There was never any doubt, was there? From the moment Inhaler touched down, it felt pretty much guaranteed. Not only packing the sort of hit-rate that would make most bands green with envy, but with the personality and swagger of a unit destined to play on the biggest of nights – their rise as the cream of the metaphorical pint of trailblazing faves was never in question. It’s what makes their turn at Kentish Town Forum even more impressive – not only in its overflowing brilliance but also in its promise of even grander stages to come. If tonight was the coronation of a band thriving, then Inhaler took that crown, threw it to the side and said, ‘we’re only getting started’.
‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’ is the kind of album that guitar music in 2021 was crying out for. Bold in its ambition, immediate in its hooks and searing in its urgency – it was made for shows like these. Of thousands brought together in one space, casting aside their fears and worries at the door, throwing their arms out wide and belting the anthems in all their glory. The result is a night that leaves an added spring in the step the next day. Lord knows we need that.
It’s captured effortlessly by openers Wet Leg. Two songs out, and already a bonafide headliner in the making. Playful, beaming but assured, they rip through the sort of catalogue that in 12 months should see them headlining the very venue they’re currently in. ‘Wet Dream’ and ‘Chaise Longue’ revel in their surroundings while the rest of their set moves between people on shoulders, singalongs and punchy punk bites – a glimpse at a future impossible to resist. If there were any doubts there might not be more in the locker, banish them now. Your new favourite band have truly put the world on notice. See you here in 12 months, down the front.
From the moment Inhaler open with ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’, it’s like a World Cup final. Tracks like ‘We Have To Move On’ and ‘Falling In’ have become peerless fan favourites, ready to explode at each turn, while ‘When It Breaks’ and ‘In My Sleep’ practically tear at the walls that keep the Forum standing, contrasting with the gleaming ‘Totally’, ‘Slide Out The Window’ and ‘My King Will Be Kind’. It’s a dynamic perfectly captured in ‘Who’s Your Money On (Plastic House)’, which segues between rollicking indie banger and delicate and introspective realism at the drop of a dime. Eli Hewson, fully embracing that role as a frontman with the venue in the palm of his hand, is a feverish magnet to all. At times leading a singalong, at others leading the charge – he’s indisputable.
The scorching run of ‘Cheer Up Baby’ and closer ‘My Honest Face’ seals it. It’s a treat to catch them at this moment, in this venue, before things get even bigger. An Irish flag thrown on stage at the end of a blistering 70 minutes, draped with ‘Inhaler World Domination’, says it all. It’s not that the world is waiting for Inhaler’s next step. It’s just starting to catching up.