LIVE: Mallory Knox / Set It Off / The Xcerts @ The Roundhouse, London

By Tamsyn Wilce

With their second album ‘Asymmetry’ about to celebrate it’s first birthday and having spent most of their year waving the flag for British rock music over in the States, it was about time that Mallory Knox played some shows on their home turf. After doing their rounds of the UK, with Set It Off and The Xcerts alongside, it all came together for one big finale at London’s The Roundhouse, they’re biggest headline show to date.

The Xcerts kicked things off to an unfortunately thin crowd, what with doors having only opened fifteen minutes before their set, most had to hear the Scottish trio from outside the building. That said, The Xcerts took it all in their stride, performing a swift set of hits taken from last years album ‘There Is Only You’, including the beautiful and powerful title track, which saw Jordan Smith take to the keys whilst Murray Macleod’s voice shone up through the historical building. We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, why this band aren’t bigger than what they are, we do not know, but what we do know is they’re three of the greatest and most humble musicians our country has to offer.

Set It Off then take things in a whole new direction, and judging by the crowd reaction they were lapping up every single moment of their performance. Set It Off are renowned for their energetic performances, bouncing choruses and theatrical characteristics and their set flaunted all of those things to their finest. Frontman Cody Carson worked the crowd like a magician, never standing still whilst he delivers that unique vocal tone over the pop-rock beats. They’re certainly a love them or hate them band, but whether or not you enjoy their music, you have to appreciate the fun and energy they bring to a packed out venue.

As the room went to black and a giant curtain draped over the stage, a countdown projection cued in an almighty introduction of ‘Shout at the Moon’, for when that curtain dropped smoke cannons exploded and glowing MK towers proved that the band had spared no expense in making this a show to remember.

‘Wake Up’ kicked up the adrenaline, bouncing bodies filled The Roundhouse floors and Mallory themselves took their performance up a notch as they worked through the anthems from ‘Asymmetry’ and debut record ‘Signals’, even including b-side ‘Glimmer’, a track that previously hadn’t found a home within their setlists. Production wise, the band got it absolutely spot on, with impressive, dramatic lighting displays, smoke cannons exploding at their biggest moments and a strong sense of determination, it was like watching a whole new Mallory Knox. With this show, and this tour, they have proved why they are one of the biggest UK rock bands in the scene right now and it appears that smashing America has certainly done their confidence a world of good.

Taking things back to the old days for their finale, ‘Oceans’ and ‘Lighthouse’ cause a storm in the 1,700 capacity venue. Mallory Knox should feel incredibly proud with how far they’ve come in five years and judging by the careful thought, planning and effort that has gone into making this tour a success, there’s no doubt that things will only continue to get bigger and better from here on out. Welcome home Mallory Knox, it’s good to see you.