Words by Ed King / Pics by Eleanor Sutcliffe
On Saturday 17th November, REWS return to Birmingham – rounding off their five date UK tour at The Flapper in Birmingham. For tickets and direct info, click here.
Local support at The Flapper comes from MeMe Detroit, playing a home town show to promote her new Life in the Now EP. Whilst joining REWS on all of their UK tour dates are Thousand Thoughts – Enfield’s nu metal/alt rockers who are currently promoting their debut single, ‘This One’s for You’.
Ed King caught up with Collette Williams, one half of REWS and the band’s ‘vocalising beat-rocker’, in between the band’s sell out shows in Manchester and London.
“We’ve never had a bad show in Birmingham,” tells Williams, “and we love playing there. Honestly. I know you probably get artists say that all the time – ‘yeah the shows there are great and we can wait to see – insert name of city here’. But Birmingham is definitely one of our favourites.”
And REWS, it seems, are a favourite of Birmingham’s, with that special kind of fan fevour following them from venue to venue, previously selling out shows at the Actress & Bishop and the Hare & Hounds. And now it’s back to The Flapper, where Birmingham Review first saw REWS back in February last year, with the band bringing a fresh army of fans following their support of Halestrom at the O2 Academy in September.
“That was absolutely fantastic,” tells Williams, “and really character building – we both had the time of our loves. Halestorm were the loveliest humans, let alone musicians, that we’ve ever met. They welcomed us with open arms and really made us feel like part of the family. As did Avatar, who were main support – again, a lovely bunch of humans. It was just fantastic.”
Reassuring humility for such a for huge band, since forming in 1997 Halestorm have become one of the most prominent rock acts in North America. But my spidey sense tells me REWS being invited to support them on their UK tour was more than serendipity. After all, the UK two piece are signed to Marshall Records – an iconic rock brand with more than a few fingers in American pies. Are there any plans for REWS in the home of the brave?
“…we will be heading across the pond next year,” admits Williams – keeping what sounds like exciting cards close to her chest, “that’s probably the most I can say about it at the minute. It’s not going to be our own tour as such, but we will definitely be jetting off an exploring territories previously unexplored…. it feels like every time we speak to you we give you these riddles that subsequently come out later, but that’s how is looking for now.”
But if, as, and when REWS do start strutting their stuff stateside, no doubt we’ll hear about it loud and clear enough. The term ‘game changer’ filters into the conversation. But REWS making some serious in-roads across Route 66 is more than just a hunch, or even an educated guess; their sound is so right for a US audience it would almost be rude not to.
Plus, rock producer Romesh Dodangoda – who has bands including Bullet for My Valentine, Lower than Atlantis, Funeral for a Friend, and Don Broco on his speed dial – has been working with REWS, giving their latest single ‘Can You Feel It?’ his legendary sheen. A wax and polish that has served his previous clients pretty well across the pond.
“It’s one that’s been around since the very beginning, but we’ve never been able to give it the full glory it deserves,” tells Williams – ‘Can You Feel It?’ is a ferocious rock anthem in REWS’ live set but didn’t make it onto Pyro, their debut album. “So, it was really nice to get it out there in the public domain. We had Romesh Dodangoda mix it, which was an absolute privilege, and he made it what it wanted to be – so we were really grateful for that, and we absolutely loved the energy that he captured. We’re super chuffed to have been able to share it.”
And long may it reign, wherever and how ever it’s played. But as the God of rock shuts a door, statue dictates they must throw a TV out the window – are there any new tracks we should be keeping an eye and an ear out for?
“There’s a brand new one, new in set, called ‘Get There Someday’,” tells Williams, “and we’ve also slipped a song into the set that’s not ours – it’s a cover version of a song that should be well known so we’ll let you keep your ears open for that one.” Intrigued, and covers can be surprising. Where are we between Motorhead and Britney Spears?
“We’ve played it at the last two shows on tour, and we’ve very much enjoyed playing it. It might not be something that initially springs to mind, but I think the fundamentals and foundations of this song – as it was originally done – you would probably see why we’ve picked it.”
Always good to leave on a cliff hanger. But not for long, as REWS will be bringing their new set – and mysterious cover song – to The Flapper in only a few days’ time. But there is another question mark hovering above this conversation, with it being nearly a year to the day that Pyro was released… album two?
“We’ve been asked about this a lot recently,” laughs Williams, “but Pyro is only being released in America early next year so that hasn’t even seen the light of day trans-Atlantically. We still have a lot of work off the back of that album to do. But we are writing, there is new material, a song or two of which we’ll share on Saturday – so we are still working towards that, it will be in our sights.”
Fair enough. My Christmas list and curiosity will just have to wait. Until Saturday, at least.
‘Can You Feel It?’ – REWS
REWS perform at The Flapper on Saturday 17th November, with support from MeMe Detroit and Thousand Thoughts. For direct event information and online ticket sales, visit www.rewsmusic.com/events/2018-11-17-rews-the-flapper
For more on REWS, visit www.rewsmusic.com
For more on MeMe Detroit, visit www.memedetroit.com
For more on Thousand Thoughts, visit www.facebook.com/TThoughtsMusic
For from The Flapper, including venue details and further event listings, visit www.theflapper.co.uk
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