Independent Venue Week launches today, and celebrates its third year anniversary in 2016, with a series of gigs across the UK.

In Milton Keynes, Marshall Amplification is backing the campaign with a tasty show by Mallory Knox, who return to The Craufurd Arms on Saturday evening (Jan 30).

In 2015 they tucked away a Top 15 album and showed their mettle with a main stage appearance at the Download Festival, before engaging on their biggest headline tour to date, which wrapped up at London's Roundhouse.

Saturday's show – with support from MK bands Wake the City and A World Away - is a long time sold-out, but bassist Sam Douglas went On Track with Total MK...

Physical or digital - how do you take your music?

I've always been a physical fan to be honest, I'm really old school in the way I'd buy a CD and open up the album booklet and read the lyrics whilst I sat at the end of my bed listening.

Digital is obviously way more convenient and I do buy the odd single/song on iTunes but that's it. For me that's where albums can be lost because it's so easy just to buy the song that's out at the time instead of the entire album. As a musician and music fan I think it kinda sucks.

The first time you thought 'Music - this is the job for me'

I never really thought of it as a job, I just always loved listening to music. I never really sat down and thought I want to be in a band, it just kinda ended up like that.

I've never really been interested in anything else enough to want to base a career on, it apart from football and that's never going to happen as I liked food and beer far too much!

I think to get anywhere with something you have to have passion and you have to want to do it, and that's exactly how I feel about music.

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Your best on stage memory...

I don't think I have a single stand out one but I have a few and it's normally when I'm the most emotional.

Whenever someone in my family comes to watch a show I always end up shedding a tear on stage.

I don't really know why, but when I catch them on stage I can see they're performing the set just as much as I am in their mind.

I remember seeing my sister on her friend's shoulders at Reading & Leeds on the main stage and that just set me off, it made me play so much harder.

Playing shows is ultimately why we do what we do and I truly love every show but when there's people there that you love and really care about it just makes it that little more special.


And the worst gig you've ever done

There was a show in Huddersfield way back, I think it was in like the first 30 shows we had ever done.

We turned up to the venue and back then no one was buying tickets to see us and for some reason we were the headline band.

So no one was there really apart from the support bands and the barmen, but not only that, myself and Mikey had completely lost our voices so we played the entire set sounding like a hardcore band, desperately shouting each word.

Not that there is anything wrong with hardcore but when you're trying to sing a song like Oceans and you're absolutely screaming and shouting it it just sounds absolutely awful.

I remember just feeling completely humiliated after that show, I also think that was the show where I got my ear plug stuck in my ear and nearly had a panic attack because I thought I was going to have to go to hospital to get it out, that's still something the others like to bring up from time to time.


What made you take up the bass...

For me it was kind of an accident. I used to be very into my sport, I played football and cricket all the time and one year when I was around 13-14 years old I got badly injured and couldn't play let alone walk for about six months.

It was kind of playing guitar for the lack of anything better to do, I was absolutely awful at it and normally if I can't pick something up within the first few hours I quit and I was shocking for weeks.

But because I was basically bound to the sofa I kept at it because I really couldn't do anything else!

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Which one song by another artist do you wish you had written

There's so many but it's a tie between Jesus Christ by Brand New or With or Without You by U2.

Now I'm not the biggest U2 fan but that song is just unreal, lyrically, musically, just the whole emotion of the song can't help but completely captivate me.

It's the same with Jesus Christ, it's the most simple song with the same two chords pretty much present throughout the entire song but it grabs you and pulls you in. I think for a song to be a classic it has to move you and literally stop what you're doing, and those two songs do every single time.


And one - by yourself  - which holds special significance

 There's a few I am so proud of.

On Signals I love Creeper, I don't think that song gets enough recognition by ourselves let alone anyone else, and on Asymmetry I love the catchiness of Getaway and the darkness and emotion of Dare You, but I always find myself going back to Lighthouse.

Arguably it's our most well known song but I remember writing that song in my bedroom and I've never quite had as much as excitement as I did when writing that song.

I was literally freaking out and rang all the boys and I promised them I'd just written our best song and all that rubbish that I normally spout when I write a song, but to be fair it probably is and we still close our sets with that song.

It's gonna take a lot to beat that one for me.


If you could step into the shoes of another musician, living or dead, who would it be and what would you do?

 I'm not sure, I've never really wanted to be in any other band than Mallory.

I love Blink and ultimately they're the band that got me into Rock music and Mark Hoppus is the only bassist I've ever really looked up to, but I wouldn't want to step into his shoes because I'd probably have ruined Blink and everyone would hate me.


Any current musical influences that you might look to...

 I'm at the point in my life where I can't get past the songs that are classics to me, and they're ultimately the bands that influence me the most.

Blink-182, Alkaline Trio, Jimmy Eat World.

Those kinds of bands will always influence me the most in writing, but in saying that there are a number of new bands that I think are fantastic.

Deaf Havana don't get half the recognition they deserve. The 1975 are fantastic and have blown up and rightly so.

If you look hard enough there is good music everywhere, I remember going Xmas shopping last year in Cambridge and there was this lad about my age busking.

He had his guitar on his lap and was playing something I could only dream of. Like honestly his talent was insane, I remember stopping and watching him and ended up buying his album on the spot.

His name is Will Robert and I still listen to his album from time to time. His playing alone made me go home and play guitar to try and be at least as half as good as he was.


And any genre of music that you simply can't stand?

 I really don't like dance music.

Some of it can be catchy but it always goes into that dum dum dum bass drop and I just can't stand it.

I don't see how you can listen to it in your car because it's all the bloody same. Each to their own and all that but it's just a but rubbish really.

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Plug your 'Independent Venue Week' gig in Milton Keynes for us - what can we expect and why was it important for you to get involved?

 It's going to be such a fun show.

It's a weird one for us because we've played the Craufurd Arms twice a while back and neither of the shows sold out.

Since then we've been lucky enough to have toured the world and had a bit of a success and I believe this time round the show sold out within 24 hours which for us is really cool.

It's very much going to be a back to basics show.

We are all really excited to get back into a smaller venue, whilst we have absolutely loved being able to headline bigger venues and venues we could have only dreamed about it there is something special with playing small shows in venues you grew up playing. We are forever thankful to venues like Craufrd Arms and the promoters at independent venues that give you a chance to play when no one really knows who you are.

I think it's really cool that we can come back and play a Sold Out show for them and get back to basics and just play a small sweaty rock show where it really is all going to be about the music.

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Marshall Amplification are backing the event, of course.  As a brand, what does Marshall mean to you?

They mean that I can play through really good gear without paying so much money that I become homeless because I can't afford it!

No seriously they have been such a help to us and I know Joe and James our two guitarists spend hours going through their amps getting the sound they want and I know that Marshall are an absolute cut above the rest. They are very supportive of our band and they really don't have to be and the fact that we can be a part of this event alongside them is an absolute privilege.

It's been great working so closely with them the last couple of years and long may it continue.   For more, visit