FABRIK @ Project Soundlounge - Town Hall 18.08.18 / Callum Lees

Words by Ed King / Live pics by Callum Lees

On Friday 2nd November, FABRIK release their latest single ‘Black Lake’ – taken from their 2017 debut album, City Islands.

Who said trip-hop was dead…

Well, no one really. Tricky might be bitching about never grabbing Gold again, James Lavelle’s probably scaled down the Mo’ Wax Christmas party budget since the mid 90’s, but the genre more morphed than disappeared – deep house picking up one side and anything with ‘breaks and beats’ picking up the other. And for everything else there’s Massive Attack.

FABRIK @ Project Soundlounge - Town Hall 18.08.18 / Callum LeesBut FABRIK’s collection of deep and searing guitar, angsty-yet-sultry-gravel-yet-honey vocals, and teased out rim tap brush percussion, (…©Ed King 2018) have kept a Birmingham based Bristol homage alive since their debut album came out in the tail end of summer 2017. And ‘Black Lake’, the latest single to be released from FABRIK’s 11 track debut, is a screaming example of how to hit the mark.

A simple and clear riff leads in, the beat slides behind, regiments itself, before Hayley Trower’s vocals stride confidently across them both – a little low, a little restrained, a little reminiscent of Skye Edwards. This is good stuff. And following The adage if it ‘aint broke don’t fix it’, we opiate haze through just over five minutes of blessed out ease. Job, done. Bring me the head of Andy Vowels.

FABRIK @ Project Soundlounge - Town Hall 18.08.18 / Callum LeesWritten whilst staring down the alcohol haze of a Ko (INSERT SOUTH THAILAND ISLAND) holiday from the self, Trower wrote the lyrics to ‘Black Lake’, “sat in a hut, looking out at dense jungle and fierce sea…. I was in awe at how tiny my life was in comparison to the infinite life cycles and continuous regeneration around me.”  

Musically the end result is not as introspective as you’d think, but the words blend an articulate journey into a rhythm that’s increasingly difficult to put down. Gold dust. And whilst I’m not sure where a solitary bathtub in the Eden Valley comes into it (…check out the video) I suspect budget had a hand to play.

But much less disco pop Vs deep house than FABRIK’s previous single, ‘Sunphonika’, the band’s latest release should do nothing if not remind us of their diversity – as well as sending some love back to a sterling debut album that deserves long lasting attention.

So check out ‘Black Lake’, then go and check out City Islands if you haven’t already. Then email FABRIK and ask them when we can expect the follow up LP. Then call me greedy. But lordy lordy, what’s a boy to do? And with Christmas around the corner an’ all…

‘Black Lake’ – FABRIK

On Friday 2nd November, FABRIK release ‘Black Lake’. For more on FABRIK, visit


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

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BPREVIEW: The Full Monty @ Hippodrome 05-10.11.18

BPREVIEW: The Full Monty @ Hippodrome 05-10.11.18

Words by Ed King / Promo pic by Matt Crokett, production pics courtesy of the Hippodrome

Running from Monday 5th to Saturday 10th November, The Full Monty comes to the Birmingham Hippodrome. Simon Beaufoy’s screen to stage adaptation is out on tour for the final time, playing at theatres across the UK until May 2019.

Tickets are priced from £18-92.50, depending on the day/time of performance and position in the theatre. For direct information, including venue details and full online ticket sales, click here. For full details of The Full Monty’s final UK tour, click here.

Best known for the smash ‘sleeper hit’ film, released in 1997, Simon Beaufoy’s story of Sheffield steelworkers turned striptease troupe has been a phenomenal success – the original cinematic release cost under £3million to produce, a relatively small amount for the big screen, and went on to gross around £200million in worldwide sales.

Beaufoy first adapted his screenplay for the stage back in 2012, premiering at Shefffield’s Lyceum Theatre in February the following year. The Full Monty went on to tour theatres across the UK, before being picked up and adapted for a North American audience – exchanging the Sheffield background for Buffalo in upstate New York.

Now back to its North England roots, The Full Monty is once again being toured across the UK – following the ill-fated West End run, somewhat dramatic (if you’ll excuse the pun) cancellation, and subsequent rebirth in 2014.

Gary Lucy returns as Gaz, having played the role since September 2014, and is joined by clothes removing cast members including Andrew Dunn as Gerald, Louis Emerick as Horse, Joe Gill as Lomper, Kai Owen as Dave, and James Redmond as Guy.

Fully dressed, The Full Monty also presents Liz Carney as Jean, Amy Thompson as Mandy, Bryonie Pritchard as Linda, and Keeley Fitzgerald as Sharon. Other cast members include Andrew Ashford, Stephen Donald, Alex Frost, Fraser Kelly. and Lee Toomes.

The 2018/19 production is directed by Rupert Hill, who previous played the on stage role of Guy in the 2014/15 run of The Full Monty.

Further crew credits include design by Robert Jones (National Theatre and RSC), choreography by Ian West (The Blues Brothers, The Play What I Wrote), lighting by Colin Grenfell (theatre award winner for Blackwatch) and sound by Luke Swaffield (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime).

The Full Monty – 2018/19 UK production

The Full Monty runs at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Monday 5th to Saturday 10th November, For direct show information, including venue details and full online ticket sales, visit

For more on The Full Monty 2018/19 UK production, visit 

For more from the Birmingham Hippodrome, including venue details and further event listings, visit


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.

INTERVIEW: Alex Claridge – Nocturnal Animals

Words by Ed King

“I thought we should try and have some fun between now and the robot-based apocalypse.”

Alex Claridge is opening a new restaurant. The team behind The Wilderness are moving into the city centre, delivering a two tier establishment on Bennets Hill – with 42 fine dining covers downstairs, and a 60 capacity cocktail led bar upstairs.

Sound familiar? Yeah, well, it’s not. Nocturnal Animals opens fully from November 7th, with soft launches from November 1st, and is best described by the man behind it – “a cat amongst the pigeons”, something I wouldn’t be surprised to find on the menu in six months, giving a spin to a traditional burger or breakfast.

“The idea there is that it’s familiar flavours,” explains Claridge, as we sit in The Wilderness – discussing the eight course main menu for Nocturnal Animals. “It has got inspiration from take away food and I suppose more everyday food, and we’re just trying to present the most intense versions of those – all our cookery is, it’s not rocket science, I’ll take something familiar and find a way to do that in a new or playful fashion and we’ll present the best version of what we can.”

Nocturnal Animals / 20 Bennetts Hill, BirminghamNocturnal Animal’s press release describes the new venture as a ‘bold new concept’, a subversive two finger addition to Birmingham’s culinary landscape that’s a ‘fun and inventive experience…. inspired by 80’s pop culture.’ A few phrases and words appear more than once in the public domain around Nocturnal Animals, some featured in the previous sentence, but it’s the reputation of its predecessor that has arguably given this new restaurant life. That and money. Blood. Sweat, probably a few tears…

“So, it’s a bit eighties,” adds Claridge, “but really it’s pop culture – it’s very tongue in cheek, we know it’s high end but it’s also acknowledging the contradictions and the numerous hoighty toighty high faluting wankery that goes on within the higher end of the food, beverage and hospitality sector.” I note down ‘hoighty toighty high faluting wankery’, intent to use this reference at the earliest possible moment. “But above all else I wanted to do a fun venue; the part of town where it is, is bustling. There’s a lot of operators – some are very good, some are absolute horseshit. But I wanted to do something that was quality focused, where genuinely it’s ‘the good shit’, but in the most fun and least pretentious way possible… there’s an irony because it’ll still get called pretentious, I’m well aware of the fact, but that’s just life. I wanted to do something that was fun, that was accessible, that kind of played to a bit of joy.”

It is here that the journalist 101 handbook demands I list the accolades and adventurous dishes that The Wilderness has been known for, and which could have also suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous TripAdvisor entries. But I won’t. It won’t help. Nocturnal Animals is clearly its own beast, if you’ll excuse the pun, and as Claridge declares, “anything that people really enjoy, just kill it. As soon as anyone can predict or knows what we’re going to do – as soon as anything is properly successful, and we’re known for it – I will get rid of it, I will throw it under the bus. When we moved to The Jewellery Quarter I didn’t take a single dish with me, I didn’t keep anything, nothing we’re known for. There’s nothing, for me personally, more depressing than a chef serving the same fucking thing eight years down the line.”

Nocturnal Animals / 20 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham“For all the framework and the fun, fundamentally I want my cookery to taste immense,” adds Claridge, clearly sidestepping an à la carte listicle. “It’s about flavour intensity and flavour clarity; so, if I say it’s a dish that should have pork on it, it should taste of pork. And it should be the most intense version of pork you’ve ever had. We’ve just applied that through the menu.”

But Nocturnal Animals is being presented as much more than a menu. Faber – the architects delivering the new build, and who cite a number of the city’s well patronised establishments on their client list – have had almost as much attention through the mainstream media as the team behind the restaurant. And as the adage goes, the first taste is with the eye. But where’s the line in the sand for Nocturnal Animals, between concept and culinary? “I focus on the end result,” cements Claridge, “I know how I want someone to feel when they’ve eaten that food, when they’ve had that experience, and I work backwards from there.”

And how about upstairs? A 60 capacity bar awaits this chef turned restaurateur, in a clearly visible location on one of Birmingham’s busiest shopping thoroughfares. And that’s commercial gold dust if you can use it correctly. Are Nocturnal Animals’ wet sales set to be akin to the dry?

“It’s certainly influenced by that fact that this is still a venue operated by a chef,” explains Claridge, as I fumble through a pronunciation of James Bowker – the mixologist who has been pulled in to shape and deliver the cocktail menu.Nocturnal Animals / 20 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham “It’s based on six flavours, six colours. And we’ve tried to focus on delivering, again, big flavour. With each flavour you can then get a long drink, a short drink, or a sharp drink – so we’ve tried to strip away some of the wankery… there’s no kind of emotions of… ‘a summer day’ or that sort of stuff, It’s more like, do you like these flavours and what style of drink do you want, then order it. Although I want it to be quality led I don’t want it to be inaccessible. I don’t believe you should require an additional NVQ to understand the menu.”

I’d be happy if I could see one, at this stage. But bookings are open and already being received for Nocturnal Animals, from both The Wilderness’s existing clientele and curious new comers. And there’s one addition to Claridge’s new venue that is all too easy to grab hold off. Afternoon Tea. Or rather, ‘an unabashedly badly behaved afternoon tea,’ as I read verbatim from a post on the Nocturnal Animals’ Facebook page.

“Afternoon Tea is something I never thought I do,” reiterates Claridge – stating his opinion on the offering that also appears on the social media post, “because I find the whole thing to be generally nauseatingly predictable. Also, I have umbrage with any experience that is so heavily gendered – the kind of marketing, ‘do you love your mother? If you do… Afternoon Tea’. I feel like that’s a bit simplistic and a bit shit really.” I twitch under the knowledge that this was, indeed, the birthday present I bought my matriarch, at Harvey Nichols no less. But the CND badge plastered lesbian I call mother, who built and ran the largest women’s bail hostel in the Midlands, had a wonderful time – spending the hour and a half cliché with her daughter and granddaughter. As far as I know they’re all still feminists, so perhaps we’re OK.

Afternoon Tea at Nocturnal Animals / 20 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham“The deal with myself was I’d only do it if it made sense with the venue,” continues Claridge, “and we could do it in a self-aware kind of way. Now with Nocturnal being a bar as well, we have a beautiful space upstairs that during the day… let’s be honest, there’s not a massive amount of cocktail drinking going on in the city. It’s not London, it’s a different profile. So, there was a commercial basis, and a space for that within the venue. And I wanted to do something that was pop culture, that was recognisable, but I wanted to do something that took the piss out of Afternoon Tea as this sort of ladylike – whatever that fucking means – delicate, refined, dainty… I wanted to take that and just punch it in the face.”

And to do that, Nocturnal Animals is… achem… ‘taking inspiration’ from a well known brand of children’s toy. Or not. For legal reasons I’m going to sit on the fence. But during the afternoon upstairs at Nocturnal Animals it will be ‘Basic Barbi and Recruiter Kyen’ serving you their own take on tea and scones.

“Barbi is in so many ways this pop culture figure, but I find it so much more interesting to present it with a mirror,” explains Claridge, “there’s nothing I’ve said about Basic Barbi and Kyen, for legal reasons, that isn’t basically already in that brand. It’s just holding a mirror to it and asking ‘are we… are we really OK with this? Is this really happening, does this still have a place in the group discussion?’ But the Afternoon Tea is still going to taste banging, it’s still delicious things, it’s still a satisfying afternoon tea experience. But I think we’ve found a progressive and playful way to do that.”

My stomach grabs the chance for specifics; can you elaborate on ‘delicious things’? “It’s all soup, twelve courses of soup,” jokes Claridge, I think. “No, the Afternoon Tea menu is a mixture of savoury serves, including a little pink burger – which in itself is quite a fun thing. And we’ve got a transition course which is a bacon and butterscotch macaroon. But the main servers are still… we’ve tried to take cakes and flavours that would not be unheard of on Afternoon Tea, we’re just presenting them in more exciting ways.

I think Victoria Sponge is fucking mega, for example, but you can’t – as a chef – just go, ‘here’s a Victoria Sponge’. And I don’t really get why not. But if we can present something, in a playful or whimsical way, to make people go ‘oh, that really is good’Nocturnal Animals / 20 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham – just almost, through that element of disruption of the expectation around those flavours, remind people how delicious some of these things are. How life affirming a little bit of fruit and a bit of cream can be.”

A blanket of familiarity seems a good place to wrap up, and the conversation trails off into a wider discussion of Birmingham’s hospitality scene and a less that glowing report card for the German Market, which is set to be Nocturnal Animals’ neighbour from opening to Christmas. As both a chef and a restaurateur Alex Claridge is firm in his endeavours, in a way that makes me understand why bookings are coming in before any menus or images are being released.

But the proof will be in the… insert pun here, and as I walk out onto the streets of Hockley with a few more questions than answers. Ambiguity’s a bitch. But that’s the fun, I guess. And it’s good to see an operator take such chances on the door steps of more ‘hoighty toighty high faluting wankery’ – instead of hiding amongst the Birkenstocks and ridiculous beards of the city’s creative industry led fringes.

And for all his self-deprecation, comic peer review imitations, and seeming aversion to adulation, Alex Claridge clearly cares about his creations. And that’s what sells, that’s what engages a public. That’s what made me want to interview him instead of copy and pasting a press release. I’ve repeated asked Claridge if he, himself, is having ‘fun’ with Nocturnal Animals – posing the question with another word that features heavily in the new venue’s rhetoric, and creating oddly long pauses whilst making me sound more like a quack than a hack.

But I’m also curious to know if he feels endorsed by Birmingham’s food and drink fraternity, both those that attend his restaurants and those that operate their own. So ‘fun’, sometimes. Maybe. But how about ‘loved’? “People who like food in Birmingham are aware that, in some way, we exist – and we do food,” explains Claridge, continuing the slightly self-effacing approach that has peppered this interview.

“But the interest is definitely there, and I think once people start to actually see the venue… like it or loathe it it’s going to be a difficult one to ignore.”

Nocturnal Animals opens fully from 7th November, with soft launches taking place from 1st November. For more information and online bookings, visit


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.

THE GALLERY: Tom Odell @ O2 Academy 21.10.18

THE GALLERY: Tom Odell @ O2 Academy 21.10.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe




Words by Ed King / Pics by Eleanor Sutcliffe

This is a big gig.

It’s a big room too, as I watch the audience trickle in – from a line that stretches back to the Pagoda island roundabout, the 3009 capacity O2 Academy confidently fills up on a Sunday. No, mean, feat either. Especially in Birmingham. Especially on a Sunday.

But the Tom Odell love fest is in unarguable full swing tonight, as shoulder touches shoulder in the stalls and every polite space gets filled on the balcony. This gig wasn’t presented as ‘sold out’ but it hard to imagine any fire marshal letting another body in this room. This is a rafter packed affair. So I find my THE GALLERY: First support act for Tom Odell @ O2 Academy 21.10.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffecorner, nestle in, and watch the support acts.

First up is Mimi… I want to say ‘croissant’. Which I doubt it is, but I’ll have to Google and cross reference. Singing a mix of her own songs and covers, the ubiquitous ‘Valerie’ getting a non-X Factor audition airing, she delivers her “first gig playing my own songs,” with reputable aplomb. A young vocalist with an older guitar, time will tell. But art gather scars to shine, and only the world will give you them. TBC.

Next up is my happy surprise of the night, well the first one of them anyway, as no other that Max Jury struts on stage as the second support act. ‘Great American Novel’ is always somewhere near the back of my mind and on the tip of my tongue these days, and despite it not getting featured in his set I do get to see a man live on stage I thought I’d need to have passed through LAX security to watch up close in person.

THE GALLERY: Max Jury - supporting Tom Odell @ O2 Academy 21.10.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Jury is great too, and not just because I want him to be, but the slow Americana, blues, and drawl slides from his keyboard and across the room with the right touch of confidence and bliss. Musicians are made to impress, and Max Jury is one to applaud. Plus, I now (after a very subtle pitch) own a copy of his signature – so at worst I’m going to rinse hotel room bills in his name across Washington state until one of us gets noticed.

And now, it is time…

There has been a grand piano covered in black cloth ever since we walked into this room, with one support act playing to its left and the other to its right. But now it’s the main show, with the sleek polished veneer unveiled as the house lights go down and a single spot illuminates the piano and rounded stool. Like a tousled haired shadow, Tom Odell appears at the ivory and throws soft hammers onto hidden strings; we are welcomed with the title track off his new album – ‘Jubilee Road’ saunters in until a sustained vocal, raised hand, full band, and rapturous applause bring the main attraction crystal clear into view.

THE GALLERY: Tom Odell @ O2 Academy 21.10.18 / Eleanor SutcliffeI’ll be honest, I love the piano. I’m a sucker for the piano. But I’m often on my own with such sultry appreciation, as most 88 key diatribes fall short upon the ears of those less bruised. Or those more happy, I’ve never quite worked out which. But for Tom Odell, and the 3k+ that have turned out to see him tonight, this is not a concern, as the set moves without banter from the title track of his new album to the fifth single from his first – more sustained vocals, and the beginning of some simply heart-breaking audience participation, carry us into the main set.  This is a spectacular introduction.

Levels are up, chairs are thrown, and ‘Sparrow’ ends off a phenomenal beginning – as ‘Supposed to Be’ then leads us into an introduction of each band member, delivered like an homage to Robbie Robertson and his long bus riding companions. But this is an ensemble, regardless of the dominant and linchpin, with the ringmaster making every effort to bring his cohorts font and centre, leaving his black and white compadres to stand next to each instrument that accompanies them as he does so. This is a band on stage tonight, and we are firmly told not to forget that.

THE GALLERY: Tom Odell @ O2 Academy 21.10.18 / Eleanor SutcliffeMy notes from the rest of the evening run from sycophantic to spider scrawl, both run induced. But there are a few golden markers that deserve a more sober mention – Tom Odell has the O2 Academy in his palm tonight, from start to finish. He makes a big room feel intimate, with unenforced sing-a-longs washing over us like warm blankets that you just want to weep inside of.

The first, according to my notebook, is with ‘Wrong Crowd’, where the bravest of us both onstage and off try to whistle along. But it continues, throughout, carried by an atmosphere that even this cynical writer can’t help but fall for. I had no idea the O2 Academy would be so full tonight, and I had no idea that the bodies within it would care so much. But by the time ‘Son of an Only Child’ is played, one of my favourites from the new album, I am bunched up with a line of strangers on the balcony – resting our hands on each other’s shoulders and basking in the soft lights of a moment’s unity. This is what music can do, and when it does it in a room of over three thousand people it’s a pretty fucking wonderful occasion.

We end with a good three song encore, which could easily have carried on if the licensing department of the UK’s second city weren’t such a loveless box of frogs. Even the Showsec security guard has left his post to stand and watch this finale.

And as the ensemble eventually leave the stage, to the echoes of ‘Magnetised’ being thrown back at them in an oddly grandiose yet sweet harmony, we all know that we bore witness to something special tonight.




Tom Odell @ O2 Academy 21.10.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe


For more on Tom Odell, visit 

For more from Max Jury, visit 

For more from the O2 Academy, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.

BPREVIEW: Rews + MeMe Detroit, Thousand Thoughts @ The Flapper 17.11.18

BPREVIEW: Rews + MeMe Detroit, Thousand Thoughts @ The Flapper 17.11.18Words by Ed King

On Saturday 17th November, the mighty REWS return to Birmingham – rounding off a five date UK tour at The Flapper in Birmingham.

Support at The Flapper comes from MeMe Detroit – Birmingham’s ‘sleazy rock’ grunge tinged indie punkster, who is out on the road promoting her new Life in the Now EP. Whilst joining REWS on all of their UK tour dates are Thousand Thoughts – Enfield’s fresh faced but ferocious nu metal/alt rockers who are currently promoting their debut single, ‘This One’s for You’.

Doors open at 7:00pm, with tickets priced at £10 (plus booking fees) – as presented by Metropolis Music, arranged by Midnight Mango, and in association with Birmingham Review. For gig info and online ticket sales direct from REWS click here, or visit the Facebook event page here.

It’s been quite a couple of years for REWS – the ‘rock powerhouse’ two piece who have been grafting and gaining fans up and down the country, belting out some of the best live shows on the circuit and backing up every on stage inch with their stellar debut album, Pyro.

Wrapping their debut single, ‘Miss You in the Dark’, around a blue touch paper performance on Glastonbury’s John Peel stage last year, REWS quickly caught the attention of most music based national broadcasters – with Mark Radcliffe citing them as one of his highlights from the 2017 festival.

REWS‘ second single, ‘Shine’, grabbed the airwaves through Kerrang!, Planet Rock, Radio X, Today FM, 2FM, and Radio 1. Whilst the band’s October’s follow up release, ‘Your Tears’, got featured as the BBC Music Introducing Track of the Week – getting public plaudits from presenters including Huw Stephens, Alice Levine, Clara Amfo, Scott Mills, Dev, Adele and Greg James.

Coinciding with their autumn tour, which REWS will finish up and finale in Birmingham, one of the band’s strongest onstage tracks has got a studio spit and polish – ‘Can You Feel It?’ was released on 21st September, mixed and mastered by Romesh Dodangoda (Bring Me The Horizon, Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis).

“’Can You Feel it?’ is a song that takes a positive spin on hurt feelings,” explains Shauna Tohill from REWS. “It encourages the listener to ‘let it out’, ‘dance’, ’sing’ and not be afraid to explore how they feel in order to better themselves & learn to love again. It was inspired and written during a period of heartbreak and describes the stages of grief that we endure.”

But not stopping on these shores, REWS recently supported Halestorm on their UK tour – seeing them showcase in front of thousands of new fans across the country, in what we suspect is a precursor to a trip across the Atlantic. And North America is going to go bat sh*t for REWS, if you’ll excuse the crudity. But it’s a game changer and no mistake. REWS have also just come back from a showcase gig at the Music China event in Shanghai, as organised by their label Marshall Records, but we’re going to put out some Can-You-Feelers about this find out a little more… tbc.

Joining REWS at The Flapper will be MeMe Detroit, who is touring the UK with her new Life in the Now EP – set for release on 23rd November. One of the brighter shining stars from the city’s music scene (and beyond, to be fair) MeMe Detroit is self described as ‘sitting somewhere between sleazy grunge and power indie… oozing sultry guitar driven hooks with a head turning vocal’ – a summation we liked so much, we stole it.

Gritty and gutsy, covered in war paint, melody, and the occasional acerbic observation, MeMe Detroit released her debut album, Live to Love You’ll Love to Live, in 2016 – a ten track declaration that manages to kick you in the teeth, guts, and up the derrière all at the same time. Awesome.

Follow up releases came in various shapes, sizes, and sharp undertones – with one of our favourites being the uber pertinent ‘Soc Med Junkies’, which pokes a well deserving stick in the rib cages of those silent conversationalists who are content to share only cyber space together. To check out the video to ‘Soc Med Junkies’, click here.

And appearing with REWS across all of their UK tour dates this autumn are label mates Thousand Thoughts, who signed to Marshall Records in 2017. Currently promoting their debut single, ‘This One’s for You’, the Enfield based four piece ‘take on elements of nu-metal, pop-punk and alt-rock, interwoven with themes of tragedy and loss’ – with messages of hope and inspiration thrown in for good measure.

Committing to a pretty rigorous touring schedule, the band have been playing up and down the UK since January 2017 – originally titled Elsewhere, but changing their moniker to Thousand Thoughts once the leaves of 2018 started to fall. To check out Thousand Thoughts’ debut single, ‘This One’s for You’ – released in June 2018, click here.

Meanwhile back at REWS HQ, we just have one question for you…

‘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 

For more on REWS, visit

For more on MeMe Detroit, visit

For more on Thousand Thoughts, visit

For from The Flapper, including venue details and further event listings, visit


NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.