Dublin's Inhaler continued their upward trajectory by playing their biggest ever Manchester show on Monday night at a sold out Gorilla. They didn't disappoint as they wowed the audience with a pulsating eleven song set that left the crowd, old and young, breathless yet calling for more.
Following in the footsteps of a famous parent is hard enough as it is but when you decide to form a band and your old man is none other than Bono then you're asking for a kicking if you're not very good. Fortunately they are good, very good, meaning the shadow of the famous singer that loomed over the band in the early days has now well and truly gone as the band play freely and they're clearly enjoying their time out on the road.
The opening two songs are an indication that the band have huge sounding, anthemic riffs in abundance and it suggests they're aiming higher and it won't be long before the big halls and sold out crowds are the norm. With the sweet synths from Louis and effect pedal wizardry of Josh on the opener It Won't Always Be Like This and the equally impressive We Have To Move On the band lay down their markers early.
Songs like A Night On The Floor and When I'm With You are equally as strong suggesting they have a raft of songs that are going to be part of their much touted debut album which many are waiting for with huge anticipation and expectation.
Following each song there's a humble 'thank you' from Eli and he constantly asks if we're okay throughout the set. Why wouldn't we be? They're playing a polished set to an already established fan base who are having the time of their lives, particularly those down the front who sing every word and hang on every word the enigmatic frontman has to say.
Ice Cream Sundae, the first song they ever wrote together, is understandably tight and catchy with Rob's sublime bass leading the way and Ryan, full of raw energy, drumming to his heart's content. The heartbeat of the band throughout the whole show testament to his technical ability.
Falling In, My King Will Be Kind and the slower Oklahoma, showing a new depth to the band, also show off Eli's powerful extensive range of vocal and virtuoso guitar playing while the addition of the heavy synths courtesy of Louis contribute to a kaleidoscopic range to the sound.
There are shout outs to friends Fuzzy Sun, the hordes that have travelled over from Dublin and finally the appreciative Manchester audience that have greeted every song with positivity and fervour. This signifies the end of the setas the band depart to rapturous applause although it is seconds rather than minutes before they return with Eli telling us it's all rather pointless walking off and then walking back on again in such a manner.
Inhaler are riding this wave across the Irish Sea with other great bands and like their counterparts they are commanding stages, catching the eyes and ears of the world and are causing more than a few ripples. Deservedly so.
They leave their best three songs to the end of the night causing an even livelier mosh pit than the one that has accompanied most of the night. There's evident comparisons again with Eli's famous father as the aching, yearning vocal of There's No Other Place and the sincerity that shines so bright on the beautiful Cheer Up Baby. No great shame to be compared to one of the greatest vocalists of days gone by. Just as the determined frontman shrugs off the comparisons and gets on with it so do the rest of the band too. For a band so young they show maturity beyond their years as they go about their business with aplomb.
Saving the best 'til last My Honest Face has the whole place rocking one last time. It's a huge sounding song with an anthemic chorus made for radio and live it's even more hard hitting. Every single person in the room sings back every word and it's a true celebration and a joy to see the delight on the faces of the band knowing they've pulled it off at their biggest ever Manchester headline show.
Inhaler's upward trajectory is something they have created by themselves through hard graft. No amount of helping hands from outside influences can change that fact. If they weren't any good then they still wouldn't be playing these shows now and people wouldn't bother turning out in their droves to see them. They have onboarded a broad demographic and with the release of a new album next year you can be sure that the Dublin boys will be growing in stature and getting the critical acclaim they deserve.
Inhaler played: It Won't Always Be Like This, We Have To Move On, When I'm With You, A Night On The Floor, Ice Cream Sundae, Falling In, Oklahoma, My King Will Be Kind, Cheer Up Baby, There's No Other Place and My Honest Face
Inhaler's website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter.