An interesting night with two bands I had never seen before. The Darkness on the last of eighteen UK shows on their Easter Is Cancelled Tour before continuing the tour in Europe next year. First up, a band I have been eager to see for some time, Rews.
Songwriter and guitarist Shauna Tohill originally formed Rews as a two piece with Collette Williams on drums when she moved from Northern Ireland to London in 2015. Collette amicably left at the beginning of 2019 and Rews reformed as a three piece with Ele Lucas and Scott Hislop joining her on bass and drums respectively.
Rews powered into a seven number set and much of the sell out crowd entered the auditorium early giving them a chance to impress. From the reaction of the crowd I am guessing they made a few more friends and the band was thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to perform in this beautifully renovated legendary venue.
The Darkness was going to treat a sold out Roundhouse to two sets, the first set being the new album Easter Is Cancelled in its entirety with the ten numbers in the order they appear on the album followed by a greatest hits set.
The lights dim and the members enter stage right to applause from the crowd. They break into the opener, although Justin Hawkins’ vocals can be heard he is yet to appear and his brother Dan builds gently on acoustic before ramping it up on electric when Justin bursts onto the stage. Nobody can accuse this band of not dressing for the occasion with Justin, his bother Dan and Frankie Poullain all in dazzling white attire. Rufus Tiger Taylor was hidden from my view but I can report that his father, Queen’s Roger Taylor, would be proud of his son’s achievements.
Not much more than fives minutes separated the sets but ample time for a costume change it would seem. Justin Hawkins had traded white for red and he was indeed a spectacle to behold. A true showman as he leads the band into the classics from their back catalogue together with a glorious cover of Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out). With just five days until Christmas there was no surprise when the band signed off with Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End). As Justin Hawkins once declared ‘We managed to get bellend into a Christmas song without it getting banned!’.
Photography and words by Phil Honley of Rews And The Darkness at The Roundhouse on Friday 20th December 2019. Phil has his own photography site here: http://www.gigsnapz.co.uk.