21 October 2013

Young Knives UK tour includes Liverpool o2 Academy

Young Knives UK tour includes Liverpool o2 Academy

Young Knives UK tour includes Liverpool o2 Academy

We’ve just made this album called Sick Octave. It’s our fourth studio album and it’s the best album we’ve ever made. It is of course only a matter of opinion, but that is our opinion. Sick Octave is a fully self-produced, self-recorded album that is a totally free and unbridled expression of our love of music and music-making. It’s as DIY and as filthy as we could make it. We wanted to make something dark and industrial, and a bit crass but with a sprinkling of pretty shit. We didn’t go for producers or high-end studios, we just started recording the stuff that made us excited.

It’s a lot rawer than our first three albums. We were keen to experiment with the freedom and creativity that computers offer and then mix that up with live sounds and field recordings. We built our own drums out of junk and sheet metal, and made our own synths and pedals. We spent hours messing around with sounds, nicking stuff off YouTube and recording in a disused airbase hanger. 

We are pretty excited to be getting this record out. I don’t believe that this is the effortless parpings of a band in a rut churning out another ‘fan pleaser’, so we truly hope you find this record different and invigorating, or at least interesting, or otherwise we hope you really hate it. Here are some of my favourite tracks:

Owls of Athens is a song about faded glory, delusion and then death, with a cool beat.  We wanted an intense drum machine sound like Big Black. It’s also full of homemade percussion, an old gas cylinder, metal bars and stuff.

Something Awful is a mix of all different musical styles that we like. It’s got bits from Silver Apples, Bowie, Major Lazer, Led Zeppelin all mixed together. My grandpa’s Alzheimer’s inspired the lyrics, but I used that real experience to inform something more vaguely about metamorphosis. It’s also about changing into some kind of super killer monster.

We Could Be Blood is really just about feeling so close to someone that you don’t notice them, but there’s this creepy/murdery side to it that I like. We borrowed a Hammond organ off Steve Winwood to record this, though I’m not sure he knows we did.

Sick Octave the live show

We are taking the album on the road in November for our first tour since 2011, but we didn’t want to just rock up and play some songs and then go home. We wanted to put together a real live experience. Not like Pink Floyd’s The Wall, not so many lasers, but something that has an element of theatre. 

The Sick Octave show is a total performance of the record from beginning to end, with set pieces, homemade instruments and dancing, all mixed together with a blast of spectacle. 

The last third of the show will be a stripped-back set of our old stuff because we are not wankers.


Young Knives are Henry Dartnall (me),The House Of Lords and Oliver Askew. I’m the big cheese in the band. I write a lot of the songs, play guitar and sing. The House Of Lords is my brother, and he plays bass and keys and sings a lot. He has a cool stage name, so fickle people tend to think he is the best in the band. Ollie plays drums and sings; he has the voice of a castrato and grade 3 violin.

Our first album Voices of Animals and Men was really popular! We had three singles entering the UK Top 40 and the album was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2007. In 2008 we released Superabundance, we got a couple of Top 40 singles and the album included our most synched track Turn Tail; something to do with the big string section, I reckon. Then we decided very much that we needed to get away from major label pressures as it just didn’t suit our temperament, and although it may have been a naïve move, we decided to start our own label, Gadzöök. In 2011 we released our third album Ornaments from the Silver Arcade, and this felt like the last record in a trilogy. This record has some of our favourite songs to play live, like Vision In Rags and Woman.

Sick Octave has been a new start for us. It has definitely been the most fun record we’ve ever made, and I think you can hear it in the tracks. We almost didn’t make it a Young Knives record as it feels so different from what went before. But that would be a lie; it is totally a Young Knives record.

Live Dates 2013

Sat 26 - Oxford, The Cellar (Special pre-tour show)

Tue 5 - Glasgow, O2 ABC
Wed 6 - Birmingham, O2 Academy
Thu 7 - Cardiff, ClwbIfor Bach
Fri 8 - London, O2 Academy Islington
Sat 9 – Southampton Joiners
Sun 10 - St Albans, The Horn
Tue 12 - Newcastle, O2 Academy
Wed 13 - Sheffield, O2 Academy
Thu 14 - Liverpool, O2 Academy
Tue 19 - Manchester, Sound Control
Wed 20 - Hebden Bridge, Trades Club
Sat 23 - Bedford, Esquires

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