LIVE: InMe / Aaron Buchanan – Patterns, Brighton 28/10/2016
The final date of this tour began quietly, the early evening start meaning Empire took to the stage with just a smattering of people in attendance. They didn’t exactly kick off with a bang either due to an amp problem, but thankfully the delay was brief and the small crowd were soon treated to what felt like a personal showcase of half an hour of tight, groove laden, high energy rock. Empire’s singer, Joe Green, certainly knows how to hit the notes and has been gifted with a fantastic unique tone too. His performance here was brilliant, although it’s fair to say his dance moves aren’t quite as flawless as his vocals.
Next up, with a few more people in the venue (but surprisingly still not busy) it was time for Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics. It has been a while since we have seen Mr Buchanan playing live (having left previous band Heaven’s Basement last year), but it seems he has lost none of his confident stage swagger. He wisely kept his showmanship in proportion to the intimate venue setting, and showed a friendly warmth with his between-song banter, seeming relaxed, genuine and approachable when encouraging the growing audience to get more involved with the show. If he can project this side of his personality to the bigger audiences too then expect this band to go far.
Buchanan certainly has the songs to take them there, their first release All The Things You’ve Said And Done sounded fit for a stadium. The new band features two guitarists; Tom McCarthy whose energy was great to watch as he threw his body (and guitar) into no end of iconic shapes the whole show, and Aaron’s sister Laurie, who also looked to be a very talented player. She provided the added bonus of some excellent higher pitched backing vocals too. They have a drummer with a big personality who hit the drums hard and smiled A LOT! Things were a little more Entwistle-like in the bass department, which kept the band nicely grounded. The two Heaven’s Basement tunes Fire, Fire and Heartbreaking Son of a Bitch showed the band aren’t quite the finished product… yet. A few more tours under their collective belts will no doubt make all the difference. A great band in the making for sure.
Speaking of great bands, InMe have been making music for 20 years now, and this tour is a celebration of that. It is clear that this is the band everyone are here to see as, the venue was suddenly packed by the time they kicked off with a brilliant Myths and Photographs. Here were four guys, gimmick free, just belting out some cracking great music, tight as you like, and with energy and passion. Guitarist Gazz Marlow and bass player Greg McPherson were constantly on the move, and drummer Simon Taylor’s touch around the kit was magnificent.
The crowd lapped up the older straight ahead rock of 7 weeks and Safe in Your Room, and the security barrier needed extra support from stage crew at times as it was dangerously close to collapse due to the force of the crowd. The newer and more progressive songs such as Hymn: Ivory Elder and an incredible version of Nova Armada were met with equal fervour. There was a particularly cool moment when the audience took over the vocals during Firefly, and a beautiful rendition of Legacy too. After continuing with more from the latest album, the set was brought to a close with the classics Underdose and Faster The Chase. Here’s hoping for, and looking forward to, another couple of decades of InMe.
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