This September, INHEAVEN got their debut album pulled out of the bag and onto shop shelves/into the stratosphere of downloads.
A string of summer festival appearances to boot, and they arrive here. On a huge UK & European tour that kick started at the back end of September, which takes them right the way through to the chillier climes of mid November. Tonight, they played the homecoming leg of the tour: London, Scala.
A renovated old picture palace, Scala is a strange one, albeit a good one. It has a small space with high old ceilings – perfect for cooking up a tasty atmosphere. The venue’s old walls witnessed just that.
As INHEAVEN walked onstage; long hair, glittery garms and bassist Chloe Little’s dazzling white striped suit – the crowd showed how much they were up for this one, with a customary throwing of beer, a “whoop” and a “YEAAAAH!”
The new album sounded brilliant tonight – as near to the quality of the sound on the record as you can imagine. Little and other lead vocalist James Taylor, rotate lead duties and coexist within the band’s sound that we have rarely heard before.
The pair share such a wonderfully infectious chemistry. Taylor, singing into a microphone angled high and down towards him, swung and swiped his guitar through the air like a magical blade and whipped his hair about in a way that if slowed down, it would look like a shampoo commercial.
Little, with her beaming smile and entertaining facial expressions, really engages the crowd. She seeps coolness. Whilst Taylor offers a soulful edge, Little brings haunting and echoing harmonies, mixed with her punk-like spitting and hollering on the heavier numbers in their set.
Do You Dream and Real Love, two of their slower tracks, allowed the crowd to catch their breath – other than one couple who seemed to be searching for air at the back of each other’s throat. Tracks like these give both the record and live performances of INHEAVEN a perfectly rounded edge. Their tunes conjure a real sense of yearning, love sickness as well as an almighty “up yours!’. Regeneration is the stand-alone example where all of these elements combine.
Vultures, World On Fire and Treats had the pit movin’ and shakin’ so much that you could feel the poor old floor boards of Scala bounce with the bass and stomping feet. You would be forgiven for thinking the small venue was in orbit at times. These were the songs the crowd was here for.
Seeing INHEAVEN, you hear more and more of their influences come through. They are a band that are not afraid to stand in their own right – Little’s self-made videos for their singles, shows the DIY nature at the core of this band. It is brilliant, and it is exactly what more acts should strive for. Nirvana, The Clash, Jesus & The Mary Chain and even elements of Bruce Springsteen, particularly on Stupid Things came through here.
INHEAVEN, though, are not a carbon copy. They are an eye-shadow wearing reinvention of all of these. Be thankful this tour is so mega and so long – you have plenty of time not to miss them.