BPREVIEW: Rews @ The Flapper 17.11.18

BPREVIEW: Rews @ The Flapper 17.11.18Words by Ed King

On Saturday 17th November, Rews will be performing at The Flapper – rounding off their selected UK tour at Birmingham’s iconic live music venue.

Doors open at 7pm, with tickets priced at £10 (+bf) – available from Friday 31st August. For direct event information, including full tour details and links to online ticket sales, click here.

There are certain press release that raise a smile at Birmingham Review. True, lots of them have the words ‘free’ and ‘bar’ in them, but the one that landed on our desk a few days ago was even better than bourbon for gratis. If such a thing were possible (it is, just).

Rews are coming back to Birmingham, playing at The Flapper on Saturday 17th November. And with only 38 days after this gig until The Big Day we feel the expression ‘Christmas come early’ is entirely justified.

If you don’t know who Rews are… a sharp intake of breath… they’re a high octane ‘rock powerhouse’ that have drawn comparisons to Royal Blood (but with better melodies). Made up of Shanua Tohill (guitar vocals) and Collette Williams (percussion, vocals) Rews were the first UK signing on Marshall Records – coming out punching from the legendary rock brand’s corner with their debut album, Pyro, in November 2017.

A string of singles, tours, and festival appearances followed Rews’ extremely confident debut, gathering some well deserved attention from the rock focused media and then pretty much every pundit with a brain at the BBC (including Mark Radcliffe, who cited Rews as one of his highlights from Glastonbury 2017). To read our Birmingham Review of Pyro, click here.

One eight planet dance later and Rews are back in Birmingham, rounding off a five date UK tour at The Flapper – the venue where Birmingham Review first saw them back in February ’17. And it is live that you really want to experience this band, with a ferocious energy and endearing candour flooding off stage every time we’ve shared a room them – click here to read our Birmingham Review of Rews at The Flapper, at the Actress & Bishop, and at the Hare & Hounds.

But things got better and better as we scrolled down the aforementioned press release, because there’s a new single on the table too – ‘Can You Feel It?’ will be released by Rews on 21st September, through Marshall Records. An absolute blinder, this is has been one of our favourite tracks from Rews since we first heard it, with the soon to be set free single getting added production value from Romesh Dodangoda (Bring Me the Horizon, Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis).

We’ve had a sneak peak of the new ‘Can You Feel It?’ too and it’s PROPER AWESOME. Seriously, just wait – as soon as we can share something we will. But in the interim you can keep yourself happy/distracted with the last two singles to come from Rews – check out ‘Your Tears’ and ‘Shine’ below.

Here’s a message from Shauna Tohill about the soon to be released ‘Can You Feel It?’ too:

“Can You Feel it? is a song that takes a positive spin on hurt feelings. 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.”  

‘Your Tears’ – Rews

‘Shine’ – Rews

Rews come to The Flapper in Birmingham on Saturday 17th November – as presented by Metropolis Music/Live Nation, in association with Birmingham Review. For direct gig information, including full tour details and links to online ticket sales, click here. 

‘Can You Feel it?’ will be released by Rews on 21st September through Marshall Records. For more on Rews, visit www.rewsmusic.com

For more from Metropolis Music, visit www.metropolismusic.com

For more on The Flapper, including venue details and further event listings, visit www.theflapper.co.uk


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: Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe




Words by Ed King / Pics by Aatish Ramchurn & Eleanor Sutcliffe

“…can anyone take my ticket?”

A man stands in the doorway at the Hare & Hounds, gesticulating like a proud Neville Chamberlain. OK, bad example. But it’s 7:30pm, the venue has just opened, and there’s a queue forming behind him. As gigs on a school night go this is looking promising.

And so it should be, the once ‘rising balloon’ now ‘rock powerhouse’ of Rews have returned to the city – bolting a Birmingham gig onto the end of their UK spring tour, before finishing their run with dates in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Plus, they’ve sold out. On a Thursday. Something that’s a shiny badge of honour for bands that play in the second city, and one that is unassailable Rews deserve.

Since releasing their debut album, Pyro, back in November 2017, the Marshall signed two piece have been relentless in their performances and promotion – with their penultimate single, ‘Your Tears’, recently receiving a week of A-List airplay on Radio One. Rews are on the march, and it’s working. This is a band that you only have to see play once to become hooked. And from most of the DJs on Auntie’s No1 station to the room full of people coming tonight, there’s many who’d agree.

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor SutcliffeThe Hare 2 continues to fill up, with the venue’s narrow stairs looking like a bathroom queue at a house party. Roddy Woomble is playing in Hare 1, launching the promo campaign of this year’s Mosley Folk Festival, and it’s a busy night all round in Kings Heath. The buzz in the air is both cliché and palpable, with a healthy half room turnout by the time Rews’ first support band, P.E.T, swagger on stage – dripping head to toe in punk paraphernalia and attitude.

“Take your hands off me, I’M NOT YOUR P.E.T”, declares front woman, Abi Whistance, screaming into the mic and over the crowd – who have edged closer to the stage to find out where this ‘tiny but mighty’ noise is coming from.

P.E.T are relatively fresh faces on the Birmingham live circuit, having formed as the leaves fell in 2017. But already they’re already picking up a wealth of support and steam, with their unrelenting thrash punk and dead pan humour – stabbing the ribcages of the establishment with ‘Eton Mess’, to cutting off those wandering hands with their eponymous opening track. It’s raw, unashamed, and musically solid. This is a band who could get somewhere, or take us all down in the most colourful of ways whilst trying. But I’d watch out for P.E.T… tonight’s ‘rising balloon’ baton has been firmly handed over.

You Dirty Blue – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor SutcliffeThe rolling cymbal crashes and rough vocals of You Dirty Blue are on stage next, washing the room with waves of psychedelic and garage rock. I’m reticent to call it ‘blues rock’ again, as the man to my left is currently reading the BPREVIEW for tonight’s gig, smirking, shaking his head like a straight laced Will Self, and muttering “…this is not blues”. He might even be right, in his lexicon and record collection at least, but it seems no one really cares as the Tamworth two piece kick out tracks from their Tough Crowd EP and beyond.

Walls of sound are built and knocked to the ground, riffs get scatter gunned, as Leon James’ rough but endearing vocals lead us through a Velvet Underground tinged Purple Haze with some Seattle seeded two fingers up. You Dirty Blue’s final track, of both tonight’s set and their Tough Crowd EP – ‘Gallow Dancer’, punches a particular hole in the room, with a melodic hook and chorus I dedicate to the smart phone wielding ‘man to my left’. It’s like drowning in a lava lamp whilst John Peel and Bruce Pavitt play you ‘some really cool shit’. And if you have any room on the inside of your forearm left, carve You Dirty Blue as a musical reminder. Awesome stuff.

Some set changes ensue and fervent mummering begins, as Rews get ready for their headline set – the eager beaver Thursday night crowd pushing itself towards the front of the stage. Awesome to see such enthusiasm, but not easy when you’re juggling drum kits on a busy stage. Lights down, lights up, mummering stops, and like the opening scene in Back to the Future (minus the clock, coffee or dog food) we are poised – somewhere a plectrum glints…

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor SutcliffeImmediate and personable, Rews (aka Shauna Tohill and Collette Williams) beam their appreciation to the crowd and across the room – launching into the staple of tracks from their debut album. ‘Let it Roll’ bounces off stage declaring the rock intentions of tonight’s set, reeling in an already health and safety defying audience with invisible fish hooks. No one here gets out alive, or at least until the end of the set, as the great and good from Pyro and beyond (…album two?) get a rigorous shake. Or even ‘Shake Shake’, but not until a little later.

There’s a real joy in watching Rews perform, and not just because their already tight performance seems even more polished this time around. It’s the sheer energy and enjoyment you get sweeping off stage. Rews are in Birmingham at the end of a long and arduous tour (…think snow, lots of snow) but tonight could be the first time they’ve stepped on stage after a month in the sun and several nights of interrupted sleep. The banter is great as well, with the closeness between the two musicians making the whole room feel part of something special.

Then comes ‘the moment’. Rews had alluded to adding a “sort of an electro acoustic rendition of one of our older songs” into the set, after their gig in Leeds a few nights before. And as Williams leaves her stool to join Tohill at the front of the stage, this is what we’re about to getRews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn – soft steel strings and a tapped out percussion deliver a stripped back version of ‘Everything’, one of Rews’ older tracks that is getting a post Pyro make-over. It’s beautiful. My job is to find words but often I can’t, and this just works. Rews work. Add your own hyperbole.

Crammed into the edges of the merch stand, I let the rest of the set wash through me. I think I scribble the words ‘triumphant’ and ‘step up’ into my notebook, but any serious reportage is done for the day. Thankfully there’s a load of pics to help you piece this night together (see below) if you weren’t there to witness it first hand – with the full Flickr of pics from Aatish Ramchurn here, and from Eleanor Sutcliffe here.

And it you didn’t make it to the Hare and Hounds on 22nd March, or if you’ve not seen this continuously impressive rock duo before, I strongly suggest checking Rews out for yourself. If you haven’t got a copy of Pyro, start there. But if you ever see them on a bill poster, in whatever corner of the globe you call home, then put your hands in your pocket and buy a ticket. It’s hard to imagine you’ll feel short changed. And next time Rews come back to Birmingham, you might want to move a little quickly whilst you’re at it.




Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn & Eleanor Sutcliffe

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

For more on Rews, visit www.rewsmusic.com


You Dirty Blue – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn & Eleanor Sutcliffe

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

For more on You Dirty Blue, visit www.youdirtyblue.com


P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn & Eleanor Sutcliffe

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Aatish Ramchurn

P.E.T – supporting Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

For more on P.E.T, visit www.facebook.com/petbanduk

For more from Metropolis Music, visit www.metropolismusic.com

For more on the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), including venue details and further event listings, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk


Rews @ The Flapper 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds

Words by Ed King / Pics by Paul Reynolds

“We were talking about this the other day… our second sold out show in the city. It’s absolutely fantastic. We’re so excited that there are people returning show after show to come and see us; it’s such an amazing atmosphere, we honestly can’t wait to come back.”

I’m catching up with Shauna Tohill and Collette Williams, aka Rews, as they travel from a debut gig in Leeds to another hot ticket show at the Sugarmill in Stoke. Birmingham is a few notches down on the tour post, with the rock powerhouse returning for their second consecutive sold out show in the city on 22nd March – this time playing at the well-loved and well-programmed Hare & Hounds, with local support from You Dirty Blue and P.E.T.

“It’s been really good,” explains Collette Williams – as I ask about the rest of Rews‘ tour, “and it’s nice to be able to get to some places that we haven’t yet been to before – we haven’t actually played in Leeds before, which is crazy. I used to go to Uni in Leeds and this is the first time I’ve been back in about eight years.”

“Yeah, it’s been really brilliant,” adds Shauna Tohill. “We were just a bit sad about having to reschedule some of the gigs to being with, we now have new dates for them, but it’s been amazing so far.”

Rews keep a pretty rigorous live and tour schedule, with a focused work ethic both on and off the road. But beginning their UK tour as the tabloid titled ‘beast from the east’ closed off half the country proved to be somewhat of a challenge.Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.17 “The two dates we had to postpone were because people just physically get to the venues,” continues Tohill, “the roads were all closed. That’s was Newcastle and Glasgow… we’d never been to Glasgow before either.”

Back touring the UK and Ireland, still on the crest of “this Pyro wave”, Rews have had a significant year – not only with the release of their stellar debut album, but also racking up some serious time on the national airwaves. And not just the rock stations either, for a while it seemed Rews had polished off their shotguns and taken over Broadcasting House.

“It’s been incredible, but so strange,” tells Williams. “We keep getting messages from friends and family saying, ‘I’m in my car, driving back from work, and you’re on the radio at five o’clock’. The DJs were really supportive too and took the time to find out about us. Apart from Scott Mills, who didn’t, then went on to tell everyone I was an alcoholic and flower arranger – he was like, ‘let’s just coin her with something’ which was quite hilarious.” But however they got through the BBC’s front door, or whatever floral self-destruction may or may not have happened in the green room, Rews’ time on the air has certainly bolstered their growing army of fans. Then again, a week of having your single (‘Your Tears’) pushed across the biggest broadcaster in the county should pay some dividends.

But time and tide wait for no radio playlist, and ‘Shake Shake’ is the latest Rews single – released in February and already building momentum. “A lot of people have been making comments about it,” explains Tohill, “and some have been comparing it to the older version that we had.” ‘Shake Shake’ was one of Rews’ original four singles, with the track first recorded and released in 2016. “but our ‘likes’ have gone up and you can see that reflected in people watching and interacting with it online. You can see that it’s been received well by people.”

“I guess we’ve got two different camps,” continues Williams, “we’ve got new fans who didn’t know the old version of it, but who love the energy of the new version. Then we’ve got the people who have been there from the start who can recognise it’s a different recording and a different sound. But when we play it live everyone loves it – it’s really energetic and they all get dancing to it, which is cool.”

Live gigs are where Rews undeniably make their mark, with such high octane and engaging shows you sometimes have to check there really are only two of them on stage. In your face Polyphonic Spree… But Pyro, Rews’ debut album that came out in November 2017 (read our Birmingham Review of Pyro here), is a ferocious first foot forward – an addictive ten track ‘avalanche’ of an album, with all the hallmarks of a rock classic in the making. Seriously, in about five years just wait for the listicles.

But Pyro also cemented their signing to Marshall Records, as Rews were one of the first UK bands to appear on the iconic rock brand’s recently formed label.  “It’s been good,” explains Williams, “they’re quite hands off in their approach, which allows us some creative breathing space. But we’ve been with them a year and we’ve grown together, so I think they’ll be trying to kick it up a notch now –  more international stuff, us getting out and playing more places we haven’t been to. There’s some exciting stuff on the horizon.”

“We do have some news…” adds Tohill, “but nothing we can tell you about now.” I’m guessing, and hoping, it has something to do with America. Rews would kill it in America.

But world domination aside, there are other good fights to fight – with Rews recently being pretty proactive on International Women’s Day, appearing in various panel discussions and interviews, as well an all-female gig in Brighton (if you get a chance, read the Women Who Rock feature on Mels Jukebox).

Rews @ The Flapper 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds“There’s a whole combination of things, it can be quite complicated,” explains Tohill, as I ask the uncomfortably obvious question about ‘issues facing women in the music industry today’. “But I think a lot of it is just getting the right kind of support and respect really. Collette and I both find we’re well supported and respected, but there’s just, you know… sometimes, things like when you get groped whilst your having your photos taken. It’s not really on. It’s fine to give someone a hug, and some caring touch, but not anything more than that.”

“I think it’s about opportunities as well,” continues Williams. “There’s been a lot that’s come out about the lack of female musicians appearing on festival line ups, and I think it’s about turning some of the attention onto opportunities and filtering that in from the ground level up. It’s about inspiring young women to get into music, to take up an instrument, because it’s important to get the balance right. Whilst there might not be enough females (in areas of the music industry) you don’t want to go too heavily to the other side and have this sense of entitlement – that you’ve been put on the bill just because someone’s trying to fill some kind of gender gap.”

“It feels like it might take a few years yet,” adds Tohill “but the more awareness we have and the more women that get involved in the music industry, the more you won’t even need gender as a factor and we won’t see that divide anymore.”

How do you feel when gender is used to describe Rews? Being called ‘the female Royal Blood’ isn’t a bad thing, but it’s still steeped in sexuality.

Rews @ The Flapper 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds“We’ve talked about this a few times,” continues Tohill. “We don’t really mind, too much, but it depends in what way it’s being used. Again, it is going to take a few years, generations possibly, to take away the kind of ‘unique thing’ about being a female band. But we are a female band, so we don’t mind people referencing that if they’re not doing it in a derogatory way.”

“It works both ways too,” adds Williams, “we can use it in our favour – some people are still intrigued by it, in a positive sense. But it shouldn’t be used just for the sake of it because it’s not a describing factor about our music. Ultimately it would be great to drop the gender and for it not to be a factor at all.”

The first time I met Rews we spent, or rather I spent, perhaps too long fixating on a word in their press release. But I’m also aware that during this conversation I have, repeatedly, referred to these two women as ‘you guys’. So, we all have out part to play. But as far as journalism goes there are many words to describe Rews that have nothing to do with their gender and everything to do with their music. Feel free to fish out some superlatives from this feature, or Google ‘awesome’ and take your pick from the world wide web of synonyms.

But for now, I’ll settle for the following: ‘Rews’, ‘Hare and Hounds’, ‘Thursday 22nd March’, ‘sold out’. And if there’s any word count left, ‘excited’ and ‘respect to Birmingham’s live music scene’.

‘Shake Shake’ – Rews

Rews perform at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) on Thursday 22nd March, with support from You Dirty Blue and P.E.T – as presented by Metropolis Music and Birmingham Review. For direct event information, including venue details and online ticket sales, visit http://bit.ly/2IFpUon 

For more on Rews, visit www.rewsmusic.com

For more on You Dirty Blue, visit www.youdirtyblue.com

For more on P.E.T, visit www.facebook.com/petbanduk

For more from Metropolis Music, visit www.metropolismusic.com

For more on the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), including venue details and further event listings, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk

BPREVIEW: Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18

Words by Ed King

On Thursday 22nd March, the rock powerhouse of Rews returns to Birmingham – closing off their England tour dates with a special headline gig at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath).

Support on the night comes from Tamworth’s garage rock two piece, You Dirty Blue, and Birmingham’s rising punk balloon, P.E.T

Doors open at 7:30pm, with tickets priced at £8 (plus booking fees) – as presented by Metropolis Music and Birmingham Review. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Rews @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18At the time of writing this gig has all but sold out, with literally only a handful of tickets left on sale. There are also waiting lists available, for returns and cancellations, through the registered ticket agents – but it’s changing by the hour, so click on the following links for TicketmasterSkiddle or See Tickets to get updates and info. And hopefully tickets.

You can also check in with one of the support bands, You Dirty Blue or PE.T, as well as us at Birmingham Review HQ who will be mopping up any local returns. We suggest you do it quickly though and with a few fingers crossed – swing over to the Birmingham Review Facebook event page for this gig, or email info@birminghamreview.net and we’ll can check down the backs of a few cyber sofas for you.

Rews @ The Flapper 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds - Birmingham ReviewThe term ‘rising balloon’ gets bandied about these days, and quite often by me. It’s exciting to see an artist in nascent and the tried/tested metaphor is often an appropriate badge of both recognition and applause. But I can’t use this term for Rews anymore, as their rising balloon got caught on the tail end of a NASA space shuttle and is now in confident orbit around the planet. Quite simply, and without allegory or hyperbole, Rews are set for huge things. HUGE. SO NOW I’M USING CAPITALS INSTEAD.

And every inch of it is deserved. Not only have Rews mastered the addictive rock formula on record but they are phenomenal live. PHENOMENAL. So phenomenal, in fact, that after seeing Rews at The Flapper in February 2017 we booked them to headline the Birmingham Review Winter Showcase at the Actress & Bishop the following November – a venue now probably fundraising for a new roof, after Rews tore the old one clean off and scattered it across the city. We’re biased, but it was a stonker of a gigRews @ The Flapper 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds - Birmingham Review. Which seems to be de rigueur for Rews as their relentless touring and festival sets have won them a huge fanbase in a relatively short space of time. And again, every inch of it is deserved.

Rews’ debut album, Pyro, is a stellar debut too – being one of the first artists signed to Marshall Records and doing the iconic rock brand nothing but proud. And if you haven’t already got yourself a copy of then 1) shame on you, 2) shame on you again, 3) get thee to an online retailer before we fetch the wooden spoon and naughty step. You can read our Birmingham Review of Pyro here.

The reciprocal feather in the cap of this gig is that Rews added Birmingham onto their spring tour dates because of the all-round awesomeness of their last gig in the city. So, this is down to you.You Dirty Blue @ Centrala 22.07.17 / Rob Hadley - Birmingham Review Yes, you. The live music endorsing public and punters of Birmingham, you did this. It’s not too often that Birmingham sits as one of the cherries on a national tour circuit, but for Rews we are. Or were. And shall be again. So, with a single (tough and manly) tear in one eye and civic pride in my belly, I salute you all. VIVE LE BIRMINGHAM LIVE MUSIC SCENE.

But it’s not all Rews, Rews, Rews… as much as that would suffice, you’re getting two more bands for your musical buck on 22nd March. Lucky sods, the lot of you.

First up is the Tamworth based garage rock two piece, You Dirty Blue. Well established on the local live circuit, Birmingham Review happened across You Dirty Blue at Centrala back in July 2017 – as they joined a pretty stellar line up at The Hungry Ghost’s ‘Amerika/Lazaro’ single launch.P.E.T / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review

Although sandwiched by the great and good, You Dirty Blue were one of the stand out acts from the evening – with the gloriously raw yet proficient edges that any true DIY artist needs to make their mark. We became hooked. And a few months later we got to sink our teeth in a little deeper, as You Dirty Blue released their ‘monstrous debut’ EP, Tough Crowd, just before Christmas. In short, we gave it a resounding thumbs up… with a cheeky middle finger thrown in for good measure. But again you can always read our Birmingham Review of Tough Crowd for yourself, just click here. Pah… independent thought is for suckers.

Second support for the night comes from P.E.T – ‘Birmingham’s rising punk balloon’… for want of a better expression.P.E.T / Eleanor Sutcliffe - Birmingham Review But that they are; P.E.T are the new kids on the Brummie block and have already racked up a few decent support gigs and industry endorsements since forming in late 2017.

In your face, feisty, not shy of screaming into the microphone, P.E.T are the essence of post-punk punk. But they’ve got the smarts to go with it – citing an impressive list of influences that many older (self-declared) aficionados wouldn’t have in their cultural cache. Go ahead, test it, ask P.E.T “…do you know a band called The Slits?” and see what happens.

Plus, they’ve got all the raw bolshiness that you can get from a band who just love playing and performing – you ‘aint going to see P.E.T on a stage and forget about them in a hurry, especially if your standing at the front. But we think they’re mostly harmless. At least, no one’s been injured yet. Not visibly. Keep an eye out for P.E.T though, we sense curious times ahead.

And as a picture paints a thousand words, and there’s nearly that above us already, we though we’d end with a few moving image reminders of Rews. Too tough to pick one song, so we’ve gone for two – one recorded, one live. Viddy below my droogs and we’ll see you at the Hare & Hounds on 22nd March:

‘Your Tears’ – Rews

‘Can You Feel It?’ – Rews (live at Hawley Arms for Camden Rocks)

Rews perform at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) on Thursday 22nd March, with support from You Dirty Blue and P.E.T – as presented by Metropolis Music and Birmingham Review. For direct event information and online ticket sales, visit http://bit.ly/2FL53hm

For more on Rews, visit www.rewsmusic.com

For more on You Dirty Blue, visit www.youdirtyblue.com

For more on P.E.T, visit www.facebook.com/petbanduk

For more from Metropolis Music, visit www.metropolismusic.com

For more on the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), including venue details and further event listings, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk

ED’S PICK: March ‘18

Rews + You Dirty Blue, P.E.T @ Hare & Hounds 22.03.18Words by Ed King

**Due to the severe weather conditions, some March editorial may be delayed. It has nothing to do with 1) hangovers, 2) gigs on a Sunday that cause hangovers, 3) each episode of The Deuce being 1hr long. It’s the snow… it’s all about the snow**

The BIG NEWS this month is that Rews are coming back to Birmingham, finishing of their England tour with a special gig at the Hare & Hounds on Thursday 22nd March – joined by an awesome local line up, Tamworth’s garage rock two piece You Dirty Blue and Birmingham’s rising balloon punksters P.E.T.

Still out smashing holes in radio playlists and the right kind of ear drums across the country,  Rews are back on the road (do they ever stop!?!?) with their debut album Pyro – a rock pop stonker which we thoroughly suggest you check out. Read my Birmingham Review of the ten track beast here, or cut out the middle person and just get yourself a copy. You can bill me if you’re unhappy.

But Rews are a step up live. And don’t just take my word for it, ask any of the following: Hew Edwards, Mark Radcliffe, John Kennedy, Scott Mills, Alice Levine, Dev, Greg James, Scott Mills, Clara Amfo, Adele Roberts… (and that’s just the beeb). Or anyone who’s seen them play. Or Google. It’s not a difficult cross reference.

Of course, the best way to know for absolute certainty is to come and see Rews at the Hare & Hounds on 22nd March – for direct gig info and links to online ticket sales, click here. Or to can hop over to the Facebook event page for updates, info and links aplenty – click here.

Paloma Faith @ Genting Arena 21.03.18WARNING – CONTAINS CIVIC PRIDE: Rews have bolted Birmingham onto their England tour dates because their last gig in the city was such a stormer – Birmingham loves Rews, and it seems there’s a little mutual flutter there too. So, come down to the Hare on 22nd March, enjoy an awesome gig from Rews, You Dirty Blue and P.E.T, and stand on for your local live music scene. BRUMMIES UNITE.

And breathe…. There are other gigs this month, some pretty high profile shows too. In the land of five figure crowds, the Genting Arena hosts All Time Low (15th Mar) and the resplendent resurfacing of Paloma Faith (21st Mar). Whilst at Arena Birmingham we see some of America’s A-Lists rock with Fall Out Boy (27th Mar) and 30 Seconds to Mars (29th Mar). So, that’ll keep you busy. And a little broke.

Feeder @ O2 Academy 14.03.18N.B. Paul Weller was scheduled to play at the Genting Arena on 2nd March, but due to the school run slaying beast from the east (erm, the snow) this gig has been postponed. When we know more…

Editors play an ‘intimate’ gig at the Town Hall (4th Mar) to showcase their new album, Violence. Whilst across town Hookworms headline at the Hare & Hounds (4th Mar), and across the road Amit Dittani introduces his debut solo album, Santiago, at the Kitchen Garden Café (4th Mar).

Elsewhere in the city, Ezio return to Birmingham but this time at the Kitchen Garden Cafe (7th Mar), Astroid Boys tour their debut album, Broke, at The Asylum (1th Mar), Feeder take us on a retrospective love in at the O2 Academy (14th Mar), Joan Baez celebrates the end of a near 60 year live career as her Fare Thee Well Tour comes to the Symphony Hall (14th Mar), The Stranglers come to the O2 Academy (17th Mar),Rae Morris @ O2 Institute 21.03.18 ‘First Lady of Celtic Music’ and Clannad family member Moya Brennan plays at the Glee Club (20th Mar), whilst Rae Morris brings a sneak peak of her sophomore album, Someone Out There, to the O2 Institute (21st Mar). Phew… can anyone lend me a tenner?

And so exciting it gets it’s own paragraph, electronic music pioneers, Plaid, bring their AV tour to the Hare & Hounds on 10th March. A pivotal piece in the EDM jigsaw, Plaid come back to Birmingham after their sell out gig in the city last year – if this show doesn’t pack out then there’s something inherently wrong with the world, so we would suggest getting your Warp loving wriggle on and buying a ticket or two quick smart. For direct gig info and online ticket sales, click here or on the relevant hyper link.

Plaid @ Hare & Hounds 10.03.18A little later in the month the same promoters, Scratch Club, are putting on a breaks, beats and hip hop free bash at One Trick Pony with Dr Syntax (The Mouse Outfit, Foreign Beggars) & Pete Cannon, joined by Birmingham’s own DMC champion Mr Switch (30th Mar). For free..!?!? Now that’s a good bloomin’ Friday.

Film is stomping is size 10s across the city too, a cheeky month before Flatpack #12, with a healthy collage of celluloid (well, probably digital now) coming to screens in a variety of Birmingham venues. Ruben Östlund’s takes a well-penned stab at the pretensions of class and art with The Square – on general UK release from 16th March, before coming to The Electric (23rd Mar) and mac (30th Mar). Whilst mac programme a centennial celebration of Ingmar Burgman with The Seventh Seal (16th Mar), The Touch (17th Mar) and Persona (18th Mar).Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits @ The Mockingbird Kitchen & Cinema 26.03.18

The Mockingbird hosts a Wes Anderson Marathon (18th Mar) featuring The Royal Tenenbaums at 12noon, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou at 2:30pm, Fantastic Mr Fox at 5:00pm and The Grand Budapest Hotel at 6:45pm. Bit of a welcome refresher course before Anderson’s latest (and animated) feature, Isle of Dogs, is out on general release from 30th March – with two preview screenings at The Electric (25th Mar) if you wanted to jump the gun a little.

The Mockingbird are also showing the eponymous biopic about the notorious fashion designer, Westwood, throughout the month. But we recommend you wait until 26th March, so you can jump straight into Here to be Heard: The Story of The Slits – another biopic, but this time about an altogether more altogether slice of formative female punk.Comedy Short - fundraiser fro SIFA Fireside @ Artefact (Stirchley High Street) 21.03.18

On the city’s smaller silver screens this March, Neighbourhood present a series of comedy shorts at Artefact in Stirchley (21st Mar) – with a pay as you feel fundraiser for SIFA Fireside, a Birmingham based organisation who support ‘those experiencing homelessness or who are vulnerably-housed.’ A great charity that deserves our cash and consideration; look outside, now pay what you feel.

Elsewhere, The Victoria welcomes the rescheduled Birmingham Horror Group: Mini-Movie Marathon (25th Mar) which is also fundraising – this time ‘with proceeds from ticket sales going to the medical charity Diabetes UK’. Whilst the Kitchen Garden Café screen the Arnie body count craziness and all round awesome… Predator  (20th Mar) – which we are more than a little happy about. I’m off to buy a dog eared cigar, dog eared dog tags, and practice the film’s profound script such as, “if it bleeds we can kill it”. Powerful stuff Arn, Kierkegaard?

The Gilded Merkin @ Glee Club 18.03.18Treading the boards this month, Joe Black starts the UK run of his new show, Touch of Evil: A Celebration of Villainy in Song, with two nights at The Old Joint Stock (09-10th Mar). The Birmingham REP stages fingersmiths’ rewrite of John Godber’s Up’n’Under (12-14th Mar) – a play about pride and adversity (and rugby, to be fair) which has been adapted for all audiences ‘with a cast of Deaf and hearing actors using British Sign Language and spoken English’.

Overlapping a little bit, REP also present The Kite Runner (13-24th Mar) performed in venue’s main theatre, coming to Birmingham after ‘an outstanding’ run in the West End. Then back in the ‘burbs, The Wardrobe Ensemble present their tale 90’s nostalgia and the Blair honeymoon – Education, Education, Education – at mac (20th Mar).

On the more glamourous side of town, Alyssa Edwards’ The Secret Is Out Tour saunters over to the Glee Club (7th Mar), before BCU’s Burlesque society present Dare to Desire at the Bierkeller (15th Mar) and Scarlett Daggers brings The Gilded Merkin burlesque show back to the Glee Club (18th Mar).The Twisted Circus @ O2 Academy 30.03.18 Not far behind is Ben DeLaCreme, with her ‘terminally delightful’ show coming to the Glee Club (29th Mar) – a day before Klub Kids present The Twisted Circus in all its glitz and glory at the O2 Academy (30th Mar).

Comedy has a pretty decent crack of the whip in March too, kicking off with Russell Brand’s Re:Birth at Symphony Hall (8th Mar) before the Glee Club takes the reigns until April, with Phil Wang (11th Mar), John Robbins (21st Mar) and Tiff Stevenson (23rd Mar).

Outside of all that, if you’ve got any dry socks or shekles left, there’s A Notorious Odyssey at The Electric (24th Mar) – as Birmingham’s 35 piece a cappella choir, notorious, take us on ‘a musical voyage where no audience has gone before’ performing ‘tunes from sc-fi films and TV, to music inspired by space and the future.’

Across town and the space-time continuum, Rupi Kaur presents an evening of performance poetry the Town Hall (24th Mar) including work from her recently released second collection, The Sun and Her Flowers.Phil Wang @ Glee Club 11.03.18 Then just shy of a week later, Richard P Rogers rounds off the month with his Frank Cook and the Birmingham Scene exhibition at mac’s Community Gallery (30th Mar) – a study of the titular Ladywood artist, as he worked his way from the north Birmingham back to backs to art school in London in the late 1960’s.

Right then, a fair amount happening in March – I’m off to do some diary/bank statement cross referencing. And maybe drink a glass of wine, or two. What day is it again…?

For more on any of the events listed here, click on the highlighted hyperlinks. Ed King is Editor-in-Chief of Review Publishing, which issues both the Birmingham Review and Birmingham Preview.