Night of the Long Knives

Album: A Fever Dream (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • The Night of the Long Knives is a descriptive phrase that was applied to the night of June 30 - July 1, 1934 when Adolf Hitler, assisted by Heinrich Himmler's SS, carried out a series of political murders. During the purge at least 85 people were executed, all whom the Nazi leader thought was holding back his regime. This song draws parallels between the events leading up to that atrocity and the rise of the extreme right wing in the 2010s. Frontman Jonathan Higgs explained to Drowned in Sound:

    "Instead of taking the scary alt-right wave and saying it might be a wave, I'm saying that actually it's crap and a bit pathetic, and a lot of people involved are just very small arrogant little men. I'm just trying to do it down as much as I can, to undermine it as much as I can.

    I wanted to draw a parallel with his rise and the rise of the right and put that imagery in people's minds before we even begin, but then immediately tear it down and say 'They're a bit s--t, aren't they?' It's kind of funny how angry they get about everything. I just like playing with it."
  • This is the opening track of A Fever Dream. The band told Reddit it was the song on the album that was the most difficult to put together.

    "Long Knives was the biggest battle in the studio, the arrangement was hard to perfect. The demo had this outrageous math riff which we had to cut sadly which was a shame but it was getting quite prog so probably a good thing."
  • The video was directed by Kit Monteith, who also filmed fellow Oxford residents Foals' clip for "What Went Down." Jonathan Higgs told NME:

    "We wanted to return to the DIY spirit of our early self-directed videos that we made in Manchester when we first started out. It therefore felt right to shoot this video in Manchester and Low Four studios at Old Granada Studios was the perfect fit. It's a hidden gem that has managed to maintain its original late 1970s aesthetic."

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