Gig weary after a busy few days and tonight I’m back out to the fabulous Robin as the Inglorious tour hits the Midlands. This is one gig I was really looking forward to not just for the main act but for the supports too.
Opening the evening was the mighty fine MATT MITCHELL, tonight acoustically so it was a pretty gentle opening to the proceedings. Matt has a lovely voice, blues and southern hues but with he power of a rock singer.
An enjoyable set and a contrast to the loudness and aggression that was to come with THE HOWLING TIDES.
The Howling Tides are a four piece from the midlands and every time I see them I smile – these guys know how to play rock, they know how to write great rock songs and they seem to thrive on the stage.
This is the future of British Rock, right here on the stage tonight. Hard, aggressive, filthy riff ridden glorious music.
Only a short slot tonight so they packed in the tuneage with songs from their self titled EP slapping the corners of the Robin with stonking basslines and growling guitars.
LIBERTY LIES opening with ‘Undivided’ the alternative rock band from Wednesbury in the midlands kept the temperature up. Shaun Richards has a big voice, melodic and powerful and the music matched it perfectly.
With their album ‘It’s The Hope That Kills You’ being released in November, the band are playing the Awards night at HRH in November and it will be good to see them again.
The now familiar intro of ‘Inglorious’ rings out around the room creating the atmosphere of anticipation. Exploding into ‘Where Are You Now?’ before ripping into their first major hit, ‘Breakaway’ the band sounded splendidly tight. ‘Time To Go’ ripped with riffs and pace before everyone took a breath with Phil Beaver emerging from behind the drum kit and picking up his 12 string for an acoustic rendition of ‘Glory Days’. You cannot doubt Nathan James’s voice, it is beyond compare, distinctive but it’s the range you cannot comprehend unless you see him perform live.
A setlist of songs from across al their 3 albums it was fabulous to hear some of the older heavier tracks again, the opening of ‘Warning’ deliciously sludgy and reverberates through your core. ‘Liar’ from the new album, Ride To Nowhere sounds good and strong, ‘High Flying Gypsy’ packing a punch of throaty riffs and rumbling bass.
I do love these older tracks. I love that Inglorious are so varied with their styles, classic rock, light melodic but it really is this hard rock sound that I love. Dan, Vinnie and Danny have found their feet very quickly in the line up and Phil Beaver takes centre stage with not just the drum kit but with his backing vocals.
Four part harmonies come in to play on ‘Girl Gotta Gun’ and I can’t get over how much it adds to the song. Just have to mention ‘Unaware’ as Danny really did just crank those riffs up. Still in the set is a very beautiful version of ‘Uninvited’ which has the hairs on my skin stand on end, beautiful and powerful but so controlled.
You can’t pick out one particular song from the set as a stand out as they are all so different but for me it has to be ‘Warning’ those high notes… Hell Nathan… how The Robin retained its roof is beyond me! Nathan James is happy on stage, you can sense it from the smiles between him and the other band members but also from his chat from the stage, just positive, happy, saying he can’t believe they get paid to sing songs written in his bedroom.
This is infectious and the crowd are obviously feeling it too, the vibe in the room is fantastic. Throw the now familiar ‘Holy Water’ into the mix and not one person wasn’t singing along.
Even at the end of the night, no one had moved, everyone was stood clapping and cheering. This was a really strong and tight performance from the band, from the big festivals they played over the summer they have definitely gelled, 5 friends sharing a stage and they are pretty damn impressive.
Speaking of friends, James always introduces Heather Leoni as one of his closest friends and she is also the lady behind the emotionally raw song ‘I Don’t Know You’ and it was a real treat to have Heather join the band on stage tonight to perform it with them. Stunning.
Tonight was a great night, a quick mention to Rob Lindop who is on keyboards again for this tour, a very talented guy, the keys fill out the songs perfectly. I really do enjoy seeing this band, it isn’t Nathan James who proved the critics wrong when major line up changes threatened the future of the band, it’s the new band members themselves who have proved it. Danny Dela Cruz was outstanding, a ferocious self taught talent who seems completely unfazed by the challenges of live performing.
Dan Stevens, head thrown back, packing out the guitars and Vinnie Cola throwing down the bass line, so unassuming but so full of groove. Philip Beaver! What can I say, hair everywhere, smashing the skins with so much energy I’m not sure how he manages to provide backing vocals but he does admiably.
Go and check out the band on the remaining dates of the tour. I am, I need to see this again.
Also go and check out our interview with Nathan James the night before the start of this tour.
Review by Lindsay Smith for metalplanetmusic
Nathan James Interview with Fiona D check it out below.