Saturday, 15 December 2012

InMe live at The Relentless Garage

InMe *****
Hilda May *****
Midgar *****

Relentless Garage 10th December 2012

As it’s a time of food, booze, goodwill and general overindulgence, I thought I’d attempt to sum tonight’s show up in the style of a restaurant critic. No fucking idea why. Probably a really shit idea. But after a few festive Jagers and with Messrs McPherson and friends still ringing in my lugholes, it seemed like a perfectly sensible concept. 

So, what’s on the menu tonight?

Midgar *****
Well, for starters a rich, meaty and wonderfully sophisticated offering from those epic proggy proto-classical wizards in Midgar. Airing predominantly a full array of new tunes, the ├╝ber-stylish polymath Andy Wilson-Taylor and the rest of his steam-punked Bullingdon boys resplendent in foppish waistcoats deliver a complex yet melodic and accessible combination of ball crushing breakdowns fused effortlessly with all manner of multi-layered tunefulness. 

The new stuff is deliciously big. No, ridiculously huge. Keys and all manner of triggered backing trickery alongside startling musicianship lift them away from the bland burger-helper guitar-based alt lad bands that seem to be breeding like kitchen cockroaches. There’s definitely an originality, but at the same time a genuine comfort. The overall effect is delicious.

Only one older tune, the pompy and grandiose Karmic Retribution is given the treatment tonight, and fits comfortably onto the plate alongside the new stuff including the new instant classic, All I've Ever Done. (Free download here)

The impressive early crowd seem to be lapping it up and getting involved and hopefully, in the not too distant future, these boys will be headlining shows of this size.

To sum up: a really rich and powerful boeuf bourguignon with the semi-automatic dum-dum bullets used to slaughter the cow still wedged in the flesh accompanied with a huge Claret and washed down with pure illicit grain spirit drunk from a gothic skull. Bloody tasty.

Hilda May *****
For the next course a rustic bugger’s muddle of influences chucked onto the table with no plate. Hilda May are impossible to categorise. There are definite tastes of pop punk and hardcore but with a grungy gravy and a grebo rock sauce.

The crowd look a bit bewildered. After the beautifully presented and massive flavours of Midgar, it’s all a bit spikey and scruffy. Tim Lawrence’s vocals are definitely from the hardcore cupboard. His barks and bravado are reminiscent of Real Adventures’ front man Lewis Reynolds. And he’s ably backed by a complex yet simple sauce with traces of Glassjaw, Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits and even old-time home growners Million Dead.

A really provocative and interesting choice for the overall bill tonight and certainly an act that’d be better suited to a more punky and dirty bill of fare alongside bands like TRC, Polar and Palm Reader, or the aforementioned Real Adventures. That said, they’re full of chilli bite and energy and act as a kind of perverse or inverse palate cleanser before tonight’s main course.

To sum up: a hearty but scruffy bean and festering lizard sausage casserole served on an upturned rusty bin lid and eaten with an evil bastard corroded flick knife. Washed down with blinding home-made scrumpy drunk out of a rusty soup can. Wholesome, exciting and interesting but not for the faint-hearted.

InMe *****

The last night of another tour and the end of an exhausting year during which beguiling front man Dave McPherson has chalked up over 200 gigs both with the band and as a brilliant acoustic solo turn. There’s definitely an end of term vibe in the thronged Relentless Garage as the hungry diners take their places.

InMe are true originals. Survivors from the nu-metal age and contemporaries of fellow Brits A, Vex Red, Hundred Reasons, FFAF and, at a push, Lostprophets. And they’ve stuck to their guns and continued to produce mesmerising, complex, huge and memorable music ever since. Culminating in this year’s tour de force - The Pride (made even more notable by the innovative and brilliantly altruistic and heart-warming pledge mechanic),

It really is party time tonight and they pile through a burgeoning menu stuffed with old favourites, older specialist offerings like So You Know for the die-hards all spiced up with big dollops of the more contemporary material like epic set opener Moonlit Seabed. Myths and Photographs is a majestic chateaubriand with all the trimmings, Safe in A Room is a complex and moving triumph, as is Firefly. The crowd are salivating throughout, stuffing their faces, ripping the bones apart and gorging like rabid, slavering dogs. And they’re loving it. 

It does, however feel a bit like a big family meal. For close rellies and friends. Which is no bad thing. But could be a little alienating for any newcomers or distant relations. No matter, totally stuffed, deaf and having had my bowels purged by the most powerful, loud and deep bass brown notes, I wandered off fully satiated and with a smile as wide as Lisa Riley’s waistband. A gastronomic triumph. Even though they didn’t play my favourite All Terrain Vehicle and eschewed their traditional staple Underdose.

To sum up: a groaning buffet stuffed with massive dishes of every imaginable flavour. sharp shards of metal salad with sulphuric dressing, whole massive musk oxen served on the bone with searing scotch bonnet chillies stuffed up its arse, lighter, thought-provoking citric accompaniments served with rich and powerful dark sauce with the heaviest bass notes all washed down with bastard overproof rum drunk out of  a titanium space helmet. Bizarre, beautiful, heavy and intoxicating. But ultimately wonderful comfort food. Yum.

Enter Shikari next.

More tunes soon, Bwooooar!

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