Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Inglorious Live at the Islington Assembly Hall

I am a latecomer to the Inglorious camp. The first album failed to make any significant impact on my listening habits but then I heard a new song and then another and slowly slowly I started to fall for this classic English rock band fronted by the amazing vocalist Nathan James. When I saw that they would be playing IAH and launching their new album, the safely titled "II", I thought I better grab a ticket for this. Good job too as the gig was more or less sold out with what must be not far from 800 in attendance.

I had seen the support band listed as Mason Hill and Gypsy Heart and I actually checked both out on youtube beforehand to get a handle on their music. GH sounded a bit soft and countryish whilst MH sounded really, heavy groovy and cool.

Gypsy Heart it turns out only played as a duo as two other members of the band were absent. That left a young gal with a nice earthy voice and a guy on acoustic guitar. Pleasant and nice on the ear overall with heartfelt emotional songs but people were here for ROCK and GH didn't quite provide that this time but nice vocals anyway from the young lady.

Scots Mason Hill were up next and were a whole different kettle of fish. These guys know how to rock and then some. Big old grooving riffs and emotional classic vocals was the order of the day. Part modern and part old school but never dull at all. The singer held the tunes together wonderfully well whilst the two guitarists churned out classic bendy riffs and solos galore. This band really deserves to get much bigger and I think most of the Inglorious crowd were well chuffed with their performance. The singer may lack some of Nathan's charm and melodic swagger but they have so much power and attitude that it easily makes up for any shortcomings they may have vocally speaking. They dedicated one song to Chris Cornell and soon enough their short but excellent set came to a close and was received with a great response from a packed floor.

At 9.30 precisely the intro music started out over the PA and strangely enough it was the theme tune to Grandstand! UK sports fans will know that tune inside out haha. The band took to their positions and finally the larger than life big man with the huge voice Nathan James took his spot and started belting out opener Read All About It which is from the debut I believe. Not being a fan of the debut I didn't know these songs well or even at all but I was still blown away by the delivery and poise within the band.

Inglorious are one of those bands were the live vibe far super cedes the recorded output. They just seem to come "alive" so to speak. On CD they can tend to sound a bit weak or lacking in bite or energy but no such issue exists in the live arena. The two guitarists are ace in the holes as is the rhythm section who bolster the riffing with a solid heavy backing.

In the end it's all down to Mr James who has the crowd eating out of his hand from the first note till the last. To say the guy is a confident front man would be an understatement. The guy has a booming and commanding soulful voice though some of his dance moves are a bit "dad dancy" but I'll forgive him!

The voice is just too good for words. The guy oozes class and brings so much power and soul into his lyrics and with a fantastic set of new tunes you couldn't go wrong with this gig. More than half the new album was played including some of the more rocking tunes which I love like Hell Or High Water and the rollicking great High Class Woman which closed the main set. In between we had a rather poignant and glorious two song acoustic interlude including a beautifully heartfelt tribute to Chris Cornell with Black Hole Sun and then a great cover of Purple's Burn as well. Both were majestic and the crowd really loved them.

Inglorious is definitely a band going places that's for sure and Nathan says that their manager told them that if they sold out tonight they would be in a bigger venue still for their next date in London at the larger Electric Ballroom and of course the IAH gig was pretty rammed.

The encore started with the super catchy I Don't Need Your Loving which was actually sang back at Nathan by most people in the crowd as loud as ppossible. Nathan even ended up in the crowd for one song singing with everyone as he was serenaded by everyone close by. Like I said before Inglorious is a new and upcoming classic rock band to be reckoned with. I'll be at their show at the Ballroom in a heartbeat after this awesome album launch. Anyone who enjoys soulful vocals halfway between Coverdale/Hughes seriously needs to give Inglorious a listen and catch them live too as they fully come into their own in that environment. Inglorious? Simply glorious!

Read All About It
High Flying Gypsy
Black Magic
(Live Debut)
Making Me Pay
(Live Debut)
Change Is Coming
(Live Debut)
Hell or High Water
(Live Debut)
Black Hole Sun
(Soundgarden cover) (Acoustic, tribute to Chris Cornell)
(Deep Purple cover) (Acoustic)
Taking the Blame
Girl Got a Gun
(Live Debut)
High Class Woman
(Live Debut)

I Don't Need Your Loving
Holy Water
Until I Die

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