Recommended #19 John Knox Sex Club by Wull Swales

Posted on September 30, 2011


It has been a while since Recommended #18,  so I thought it was time to give it a reboot. I didn’t want to start things off again so I thought I’d rope in a very knowledgable musical mind, and am very happy to have Wull Swales taking on the recommending duties.

You may know Wull as the man behind Define Pop, the man at the front of Where We Lay Our Heads, or from a myriad of other excellent musical escapades.

Anyhow, enough from me, here’s what Wull had to say.

Who are you recommending? and why?

I’m recommending John Knox Sex Club from Glasgow, because if anyone asked me to suggest one great Scottish band to check out it’d be them. I can’t think of anyone else in Scotland doing anything like these guys, and I don’t think anyone else is brave enough to try after hearing them.

How would you describe the music?

They’re a tough band to pigeon-hole; they encompass a lot of the parts of some of my favourite music and have the blatant dynamics of post rock laying between frailty and noise. They have the obvious influence of folk music in their softer moments and in Sean’s vocals. I love his story-telling and the blend of chants and hooks he uses. They also have a great use of grooves which I think is a big part of their sound.

How did you discover this band?

I first heard them a few years ago when they supported Over The Wall at an Instinctive Raccoon show. I didn’t catch the start of their set but when I got there I was just blown away by their intensity. Actually, Dave from WWLOH was there that night and ended up covered in blood while trying to pick up their guitarist, Rory. He was (to quote Dave) “thrashing around like a fish on a hook”, and Dave ended up getting his face cut up by Rory’s Jazzmaster, and still agrees it was an amazing gig.

How would you describe the live experience?

If you ask anyone who has seen John Knox live they will say they are “the best live band in Scotland”, and they are right. Seeing them provokes an intense euphoric effect where you are completely lost in the moment, nothing else matters except for what’s going on directly in front of you and I mean directly. Sean from the band appears to be a lot happier on the floor a few feet from your face than he does on stage with his band mates. If you’ve not seen this band live then you’re missing out. Words like ‘intense’ and ‘explosive’ just wouldn’t do them justice.

If you had to suggest one of their songs to start someone off with what would it be?

Again a tough one to answer but I’m gonna go with Kiss The Dirt (below) from the new album Raise Ravens, which Dave actually did some backing on in the studio. Kiss The Dirt has everything I love about the band spread across 12 minutes. All the dynamics, all the grooves, great lyrics and big chants that you’ll still be shouting long after the song has finished.

A big thanks to Wull for the Recommendation.

Head over to Bandcamp to hear some more John Knox Sex Club.

Posted in: Recommended