Inhaler | FEET | Overpass
O2 Academy, Bristol
Saturday 25th February
The world’s favourite indie starlets conclude their tour in support of sophomore LP, ‘Cuts & Bruises’
A sold-out Saturday night show is a rather fitting way to conclude a UK tour in support of a critically acclaimed, sophomore smash – and that’s what Dublin quartet Inhaler did. Eight completed sold-out dates in the United Kingdom is how Inhaler have spent their February, culminating in the final show at Bristol’s O2 Academy. Their second record ‘Cuts & Bruises’ arrived not even two weeks ago, a change in tempo from their debut, but still with huge emphasis on infectious hooks and heartache fuelled lyricism – and the entire crowd were word-for-word with frontman Eli Hewson. The band are headed on a transatlantic voyage this week, kicking of the North American leg of the tour in Austin, Texas, and this Bristol show gave them the send off they deserve.
Before our evening’s headliners made an appearance, the show opened with young Birmingham upstarts Overpass, delivering a brief but tight set, a small armada of polished tracks. With only a handful of releases to date, this up-and-coming quartet impressed with their youthful brand of clean indie rock. Second-on-the-bill FEET treated the venue like it was their headline. With an old-school, almost seventies aesthetic, FEET are cutting through the saturate with a slick, post-punk-meets-britpop sound, executed brilliantly live with buckets of charisma and an undeniable chemistry between members. Frontman George Haverson oozed charm, displaying an impressive magnetism that is often hard to find nowadays.
Inhaler, the main attraction of the evening, took to the stage around nine, and wasted no time at all. The Dubliners hammered through the set at blistering pace, no room for breath; hit after hit spanning both of their acclaimed records. Eli Hewson’s voice was smooth, controlled, gaining a delicate rasp with every drop into a chorus, backed up by bassist Robert Keating’s ethereal vocal timbre. Opener ‘These Are The Days’, an absolute sing-along anthem, set an electric precedent for the following hour, much to the delight of a crowd truly belting their hearts out.
They also boasted a very well written set list; calmer moments sandwiched between raucous crowd pleasers like the bittersweet ballad ‘If You’re Gonna Break My Heart’ nestled between debut record anthems ‘Cheer Up Baby’ and set closer ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’. The constant changes of pace were slick and carefully curated, also giving the crowd an equal balance of album selections. The entire show was slick, a shiny pop polish often not seen within the indie scene. Inhaler are a band that seriously graft; the tightness was undeniable, the quartet making every tiny moment of the set look easy – effortless.
Inhaler are more than ready to take their live show to arena level. Simple yet brilliant production, and an acute setlist packed with hits is a recipe for a stellar evening, and that is exactly what happened. Their sophomore album ‘Cuts & Bruises’ is clearly going down just as well live as it is on the charts, and Inhaler are truly leading the charge of this newer wave of indie bands.
Listen to the new album here.
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