It’s show number five of the Wired Tour. After covering ground around the Midlands/South, from Cardiff to Norwich, Mallory Knox arrive to the tour’s first northern date – Sheffield. The Steel City has done its bit as this was the quickest show to sell out, and the heat in The Leadmill suggests no touts have stolen this one. Only sweaty fans wearing MK tops.
Opening the night is Scottish alt-rockers Fatherson, who are on top form despite playing so early. They play a quick set of hits from both albums, starting with the latter’s title track, ‘Open Book’. Front man Ross Leighton enters the stage and kicks straight in, the others soon follow and by the second track the crowd has grown substantially. To say they’re the opening act the dynamics are tight as ever. The set has a fair balance of intricate melodies and distorted rock, and it is fantastic. The show is off to an impressive start.
Next is Lonely The Brave, a five piece from Cambridge. It’s bloody hot now. It’s considerably louder with this lot, and the reception isn’t far off a headline slot. The first song is ‘Black Mire’ from 2016 album Things Will Matter. Everyone shouts along “What if I said this ain’t the one…” and the good vibes continue. The band finish on ‘The Blue, The Green’ – a track with a really sweet verse line and an epic outro. The night has lost no momentum and everyone piles in up close for the awaited headliners.
Two giant red MKs flash on stage to the intro drum loop of ‘Giving It Up’ – the first track from Wired. The crowd’s screams grow louder as Mallory Knox walk on stage. Once the song properly begins, chaos ensues. Track by track the mosh pits grow bigger, and the set is well-rounded for new fans and all the old-timers. The new album’s title track and ‘Beggars’ from the first album is received with everything you would expect from a rock gig. Following this is ‘Falling in Love’, a beautiful sing-along that isn’t quite hard-rock but does allow the audience to hear front man Mikey Chapman’s amazing vocal. Although afterwards he says “Enough of the sappy shit” and they smash into new tune ‘Lucky Me’. In total there are seven new tracks and eight older ones – something for everyone. Before the last pre-encore song, ‘Saviour’, Mikey discusses how our generation has to pick up the pieces after the likes of Donald Trump ruining the world. An encore gives us two more songs plus Yorkshire Tea bags hurled into the audience as the band’s response to our “Yorkshire” chants.
An incredible line-up. A wonderful crowd. Who said rock is dead?
Words by Josh Levin