Contrary to the band’s recent announcement on their socials, stating that due to a collaboration with their hometown rugby team, Bridgend Ravens, the guys will now be known as Those Damn Ravens, it was, in fact, Those Damn Crows that took to the stage at Phase One in Liverpool.
Those Damn Crows
Liverpool Phase One – 04 April 2023
Photography: Dave Davies
Words: Dave Bonney
Hilariously, this was just an April Fool’s jape from our frivolous feathered friends, and thankfully we most definitely are here to see Those Damn Crows tonight because, quite frankly and without being derogatory to Ravens, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it, don’t you agree?
This early evening affair is a rescheduled in-store signing event to promote the guy’s latest offering, the magnificent Inhale/Exhale, which [with pun intended, taking a deep breath] crashed straight into the UK charts at No. 5 before peaking at No. 3. Impressive stuff indeed.
This, however, wasn’t entirely unexpected, as the hard-working band have been whipping up a fever in towns and cities the length and breadth of the UK for a few years now and after their second and previous 2020 offering, Point Of No Return, made a serious dent at No. 14.
The original date was postponed due to singer Shane Greenhall contracting a chest infection, meaning the band understandably had to nurse him through the remaining full electric shows.
Purchasing a ticket bags you the new album to go with an intimate matinee performance from the Welsh wizards, leading to a separate full electric gig later in the evening at most places. Liverpool, however, unfortunately, dipped out on the electric show, being a late addition to the tour, but the acoustic show is never the less gratefully accepted, borne out by a flock of rock ‘n’ roll twitchers.
Whilst not exactly strangers to an acoustic soirée or two, unplugged and seated does take the Crows out of their natural habitat, even though most of their songs do tend to lend themselves to acoustic arrangements better than most hard rock bands.
The guys took to the stage a little behind schedule after a six-and-a-half-hour nightmare journey, which only added to the anticipation. The small room at Phase One, which was full to capacity, cheered enthusiastically as singer Shane Greenhall and guitarists Shiner and David Winchurch each picked up an acoustic guitar, choosing to perform as a trio rather than breaking out the acoustic bass and cajon, giving Ronnie Huxford and Lloyd Wood an evening off other than signing duties.
With everything stripped down and raw, these kinds of settings can sometimes make a singer a tad vulnerable. No such problem for Greenhall, who quite simply possesses one of the most beautiful voices out there. Well, he is Welsh, after all.
As previously said, these shows were meant to be a bit of an afternoon Brucie bonus to accompany a full electric evening show, so they were only ever going to be a precursor taster. And so it was, with the band treating everyone to just the four songs, three of which were off the new offering and one from 2020’s Point of no return.
They opened with See You Again from the new album, followed by This Time I’m Ready and the crowd favourite Who Did It, which has Greenhall raising his hands encouraging the audience to sing along, leaving just I Am to wrap the music side of things up for the evening.
The band then stuck around and engaged every one of their Crow family in a signing and photo session that sent everyone home happy. They say sometimes less is more, and this was definitely one of those occasions. Here’s hoping Liverpool is first on the list of the next tour itinerary for the band.
You can read all our coverage of Those Damn Crows, here.