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Inglorious/Samarkind: The Academy, Dublin
October 4th 2017

brian boyle
Words: Brian Boyle, Pictures: Peter Gaynor
6th October 2017


After last year's blistering set supporting The Dead Daisies, Inglorious return to The Academy Greenroom with an even bigger reputation.

Despite the obvious buzz of excitement surrounding the headliners, opening act Samarkind created a mini stir themselves. Their debut single, 'Sun Stroke Heart', has enjoyed major success and the fact they are 50% Irish gave their slot tonight a real expectant edge.


With the band only doing one show with Inglorious (support for UK dates is Wayward Sons), right from the off they looked hell bent on making this opportunity count. Their delicious blend of blues and straight up in your face hard rock kicked off with a rousing bluegrass treated 'Black Rain' which took a few punters by surprise and made them put away their smartphones for a little while.

A slight technical problem with Mark Dempsey's bass on 'Sun Stroke Heart' may have dropped their momentum a tad but they ramped it back up on 'Skinny Rivers' with killer lead vocalist David Paul Byrne giving his sublime pipes a right going over. By the time they aired penultimate track and new single 'Fire And Blood' they properly found their mojo.


Without doubt the star of the set was Polish guitarist Michal Kulbaka whose effortless mastery of his Gibson was a joy to witness. The all-action closer 'Blue Mountain' rounded off a hugely impressive set by a band you'll be hearing a hell of a lot more of once their self-titled debut album lands on November 24th.

On my arrival at the venue tonight I spotted two young women laden with shopping bags gazing up at the billing above the main door. When one said to the other in a marble-filled accent, "who the fock are Inglorious", I felt it my duty to enlighten them. When I told them that these guys are going to be one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, I was given a look of pure bewilderment before they waddled off on their ill-fitting stilettos.


But to your seasoned rocker such a statement will 99% per cent of the time be met with enthusiastic agreement. Every plaudit thrown in their direction is a million miles away from ill-founded propaganda. And the reason for this is music and music only, and that has been more than proven on their sensational first two albums.

The last time Inglorious graced the stage at the Academy Greenroom the temperature in Ireland's capital was a sweltering mid-twenty. By the time they finished their set, these fine purveyors of classic rock as good as doubled that with a searing hot performance. One year on the weather is a lot cooler but the Dublin crowd knew they were in for another sizzler.


Having seen their debut album and monumentally raised it with its sublime follow-up, the setlist was never going to disappoint. Just after nine bells the Grandstand theme tune bounced off the walls and the boys took to the modestly-sized stage. Led by the flamboyant man mountain Nathan James they didn't hang about as they battered out 'Read All About It' quickly followed by 'Breakaway' which really set the tone.

At just over €14 for a ticket, the 450 capacity was at best half full, which sadly these days in Southern Ireland is a regular occurrence at these kind of gigs. That said it didn't deter Inglorious one bit.


'High Flying Gypsy', 'Change Is Coming' and 'Making Me Pay' were all vigorously executed with an arrogant strut. By this stage James really had his groove on and was dropping shapes like it was going out of fashion.

I'm not normally a fan of drum and bass solos, and I will admit darting to the facilities during Colin Parkinson and Phil Beaver's slot but what I did manage to catch was off the scale. In time the Parkinson/Beaver union, on this evidence, deserves to be mentioned alongside heavyweight rhythm sections such as Deacon/Taylor, Butler/Ward and Glover/Paice to name a few.


It didn't take long for James to regain the spotlight. He made his feelings known about the venue's curfew to facilitate, as he put it, "a fucking kid's disco with Justin Bieber shite". He then flexed his vocal superiority with one of the highlights of the evening, the simply stunning 'Bleed For You'.

Two heartfelt emotional tributes to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell with 'Numb' and 'Black Hole Sun' were handled beautifully by James and Drew Lowe and duly appreciated by the Dublin crowd. Another major highlight was the big ballsy 'I Don't Need Your Loving'. A track that is already a nailed down anthem, it had Drew Lowe and Andreas Eriksson going at it hammer and tongs.


And if you want to leave a proper stamp on the faces of your audience, whip out two of your biggest guns and let them have it right between the eyes and that's exactly what they did, closing out with the monstrous 'Holy Water' and 'Until I Die'. An explosive finale to a near perfect evening.

The only negative was the wardrobe malfunction suffered by Andreas Eriksson. Just after doors the Swede wandered across the floor, stage jacket in hand and sought the help of a knife-wielding barman to help mend a shoulder button. Sadly the button came a cropper, but everything else tonight worked majestically.


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Set List:
Read All About It
High Flying Gypsy
Change Is Coming
Making Me Pay
Black Magic
Bass/Drum Solo
Taking The Blame
Hell Or High Water
Bleed For You
Numb (Linkin Park cover)
Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden cover)
I Don't Need Your Loving
High Class Woman

Holy Water
Until I Die

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