ALBUM: Pyro – Rews 03.11.17

Rews @ The Flapper and Firkin 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds - Birmingham Review

Words by Ed King / Pics by Paul Reynolds

Big day today. A red-letter day, as Rews release their debut album, Pyro, to a legitimately eagerly awaiting world.

Well, this little corner is perched on its seat at least. And I suspect I’m not alone. Half of Glastonbury, for one. Marc Radcliffe for another. No doubt some friends and family. The Hawley Arms.  The Railway Inn. The list continues…

Birmingham Review first saw Rews back in February this year, when the ferocious twosome came to The Flapper & Firkin – headlining a somewhat smug support band and nailing every second of it. Fun and furious in all the right ways, Rews were a clear win. So much so, in fact, that along with a couple of other acts that we love more than is probably good for us we’ve invited them to play our Christmas bash at the Actress & Bishop (…Sat Nov 25th, 8 quid, for more of this shameless plug click here).

Rews @ The Flapper and Firkin 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds - Birmingham Review Signing to Marshall Records pretty much around the time we saw them at The Flapper, Rews have been busy building momentum and recording an album over the past year. A busy festival season, some hand-picked showcase gigs and a pretty healthy portfolio of radio plays took care of the first bit, whilst Shauna (Tohill) and Collette (Williams), aka Rews, locked themselves into a studio to deliver the second bit. And the result is Pyro – released on Friday 3rd November, through the amp wielding rock monster that is Marshall Records.

Live, Rews are unassailable. So, then… is Pyro any good?

As I’m listening to Pyro, courtesy of sneaky stream from their management, I’ve got the other ear on Radio One – not a station I usually listen to, but Rews are dropping a triptych of teasers from their debut album during the Huw Stephens Show. I’m steadily working up to my own opinion, but I also want to hear what it sounds like in the middle of Playlist A.

Kicking off (a deliberate metaphor) with ‘Let It Roll’, it’s pretty clear from the start that Rews have come to play – Pyro is not pulling punches, as the album’s opener unleashes an unashamed barrage of grab you by the balls rock. ‘Rip Up My Heart’ continues in the same vein, and I can’t help but think of the heavier end of Seattle in the late 90’s and the first time Mike Patton turned up for rehearsal – but that might just be me.

Tohill has those gifted vocals that can range from an almost conversational calm to a high pitched TEAR YOU FACE OFF ROAR, then duck back under the covers as if nothing ever happened. ‘Violins’, track three as we march through this debut, is a near perfect example of this, backed to the hilt by the animalesque thunderclap machine that is Collette Williams. And trust me, this combo is something quite phenomenal live. Then ‘Shine’, the first taste of this here album, comes out with its slightly darker claws; there’s something unflinching about this track and I want it to push, push, push… but how the hell am I going to throw myself down the abyss in under three and a half minutes?

Then back to the back catalogue, before signatures and deadlines, with two of the pop-rock-fingers-up-slapped-face anthems that dragged us into this chaos in the first place, as ‘Death Yawn’ and ‘Miss You in the Dark’ run over you in quick succession. Rews have an unnerving knack of penning easy to catch earworms, a phrase I’m borrowing for this review, and are absurdly fun with it in the process. ‘Death Yawn’ is perhaps my favourite example of this here (especially when you paint the picture what, and whom, it was inspired by) although both these tracks have been stuck in my head since I first heard them over eight months ago.

Speaking of which, I am a tad dismayed not to see ‘Can You Feel It?’ on the track listing for Pyro. Despite appropriating one of the world’s most tired clichés (and using another for the title) it’s a crazy fun track – one that is not only backed by a great melody, but that explodes with the raw versatility of what two talented people can do if you just let them run. Anyway, not my album. And if I’m being supercilious with my lexicon, plonk me in front of an upright piano and get your own back. Drunk spiders…

Rews @ The Flapper and Firkin 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds - Birmingham Review Then perhaps the cream of this particular crop, or at least the bright forward face of Rews to come, as the album’s second single, ‘Your Tears’, jumps out like Fonzi over shark infested water (Google it). A simple message of self empowerment, a rough edged beginning, that pause… then a chorus that will napalm itself to your brain. Awesome. The danger for Rews, as with every rising balloon, is how firm is their grip. But if giving them a ticking clock, an advance that one day needs to balance out, and enough public pressure to make any normal human want to curl into the foetal position, brings out tracks like ‘Your Tears’ then the plan seems to be working.

Not, however, for ‘We Explode’. I am always asking Birmingham Review contributors to balance their reviews, what I call ‘the velvet glove punch’, and this is where I rein in my adulation. Not a fan of this track; from the staccato start, across the store bought chorus, and through the Pumpkins appropriated spiral into discord, this is Pyro’s weak link. To me. But go out and buy the album then you can argue me down, I just know Rews can deliver better and I have nine other tracks at hand to prove it.

‘Shake Shake’ quickly remedies this dip, with a restrained verse leading up into the kind of chorus that makes you… well, the title maps the landscape out quite clearly. A cracking song, again awesome live, and one I suspect may have been lined up with ‘Can You Feel it?’ in the track listing lotto. Rews @ The Flapper and Firkin 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds - Birmingham Review

And to kiss the whole thing goodbye, another wonderfully promising glimpse of Rews to come – as ‘Running Against the Wall’ builds a glorious intro of percussion and keys, into a joint vocal message of fuck you adversity. Then it just rocks. Something Rews do with an unashamed and infectious success rate.

There you have it – one man’s opinion. We laughed, we cried, we drove recklessly and punched a hole in the wall… but I’m backing this band. Rews have proven themselves time and time again in a live setting and now they’ve nailed an album. I sense greenfields, bloodshed and glory. Plus, Pyro kicked the front teeth out of everything that got played around it on the Huw Stephen’s Show, so job done on that front too.

Mark it on a calendar, carve it on a wall; Friday 3rd November, in the year of our Lord 2017. Pyro came to pass. And if anything deserves ornate calligraphy in bull’s blood…

‘Your Tears’ – Rews

Pyro, the debut album from Rews, is released via Marshall Records on Friday 3rd November, For more onRews, including online sales of Pyro and live gig listings, visit

Rews play at the Birmingham Review Christmas Party (Winter Showcase) on Saturday 25th November at the Actress & Bishop, 36 Ludgate Hill, Birmingham B3 1EH. For more event info, including links to online tickets sales, click here.

BPREVIEW: Rews + The Hungry Ghosts + Ed Geater @ Actress & Bishop 25.11.17

Rews + The Hungry Ghosts + Ed Geater @ Actress & Bishop 25.11.17

Words by  Ed King / Live pics by Rob Hadley & Paul Reynolds

On Saturday 25th November, Birmingham Review presents its winter showcase at the Actress & Bishop – a live gig, with Rews + The Hungry Ghosts as joint headliners, alongside Ed Geater in support.

Doors open at 7pm, with tickets priced at £8 (advance) and £10 (on the door) plus the relevant booking fee if you buy through a ticket agent. Tickets can be bought via See Tickets, Eventbrite and Music Glue – click on the name/logo of each outlet for a direct link.



Tickets are also available through the individual artists’ websites: Rews, The Hungry Ghosts, Ed Geater. Or you can buy tickets direct from Birmingham Review – contact us on to arrange physical ticket sales (p&p may apply).

So that’s what, where and how much sorted. Now a little more on who… Birmingham Review is lucky enough to have covered a whole smorgasbord of music across 2017, from the lava lamp delights of The Mother’s Earth Experiment to the eclectic ensembles of the Post Paradise showcases at Centrala. Rews + The Hungry Ghosts + Ed Geater @ Actress & Bishop 25.11.17But there are always those that stick in our ears for a little longer, or to quote one of our headliners: “Like a little Tequila worm that crawls in, gets drunk, and stays in there forever.”

To show how much we love what we love, we’ve invited a few of our new(ish) friends to come and play at what is, in effect, our (non-denominational) Christmas party. And we’re inviting you, for the mere price of a ticket, to come and see a few of the horses we’re backing in the New Year.

You know that friend that always goes on about having seen (INSERT NAME OF BIG BAND) when they played (INSERT NAME OF SMALL VENUE)… well this is your chance to do one better. Three better, in fact. Check out the below for a sneaky peak at the Pyramid Stage headliners of tomorrow. Or even better, come down to the Actress & Bishop on Saturday November 25th and seem then a bit more close and personal… well, up close at least.



Rews @ The Flapper 15.02.17 / Paul Reynolds - Birmingham Review

First spotted playing at The Flapper back in February, where I got to interview the two women who are increasingly being referred to a ‘the next Royal Blood’ and Damien got to cover the gig. Seldom do you get such a good first impression, both on stage and off.

Since then Rews have gone on to storm Glastonbury (one of Mark Radcliffe’s festival highlights), nudge their way onto various national radio stations, be the first UK band signed to Marshall Records and line up an album, the actually eagerly awaited Pyro – out in November. Just don’t tell them I used an adverb. Infectious, awesome and will kick the teeth out of our Christmas party.

‘Shine’ – Rews (taken from their forthcoming debut album, Pyro) 

For more on Rews, visit


The Hungry Ghosts

The Hungry Ghosts - 'Amerika/Lazaro' single launch @ Centrala 22.07.17 / Rob Hadley - Birmingham Review

It’s no surprise that WE LOVE THE HUNGRY GHOSTS at Birmingham Review. And to prove it, we’ve covered them here, here, here, and of course here. I have even had to stop myself from writing about their gigs, as my sycophantic rhetoric is in danger of repeating itself. Plus, there’s no better metaphor than a Joe Joseph metaphor and I’m tired of being outdone (I should learn the guitar to balance things out).

But all their praise is deserved; to quote Larry Love from Alabama 3, whom ‘the ghosts’ supported back in 2015, “they’re a rock band. A real fucking rock band”. Which indeed, they are. The next 24 months could be the pivotal point for a band who, and I mean this, could well land somewhere between The Rolling Stones and The White Stripes in both sound and success. All aboard the Slaughterhouse Blues Express, next stop ‘Amerika’…

‘Amerika’ – The Hungry Ghosts

For more on The Hungry Ghosts, visit


Ed Geater

Ed Geater @ Hare & Hounds 24.03.17 / Rob Hadley - Birmingham Review

I first saw Ed Geater at a showcase presented by Call Me Unique (who sadly couldn’t join us on stage, but has promised to make up for it at the bar) – but his name has been buzzing around the Birmingham circuit and beyond for a while. I have never met someone who didn’t enjoy an Ed Geater gig – seriously, if you’re out there get in touch we need to emboss you in bronze.

Master of the loop pedal, a seriously talent songwriter and an overall lovely fella, if some savvy subsidiary doesn’t snap him up soon we’ll eat all the hats. Check out Giles Logan’s great interview with Mr. Geater too, ahead of his headline show Hare & Hounds homecoming hoedown…. and breathe, that we covered back in March.

‘Symmetry’ – Ed Geater

For more on Ed Geater, visit


Birmingham Review presents its winter showcase at the Actress & Bishop on Saturday 25th November, with Rews, The Hungry Ghosts, Ed Geater. For tickets email, or click on the following outlets: See Tickets, Eventbrite, Music Glue




For more from the Actress & Bishop, including venue details and links to event, visit

For more from Birmingham Promoters, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit