OXFORD DAILY INFO, 22nd May 2018
"I went in with an inkling of the eclectic multimedia style of Jackdaw With Crowbar, but what the artists created on stage and with the audience was what can only be described as surreal. And theatrical, danceable, entertaining, original, massively prepared, funny, political, engaging, insightful, weird, random, scathing, observant, and awash with imagery. Godzilla carried a huge bomb into the audience and died, poetry was belted out as social and political commentary to an ever-changing electronica / guitar backing, all this to a backdrop of thousands of images of human endeavor and folly, and films flying through galaxies, the whole integrated mass of voice, words, acting, music, costumes and film was extraordinary.
And this was just the first act of three that evening. The later acts (Lucy Leave and Father Murphy) carried the eclectic banner to extremes. I left the bar with mind intact, but expanded."
NIGHTSHIFT, JULY 2018
Costume changes and performance
art aren’t what you generally expect to see down The Library, but Leamington weirdoes Jackdaw With Crowbar have rarely been ones to live up to expectations. In the mid 80s they were rarely off Jon Peel’s late night shows and while their sound has changed a fair bit since they reformed in 2007, their desire to mix the visual with the musical remains. Tim Ellis starts the set dressed in Crimea-era cavalry jacket, his face swaddled in bandages that do little to muffle his invective as he rattles off punk poetry about Brexit, English
identity and Farage, while behind him primitive synth pulses create inspired lo-fi industrial landscapes, the overall effect something like Sleaford Mods jamming it out with Suicide. Halfway through Ellis changes into a gold lame suit and an animal mask and ends the set sprawled on the floor wrestling with a bomb. We initially think it’s a toy, but it turns out to be the real deal. Occasionally silly, often sublime, Jackdaw With Crowbar are as far from the mainstream as they were when they began 30 years ago, and in no danger of playing it safe.