InMe arrives in Bristol as part of their landmark 20th-anniversary tour and makes a lot of people happy in the process.

Despite their 20-year career InMe still continue to win over new fans, including our very own writer Doug Bearne.

Tonight south-west local boys Empire make a welcome return to The Fleece after a two-year gap. The band open their set with the hard rocking “Patchwork & Bone”, which gives lead singer Joe Green an early chance to showcase his great voice. As the band break into the slower rock number “Sights”, the crowd starts to make their way towards the front of the stage to get more involved.

Fan favourite “Future, Past & Present” starts slowly, but builds as the song ebbs and flows with the addition of some blistering guitar and excellent vocals, the song in places is reminiscent of Faith No More. Empire’s half hour set is over too soon but is well received and gets the audience warmed up for the night ahead.

Next up is Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics. The former Heaven’s Basement singer has been working hard during his time off, and has put together a great new band, and written a whole raft of new material to boot. The Cult Classics features sister Laurie Buchanan and Tom McCarthy (guitar), Chris Guyatt (bass) and the ever-smiling Kev Hickman (drums) who gel so well together. Throughout the course of the evening, they each get their chance to shine. Aaron professes, “We come to you as a gang – we are The Cult Classics”.

Hickman’s heavy drum intro leads into set opener “Show Me What You’re Made Of” before “Dancing Down Below” really allows Buchanan to project his superb voice. He tells the crowd “Bristol, it’s been a few years, but it’s great to be back”, the audience would agree.

“Devil That Needs You” sees McCarthy unleash some interesting screams from his guitar, as he makes full use of his trusty pedal board. The audience is treated to the classic Heaven’s Basement song “Fire Fire” before the band breaks into the title track from The Cult Classics imminent new album, The Man With Stars On His Knees. The song is a slower, more mellow track, which even results in Buchanan playing cymbals at one point during the proceedings.

One more song for the old fans, in “Heartbreaking Son Of A Bitch” which is followed by set closer, “Morals”. Aaron Buchanan and The Cult Classics leaves the Bristol crowd wanting more.

InMe‘s intro music rolls to resultant screams from the Bristol crowd as they take to the stage. The band features Dave McPherson (guitar, vocals), Greg McPherson (bass/additional vocals), Simon Taylor (drums), and Gazz Marlow (guitar). Tonight, InMe are certainly on form, and loving the ride.

The band’s dual guitarists and bassist are fingering their frets to great effect at the start of opener “Myths and Photographs”. The thrashy sounds of “Ferocity In Desire” follows. Tracks like “Lava Twilight” sees the crowd singing and clapping along and loving every moment.

It’s a great trip through the band’s twenty-year history, with many crowd-pleasers featuring during the course of the evening including “Hymn: Ivory Elder”, which sees some thumping bass work from Greg McPherson. This leads to 2004’s “Safe In A Room”, which we are told, Dave wrote about a friend who tried to commit suicide.

The mood is then lifted when McPherson encourages, “Let’s have a sing-song” before launching into “Her Mask” which builds into a roaring crescendo and indeed has the crowd singing along.

McPherson seems to be humbled by the crowd in attendance this evening stating, “There are 11 cities on this tour, and I am so glad Bristol was on it” before thanking the great support bands. InMe carry on the show with “Firefly” and Dave appears to be enjoying himself almost as much as the crowd. He constantly engages the audience throughout the course of the show.

Adopting a no messing approach McPherson insists, “We’re not gonna go off for that encore rubbish – we’ve got one more song. Then we’ve got five more after that” much to the fans approval. “Reverie Shores” sees some great guitar work and the riffs are flying. The band love this song too, as it has been played at every show since 2012.

As InMe head into the final strides of the show, they dedicate “Legacy” to the lady who signed the band back in the days when they were playing the local Essex live circuit. The first ever song that the band released, “Underdose” gets a run out too, which features some amazing drums from Taylor who manages to carry on regardless despite suffering an awful dose of flu – you would never know it on the strength of his performance, he’s obviously taking it out on his drum kit. The night is brought to a close with “Faster The Chase”, which is another full on rock song which has the crowd hanging on every word.

It’s no surprise that InMe has sustained such a long and successful career throughout the last twenty years. Judging by tonight’s performance, they have quite a few years left in them yet.

Photos: Becky O’Grady

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Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics
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The Fleece
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Event Date: 24-Oct-2016