Inhaler at The Waterfront Review 08/10/19
Having seen this band support DMA’s just a few months prior and being blown away, I had high hopes for them tonight. I enjoyed a pint with them in Belfast after their performance and was pleasantly surprised by how nice they are and was definitely rooting for them tonight.Inhaler come to the the waterfront stage having had a run of dates that included stadiums, arenas and massive outdoor venues supporting the likes of Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds, Blossoms and DMA’s to name a few. This well oiled machine of an indie rock band are highly regarded in the music world, but did they live up to the hype in the waterfront?
Before diving into Inhalers performance, the support band APRE deserve a mention. They were absolutely brilliant. The lead singer oozed energy, passion and confidence in his performance while the lead guitarist demonstrated multi instrumental talent through creative riffs and lovely keyboard work. This support band honestly stood out to me and I cannot rate them highly enough. There is a sea of new indie music that can be hard to navigate but these four lads created a massive sound that has earned a new listener in me.
Inhaler came out to a roaring cheer from the crowd followed by a distinct chatter about which one was Bono’s son. It seemed that the very much older crowd had been attracted by the idea of a U2 repeat and this showed by the lack of reaction to the opening song, despite it being one of their most popular. This low energy that the crowd gave off was well and truly matched by the band. Perhaps the constant touring, travelling, writing and recording has caught up to the young lads or maybe they were more focused on their five hundred capacity gig in London the following night. Whatever it was, these lads did not seem too pleased to be in Norwich. It was almost like watching a band grind through their songs in a rehearsal room, the energy and enjoyment simply did not seem to be there which can really take away from the atmosphere of a venue. If the bands not really feeling it, how are the crowd supposed to feel?
Despite the lack of energy, there was nothing negative to be said about the sound Inhaler produced. You can definitely tell this band play arenas, their sound is best described as a wall and a fast moving one at that. It comes right at you and smacks you in the face, it’s simply indie rock done very, very well. This was then added to by an impeccable performance from Elijah Hewson (lead singer) whos vocals are simply mind blowing, from up-beat energetic songs down to the mellower tunes he made it all look too easy. It feels as though he’s definitely out to prove
a point with all these comparisons to his dad coming from everyone. In terms of his voice, he definitely stood on his own two feet tonight.
The band name themselves as a four piece however on stage they were joined by a keyboard player who managed to cut through the sound extremely well with perfectly timed riffs, just adding something a bit extra to the performance and he definitely deserves some recognition for completing the live sound. The riffs played by lead guitarist Josh Jenkinson are built to add to the wall of sound meaning that without this keyboard player the band would maybe fall into the average indie band pit that so many bands belong to.
Overall, this band do live up to the hype in terms of their sound. With national radio play and praises coming from huge names, the bar is set very high. I believe they well and truly cleared it tonight. Id love to see what they could do fully refreshed with a more engaged crowd. Perhaps this sold out tour is simply an introduction to what Inhaler has to offer. The energy from the crowds will come in time as word spreads to the younger generation and by that point the already good band will have honed there sound ready to really break onto the scene.