration of “We are Those Damn Crows” – consisted of songs mainly from their latest album. The fan favourites were, of course, included – starting with Who Did It, the mid-set playing of the piano version of Blink Of An Eye (which I am sure is now the definitive version, and I am out of the loop) and of course Rock ‘N’ Roll Ain’t Dead. The latter was naturally extended by repeated calls of “Rock ‘N’ Roll Ain’t Dead” and allowed Shane to roam around the venue. To the surprise of many, he turned up mid-song on the edge of the balcony.
Even if you aren’t a huge rock fan, if you enjoy what’s best described as stadium rock without hair (and, so far seen, the normally associated egos) Those Damn Crows are definitely worth the price of a ticket. Their music sticks in your head, they put on a damn good show and, most importantly, they still obviously get a huge kick out of playing to a live audience. There’s nothing worse than going to a gig where the band/performer looks like they don’t want to be there, and the opposite is true of TDC. Their enthusiasm on stage, the way they feed off the audience, and the way this energy can be seen filtering into the crowd makes for a great night – I challenge anyone not to have Rock ‘N’ Roll Ain’t Dead going round their head afterwards.
TDC were supported on this tour by The Cruel Knives. They worked well as support for the TDC, the crowd seemed to enjoy their set, and whilst heavier than this reviewer tends to listen to, they were clearly talented. It was hard to pick out their lyrics during their performance, but that isn’t uncommon for a band of their ilk playing live. If you like your rock on the heavier side, check them out. There’s something familiar about them – not sure if it’s the ‘90s rock/heavier grunge influences in there, or just when you listen to a wide range of music it’s rare to not hear bits in songs that remind you of other things.
Those Damn Crows
The Cruel Knives