Live Review: Mallory Knox, Lonely The Brave and Fatherson – UEA LCR, Norwich – 22/03/2017

Cambridgeshire’s are sitting high atop the UK rock scene with a reputation built around a renowned live show, sensational festival appearances not to mention inclusion on BBC Radio 1’s A list. With a career on the rise, this behemoth rolls into the Norfolk countryside ready to stamp dominance on the UEA LCR in support of new album ‘Wired’. Add a line-up encompassing some of the best the UK rock scene has to offer and the evening is already full of promise and anticipation.

With a guitar solo start to the show, Fatherson make an impressive statement grabbing the attention of a half-filled room with dulcet vocal tones and impressive range. As the rest of the band join the fray a beautiful soundscape is created with pitch-perfect harmonies and glistening guitars reverberating between a crowd clearly captivated. Rarely do an opening band impress this much but as the Scottish natives blast through tunes from their acclaimed catalogue to date, including 2016 album ‘Open Book’, it won’t be long before Fatherson will be topping the line-up, filling rooms of this calibre based on nothing more than their own merit. (5/5)

As Lonely The Brave take to the stage it’s evident they have a healthy share of tonight’s ticket sales acquitted to their name. With some early sound issues, it soon becomes clear that the bar may have been set just a little too highly by their predecessors to really make a lasting mark. This doesn’t stop a larger portion of the crowd singing along to the moody alt-rock on offer. Unfortunately, what has become known as an underwhelming stage show lacking much in the way of presence leaves Lonely The Brave falling short tonight. Add this to 24 hours of mishaps almost resulting in them missing tonight’s show and it really isn’t their day. Despite the above, stadium ready hits ‘The Blue, The Green’ and ‘Backroads’ are executed with almost unrivalled precision shining the brightest from tonight’s set. Vocally David Jakes moves up through the gears producing a powerhouse of consistency swelling from the most unlikely of places in the most reserved of the Cambridgeshire quintet. (3/5)

As the lights drop and the stage is bathed in a red glow, Mallory Knox’s arrival is imminent. Bounding on stage to an energetic rendition of ‘Giving It Up’ and sing along favourite ‘Ghost In The Mirror’, it’s clear that Mallory Knox are in fine form in the early stages of their largest UK tour to date. ‘Wired’ is the focus of tonight’s show and as Mallory Knox breeze through their freshest cuts, they prove their reputation has not been gained without reason. Effortless musicianship and modest chemistry on stage go some way in justifying their name in lights, both metaphorically and literally with large logo scrims flanking the stage adding even more to the visual masterpiece accompanying the show.

Mikey Chapman may be small in stature but is almost larger than life in personality and stagecraft. Add to this one of the most distinguishable vocals in modern rock music, and the crowd is whipped into a frenzy responding to near-flawless renditions of ‘Dying To Survive’, ‘Getaway’ and the powerful ‘Beggars’ by raising voices of their own on some of the most infectious choruses on the market.

Although a healthy mix of songs from Mallory Knox’s back catalogue find their way into the set. ‘Wired’ is represented tonight with ‘California’ and ‘Falling In Love’ made for the stage. Although hot off the press, a dedicated fan base has certainly embraced these songs with open arms, showing there is no sign of letting up for a band who have really found their stride, and are more than comfortable in their delivery of a steady paced rock n’ roll show.

As the set draws to a close, Mikey takes a moment to acknowledge the horrific events of earlier in the day in the nation’s capital paying tribute with a heartfelt ‘Saviour’. The band return to cement a defining performance with an encore of ‘Lighthouse’ and ‘Better Off Without You’ bringing the evening to a rather poignant end, highlighting the hit machine that is Mallory Knox. (4.5)

For all they have done right tonight, it is the opening act Fatherson’s memorable and rousing appearance on the bill that halters a perfect score for the headliners, shining just that little brighter as the underdogs of the tour. That is to no one’s detriment and just goes to show that, we as a nation, have some of the best homegrown talent and should be incredibly proud of each and every one of them.

4/5

Words By Jay Harrison (Just_Jay_89). Photos by Connie Taylor Photography and taken at Koko Camden, London – 06/04/2017.

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