Take a close look at Mother Vulture and you'll find their suits are covered in blood

Mother Vulture group shot
(Image credit: Shona Cutt)

Brodie Maguire gets hurt a lot. Broken legs. Cracked ribs. A busted ankle once kept the guitarist off his feet – that is until a big festival show came up and he carried on regardless, climbed the scaffold, jumped down and broke the joint again. His bandmates have a similarly generous collection of war wounds. It’s kind of…well, what they do. 

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” says Maguire, a smiling, softly-spoken presence over Zoom. “We just want people to come and have fun. We’re a bit silly, I suppose, when it comes to playing live. We want to bring a smile to people’s faces.” 

Since forming “properly” in 2019 (they met at university in Bristol around 2015), Mother Vulture have confounded expectations. They look like indie boys, in their suits, but sound like the offspring of Satan and AC/DC – dipping their toes into fiery hardcore as easily as into riffy rock’n’roll. They work as hospital porters, music teachers and in student accomodation by day, and by night deliver riotous rock sets. The sort that always seem like they’re about to fall apart, but never do. 

“Exactly,” Maguire says. “Just enough chaos to keep people on edge, but you can take some comfort in knowing that the music is going to stay on track.” 

And those suits are not all they seem. 

“If you take a closer look, you see that they’re covered in blood and mud and ripped,” he says. “You can get a bit of insight into what sort of band we’re actually going to be.”

More clues lie in their debut album Mother Knows Best, an explosion of monster hooks, punkoid ferocity, psychedelic moments and modern twists. Royal Blood is one touchstone. Bassist Chris Simpson likes Enter Shikari and Iron Maiden. Drummer Matt West listens to “the heavier side of indie”, like Kasabian and Oasis. Madcap vocalist Georgi Valentine grew up in Bulgaria listening to Guns N’ Roses – now reflected in the Axl Rose twinges of his melodies. 

“Georgi does what he likes over the top, whether it be falsetto or guttural screams,” Maguire says with a laugh. “Which is kind of what ties it all together.” 

Meanwhile Maguire cut his teeth, aged 19, as the ‘Angus Young’ of AC/DC tribute Hells Bells. 

“I was running around topless for two or three nights a week, every week for two years!” he says. Playing Angus provided good training for life on the road and for booking shows. It also helped Maguire overcome a more personal obstacle: “I’ve always been introverted. I always wanted to play on stage, but I was very shy. So doing that for a couple years helped to bring me out of my shell.” 

The band's album tour finished last week, but take our advice: if you get the chance, go and catch this unique new hope for British rock before they all wind up in hospital. 

Mother Knows Best is out now and can be ordered online

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.