Whilst I’ve heard a lot about it and missed loads of good gigs there, I’ve never been to the Sebright Arms, which is part of the reason I was excited to see Bloody Knees play at the newly refurbished venue on Friday night. I awkwardly approached a group of strangers sitting outside of where Google Maps had led me, and asked if I was I the right place. Within seconds, I realised these ‘strangers’ were actually members of Abattoir Blues, and I excitedly/creepily told them I recognised them because I’m an Editor for Gigslutz. They kindly confirmed I’d reached my destination, and I wandered off, cringing internally at my lack of ability to just be cool when I recognise a band.
I made my way inside to the bar and text Bloody Knees’ frontman Bradley to let him know I’d arrived to interview the band. He greeted me with a hug, asked me how my day had been, and said he’d let the other band members know we were ready to go. I offered him a drink, and he opted for a Guinness (It was St Patrick’s Day), but I somehow managed to accidentally order him a pint of watery stout. Smooth.
Once I’d corrected this mistake and ordered myself a gin and tonic, we had a quick chat about his day. He’d booked the day off of work so he could take it easy, and eat leftover pizza & crumpets before playing tonight’s show. Within a few minutes, we were joined by Sam, Tom & Christian. The bar was too busy, and Broadbay were sound-checking downstairs, so we ventured out to the smoking area and nabbed a bench for our chat. It was cold, so we shivered our way through my questions. The guys talked about crowd-surfing, what they’ve been listening to, and much to my surprise; sunbeds…
Hello Bloody Knees! You’re headlining the Sebright Arms tonight to help celebrate it’s refurbishment (by the team behind Vice & The Old Blue Last). What do you make of the venue’s facelift?
Tom: It looks exactly the same (laughs)
Bradley: It looks a bit cleaner? (laughs). They’ve done a good tidying up job, it looks the business.
Sam: Downstairs looks a lot better.
Bradley: Yeah, the bar downstairs is much more convenient. It used to be on the side, now it’s at the back.
Sounds more efficient! It’s your first live performance in a while, how are you feeling and what are you expecting from the night?
Tom: Really excited. We haven’t played a show for ages and they’ve over-sold the tickets (DICE app), so it’s going to be rammed. We’ve got loads of new ones that we can’t wait to play too, so it’s gonna be good.
It’s also St. Patricks Day. You’re drinking pints of Guinness, but how else are you planning to celebrate and get the party started?
Sam: Just drink a lot of Guinness…
Tom: Suggest people drink Guinness?
Sam: Hopefully all the people who don’t usually drink it will get more drunk than usual because their stomachs aren’t used to it.
Bradley: They’ll probably just feel really full up.
But it’s high in iron though, so it’s good for you, right?
Christian: People are going to have a healthy hangover.
Tom: Everyone’s going to have a really good iron intake by the end of the evening.
Bradley: I think as far as celebrations are concerned, having a line-up that’s got all of our friends on it; Abattoir Blues, Birdskulls, Broadbay – that’s a celebration in itself I reckon.
Tom: That was nice!
Your live sets are notorious for their crowd surfing and mosh pits. Can you remember the first time you crowd surfed? Was it at your own gig or was it watching someone else?
Bradley: I think it must have been at a Less Than Jake gig, or was it Bowling For Soup?
Tom: Christian’s first one was Oasis…
Christian: No, it was Kings Of Leon! Oasis played afterwards. I just got chucked around for 100 metres (laughs)
Bradley: Oh no wait! My first crowd surf was at ‘Rock Night’ in year 9. Me and Christian played in a metal band called Death Toll, and I think we were playing ‘Sad But True’ by Metallica. I ran off the little platform they had and crowd surfed. It was wicked.
That sounds intense. I know it’s a bit cold out here but…
Sam: No that’s alright, don’t worry about it, that’s fine. Just. get. through it. Read. the. bloody. questions. Kate. (laughs)…
…Festival season is approaching; are you able to share any information on which ones you’ll be playing at?
Sam: This is a really quick one! No festivals booked as of yet, but keep your eyes peeled. We’re either keeping stuff to ourselves right now, or we just don’t have anything to share…
Bradley: We’ve got nothing. But if you could word that in a way that just doesn’t include this question, that’d be great (laughs)
Gonna be tricky, but I’ll give it a shot. I’m sure your fans are eager to hear some new material…
Bradley: That’s why we haven’t booked anything yet…
Ah, I see. Can you tell us any information about these new recordings?
Bradley: They’re done!
Sam: EP is finished, written & recorded. We’re just waiting for the right time to put it out. We want everything to be perfect. In the past, releases have been rushed and we’re finally at a point now where we can take our time with it and make sure everything’s done right.
Sounds good, looking forward to hearing it! You performed at the Bands4Refugees shows in December last year alongside members of Slaves, Wolf Alice & Dream Wife (covering songs by FIVE & Nirvana). If it was suddenly mandatory for all bands to have one cover song in their live sets – what song would you choose and why?
Sam: I think we’d all agree that we’d probably cover ‘The Beautiful Ones’ by Suede.
Bradley: I disagree!
Sam: Alright, ‘Bombtrack’ by Rage Against The Machine?
Christian: No no, it’d be ‘How Much Is That Doggy In The Window’ (laughs)
Bradley: See, this is why Christian doesn’t answer questions (laughs). I tell you what, we’d actually get Christian to do a solo rendition of ‘Ring Of Fire’ by Johnny Cash.
Tom: We have a group chat where we decide everything and it’s quite democratic, and everyone agrees on what we do. But the second Christian starts talking it gets derailed by so much shit input (laughs) that we’re all like “thanks for that Christian!”
Sam: There’s a reason why no-one’s encouraging him to get a smart phone again.
Christian: Yeah, there really is no point (laughs)
Everyone’s entitled to their input guys! You’re great at using your social media to promote other bands you’ve shared bills with (FISH, Hotel Lux, Birdskulls & Broadbay), but are there any other bands you can recommend we check out?
Bradley: Good question…
Sam: Bradley’s been listening to a band called The Rhythm Method quite a lot. He has not stopped babbling on about them.
Bradley: I spoke about them for literally two minutes! I listened to The Rhythm Method this morning, and I really like them. That’s the long and short of it.
Sam: There’s a band from Berlin that me and Tom have been listening to called Swain.
Tom: What about you Christian?
Sam: Oh here we go (laughs)
Bradley: He’ll probably say Johnny Cash, Fleetwood Mac…
Sam: No, he’s gonna recommend the new Travis album.
Christian: To be fair, their singles have been really good.
I saw them at V Festival last year and they were genuinely really good!
Bradley: Basically, all the classics; Broadbay, Birdskulls, Abattoir Blues..
Sam: Finally, I’m gonna go with Nervous Conditions who are from Cambridge.
Bradley: And Luxury Death, who are from Manchester.
I caught them when they supported Dream Wife at The Old Blue Last.
Bradley: Dream Wife as well! Stick them on the list.
Finally, when you’re not busy with all things Bloody Knees – what do you do to relax?
Bradley: (laughs) The thing is, we’re not often that busy with Bloody Knees.
Sam: Don’t say that, say we’re so busy we don’t get a chance to relax!
Tom: I mean, we never get out of the van…
Bradley: We spend all of our time doing our jobs, do Bloody Knees stuff when we can, but we’re basically slaves to the weekend.
Sam: I do a bit of hot yoga…
Bradley: It’s not hot because it’s sexy, it’s hot because they turn the heating right up.
Tom: Sam’s started to have a great time under some sunbeds as well.
That’s not good for you Sam! I come from Essex where it’s a big thing, you should listen to me.
Sam: No, I go on one that uses this good shit that makes it all alright.
That’s what they all say…
Sam: But it’s working, everyone keeps saying to me “Oh you look nice, have you been on holiday?” Then I tell them I’ve been on the beds and they drop their glass…Oh shit. Now the world is going to know that I go on the beds.
I can cut it from the write up if you like?
Bradley: No, to be fair; if you use sunbeds, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
Couldn’t have put it better myself. Massive thanks to Bloody Knees for answering my questions. Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.