Wednesday 1 November 2023

Rews / IDestroy - Manchester Deaf Institute - 31st October 2023

Rews continued their tour in support of their third album Meridians with a Tuesday night show at the Deaf Institute supported by Bristol's IDestroy. Two very different sets warmed up a crowd that drawn in by the sheer force of energy coming from the stage on a cold Autumn night.

“Are we scaring you?” IDestroy’s Bec asks us half way through the set as their powerful take on punk threatens to shake the Tuesday night Deaf Institute crowd out of their stupor. The contrast between the ferocious energy on stage, and off it during the final Let’s Play With Knives when Nic launches off stage and plays half the song swinging her bass around before falling to her knees. 

This is an energetic no-nonsense style of music where the sheer overwhelming force of their songs obliterates any need for subtlety although a couple of new songs including All My Friends Are Plastic, their first single in over a year, suggest that there’s far more to them than just hit hard and run. The crowd are impressed and actually maybe a little scared by three women creating such a tsunami of sound with such a viscerally visual performance.

The gauntlet was well and truly thrown down to Rews and they picked it up with glee. There's an infectious enthusiasm to Shauna on and off the stage, but it's on it that she comes alive and transmits that to the audience. Accompanied this time, as she describes Rews as an ever-revolving cast of her talented friends, by Ian on bass and Joe on drums, the trio blast through an impressive sixteen songs taken from across Rews three albums to date. The set finishes with Shine and the single encore Shake from their debut Pyro, but it's second album Warriors and the new record Meridians that this tour is promoting that make up the bulk of the set. 

It isn't all heads-down hair-flying rock and roll though, there's more subtlety to Rews than just noise. Bad Habits sees Shauna jump off the stage with an unplugged acoustic guitar for the first half of the song before the three of them let loose in the second half, but there's moments throughout where melody takes the place of loud guitars and these songs become accessible to a much wider audience than the one Rews currently have. Shauna addresses this head on at the start of Misery when she talks about the struggles of independent artists and the impact it's had on her. 

You sense though that the catharsis from the live show helps deal with that. A few times she comments how much she loves it when the audience sing along and by the end they're dancing around the music room of the Deaf Institute. She encourages everyone to scream in Razorblade and a hundred or so people oblige drawn in by the irresistible power of the performance.

Rews have the songs to go wit the energy too. Meridians is the strongest collection of songs yet and most of its highlights - Pretty Face, Not Your Solider, Psycho Maniac Killer in particular - are performed alongside a healthy contingent from Warriors, an album released during COVID that many of this crowd wouldn't have seen live. In fact Rews last time in Manchester was only a few days before lockdown started (it was our last show) so this is two album tours in one for many of us and the impressively long sixteen song set gave us a reminder of how much great material Shauna has at her disposal.

As they respond to the shouts for an encore and return for Shake, the Manchester crowd show their appreciation of an artist who's continued to believe in and fight for her music despite the industry obstacles in her way. Live, Rews are in their element, serious but fun too, loud, raw and thrilling.

Rews played The World That You Left Behind, Birdsong, Not Your Soldier, Lock Your Horns, Misery, Pretty Face, Move On, Psycho Maniac Killer, Heart Is On Fire, Bad Habits, Addicted To You, Razorblade, On My Back (Giant’s Roar), Love Hate Song, Shine and Shake

Rews' official site can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.

Their tour continues at Newcastle Zerox (November 1), Glasgow Classic Grand (2), Leeds Key Club (3), Chester The Live Rooms (4) and Birmingham Asylum 2 (5).

IDestroy are on Facebook and Twitter.


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