Some bands just have staying power and Mallory Knox is one of them. Making a tiny Edinburgh nightclub feel like a huge venue, one of Britain’s most popular rock bands brought showmanship and extraordinary energy to a sold out show.
First up Fatherson played to an enthusiastically responsive crowd. As is commonly the case with Scottish bands playing in Scotland, every word of every song was sung along to with joy. There’s something special about Ross Leighton’s vocals and they were almost angelic, cutting through the depth of the loud, layered instruments. Waving arms and continuous applause from the audience meant they’d be a tough act to follow.
Lonely The Brave gave it a good go. Those who hadn’t seen the Cambridge band play before were taken aback by lead singer David Jakes’ quiet, unassuming presence. Not so much the front man of a band but a part of the team, as the set went on his confidence – and therefore vocal strength – blossomed. ‘Backroads’ was their best received song of the evening, perhaps due to its more standard structure, but the intensity of ‘Jaws of Hell’ and ‘Black Mire’ is where their uniqueness and depth was most evident. They might not be for everyone but for those in the audience who already love Lonely The Brave, it was another affirmation of just why they do.
The atmosphere in the room changed as soon as Mallory Knox hit the stage. It’s been just over four years since the release of debut album ‘Signals’, but it feels like the band are old hands at this. All of a sudden, a previously subdued audience broke into movement and the room felt ten times bigger. Lead singer Mikey Chapman and bassist Sam Douglas were a commanding pair, sharing the spotlight and captivating the audience from the start.
If you aren’t particularly familiar with Mallory Knox’s discography, at times you would have thought several of the songs merged into one. Although pretty generic in style, the fans love it and for people who want their rock music easy to listen to they’re friendly on the ears. Although they might be safe, they’re not dull and they pulled out every trick in the book to ensure they put on a good show.
There’s something indescribable about a huge-sounding band playing in a small venue and as the floor moved while people jumped up and down with their hands, it felt like a fun rock show at its finest. New songs ‘California’ and ‘Better Off Without You’ were upbeat and joyful. ‘Ghost In The Mirror’ and ‘Shout At The Moon’ from the band’s second album ‘Asymmetry’ felt darker and edgy. The biggest cheers were saved for encore song ‘Lighthouse’ (the band peaked early in their career with this one) and nostalgia for a time not even five years ago took over.
With pockets of circle pits opening up, older adults enjoying a sneaky weeknight pint at the sides, and those who arrived early enough to nab a spot on the balcony hanging over it and singing out every word, the show served as a reminder as to why Mallory Knox received so much hype in the first place. They may not be the life-changing band we’d hoped they’d turn out to be, but for consistent British rock music, there might not be a better live band.