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REVIEW: Mallory Knox live at The Garage (15th January 2013)

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Tonight’s show is a special one for Mallory Knox. Not only is it a sold-out headline London show (an important milestone for any band), but it’s also a measly six days before the release of their debut album “Signals”, and as one of two album release shows it’s a chance for the band to show the world that they are about to take a very big next step in their career. I first saw Mallory Knox just over two years ago in a smaller London venue – the Camden Barfly where they were supporting Failsafe (the band who performed on The Inbetweeners – remember that?), and I instantly fell in love with their sound from the get-go. Ever since then, I’ve caught them supporting a whole variety of bands (and doing a great job each time), but it’s nice to see that tonight it’s their turn to be the bride, rather than the bridesmaid.

This show is a cosy one, and even before doors open there’s a queue of kids eager and ready to get inside (and it’s freezing cold, so kudos to them!). The support comes in two guises – Coastline, a four piece from Kent who would fit really well on a bill with We Are The Ocean or Deaf Havana, have strong vocals, tight songs and poppy melodies. Spy Catcher are much rougher with a pure punk feel but are still brilliant. They both warrant polite applause and nodding heads from the crowd – nothing to do with the band’s music, they’re all just here for one reason: Mallory Knox.

As the stars of the show take to the stage at around 9.30pm, the audience are ready to be shown what all the fuss and hype is about, and that most certainly happens. There’s a sense of excitement in the air with a deafening cheer sounding out as all five members take to the stage. Opening with recent single ‘Wake Up’, frontman Mikey Chapman gets the audience jumping and moving from the offset. The band take no time in running through a set list made up of brand new tracks from their debut album “Signals” (released January 21st), live favourites and golden oldies.

Songs such as ‘Hello’ and ‘Death Rattle’, both found on “Signals” and released earlier in 2012, get the crowd jumping, moshing and circle-pitting with the help of Dave Rawling’s precision-driven drumming. ‘Lighthouse’ (their latest single) has its live debut, after being championed by Daniel P Carter on Radio 1, and goes down a storm with the kids singing the lyrics back in waves of excitement (I couldn’t help it, I’m sorry!).

Old favourites such as ‘Oceans’ and ‘Resuscitate’ are met by cheers of excitement as the first notes ring in, with a large majority of the room singing every word back at the band on stage. After being a staple of their set for a long time, and now with the new album on the horizon (sorry! I’ve done it again) it’s nice to see the band play brand new tracks, and tonight we are treated to two – ‘Misdemeanor’ and ‘Beggars’. ‘Misdemeanor’, a track with no prior radio or live play, brings out a heavier side to the band, with darker lyrics than normal sung by Mikey and bassist Sam Douglas. ‘Beggars’ has a very similar sound, and having only been premiered the night before as Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record In The World on Radio 1, it already has some of the crowd singing along, especially with Joe Savins’ and James Gillett’s catchy guitar riffs (a staple part of the Mallory Knox sound).

There is a definite divide in tonight’s audience – the younger, more energetic members can be found at the front moshing, dancing and jumping, whereas the older, more relaxed members at the back are just enjoying the show for what it is – a damn good rock show. Both sets have smiles on their faces as they watch a band who have not stopped growing in popularity blow them away.

It is obvious that Mallory Knox enjoy being a band, and they’re certainly not afraid to show it. It’s rare to see a band who love being on stage as much as their audience love watching them, and as they bounce about the stage, stopping to listen and smile to sing-backs and loud cheers from the crowd, it’s grounding to see that they are humbled by the reaction and the success coming their way. This isn’t a group of stuck-up, arrogant rockstars – this is a group of friends who have worked together to create something interesting and build a following for themselves, and it’s well deserved.

If you’re a fan of hooky riffs, catchy choruses, easy sing-along lyrics and having a good time, you’re in for a treat. Look out for Mallory Knox – they’ll be supporting Don Broco on their (almost sold-out) headline tour alongside Hey Vanity in February and March, and then who knows what’s next for them after that? World domination: that’s for sure.

(This article originally appeared on Amplified.tv.)