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Mallory Knox - Mama Roux’s, Birmingham 24.04.2018

After the departure of vocalist Mikey Chapman, Mallory Knox were quick to announce a run of intimate headline UK shows, giving them a chance to find their feet as a four piece and also show off some new music at the same time. Joining them on tour are JUDAS and Dead!.

First up on the night are Liverpool based outfit JUDAS, bringing a strong Indie Rock vibe. They possess a great energy and have no trouble interacting with the crowd, certainly not something you get with every opening act. There are real problems with lighting though as much of the set is played in almost darkness, and ironic cheers are heard once the stage finally lights up again. The vocals also do seem a little bit off and it did make me wonder whether there were problems with the sound department as well. All in all though a very promising start to the night.

Dead! are up next and they are here to turn it up a notch, an Alt-Rock outfit with strong elements of Punk, they have no trouble lifting the crowd as everyone is jumping as soon as they hit the stage. Frontman Alex Mountford is a real performer, and the band as a collective really do have the image that seems so important to have for bands trying to making it big in today’s industry. The set seems to fly by as the fast paced tempo never seems to drop, single ‘The Boys ✞ The Boys’ is definitely a highlight. This band are definitely one to keep a close eye on.

Finally we have Mallory Knox, and they waste no time in showing off their new material, as they open with latest single “Black Holes”, the song is received well with the crowd but things start to pick up more with already known hits “Beggars” and “Ghost In The Mirror” as mosh pits open up and flashes of hands are everywhere to be seen.

Now on vocals, bassist Sam Douglas takes a couple of moments to address the crowd between songs, detailing about how it’s been such a tough period for the band, and even delving further into how he has been struggling with anxiety, which you can only imagine is increasingly difficult after taking on the mammoth challenge as the bands new frontman. There are a couple of instances in the set where a bit of nervousness shines through, Sam makes a point of telling us that his vocals will get better, and it is here where you realise just how much these run of show mean to the lads.

Later in the set we are treated to another two new unreleased songs, giving us a taste of what we are to expect from Mallory Knox perhaps, the new material definitely sounds heavier than what we have been used to in the past, but I’m all for it, and it seems the rest of the crowd are in agreement. As the set draws to a close, the band end the night with favourite “Better Off Without You”, and the crowd are on top form for this one as well.

Reflecting on the show, I have to commend Mallory Knox for wasting no time in getting back out there, I was surprised to see these dates announced so soon after Mikey’s departure in February, and credit really does have to be given for that. You could argue that maybe if they had taken longer out they might be more prepared and Sam might have a bit of weight taken off his shoulders, but I honestly think they did the right thing, this was going to be a big tour for them regardless. It really is a breath of fresh air seeing musicians who care so much about their music.

Sam did a stellar job on vocals, and the band can hold their head high knowing the first obstacle is out of the way. Fans can rest easy knowing that they have plenty to look forward to in the future, Mallory Knox are here to stay!

Photos & Review - Sam Robinson Photography

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