Play­ing Glas­ton­bury? Record­ing an al­bum at Abbey Road? Been there, done that. Next!

Classic Rock - - The Dirt - Pyro is re­leased on Novem­ber 3 via Mar­shall Records.

“For us, rock’n’roll is about the pas­sion of the play­ing.”

Hav­ing met by chance af­ter mov­ing to Lon­don to pur­sue their sep­a­rate mu­sic ca­reers, drum­mer Col­lette Wil­liams and gui­tarist Shauna To­hill formed rock two-piece Rews. They met the per­son who would be their man­ager at their sec­ond gig, they played Glas­ton­bury twice and re­leased de­but al­bum Pyro all in the space of just two years. No won­der they wrote Pyro about the “ex­plo­sive” jour­ney they’ve had so far.

“It’s been quite fast and fiery to get where we are now,” says a laugh­ing Wil­liams, who’s from Corby in Northamp­ton­shire and shares vo­cals in the group with Lon­don­derry-born To­hill. “The songs are about ev­ery­day ex­pe­ri­ences we’ve en­coun­tered, from heart­break to meet­ing creepy peo­ple in hostels who take pic­tures of you while you’re eat­ing your ce­real.”

Wil­liams and To­hill have sim­i­lar mu­si­cal back­grounds, both hav­ing worked as ses­sion mu­si­cians and been in rock-based bands. “We met and had a jam, and it was one of those mag­i­cal con­nec­tions that clicked in­stantly,” Wil­liams ex­plains.

There’s no doubt that this con­nec­tion has helped them to es­tab­lish a co­he­sive sound so ef­fort­lessly. Wil­liams cites in­flu­ences from Fleet­wood Mac and Avril Lav­i­gne to Foo Fight­ers and Paramore, but their hooky and heavy sound has be­come in­stantly recog­nis­able, as has their po­ten­tial. Rews got signed to Mar­shall Records and quickly stacked up an im­pres­sive CV – from record­ing their de­but at Abbey Road to play­ing on the John Peel Stage at Glas­ton­bury this year, which Wil­liams says is their ca­reer high­light so far.

“It was a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence to the year be­fore, where we had to carry our own gear, on foot, through mud, across the whole site,” she says with a laugh, be­fore as­sur­ing us that it was still worth it. “But this year we had every­one help­ing us. When we played, there was a mo­ment where I looked out and saw so many peo­ple that I stopped play­ing for a sec­ond, it was so over­whelm­ing.”

For Rews, a cap­ti­vat­ing live per­for­mance is key. But with only two mem­bers on stage, it’s some­thing that can be a chal­lenge.

“You need a bit of a vis­ual fo­cus, so a lot of that has to be cap­tured in dif­fer­ent ways,” Wil­liams says. “Whether that’s through our fa­cial ex­pres­sions, eye con­tact… We also love the flam­boy­ant pop side of per­for­mance – like Lady Gaga, we try to or­ches­trate our stage out­fits. We want to be pro­fes­sional and de­liver the best show we can. We’d never stum­ble on stage hun­gover and give a shit show.”

Pro­fes­sion­al­ism is high on Rews’ list of pri­or­i­ties, as is a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude. “So un-rock’n’roll!” Wil­liams laughs. “But rock’n’roll doesn’t just have to be about your be­hav­iour. We’ve been told there’s a lot of magic in our live shows and an en­ergy be­tween us. For us, rock’n’roll is about the pas­sion of the play­ing.” HMK

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