We’re sitting in a booth in Broadcast, a suitably cool pub with a bare-walled basement venue, when the phone rings. We’re here to interview Bradley of Bloody Knees, who’ve just released their EP Maybe It’s Easy on Distiller Records. As it turns out, he's in the next door booth! He’s even clocked us chatting about our questions. He hops round, and we begin the interview. After it ends, we head down into the basement for the gig. The performance is energetic: Bradley contorts himself around the guitar and eggs on the crowd, who clearly love it - they know the words to pretty much every song. It’s clear this band is one with a dedicated following, and you can see why - Bloody Knees are definitely one to watch out for.
Bloody Knees’ ‘Maybe it’s Easy’ tour concludes in Manchester on the 9th December. Tickets are available at https://www.songkick.com/ .
D: F*ck marry kill: Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and Ringo Starr
B: Okay, I have a strong suspicion that Ringo Starr is a passionate lover, anyone that can keep a solid rhythm for that amount of time, ‘cos I wouldn’t want to f*ck Mick Jagger, I’d feel like one of his many, you know what I mean, I wouldn’t feel special. Alright so me and Ringo will f*ck, who are the other two?
D: Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan
B: Ooh so I’m gonna marry Bob Dylan, 100%.. And yeah that means I’m gonna kill Mick Jagger, it’s not that I’m not into the Stones, but…
D: How would you do it?
B: Ooh, quick and painless man, I’d probably just.. I don’t know, like what’s.. There is no quick and painless, I’d just have to sneak one in the back of his head, so that he didn’t know, and then I’d, I dunno, I ‘d have to kill myself after that, that would be horrendous. I’d leave poor Bob Dylan a widower! This is not gonna end well for anyone, genuinely [laughs]
F: What was the last song that got stuck in your head?
B: Oh, that’s a good question… We were actually listening to the Beatles in the van on the way up here, so I’ve got Beatles songs stuck in my head right now, but before that, I dunno, we’ve only just managed to make the radio in the van work, by the way, so today we were listening to Beatles and everyone was like ‘this is amazing!’ but like the whole two weeks up until now we’ve not had any music so it’s been a bit, a bit quiet, so I’ve just been in my head.. To be honest probably ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ by Wolf Alice, yeah it’s just a really catchy song. They’re friends of ours from way back, and when they put this album out I was just super stoked, it’s a really good album, and that song is just catchy, man.
D: If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
B: Ok, so, thing is I am doing this but I still have to work a job, cos rock and roll don’t pay the bills unless you’re signed to a massive label who wanna chuck loads of money at you. So I work for a jewellery company in London, which I do enjoy. So, I guess I’d just be doing that, or something else, I dunno, it’s difficult to think, cos if I didn’t have the band, I’d have to find something else that I was passionate about.
D: What’s your favourite film? Or if that’s too tricky a really good one you’ve seen recently
B: Ooh, I really liked the new Blade runner, that was really cool - it just looked amazing. If you haven’t seen it, do see it. I think I will have to say, and this is not ‘exciting’ or whatever, but my favourite films to watch are the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’ve got the extended edition Blu-ray box set and it’s amazing, I watch it - since I’ve owned it’s been watched at least twice a year, start to finish. And that’s a lot of hours, man, that’s 12 hours a go! So yeah it’s not like a cult thingy, or anything cool, and it don’t make me look good but yeah I like The Lord of The Rings.
D: Classics, though. Do you marathon them?
B: I do, well, I used to, but my girlfriend isn’t very good at that, she likes to have breaks or she gets tired and goes to sleep, which is really frustrating for me because I have to then pause it because she’s there and I’m trying to make her watch it, you know what I mean? [laughs] ‘If you’re stopping, then I’m stopping, and we’ll reconvene at a later date’. But yeah, 100% my favourite films are the Lord of the Rings films.
F: What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
B: Uh, that would have been Thursday the Second of November, 2017. So last week, London. We sold out Camden Assembly [A new 400 person venue in North London] and the crowd went nuts - it was the best thing I’ve ever done, ever. It was the best thing as a band, we’ve ever done: to sell out a show in London is a pretty big thing for us, we’ve not done it before, so we were really excited. The fact that everyone was singing along to the new songs, as much as (if not more than) the older songs, that felt like we were really doing something right. So yeah, that was easily up there as one of the best moments of my musical life. Really cool, really cool.
F: Have you got any pre-gig rituals?
B: Nope! It’s different every time. It all depends on the venue man, if there’s somewhere where I can tuck myself away, like a quiet room, I’ll probably do some vocal warm-ups or whatever, but if there’s nowhere to do it I just won’t bother. I’ll suffer for it later, but it’s fine. We just kinda go on! There’s no handshakes, group chants, group hugs and that, we just get on with it. We just go ‘right, it’s time to go on lads, let’s go’, and then we go.
F: Any post-gig rituals?
B: No, I usually feel too… it’s died down a bit but for ages I always felt like I was gonna throw up afterwards, just ‘cause… it’s quite a physical thing when we play. But that hasn’t actually happened so much recently, I dunno whether I’ve just physically got accustomed to it..
D: gigging your way to fitness?
B: Yeah, it’s a workout I tell you. But yeah there’s no rituals, we’re not very ritualistic. Everything changes man, all the time.
D: What’s the first album you ever bought?
B: Well the first album I ever was bought was Bewitched. They were like a girl pop band, anyone born like ‘91, within 3 years of ‘91 either side will know who bewitched are, and that was the first album I ever had. First album I ever bought with my own money… I think it was an AC-DC album, because I wanted to learn how to play guitar, and Dad was like, ‘well, if you wanna learn how to play guitar, this is what you should listen to!’ … Thing is, I always bought singles, as a kid, it was like 1.99, 2.99 or whatever. That was always where I’d spend my money.
D: I didn’t even know they did those!
B: Yeah yeah, man one of the first ones I ever bought - I bought two in the same day. I bought ‘It wasn’t me’ by Shaggy, and I bought… There was an England song, I can’t remember who the lads who did it were, but it was ‘Sven Sven Sven’, so I actually bought that single, you know - it was football fever around the time… So there’s a few options for you!
F: Ok, we’ve got some quick questions for you.
B: Anything you want, yep.
D: Jazz flute or cowbell?
B: Cowbell. 100%.
F: Beatles or Stones?
D: Any particular Beatle?
B: I’m gonna have to say… John Lennon, he’s a G! Like… Yeah we were having this discussion in the van, like… ‘Do you reckon he’d be cool, now, if he’d never got killed… Or would he be annoying us all a bit like Paul McCartney is?’… If it ain’t John Lennon it’s Ringo. I think Ringo is the unsung hero.
D: Gravy or Curry on chips?
B: Curry, 100%.
D: Pixies or Nirvana?
B: Nirvana. And when I was in my early teenage years, that was just what it was. I listened to that all the time. So yeah, 100% Nirvana, man.