Live Review/ Inhaler @ Exchange


By Katie Hubbard, 2nd Year Geography

Alt rock band Inhaler returned to Bristol to play an 'impressive' show at The Exchange.

The young Dublin natives have been touring almost continuously since the end of summer, starting their headline tour in the Netherlands at the beginning of September. They have been joined by more than capable support band and all-around nice guys, Apre.

Inhaler at The Exchange: Photo Credit - Katie Hubbarb

The alternative pop duo consisting of guitarist Jules and lead singer Charlie (who I had the pleasure of interviewing before the gig) powered through a blisteringly energetic set including some of their biggest hits to date including ‘All yours’, the inexplicably titled ‘Gap year 2008’ and ‘5 to 5’ for which the music video has just been released (well worth a watch/listen.) The bands synth heavy sun kissed alt pop was very well received by the crowd and worked as the perfect warm up for Inhaler. The band were so good that I even bought their record after the gig (although admittedly this never takes too much!) But what else is a student loan intended for if not for vinyl?

Due to the excellent warm up provided by Apre and the extreme excitement emanating from some of the younger fans in the crowd - the atmosphere was electric by the time Inhaler nonchalantly strolled on stage. Starting with arguably their best song to date ‘It won’t always be like this’ the young band oozed confidence, although this could be expected after so much touring experience this year. The seemingly meteoric rise of the band is in no small part helped by their very impressive celebrity connections- frontman Elijah is the son of U2 superstar Bono. The band have also had photography and press shots done by Anais Gallagher and have supported her father Noel Gallagher with his High-Flying Birds at their massive homecoming gig in Heaton Park this summer.

These impressive connections have led to some criticism of the band with regards to nepotism in the music industry, but tonight in Bristol it’s clear that the band have the skills and most importantly the songs to back up their position. While talking on stage they seem humble, polite and very self-aware, regularly thanking the crowd and proclaiming their excitement after getting a lively response to a song. There are only minimal hints to their connections and privilege (aside from Elijah looking and sounding exactly like his father at points.) However, they did have a sound technician at the side of the stage for the entirety of the gig cleaning, tuning and passing up an array of ten different guitars that were used by various members of the band. It is hard to think of any other nineteen-year olds with such an impressive instrument collection.

Irrespective of how they got to their current position there is no denying Inhaler certainly step up to the occasion, their newly released song ‘Ice Cream Sundae’ proving a big hit with the crowd. The hook-laden and melodic ‘Cheer up Baby’ led swiftly into the excellent sounding anthemic alt rock of ‘My Honest Face’. The song showcased some surprising influences for the young band with frontman Elijah singing “I could be Elvis on a Tuesday night” whilst wearing a guitar strap emblazoned with pictures of The King himself. Closing the show in spectacular fashion, Inhaler really were at the top of their game, proving that sometimes it might just be what you know instead of who you know.

Featured Image: Epigram / Katie Hubbard