Mallory Knox at The Garage, London live review

'It's clear why they're a one to watch'

Mallory Knox at The Garage, London live review

Jack Gunner on 22 January 2021

With Ghostpoet drawing crowds of hip-hop fans to the Relentless Garage, it might be easy from the outside not to notice the second event of the night. However, while the bulk of the punters head for the main door, there is a steady alternative stream headed to the Upstairs venue for the first 2013 show from Cambridgeshire quintet Mallory Knox.

It’s a tiny venue – probably no more than 200 capacity, and even then it isn’t nearly full. To begin with, the vibe is understandably dry. Coastline (5/10) open the festivities, and while there’s nothing actively bad about their show, there is a slight feeling that they’re nervous and under-prepared, not helped by the fact that the crowd is thin on the ground at this point.
Second up, Watford’s Spycatcher (7/10) deliver a solid set with a few catchy tracks (‘Don’t Like People’ being a highlight), and some entertainingly self-deprecating lyrics.
However, there is really only one band that the crowd are here to see, and as Mallory Knox (9/10) burst onto the minuscule stage with the fierce, anthemic ‘Wake Up’, its instantly clear why they’ve already established a reputation for their high-octane live shows. Powering from song to song with an impressive verve, they alternate between tracks from the upcoming ‘Signals’ and from their earlier EP ‘Pilot’, delivering a deft blend of heavy backing and slightly poppy, sing-a-long choruses served with sweat-drenched intensity.
After a rendition of fan favourite ‘Hello’, singer Mikey Chapman announces a treat for the MK fans – the first ever live performance of third single ‘Lighthouse’, the video for which was released just a few weeks ago.

Finishing off with the song that kicked off their rise to fame, the rousing ‘Death Rattle’ sees the circle pits push the limits of the meat-locker sized venue. As the lights come up, and the teenaged girls fight over the bands sweaty towels or queue up to profess their love for Mikey Chapman, it’s not hard to predict high hopes for the Ely boys – they’ve clearly amassed a flock of dedicated fans already, and several of their tracks, not least, ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Lighthouse’ easily have the potential to become anthems of the genre.

It’s clear why we named them as ‘Ones to Watch’ – Mallory Knox are fun, affable, and relentlessly energetic.  Let’s hope that all of ‘Signals’ and beyond matches the quality of tonight - speaking from a personal perspective, it’s high time a great band emerged from Cambridge.


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