Updated: May 5, 2022
Julia Mason's cracked clavicle couldn't stop her reviewing Crows
Music has the ability to take us out of ourselves and temporarily shelve our troubles whilst having a fantastic shared experience. And so it was on Monday 11 April I found myself not at the Fontaines D.C. gig in Paris as planned, the final night of their European Tour, but in Glasgow to watch Crows with a bunch of mates. This was all due to a broken collarbone, the result of a cycling accident thanks to an irresponsible driver.
I may not have been able to make Paris but I could still get on a train, order a beer, natter with mates and watch live music in my own backyard. I even raised a glass to Fontaines D.C. before turning my attention 100% to Crows. The London 4-piece have just released their second album Beware Believers. A Monday night maybe but those who were there were determined to enjoy themselves. Singer James Cox stated that this was the biggest crowd they have played to in the city. Crows have a fiercely loyal fanbase in the south of England and it’s surprising that a band with this calibre of music do not pull in bigger crowd north of the border but I digress. Opening with the first track from the album Closer Still, Crows laid down their marker for the night. Reverberating riffs and energising soundscapes fill the room. James Cox is a mesmerising confident front man and he must have been gutted to see a barrier in place. Stalking the crowd is a joy of their gigs but he still got up on the barrier and stared the crowd out.
Beware Believers is an intensely personal album full of pain and vulnerability but there is a raucous delivery to the songs which make them a thrilling live experience. There is a real swagger to this album and all three singles from it were played tonight: Slowly Separate, Garden of England and Room 156. My personal favourite is Wild Eyed and Loathsome. The rhythm of this song makes it an utter stomper and has a goosebumps inducing emotion about it, especially during the guitar riff mid-track.
This may not have been a sell-out crowd but there was still a mosh-pit and it was good to see a mix of ages in the crowd. Crows made many new fans at Rockaway Beach festival in January where they stepped in at the last minute for one of the many bands who had to pull out due to Covid. They grabbed the opportunity and so it was here. Drummer Sam Lister, guitarist Steve Goddard and bassist Jith Amarasinghe join James Cox in creating this thrilling live band and with this set of new songs surely they will be playing to bigger crowds in the not too distant future. James also gave a shout out to Safe Gigs for Women who had a stall at the merch desk, which he then manned after the gig happily chatting and posing for pictures.
I do have to mention the Glaswegian support band punksters Blow Up Dog who got proceedings off to a cracking start. Previously called Drop The Baby they obviously don’t want to play it safe with band names. I particularly loved the dedication of track Sandpit to Stretch – yup you guessed it easily the tallest man in the crowd!
They also did a raucous cover of Wet Leg’s Chaise Longue which sounded wild played by a punk band in a broad Scottish accent. With Dublin band Sprints also playing this live, I just need to hear a Welsh band cover it and we have the complete set. The 3-piece of Ryan Majidi (Lead Guitar), Tom Rowan (Bass guitar/Lead Vocals) and Jack Taylor (Drums) made me completely forget it was Monday, never mind my dodgy collarbone!
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