Review – Mallory Knox (Farewell Show)

Date: Sunday 6th October 2019

Venue: The Key Club, Leeds

Supports: Kill the Silence, Led By Lanterns

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Farewell tours are always a weird kind of show as there’s a balance of being sad that a band is playing for the last time but also happy that you can celebrate it one last time. With the rain seeming to be constantly pouring outside it took care of the sad atmosphere as upon stepping foot into The Key Club it was clear that this was a celebration of everything the band had achieved over the last 10 Years.

Tonight’s Opening band were local lads Kill the Silence. Due to having some prior commitments I only managed to catch the last two songs from the set. Being somewhere between Post Hardcore and Alternative Rock, the band really had an interesting sound which seemed to bounce between. Having played one of the dates on the Press to MECO tour as well earlier in the week, I’m sure these guys will be popping up more on my radar. The fairly large crowd that were in the room when I arrived was a very promising sign. Whilst the crowd weren’t quite ready to start moshing yet, the energy was definitely building and with a play through of newer track ‘All We Are’ you could tell that people were definitely singing along. With only having two tracks that I saw it’s hard to make up my mind on this band so I guess I’ll just have to see them again before I make my decision. After tonight’s introduction though things seem very positive.

Following on from Kill the Silence were upcoming Alt Rockers Led by Lanterns. Having not listened to the band before their set but hearing glowing reviews I was excited to see what was going to come out of these guys. I definitely wasn’t left disappointed as the band opened up with ‘Smoke Screen’ which instantly brought up the energy in the room. With a little bit of work through the track by the end the crowd were very much involved and had woken up. To introduce themselves to the majority of the crowd who hadn’t heard them before they pulled out a cover for everyone to sing along to. In a twist that I wasn’t expecting they took a poppier turn and covered ‘New Rules’ by Dua Lipa however they still managed to build on the energy and the crowd started to dance and sing along much more freely. Later track ‘Composure’ really showed the incredible vocals from front man Shaun as he captivated the room throughout the track. The entire band exuded energy on that stage with a special mention needed for drummer who took every opportunity to stand up and sing along with the crowd all whilst playing a solid set. With a small pit breaking out in the crowd during final track ‘Alive’ Led by Lanterns had definitely done their job of warming up tonight crowd. Definitely one a and that ill be listening to after the show and possibly even the band to fill the space that Mallory Knox will be leaving in the scene after this tour is up.

Led By Lanterns

As ‘The Final Countdown’ came through the speakers it was time for Mallory Knox to take to the stage. It was a nice touch for the band and really helped to set the tone for the rest of the set that the band were here to have fun and celebrate their work. In a time when it seems that a lot of main stay bands are calling it quits it seems all the more important that after all the issues that Mallory Knox have overcome they are very much doing this on their own terms. Tonight celebration kicked off with newer track ‘Sugar’ and the crowd wasted no time in bouncing along despite the track being one of the bands newer releases. With a set list spanning  the last ten years including everything from the first song written for the band ‘Oceans’ all the way through to tracks from the newest album such as ‘White Lies’ there really was time for a bit of everything this evening. It was great to see the crowd give the same reaction to all tracks and really showed that the band had a core of very dedicated fans here tonight to see them off. Pulling out all the big hits in their set, the band played faultlessly with everything sounded impeccable. After having to take a break and rest for a few shows last week there was a concern that Sam’s vocals may have suffered, however this was not the case and as the band played through ‘Beggars’ it was clear that the rest had helped.

As the set drew to closer to an end the band thanked Leeds for its impact on their career and mentioning all the venues that they had played in the city over the years, from The Cockpit when they were first starting out all the way to the Main stage of Leeds Festival. With the thanks out of the way it was time to go out in style and what better way to do that than to play through three of the bands biggest track. Starting out with my personal favourite track ‘Wake Up’ this really capitalised on the energy in the room and everyone was screaming the words along. Following on from this the band launched straight into the anthemic ‘Lighthouse’. As the chorus rang out it was clear to feel the unity in the room and the fact that no one was stood still (including the band) really built everything to a fever pitch. After one final round of thanks and no need to do an Encore the band finished tonight with ‘Better Off Without You’. I’m sure this was 100% planned when they were writing the set list but I can confirm that we are not better off without Mallory Knox and it really is a shame to see them call it a day. Tonight however, was a fantastic send off and from the crowd as they were leaving The Key Club its one that a lot won’t be forgetting soon. As one final sentence to finish the review all I have to say is Thanks for everything over the last 10 years and RIP Mallory Knox!

Mallory Knox

Review – Casey ‘Its Time To Bury Our Love’ Farewell Show

Date: Thursday 9th May 2019

Venue: The Key Club, Leeds

Supports: Gatherers, Acres

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First band in tonight were Gatherers. The band were playing their first tour of the UK and unfortunately their lead singer was struggling with illness throughout the set. They took a couple of songs to find their groove in the room. Unfortunately just as things were heating up nicely during new track ‘Sick, Sad Heart’ they had issues with their mic cables coming undone and cutting the vocals completely. Whilst musically it sounded incredible there was certainly something missing whilst the band tried to sort the vocals out. A long pause to sort cables led to a lot of the crowd dropping off and the band needing to play catch up for the rest of their set! Not letting this set them back too much they continued on and managed to get back into their groove. With the band playing brilliantly and the cleaner vocals sounding impressive it led to a great ending of the set with the crowd all bobbing their heads along to the tracks and starting to warm up for the night ahead. Here’s hoping next time they come back to the UK they’ll have a bit more luck.

Next up were a Acres who were down a vocalist due to illness tonight. Coming out saying ‘Alright, we’re Acres’ was a very modest start to their fantastic set. Mixing things up through their set with tracks that had vocals provided by Zac Vernon from Parting Gift and tracks that were purely instrumental worked a treat and really showed how capable the band were of captivating the audience despite their setback. The band seemed to be working in perfect sync to really hit home the crushing riffs and dream-like guitars alongside the heavy non stop drumming. In a set that passed by far too quickly, Acres easily got the audience jumping along and banging their heads throughout their performance to set the crowd up nicely for the last band of the night. Having not heard them before they played tonight they’ll certainly be one that I’ll be checking out again in the coming months and keeping an eye on!

Acres

To say I was left speechless by Casey’s performance probably isn’t the best way to start this review but it’s certainly correct! From the first piano note of ‘Making Weight’ to the last screams of ‘Little Bird’ Casey really showed just what makes them so special and just what the music world is losing! With soaring guitars, crushing breakdowns, spoken word sections and huge screams from Tom Weaver the band really give everything 100% and it certainly shows. The entire crowd were surging backwards and forwards all set and even hit the point where the crowdsurfers had to be stopped due to the size of the stage and equipment being knocked over. Needless to say that the show was in high gear throughout with hits like ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’ and ‘Bruise’ both getting huge singalongs. It was clear that these shows mean a huge amount to both the band and the crowd and with everything working perfectly it really was a pleasure to see.

Having sold out the show it was no surprise that everyone was here to celebrate Casey as they played their farewell shows. It really is a shame that these guys won’t be playing live again however it just means that we’ll have to spin their albums much more often to celebrate the perfection that they have. A genuine 10/10 show to really finish this chapter of their careers on a high and definitely one that everyone in the crowd will remember for a long time to come!

Casey