O2 Academy, Bournemouth

Those Damn Crows are a hugely proactive band and have instigated a number of things throughout their 9 year existence that have put them on the road to success. To start with they are five humble chaps from Wales, who between them know their way around this tough old music business. During lockdown they kept their fans engaged with the hugely popular “Crowcast”. They have bided their time with some great support slots, performed the main stage at Download Festival and now they are on their largest ever headline tour of Europe.

The Takedown tour is in support of the band’s latest creation; the Inhale/Exhale album, released earlier this year. Tonight the tour in its early stage rolls into Bournemouth, in a venue that the band played earlier this year supporting The Goo Goo Dolls. Before the band take to the stage, the audience has the pleasure of The Cruel Knives for company for the next 35 minutes.

The four-piece; named after a reference from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”, take to the dimly lit stage and show us their combined creative power. Initially all eyes are on guitarist Sid Glover who lights up the place with some skilful dynamic effects from his array of pedals on the floor in front of him. This is solidly accompanied by the rhythmic power of Al Junior on drums and Rob Ellershaw on bass. Vocalist Tom Harris is keen to get the crowd on his side and does this with some black country tinged powerfully delivered vocals and uses the full width of the large stage to whip up the crowd.

The Cruel Knives
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We are treated to a selection of well curated tracks from the band’s catalogue including the old, the new and the so far unreleased. With tracks like “Hollow People”; the latest single “All Your Heroes Hate You” and new track “Shotgun to the Head”, with the latter showing off more of Sid’s elite guitar prowess with an exciting display of skill. The set comes to a close with the compelling “Crawl” and by now the band have done plenty with this performance to earn themselves a whole legion of new fans.

The production on this new tour for Those Damn Crows has certainly taken a leap forward from their previous tours. There is a huge painted backdrop featuring a stunning creation of a burning carousel (similar to the ‘This Time I’m Ready’ single artwork), the drum riser is flanked by two raised plinths and ramps.

There is one long plinth along the front of the stage, clearly for the band to get closer to the audience. After the band’s usual “THOSE DAMN CROWS” intro they go straight into “Who Did It” and we are off. Shiner, Dave, the always smiling Ronnie, Lloyd and the athletic Shane get a huge welcome from the crowd and the atmosphere in the old theatre is one of celebration. To headline venue’s of this size must be like scoring a goal at Wembley, this band have always had huge ambitions and thankfully their hard work is beginning to pay off with their continuing high momentum.

Those Damn Crows
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The set-list has been changed quite a bit from previous tours and there are a few tracks from the new record getting an airing including “Find a Way”, “I Am” and the beautifully emotive “Lay It All On Me”. The crowd are made up of a complete mix of ages from 10 year old’s at their first gigs, to old timers in their 70’s. The band’s music appeals to a wide range of people as Shane said, the Crows family just continues to grow and grow.

Of course we are treated to some of the band’s older favourites and “Blink Of An Eye”, a track that means so much to many gets the full production treatment. With an elegant lighting display and its slower piano intro, before the main crescendo of the song; those emotive lyrics tug at the heart. “Rock N Roll Ain’t Dead” gets the whole crowd singing from the tops of their voices and “Sin on Skin” up’s the atmosphere even further.

The plumes of smoke and the rows of pyrotechnics further add to this Crows extravaganza. Fittingly the band end on “See You Again” and they don’t seem to want to leave the stage as Iron Maiden’s “Run To The Hills” is belted out over the PA; the band are busy taking their bows and handing out keepsakes of drumsticks, set-lists and plectrums.

Set Lists
Those Damn Crows
Who Did It
Man on Fire
Send the Reaper
Find a Way
I Am
Wake Up
Lay It All on Me
Lloyd & Ronnie – Drum & Bass
Waiting for Me
Blink of an Eye
Go Get It
Rock N Roll Ain’t Dead
Sin on Skin
This Time I’m Ready
See You Again

The Cruel Knives
The Life That We Made
Hollow People
Black Eye Friday
If This Is The End
All Your Heroes Hate You
Shotgun To The Head



Words by David Chinery
Photography by Lynn Burt

Those Damn Crows