Set In Stone – Those Damned Crows

My gig list most years fans out like the branches of a tree. 2020 was more of a stump. Three gigs in a four week window all within 2-3 miles of each other and then done. The gig tree was chopped down to build a life raft (or something equally dramatic).

The list of cancellations is long and involves many of the bands in this compilation of the best of the year. It also featured first chances to see many bands on the best of last year. Worst of all, it would have had slots for all those ones I didn’t know I was going to see because either they were a support act or a friend dragged me along or (this might be a uniquely SteveForTheDeaf proposition) someone let Doug book the tickets and he got the wrong night in the wrong venue again.

So this little gem is quite a holy moment in 2020. The only support band I saw at a show that made such and impression on me I went to the record store the next day and brought their album. Those Damn Crows get the honor of inspiring me to live my teenage dream one more time before it’s all over. There’s no greater feeling.

I had seen the bands name on the poster for Monster Magnet’s 20th anniversary show for the mighty Powertrip. I had also thought to myself that the band name suggested they sounded like a side project of more famous outfits drummers, bass players and rhythm guitarists to get together and play club shows again (so that’s an exposé of my own willful ignorance)

Truth is, I had seen their name before along side Walking Papers and The Dead Daisies and drawn that association in the back of some semi-redundant cortex while knocking back a pre show Camden Pale or two in The Black Heart (I miss that place almost as much as I miss gigs themselves).

That was before. Now here they were. Live and direct opening up for what turned out to be a brilliant night involving some mental metalheads, a new T-Shirt and a conga around the Kentish Town Forum (it’ll always be The Town and Country Club to me) to the tune of Space Lord (Mutha Mutha!).

Three things strike me about Those Damn Crows within their first song

  1. They sound like a hair metal band in 1992 who realise the tide is turning and they need more crunch in their sound if they’re going to compete with Black Album Metallica and Nirvana moving the landscape around on them
  2. They do not look how they sound and yet they do. It’s like the members have all swapped instruments to mime on a German TV show because they’re not allowed to play live.
  3. They will not be a support act for long.

Set In Stone got quite the reception from the Monster Magnet crowd in Kentish Town that night. It has preceded the new album a little (It’s video was released in the last couple of weeks of 2019 and had got them played on Planet Rock Radio a fair bit)

The band played that show like they were headlining. They won over a fair majority of the audience. It may have still been January and the new album Set In Stone still a couple of weeks from launching but you could feel the traction in the crowd when they played.

I was so taken with them I went into the town over from mine the following morning an purchased their debut album which had already been out a couple of years Murder And The Motive.

The first album is pretty great to be honest. It’s nose down heavy rock with comparisons fairly drawn to bands like Alter Bridge, Velvet Revolver, Black Stone Cherry and The Temperance Movement.

That final comparison is one that endeared them to me the most. The rise and demise is well documented of The Movement and their relationship with the residents of Casa ForTheDeaf. We loved that band in this house. We planned a whole weekend away in Liverpool at the end of 2019 built around The Temperance Movement’s only headline show of the year. The plan was genius. Romantic city break, see the sites, do The Beatles tour and the Titanic museum, Christmas shopping and stuff all sorted in November, then cap the weekend off with a bop across the border into Wales to the Tivoli to see our favourite band.

Only hours before the show on the social medias it became apparent Phil the singer had gone sideways and turned in a lousy gig headlining a festival the night before. So the band broke up while we were posing for photos with the statue of Ringo to send home to my mum (he was always her favourite).

We were hundreds of miles from home in the freezing cold north of England to see a band who just split. I had a look around the legendary venue at the posters for the gigs either side of our no show on the morning we checked out to go home. It read like a who’s who of the Real UK Rock And Roll Scene. Epica, The Bastard Sons, Massive Wagons, The Wildhearts and yep, Those Damn Crows.

I knew I’d seen that name somewhere before.

Mrs ForTheDeaf quite likes the Crows albums. She hasn’t taken to them the way she took to The Temperance Movement but I’m wearing her down. There may come a time where the trip to the Tiv becomes a reality. These guys would be a suitable replacement in my eyes. It’s not yet set in stone though.


6 thoughts on “Set In Stone – Those Damned Crows

  1. Oddly, this is weirdly unique and yet not unlike a million others. How did they achieve this?

    Also their band name has been uttered by e before, but that was when the Crowes (with an e) were f***ing up again.

    Liked by 1 person

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