Credit Lewis Evans (via Inhaler IG)

Review: Inhaler at the Barrowlands

A night of fluorescent reminiscence.

As the support act finishes, fans rush to grab one final pint of Tennent’s or linger in the painfully long line for the ladies’ bathroom; the crowd anxiously form under the square studded ceiling, singing along to the La’s “There She Goes”. Under red lights, Inhaler take to the stage, Elijah Hewson taking centre stage dressed in a leather shirt and white tank. Guitarist Josh Jenkinson, drummer Ryan McMahon and bassist Robert Keating followed as the Dublin indie-rock band cultivate an evening of hits as the Cuts and Bruises tour reaches its end.

To grab one of the last tickets of the band’s sold – out Glasgow show felt nothing less than special. The setlist captured that youthful excitement of reflecting on years of adolescent and excessive nights out, opening with “These are the Days”. The band then proceeded with tracks from their 2021 album It Won’t Always Be Like This. Fan’s feet barely skimmed the floor for too long as the crowd jumped to every song. Specifically, “Who’s Your Money On? (Plastic House)” haunted the audience with Eli’s piercing, soulful vocals against refined guitar riffs and heavy drumbeats which left everyone singing the chorus in pure ecstasy.

The second half of the setlist centred more songs from Cuts and Bruises. To hear “Valentine” live was a personal highlight, after weeks of listening to its unconventional romantic lyrics and the poignant yearning for love in the sound. Josh’s momentary solo laced over the sincerity of Eli’s vocals brought to life one of my favourite songs I would spend evenings listening to on repeat.  

As the first bass strums anticipate “Love Will Get You There”, the man in front of me screams “Ah I love this one!”. Though it was not only him, this upbeat synth – influenced hit was an album favourite for many; multiple people shouting lyrics back from sitting on one’s shoulders. Dancing did not slow down as “It Won’t Always Be Like This” followed soon after. This standout track from the first album infected the crowd, with the audience chanting every line. 

The encore concluded the evening with “Just to Keep You Satisfied” and “My Honest Face”, which faultlessly captured the excitement and energy the band put into their live shows. Their sound left me reminiscing of the very first indie gigs I first went to as a teenager. The boisterous energy of a jumping crowd and fans screaming every word due to authentically great rock songs left me wanting a second encore. 

Never once before in my life have I wanted to splurge on the merch table more than last Monday night, as umpteen black and white tour shirts congregated under the fluorescent Barrowland bulbs. My friend and I wandered back towards Trongate, swooning over the nostalgia surrounding an essentially good rock gig. Meanwhile, a car parks up at the side of the road as the traffic piles up, “Inhaler: The Best of”, pouring out of the radio.

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