THE GALLERY: Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18

Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe




Words by Yasmine Summan / Pics by Eleanor Sutcliffe

Mallory Knox have returned from their brief hiatus to shed any doubt or dismay, as they charge through the UK on their self-titled tour of 2018 – joined by JUDAS and Dead! Playing a series of more ‘intimate’ shows, the now four piece band are back on the road for six dates throughout April, ready to rock out until they tear the whole room apart from Brighton to Glasgow.

Tonight is Mama Roux’s turn, as Birmingham hosts the penultimate gig before Mallory Knox close out their tour at the Bodega in Nottingham. JUDAS are first to kick in, and whilst I enjoy their typical indie rock style of stripped down, guitar riffs, and continuous drum set loops – that shifts attention onto the ‘tom toms’, bringing an elevated, pop element to their music – the harmonies are scathed by off-pitch, out of tune rhythms and a lackluster vocal range from lead singer, John Clancy.

JUDAS – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor SutcliffeThe man clearly appears to be trying his hardest, but rather than having his vocals crisply cut through thin air they crunch into the microphone and even become inaudible at times. Although JUDAS maintain a vivacious stage energy throughout their set and gain quite humbling crowd engagement, albeit with sadly off par vocal ranges that somewhat scorn their talents and on occasion left me to painfully cringe.

Bursting through the doors of the mainstream industry to alight the new age of rock and roll, Dead! dominate as the main support act – immediately blowing the roof clean off the Mama Roux’s. Bordering between alternative/punk rock, Dead! omit the typical nonchalant, wild and chaotic personality of 70’s rock in their performance. Whilst screeching guitar riffs burn through every strum of the finger, heavy kick drums create a low thumping rhythm to head bang to – alongside Alex Mountford’s enthralling vocals that cling to every corner of the room.

Dead! – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor SutcliffeDead! strategically play slower verses that intensely build into high energy, fast tempo choruses, with mosh pits opening up left, right and center. Pandering to the crowd with fan favorite songs (as Sam Matlock shreds his guitar solo to ‘Enough, Enough, Enough’ whilst balancing on Louis Matlock’s drum kit, in true rock and roll style) I feel that their set list underwhelms their talents. Their performance tonight is perhaps mellowed out for Mallory Knox’s crowd, but songs like ‘Off White Paint’ and ‘Enemy’ hold an evident absence during the show.

But now it’s time for the headline act, playing one of their first live shows since the departure of vocalist Mike Chapman in February this year. And there’s no messing about from tonight’s crowd, with fans practically diving onto the stage as Mallory Knox kick in with their new single, ‘Black Holes’. Bassist and now vocalist, Sam Douglas, captivates the room as he rushes onto the stage, blaring his gnawing bass riffs with every burning strum. Moving as one body, the room responds and elevates into chaos, as everyone jumps around and seemingly quite literally loses their minds.

Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Bouncing around the room, Mallory Knox perpetuate boundless stage energy, with guitarist, Joe Savins, leaning into the crowd to sing along with fans. Radiating a humble nature, Douglas and the rest of the band thank everyone for coming out – with the now front man even delving into his personal life, to openly admit he is struggling but the fans are helping him through.

As off the wall moments of insanity among the audience sway through the show, including lots of crowd surfing and mosh pits, the momentum of the set moves like a rollercoaster. And whilst their track list tonight also features fan favorites, including some of their best hits such as ‘Beggars’ and ‘Better Off Without You’, upon reaching the forth song the show mellows out almost too drastically.

The pace set by their lively start takes a seriously low drop as Mallory Knox reach the middle of the set, picking up with a few newer tracks towards the end. But the ball begins to properly (rock and) roll again when they brake through with ‘Wake Up’, sending the Mama Roux’s back into uproar once more.Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe Since the departure of Chapman, Mallory Knox appear to be shedding their 2013 alternative rock cage – one that has arguably overshadowed their sound for years – and are advancing into heavier rock, incorporating lower riffs and fast tempo beats. It does feel that Mallory Knox’s newer singles, ‘Livewire’ and ‘Black Holes’, gain popularity from the audience as they drive the band’s creative direction into new horizons, possibly paving an exciting future for the band’s sound.

It’s clearly been a tough time for Mallory Knox since the recent departure of their long-time vocalist, Mike Chapman. And whilst they power through their performance tonight, I’d argue that the band are still not fully rehearsed or together since this event. Moments of vulnerability, unknowingness, and confusion peak through their performance – as microphone stands fall over mid-song, off-time rhythms weave through their guitars, and Douglas’ voice strains itself to reach the capabilities that Chapman could.

Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor SutcliffeI respectably applaud Mallory Knox for continuing with this tour despite all odds, and there are clear moments were their talents shine through. But perhaps a more sensible response would have been to postpone the tour until the band were fully ready to perform without Chapman. In fact, their unsparing mistakes tonight only emphasise the absence of Chapman, leading some including myself to think ‘would this happen if Mikey were here?’

Reflecting on tonight’s show, Mallory Knox are clearly trying as best as they can to make ends meet; plunging into a year-long hiatus would realistically have only tarnished their popularity and most likely upset fans, so the band have pushed through despite their recent loss – one that has clearly impacted their live performances.

And whilst they may still be finding their footing as a four piece, shreds of their former glory did flutter through their set, especially with Douglas’ heightened confidence when performing new tracks. I feel that with time this band will be back on their feet again.




Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

For more on Mallory Knox, visit


Dead! – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

Dead! – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe Dead! – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe Dead! – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

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JUDAS – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

JUDAS – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe JUDAS – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe JUDAS – supporting Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18 / Eleanor Sutcliffe

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For more on Mama Roux’s, including venue details and further event listings, visit

BPREVIEW: Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18

BPREVIEW: Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18

Words by Eleanor Sutcliffe

Mallory Knox will be performing an intimate show in Mama Roux’s on Tuesday 24th April as part of their spring UK tour, with support from Dead! and JUDAS.

Doors open at Mama Roux’s from 7:30pm, with tickets priced from £20 (plus booking fee) – as presented by Kilimanjaro Live. For online ticket sales click here. To visit the gig’s Facebook Event page, click here.

Following main stage performances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, and the independent release of their latest track ‘Black Holes’, Mallory Knox are proving themselves a force to be reckoned with.

BPREVIEW: Mallory Knox @ Mama Roux’s 24.04.18Building up their fan base since the release of their debut UK album, Signals, back in 2013, the band have slowly but surely climbed their way to the top of the UK alternative rock scene. Just under a year later and the release of their sophomore album, Asymmetry, landed them at No16 in the UK Album Charts and secured them a host of performances with bands such as Pierce the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens – as well as an independent UK tour that saw them sell out London’s Electric Ballroom two nights in a row.

This continued to peak when Mallory Knox were announced for both the Slam Dunk Festival and the iconic Vans Warped Tour –with the band’s last studio album, Wired, released in March 2017 and reaching both No1 on the UK Rock & Metal Album Charts and No18 on the UK Album Charts.

Committed to carving out their own niche in the UK music scene, Mallory Knox have spent years developing their sound – just listen to the differences between tracks such as ‘Oceans’ and ‘Sugar’ if you don’t believe me. And boy, has it paid off. Their commitment to experimentation without straying too far from the path has resulted in the band becoming a favourite with rock and metal fans across the UK.

Although this time, it could be slightly different. The seemingly sudden departure of Mikey Chapman has lost Mallory Knox their unique vocals. Although from what we’ve heard of ‘Black Holes’, Mallory Knox’s co-vocalist and bass player Sam Douglas seems more than ready to take the reins.

Playing it safe with a string of intimate shows across the UK this spring, coming to Mama Roux’s in Birmingham on Tuesday 24th April, it’s just exciting to see what Mallory Knox have in store for us next.

‘Black Holes’ – Mallory Knox 

On Tuesday 24th April, Mallory Knox play at Mama Roux’s with support from Dead! and JUDAS – as presented by Kilimanjaro Live. For online ticket sales click here. To visit the gig’s Facebook Event page, click here.

For more on Mallory Knox, visit

For more Dead!, visit

For more on JUDAS, visit

For more from Kilimanjaro Live, including further event listings and online ticket sales, visit

For more on Mama Roux’s, including venue details and further event listings, visit

BPREVIEW: Dead! @ The Flapper 31.01.18

Dead! @ The Flapper 31.01.18

Words by Aatish Ramchurn

As part of their The Golden Age Live tour, Dead! will be playing at The Flapper on Wednesday 31st January. Main support for the night (and most of the tour) comes from London punk trio, Kenneths – with Birmingham based bands, A Promise to Forget and Blank Parody also playing at The Flapper.

Tickets are priced at £8 (adv) plus booking fee, as presented by Surprise You’re Dead! Music. Doors open at The Flapper from 7pm. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

London rock band, Dead!, are no strangers to Birmingham’s music scene, having previously played at Alfie Birds, Scruffy Murphy’s, Subside, and the O2 Institute where they recently supported Deaf Havana. Wednesday 31st January will see them tick off The Flapper from the list of stages they have played in Birmingham, bringing the threatened music venue their own flavour of the punk and indie sound.

Touring the UK relentlessly since 2012, band members Alex Mountford, Sam Matlock, Louis Matlock, and Sam Chappell all met in Southampton, initially booking local shows themselves. But as Dead! began reaching a wider audience, playing shows up and down the UK, their excessive touring schedule eventually paid off and their popularity rose.

Having signed to Infectious Music/BMG and Rise Records in the USA, not bad for a band who have been described as ‘everything that’s wrong with art’, Dead! are kicking off the New Year with another mammoth tour of the UK – on the road promoting their recently released debut album, The Golden Age of Not Even Trying.

Indeed, 2018 could be a great year for Dead! as they reach out to new audiences whilst reacquainting themselves with older ones. Especially as they’ve been tipped by Kerrang! Magazine as one of their Hottest Bands of 2018.

‘The Golden Age of Not Even Trying’ – Dead!

For more on Dead! visit

For more on Kenneths, visit

For more on A Promise to Forget, visit

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For more on The Flapper, visit

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ED’S PICK: January 2018

Words by Ed King

January 1st… no finer day to cross off the calendar. But as the world crawls out of bed with hangovers and resolutions, Birmingham’s events diary looks forward to a pretty vibrant January. It seems the ‘quiet month’ is not so dormant this year. Which is a good thing, right? I mean, who needs to stay in and save money? Food and heating are for quitters.

Some pretty big gigs happening this month, with the rock powerhouse that is Paramore (ain’t alliteration ace) coming to the Genting Arena on Jan 14th. Tickets may be sold out by the time I finish this sentence, so you’d better act rápido por favor (just finished watching Narcos) if you want to catch them tour their fifth album, After Laughter, through the second city. On the Lord’s Day as well… dios nos perdone.

On the smaller stages in Birmingham, Surprise You’re Dead are tearing the city in two on 24th Jan – as Ohio’s metalcore Miss May I come to Mamma Roux’s, whilst London’s pop punksters The Bottom Line are joined by Nottingham’s Lacey at The Asylum. In fact, overall it’s quite a strong start to 2018 from SYD as the Birmingham’s stalwart rock/punk promoters are also bringing Dead! to The Flapper on 31st Jan and The Bronx to Mama Roux’s on 17th Jan – although The Bronx gig has already sold out so check the relevant corners of t’interweb for returns.

Elsewhere in the land of live gigs, we have the rising stars Riscas headlining an uber line up at The Sunflower Lounge on 19th Jan – with Spilt Milk Society, Candid and The Real Cool all in support. If this gig doesn’t sell out then I will 1) buy a hat, 2) eat my hat, 3) buy another hat. 2018 is set to be a big year for Riscas, we reckon, so catch them when and where you can. Then The Hunna return to the O2 Academy on 11th Jan, whilst Setting Son Records present Average Sex and Semantics (one of our faves) at the Hare & Hounds on 24th Jan.

Hot on the heels of their recent triumphant homecoming, KIOKO headline a stellar line up of local acts at The Crossing on 26th Jan – with Namiwa Jazz, Zara Sykes, VITAL, Elektric, and revered local poet Kurly all performing as part of the Love Music Hate Racism event at the Milk Street venue. Trish Clowes presents her latest album, My Iris, with a new ensemble of the same name at Eastside Jazz Club on 25th Jan. Whilst those somewhat silent psychedelics, Moon Duo, come back to the Hare & Hounds on 30th Jan courtesy of This Is Tmrw. Then there’s the gig I’m throwing my metaphor in the ring for – This is the Kit showcase their new album, Moonshine Freeze, at The Glee Club on 24th Jan.

January also sees a strong line up of comedy in the city, kicking off with Tina T’urner Tea Lady Steamy Bingo at The Old Joint Stock on 5th Jan. Tracey Collins will be bringing her ‘camp alter ego’ back to The Old Joint Stock in March, so if you miss your numbers this time around you can always try again in spring.

Stand up also starts strong at The Glee Club, with Andy Zaltzman bringing his Satirist for Hire tour to The Arcadian Centre venue on 19th Jan – a week before Fern Brady’s debut Suffer Fools tour lands there on 26th Jan. Quick tip, if either of these stand ups ask you to email in suggestions or comments… don’t. Or at least don’t sign your name. Or sit in the front row. You have been warned. Whilst over at the Town Hall, Ed Byrne brings his Spoiler Alert tour to Birmingham on 27th Jan – a room big enough for some safe anonymity, for the audience at least.

Theatre stamps a reassuringly eclectic foot down on the first month of 2018, with Outer Circle Arts presenting The Death Show at The Rep Door on 26th and 27th Jan. Whilst a stone’s throw behind them in Hockley, Blue Orange Theatre present The Late Marilyn Monroe – running from 30th Jan to 3rd Feb. Then over at The Patrick Centre is the somewhat less self-explanatory Translunar Paradise  – Ad Infinitum’s unspoken story ‘of life, death and enduring love’, presented at the Hurst Street venue for one night only on 31st Jan.

Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet present Swan Lake, also for one night only, at the Symphony Hall on 7th Jan. Whilst The Mockingbird continues to its mission to save The Custard Factory from the cultural abyss with a double screening of Clerks and the documentary behind Silent Bob’s directorial debut, Shooting Clerks, on 19th Jan. There will also be a Q&Q with the latter’s director, Christopher Downie, and some cast members at 9pm.

For more film, mac hosts Playback from 7th to 24th Jan – a touring and ‘interactive exhibition’ of over 200 short films from ‘krumping and parkour dance shorts, to an animated tale of teenage love that unearths our desire to be as cool as the zines we read’. Held in the arts centre’s First Floor Gallery, with free admission, Playback carries a Tubbs and Edward local angle too, as ‘some of the films were originally made in and around Birmingham, where young people based in the Midlands were given the support and funding to create a short film.’

Then rounding off Birmingham’s cultural cache for the New Year, The Chefs’ Forum present their ‘Pay What You Can’ lunch at University College Birmingham on 15th Jan – a networking, trade and showcase event with four courses from some of the city’s top restaurants. Having launched its Midlands’ agenda at UCB back in February this… sorry, last year, The Chefs’ Forum is hosting their Jan ‘18 lunch to raise funds and awareness for its Educational Foundation which supports young chefs across the UK.

And with Louisa Ellis (The Wilderness), Mark Walsh (Opus Restaurant), Luke Tipping and Leo Kattou (Simpsons) and Olivier Briault (The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel) all chipping in a course, it should do just that. Although, the non-fixed donation approach is gratefully received in mid January.

Now if I can just find an energy provider with the same approach…

**Also straddling this month and the next are the two rescheduled Lady Gaga concerts, as the uber-star kicks off the UK leg of her Joanna World Tour at Arena Birmingham on 31st January before returning to play the Genting Arena on 1st February. Tickets to both arena shows are priced at £48.50 (+ fees), as presented by Live Nation UK.

In memoriam of her paternal auntie and namesake, Lady Gaga’s latest song, album and tour appear as personal an affair as you can offer when delivering it to millions of strangers. A curious dichotomy, but one Birmingham will get to see on stage first as the Live Nation machine sets down in our city before anywhere else in the UK. Kudos.

And with tickets being transferred from the previous dates in October 2017, it’s fair to say there may be a bit of a bun fight to get in to these gigs. No doubt it’ll be worth a few scuffed elbows though, but even if ‘I’m never going to know you now, I’m gonna love you any how’. OX Joanne.

For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, for Lady Gaga at Arena Birmingham on 31st January, click here. For Lady Gaga at the Genting Arena on 1st February, click here.’

Tickets for the originally scheduled Lada Gaga shows at the Genting Arena (12th Oct ’17) at Arena Birmingham (15th Oct ’17) can be transferred to the new dates. According to the venues’ websites, ‘if you cannot make the new date, refunds can be obtained at your point of purchase for a limited period’.**

Playback @ mac 7th to 24th Jan

For more on any of the events listed here, click on the highlighted hyperlink. 

Ed King is Editor-in-Chief of Review Publishing, which issues both the Birmingham Review and Birmingham Preview titles.