Bottles smashed, moshes swirled and knees were bloodied as Bloody Knees tore the tiny London venue to shreds.
St. Patrick’s Day is notorious for getting lairy and dropping all your inhibitions; a perfect occasion for lurching into a mosh and lobbing your Guinness across a room of sweaty Bloody Knees fans. With support from fellow slacker grunge rockers Broadbay, Birdskulls and Abattoir Blues, the night was destined for some gritty unadulterated mayhem.
Abattoir Blues were all the buzz in the smoking area, with the Hackney crowd slurring unlimited praises for the incendiary Brighton five-piece. They’ve supported every indie kid’s favourite bands, from The Magic Gang and The Big Moon to Wolf Alice and Pretty Vicious, but tonight they owned the stage as if they were headliners. Lurching into the swarming crowd and delivering unimpeded guitar noise, the five-piece heated up the tiny basement venue and set the mood up perfectly for Bloody Knees to continue the carnage.
The floor was already covered with broken bottles and discarded jumpers, yet this didn’t stop the crowd from going absolutely mental. Despite the ceiling being about as high as a dog standing on its back legs, crowdsurfers plastered themselves to the roof as soon as Bloody Knees started their incendiary set. Frontman Bradley Griffiths was loving it, encouraging everyone to do whatever they wanted because it was “fucking St. Patrick’s Day”.
At no point was there time for a breather. Flying through the tracklist of their breakneck 2014 album Stitches, Bloody Knees were taking no prisoners. When the opening hook of collective favourite ‘Daydream’ blistered through the room, stage invaders lurched forward and the whole crowd belted back the lyrics.
As Bloody Knees ended their set and exited the sauna that Sebright had become, every crowd member seemed to collectively catch their breath. Ears were ringing and jaws were still gurning as everyone spilled into the smoking area to laugh about their now bruised and bloody knees.
Make sure you catch Bloody Knees the next time they’re in your town, just don’t forget your plasters.
Words and Images by Meg Firth