Mallory Knox Play Sold-Out Show

by Tom Elliott

“It only seems like five minutes ago that we were playing over there at the Cavern to about five people.” grins Mikey Chapman, lead singer of Mallory Knox. He seems like he can’t quite believe his luck as a sold-out Phoenix roars its approval. Things have certainly changed for the Cambridge five-piece since they last played at the small, yet legendary, Exeter Cavern last year. Since then, they’ve released a UK Top 40 album, made countless major festival appearances, and can regularly be heard played on Radio 1.

It was clear that their gig at the Exeter Phoenix as a part of their hotly anticipated UK tour had been saved in the calendars of the city’s rock fans for months since it was announced in the Summer. There wasn’t room in the auditorium for one more fan and the anticipation for the headline act was electric. Mallory Knox didn’t disappoint. Their guitar-fuelled anthems caused pints to be raised in the air and teens to mosh with commitment while Chapman’s exceptional vocal melodies were repeated back to him all night long. With a voice that’s good enough to sing whatever he wants and a likeable gracious onstage persona, Chapman orchestrated the night like a conductor in the Royal Albert Hall - only with a lot more distortion and drum fills.

The energy-driven Beggars and Death Rattle caused the most chaotic, lively moments of the night. Death Rattle’s closing riff is reminiscent of a thumping Tom Morello riff and the crowd certainly responded appropriately. One of the highlights of the night was Oceans, the track that originally introduced Mallory Knox to the world. Anthems 1949 and Lighthouse also stood out as moments to remember.

Mallory Knox delivered. A sold out venue, a versatile set of well crafted songs and a performance that pulled it off with conviction. Every note was in tune and every beat in time; this was definitely a highlight of the Exeter rock scene this term.