Review: Mallory Knox at Wedgewood Rooms

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Emotionally incredible

Mallory Knox smashed their set at Portsmouth's Wedgewood Rooms. With a healthy dose of old classics as well as debuting some songs from their recent album, the Cambridge 4-piece brought a very emotional set to their adoring fans.

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Mallory Knox have had an impressive tenure of the British alt scene. Their 10-year career saw them become icons in the scene, headlining festivals and producing acclaimed records over and over again. Bursting onto the scene in 2009 when the likes of Lower Than Atlantis, Deaf Havana and Young Guns were dominating, Mallory Knox fit in excellently, merging post-hardcore-esque vocals with gritty guitar riffs and slick leads meant that the 5-piece were pretty much the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ in the scene.
Releasing their debut EP ‘Pilot’ in 2011, the band instantly hit with fans and was followed up by the announcement of several tours in early 2012. The band saw much success in the following years, playing Slam Dunk and Download Festival as well as supporting the likes of Don Broco and Biffy Clyro and releasing their debut LP ‘Signals’.
Their second album ‘Asymmetry’ was arguably their most successful release which saw the band achieve numerous hit singles with tracks like ‘Ghost In The Mirror’ and ‘Shout At The Moon’. The album also took them on several tours including a sold-out tour of the UK and two sold-out London headliners at the Electric Ballroom.The band also headlined the last ever Takedown Festival at the University of Southampton.
Wired was the band’s last album released as a 5-piece. Singles like ‘Giving It Up’ and ‘Better Off Without You’ gained some well-deserved attention and the band toured the album in 2017 just after its release.

The band became relatively quiet for the remainder of 2017, leaving some fans believing they were writing for a new album but in February 2018, Mikey Chapman, the much-adored frontman of the band stepped down from the band pretty elusively. It was announced that chief song-writer and bassist Sam Douglas would take on vocal duties and that the band would continue as they are as a 4-piece. A few days after this news, they released a single ‘Black Holes’ which was the first track to feature Douglas on vocals and the band also announced they would be recording a new album for 2019. Their final album Mallory Knox was released in August 2019 and featured singles such as ‘Black Holes’ and ‘White Lies’. The album took a different sound, reinventing the band entirely. The album was riff-driven and more raw than previous releases and took a refreshing change to MK’s sound. Whilst the album received plenty of positive feedback and critical acclaim, some publications tore into the band suggesting they were not the same without ex-frontman Mikey. Perhaps as a result of the negative criticisms, the band announced that they would be breaking up, and that the tour they had announced shortly after releasing their album would be their last.

Mallory Knox played Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms on their 3rd night of their 23-date UK tour in support of their new album. The lights dimmed and the iconic ‘The Final Countdown’ started playing over the PA system before the band took to the stage, receiving an extremely warm welcome before getting stuck in with new song ‘Wherever’. The band continued with some of their biggest singles ‘Shout At The Moon’ and ‘Black Holes’. Frontman Sam Douglas took time between songs to thank fans for continued support over the years and for turning out on the night. You could hear the emotion in his shaken voice as he addressed the fans about the state the band found themselves in after losing Mikey and how they hoped their new album could’ve been a new start for them; to see such emotion from him left me teary eyed and feeling devastated for them.

The Cambridge boys continued their set with tracks off of the new album including ‘The World I Know’, ‘Livewire’ and ‘White Lies’. Douglas took time to mention the merch on offer at the merch desk, stating that any purchases would help pay for drummer Dave Rawling’s rent for the month, perhaps highlighting the serious decay and financial instability in the music industry today. Douglas also thanked the fans for sticking with them whilst they played new material and accepted that a lot of the fans were probably waiting to hear the more popular older material which, again, was pretty tough to hear. The rest of the set continued with some of the bands biggest songs like ‘Oceans’, ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Better Off Without You’.

Despite lacking the original frontman, the band smashed every song they played and very suitably finished with their most iconic song ‘Lighthouse’ which saw the venue turn into a frenzy. I didn’t want the gig to end, perhaps it was because I knew it was the last time I would see them, perhaps it was because of how much I enjoyed the new dynamic of the band. One thing is for certain, Mallory Knox will be missed.

Check out the remaining tour dates for Mallory Knox here

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3rd year Psychology student at UoS. I Hate my degree, love music.

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