Mallory Knox – a name that has been rather quiet in this past year – have recently just returned back to the game with their 3rd studio album, and with that came the most excellent comeback tour; complete with an absolute stellar lineup. This came in the form of support from two of the most brilliant up and coming bands of the last few years – so there was no doubt that the very first night of tour in Bristol was sure to be one to impress.
First up came Kilmarnock group Fatherson – who are entirely no strangers in the current wonderful Scottish rock scene – however with the Mallory Knox crowd they appeared to fall on many new ears. With a few hands up in the air with fans singing along, they still managed to impress the completely packed out O2 Academy – which was great to see that fans wanted to get to the show early to check them out. The setlist was well balanced from material from both of Fatherson’s releases, and all of which was well received by the audience. Luckily the sound in the O2 complimented their sound very well too, and frontman Ross Leighton’s vocals filled the room very well.
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Following Fatherson’s impressive opening set came familiar faces Lonely The Brave, who are increasingly known in the current British rock circuit. Surprisingly again, though there were noticeably quite a few fans in the audience – most of the venue were being acquainted for the first time, which was perfect as the Cambridge group delivered an absolutely blinding set – with singer David Jakes’ vocals sounding as incredible as ever, especially on ‘The Blue, The Green’. Opening with the newest material from 2016 release ‘Things Will Matter’ worked well, especially the instrumental in the particularly slower and unexpected track ‘Jaws Of Hell’, as it gave the audience a real taste of what Lonely The Brave are about, in both vocal and instrumental. With those two things combined – it’s entirely what makes the group so always so exceptional and raved about both in a live setting, and recorded too.
After two sheer quality supports – the time finally came for Mallory Knox to take to the stage. With their vibrant 2015 setup making a return to the stage in the form of two illuminated logos, the crowd was in for colourful and exciting set. Sporting a headline slot of 15 excellently received songs, the band were filled with first-date-of-tour energy – making for a very energetic vibe from both onstage and in the crowd. With live debuts of songs ‘Falling in Love’ and ‘Lucky Me’ from the brand new album Wired (released only 3 days before the show), the group’s most recent material seemed known by almost everyone in the room, and was definitely well received.
What was truly impressive about this set was to see how far they’d come – because it initially seemed very ambitious to set out on an absolutely huge UK tour, and was almost expected that the venues wouldn’t be full. However, the O2 Academy was absolutely filled to the brim with fans, and this was incredible to see. Literally almost every song was greeted with the crowd going absolutely nuts for the band, and to spectate from above was quite a sight – with massive pits opening for songs such as ‘Ghost In The Mirror’, ‘Beggars’ and the iconic ‘Lighthouse’.
There’s no doubt that they delivered an absolutely sweltering performance, as there was a strong feeling of everyone leaving impressed after the set ended. If Mallory Knox keep producing strong music and continue growing at this rate – even bigger venues are definitely on the horizon. The 1000/2000-cap O2 Academy seemed to feel natural to the band, and they filled it so easily with many excited fans. It’s very intriguing to see where they will head next – and after this show entirely feel worthy of being labelled one of the 2017 2000trees Festival headliners.