Industry showcase gig validates Brian May’s description of Inglorious as “a potent young Deep Purple.”
The rock music press and industry descended on the Gibson Guitars Studios in London last Thursday for the Inglorious showcase gig, to present the band before the launch of their self-titled debut album on February 19, 2016.
Anticipation, intrigue and expectation were running high in the crowd. Much of the interest is due to knowing that Inglorious frontman is none other than vocalist Nathan James, who has built an enviable reputation for himself singing with the prog-rock extravaganza, Trans Siberian Orchestra, and for Uli John Roth, exhibiting his impressive voice and incredible vocal range.
The still little-known band had also just received the seal of approval from Glenn Hughes and Queenâ€™s Brian May, who said â€œYou guys really do look like a potent young Deep Purple but with a new slant, very classic! … The musicianship is stunning. Good luck with it all – I’m sure you will do great. Amazing vocals, by the way!â€ This endorsement further intrigued those present.
Planet Rock Radio presenter, Paul Anthony, took to the stage to introduce Inglorious, announcing them as â€œthe future of rock and roll.â€ He explained that, after he and Darren Redick saw the band play at a small showcase gig at the Hippodrome in May, theyâ€™d immediately jumped at the chance to book them to play at Planet Rockstock later this year and added their song â€œBreakawayâ€ to the radio playlist. When premiered on the station in October, the response from listeners had been comparable only to the response they had received when theyâ€™d played the new Iron Maiden track – quite an achievement for a band with only a couple of videos of cover versions on the internet and one showcase gig under its belt!
Inglorious comprises frontman, Nathan James (vocals), Andreas Eriksson (lead guitar), Wil Taylor (rhythm guitar), Colin Parkinson (bass), and Phil Beaver (drums). On this night, they were accompanied by a keyboard player.
The band launched into their first song of the night, â€œUntil I Die,â€ the music video of which had just premiered on the Classic Rock website that morning. The song is, without a doubt, a homage to Deep Purple, with its 70s Hammond-like keyboards intro, a crescendo of drums and guitars, developing into a pounding, deep and powerful riff which explodes with Nathanâ€™s powerful throaty vocals, hitting high notes with as much ease as his lower range, seeming to combine the sound of David Coverdale with the high octave singing of Glenn Hughes. The song was reminiscent of Deep Purpleâ€™s Highway Star with a modern slant and more than a hint of Black Country Communion.
By the end of the first song, the crowd had been taken back to the 70s and the days of arena rock. The fans were already in awe; this young band clearly knew their classic rock, and it was already enough to vindicate Brian Mayâ€™s bold statement. With huge cheers from the crowd, the excitement mounted for the next song.
Inglorious, clearly pleased with the reaction of the appreciative crowd, followed by their first track played on Planet Rock radio, â€œBreakaway,â€ a heavier sound, with more than a nod to Iron Maiden. From the start, alongside the heavy guitar riff, Nathanâ€™s passionate, soaring vocals again, this song wouldnâ€™t have been out of place on Deep Purpleâ€™s â€œBurnâ€ album. Andreasâ€™ scorching, screaming guitar added to the mix make this song a classic in the heavy rock tradition.
Slowing down the mood, â€œHoly Waterâ€ stood out as a superb anthemic song – sophisticated, heavy blues, moving from heavy to quieter, soulful passages. With a hint of Whitesnake fronted by Dio, the song showcased the superb power and range of Nathanâ€™s voice, backed by nice harmonies from other members of the band along with soulful, Bonamassa-like bluesy guitar from Andreas.
All six songs are superb and worthy of their place on the forthcoming Inglorious album. The exciting, energetic set was over way too early when Nathan announced the final song of the evening, â€œUnaware.â€ A great choice for the finale and the last song on their album, the gentle, classical piano intro launches into an upbeat, melodic anthem with a catchy chorus, suggestive of Aerosmith.
On Thursday night, Inglorious put on a glorious show. Nathan is, without doubt, one of the UKâ€™s most impressive young rock vocalists. He is also a mesmerizing and charismatic frontman, comfortable in the spotlight. Bassist Colin Parkinsonâ€™s deep, groovy riffs along with Phil Beaverâ€™s relentless, solid drumming work well together to provide a strong backbone to the rhythm section. Rhythm guitarist, Wil Taylor, very capably builds the intensity of the sound to which lead guitarist, Andreas Eriksson, adds his impressive solos, combining the prowess of Michael Schenker with the bluesy tones of Joe Bonamassa.
Whilst there is no doubt that these lads are heavily influenced by the great classic rock bands â€“ the likes of Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Whitesnake â€“ their material is alive and fresh, and they are by no means a tribute band. The band is tight and polished, made up of very accomplished musicians with great stage presence – amazing when one considers this is only their second gig to date. There is clearly an audience out there, desperately awaiting a band worthy of taking over the reins from the â€˜supergroupsâ€™ of the 70s and 80s and Inglorious look like they might just be the band to do it.
With their new self-titled album due for release early next year and already available to pre-order, it comprises 11 tracks â€¦ yes, this album goes to 11! Immediate downloads of â€œUntil I Dieâ€ and â€œBreakawayâ€ are available with the pre-order.
So, Gene Simmons, â€œRock is Deadâ€ you say. Well, last Thursday night proved you wrong!
Photos by National Rock Reviewer photographer Eric Duvet.
Youâ€™ll be able to catch Inglorious, as special guests of The Winery Dogs, on their European tour from 29 January 2016, followed by their official album launch concert a Londonâ€™s Islington Assembly Hall on Sunday, 21 February.
Inglorious special guests on THE WINERY DOGSâ€™ European Tour 2016
Jan 29 | Esseigfabrik – Cologne, Germany
Jan 30 | Kulturfabrik – Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
Jan 31 | O2 Shepherdâ€™s Bush Empire – London, UK
Feb 02 | O2 Academy – Bristol, UK
Feb 04 | O2 Ritz – Manchester, UK
Feb 05 | O2 Institute – Birmingham, UK
Feb 06 | Trabendo – Paris, France
Feb 08 | Kate Antzokia – Bilbao, Spain
Feb 09 | Joe Eslava – Madrid, Spain
Feb 10 | Apolo – Barcelona, Spain
Feb 12 | Crossroads – Rome, Italy
Feb 13 | Z7 – Pratteln, Switzerland
Feb 15 | Backstage Halle – Munich, Germany
Feb 16 | Majestic Music Club – Bratislava, Slovakia
Feb 17 | Barba Negra – Budapest, Hungary
Inglorious Official Album Launch Concert
Feb 21 | Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK