Live Review: Lake Malice, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds

Tonight is all about positivity and a meeting of minds and cultures which is why we’re at the slightly unusual choice of venue, The Hyde Park Book Club. We should clarify this place is not really a book club, although there are books here. It’s a vegan cafe/bar with a basement live performance space. It’s all very bohemian and within 200 yards of Leeds University, some would say hipster? We’re not that uncharitable. We venture into the belly of the venue where it’s already getting hot and sweaty!

Leeds-based 4-piece Gen-Z alt-rock outfit Artio are here to bring the bounce with poppy dance, which is met with massive applause. Their savvy hyper-pop take on metalcore fits perfectly with the headliners, with band members Leuan Jones and Rob Arkle putting in passionate performances and looking the real deal every bit. We can see why Lake Malice’s Blake has been singing their praises! “My body is a temple, and I’ll burn yours to the ground,” is the message on the standout album track, ‘Temple’, dedicated to boundaries and societal problems, with Rae Brazill taking time to firmly assert that this is a safe space and that it must never not be. Keep your eyes fixed on this group; Artio has a bright future ahead and is clearly striking a chord with excellent cuts like the pulsing riot that is ‘Sertraline’. Rae has an incredible voice and great control that will probably be needed for their forthcoming barrage of activity if this performance is anything to go off! The new track, ‘You Set My House On Fire,’ definitely has summer hit written all over it. A good festival run should cement this band in everyone’s psyche if there’s any justice. If we’re going to be playing Moshtradamus, we foresee many more busy nights for this bunch of rabble-rousers!

There are times during Lake Malice’s set where you could be forgiven for thinking you were at a basement rave on a Saturday night in Leeds…well you kind of are tonight, but it’s one you can also mosh to and headbang and dance Leeds does a lot! From the monumental opening one, two punch of ‘Black Turbine’ and ‘Bloodbath’ strap in because it’s just banger after banger. This is what Lake Malice do, pure anthems! We have hands in the air raving alongside walls of death and the sit-down, “get-the-fuck-up,” trick that, to be fair, I’ve seen in both raves and moshpits! 2 brand new tracks are aired, and shapes are thrown. 

Energizer Bunny guitarist and musical mastermind Blake Cornwall is a live wire, a ball of ever-moving frenetic joy that simply does not stop. Alice Guala is the very definition of a powerhouse singer with a voice to level cities and expert charismatic and caring stagecraft that ensures the devotion of this sweaty, up-for-it Leeds crowd. All cultures, genders and sexualities are united tonight with no boundaries, borders or genre constraints, and it’s a beautiful thing! Let’s not forget touring drummer Emily, who keeps this entire machine charging at a ridiculous pace with immense skill.

You can’t keep this gate because there is no gate to keep! ‘Stop the party’ does precisely the opposite as the crowd go several shades of batshit crazy! Pogoing in unison with Cheshire cat grins. Then, all of a sudden, it’s time for the last track – where did the time go? Then the glorious ‘Blossom’ simply erupts, the track that started this thrill ride that seems to have blazed ever since; tonight, it gets a kick-ass drum and bass remix overhaul midway through. Clearly, those nights supporting Enter Shikari have rubbed off because that drop was pure filth!! Stop The Party? That’s highly doubtful on a form like this. Pure positivity and unity in Leeds is a beautiful thing to witness; thank you, Lake Malice. We all really needed that!

Review & All Photos By George Miller –


 Lake Malice