James Mellen
James Mellen

Bristol-based writer, specialising in musings on the world of music and fashion.

Amidst the saturates of regional scenes, few bands well and truly state their claim – but Bristol’s Knives are easily one of the frontrunners of the emerging band circuit

A hybrid of post punk, noise rock and a slick dose of pop-centric hooks, this ambitious group have dominated live circuits, ticking off nearly every venue in Bristol with their raucous and dynamic live shows, with the remainder of 2023 boasting a sold-out headline and a European tour.

2023 has been a restless year for Knives; their debut EP, Newshounds, was released back in April and the band have refused to slow down. Now, the band have released a live fan-favourite – though it’s one they didn’t even write.

The opening track on her seminal 1980 record ‘Never for Ever’, Kate Bush‘s Babooshka has remained a classic, a cult track of iconicity for fans of the art pop songstress. Fast-forward forty-three years, and Babooshkahas been dismantled, torn apart and blitzed, only to be put back together in a wickedly chaotic fashion by Knives.

Driven forward by relentless drumming and a bass so heavy Metro Boomin would give it a thumbs up, this cover injects an incessant energy, decorated with gnarly, squealing guitar lines and a magnificent vocal performance by frontman Jay Schottlander.

Throughout the track, Schottlander’s vocals become increasingly frantic, his delivery twisting and morphing with every whisper of ‘babooshka’. Metal undertones are prevalent too, the verse guitar riffs watertight and packed with gain, duelling with the delicate harp inflections which add a truly unique dimension to the sound.

Babooshkais a great stepping stone for Knives, releasing one of their most enjoyed moments live to quench the thirst of their die-hard following while they continue to work tirelessly in secret. Covering an artist as legendary as Kate Bush is no mean feat, but here Knives display authenticity whilst clearly having a hell of a lot of fun. The band continue to defy expectations, and refuse to be backed into a corner, the word ‘genre’ being merely a noun rather than criteria to swear by.

Listen to ‘Babooshka’ here:

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