Inhaler at the Forum
Being the musician son of a musician who has enough status to go by just one name is a hard act to follow. Elijah Hewson, lead singer of Dublin band Inhaler, is the son of Paul Hewson, aka Bono. As the frontman of one of the most successful bands of all time, it’s fair to say his Da is a tough act to live up to. However, it’s clear that Inhaler mean business. From the simple, yet memorable cover of their debut album to the stylish video for It Won’t Always Be Like This to the complex staging of last night’s gig, this is a band with a thoroughly thought-through aesthetic, who have their sights set firmly on the big leagues.
Hewson is a man hewn by the gods for rock heartthrob status: with his sultry, beautiful face, artfully muscled arms and comfortable stage presence, he has that indefinable quality that makes one sit up and watch. His voice soars and is a dead ringer for his father’s.
The show at the Kentish Town Forum, always a lovely venue, attracted the likes of Noel Fitzpatrick, aka TV’s Supervet, spotted outside in slashed denim, diligently doing a Covid lateral flow test. The Irish support was out in force, naturally.
As mentioned, the staging was highly sophisticated, each song given its own light scheme, from refracted lasers to drenched red light.
Their debut album, It Won’t Always Be Like This, topped the charts on its release in July. It is full of rousing, soaring tunes with big, complex sound. Hewson, along with Robert Keating on bass, Ryan McMahon on drums and Josh Jenkinson on guitar, create a tone that is deep and rangy. One of the hardest things to do is to create songs that appear effortless, and this is what Inhaler have done. While the effect here is not groundbreaking, it is certainly moreish.
The show opened with the album’s title track, a spirit-lifting song written a decade ago about a breakup that has become eerily appropriate for recent times. Following tracks such as Slide out the Window, Ice Cream Sundae and Cheer Up Baby manage to be both slinky and epic.
The performance closes with the catchy My Honest Face. The highest compliment one can pay to a band is to leave a gig wanting more, and that is certainly what last night achieved. No doubt we will be hearing a lot more about Inhaler. This was a slick concert that was impressively assured and mature for an act so early in their career.
Photos: Virginie Viche
For further information and future events visit Inhaler’s website here.
Watch the video for the single My Honest Face here: