Words by Ed King / Pics courtesy of REWS – Marshall Records
On Saturday 21st March, REWS come back to Birmingham – bringing The Phoenix Tour to the O2 Institute 3.
REWS will be joined by their travelling companions and Bloc Party splinter group Novacub, performing alongside local support band [SKETCH] – hot off the heels of a sell out show supporting The Pagans S.O.H. and Kioko. But more on these little beauties a little later…
Minimum age of entry to the REWS 21st March show is 14 years old, with the O2 Institute opening the top floor venue doors from 7pm. Tickets are priced at £10 (+ booking fee) – as promoted by Metropolis Music and Birmingham Review. For more gig info and links to online ticket sales, click here to visit the Facebook event page.
** Birmingham Review will donate £1 from all tickets sold through Review Publishing to the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign – challenging sexual violence in the music industry. From dance floor to dressing room, everyone deserves a safe place to play. Click here for tickets: www.reviewpublishing.net/product/rews-novacub-sketch-o2-institute-21-03-20**
REWS, or ‘the mighty REWS’ as we have begun calling this band, were last in Birmingham supporting The Darkness – playing to a packed out arena at the O2 Academy just before Christmas. Before that, the mighty REWS (…told you) were supporting Halestorm, again at the O2 Academy, as the North American rock giants stomped their sell out tour across the UK in September 2018.
Now REWS are back in Birmingham for one of the final few dates on The Phoenix Tour, which founder and frontwoman Shauna Tohill explains is: “celebrating rebirth and change, which seems quite apt, given that we are all going through dark times at the moment. I’m hoping it will inspire people to keep positive, be confident and change for the better. Expect new tunes, a new band and a safe space to immerse yourself. See you at the front!”
Led by N. Irish musician and songwriter Shauna Tohill, REWS somewhat exploded onto the UK’s live circuit a few years ago – releasing their first album, Pyro, in November 2017. Chocked with ‘wall to wall bangers’ (which is you’ve ever been to a REWS gig is a pretty appropriate metaphor) this ambitious debut featured previously released singles such as ‘Miss You in the Dark‘, ‘Shine’, ‘Your Tears’, and Birmingham Review favourite ‘Can You Feel It?’
A monster of an album, with an infectious onslaught of high energy alt-rock/pop, the onlything better than listening to a copy of Pyro is when REWS play it live. But don’t take our word for it, as this 10 track line in the sand won REWS a bevy of Radio 1 airtime and a spot on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury 2018 – with plaudits across the BBC and Pilton festival alike, including Mark Radcliffe’s clarion call: “Stupendous – if you get a chance, go and see them. Go.” A sentiment we whole heartedly agree with.
REWS were also the inaugural UK signing to Marshall Records, when the ionic rock music brand formed it’s own record label in 2017 – opening up territories across the globe and seeing this ferocious high rising balloon travel even further.
And it’s been strength to strength for REWS ever since (albeit with some lineup changes at the tail end of 2018, turning the two piece into a three piece) as the act once nominated for Planet Rock’s ‘Best New Band 2017’ are now back on the road and releasing some of their best new music to date. Which considering their back catalogue is a hard bubble to burst, with only the inevitable ‘…album two’ question left hanging in the air.
But again, don’t take our word for it – to check out REWS’ latest single, ‘Birdsong’, click on the airtwork above or the video below. And if after listening to it you think all the hype is hyperbole, then you’re either a cynic by default or clinically dead on the inside. And that’s as objective as I can get.
Then again, you might just want a little more proof. Perhaps in a live setting, for example. Which is fair enough… I suppose. Did we mention REWS come to the O2 Institute 3 on Saturday 21st March?
‘Birdsong’ – REWS
REWS perform at the O2 Institute 3 on Saturday 21st March, with support from Novacub and [SKETCH] – as promoted by Metropolis Music and Birmingham Review, with support from the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign. For more gig info and links to online ticket sales, click here to visit the Facebook event page.
**Birmingham Review will donate £1 from all tickets sold through Review Publishing to the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign – click here for tickets: www.reviewpublishing.net/rews-novacub-sketch-o2-institute-21-03-20/**
For more on REWS, visit www.rewsmusic.com
For more on Novacub, visit www.wearenovacub.com
For more on [SKETCH], visit www.sketchband.com
For more on the O2 Institute, including venue details and further event listings, visit www.academymusicgroup.com/o2institutebirmingham
NOT NORMAL NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual aggression in the music industry and beyond – from dance floor to dressing room, everyone deserves a safe place to play.
To learn more about the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign, click here. To sign up and join the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign, click here.
If you have been affected by any issues surrounding sexual violence – or if you want to report an act of sexual aggression, abuse or assault – click here for information via the ‘Help & Support’ page on the NOT NORMAL NOT OK website.