Inglorious/Ali Clinton/The King Lot – G2, Glasgow 27 Feb 2016
As I left the Inglorious show tonight, all I could think was “What the Hell had I just witnessed?” The answer that quickly popped in to respond was… The future of British Classic Rock. A bold statement, you may say, so let me break it down a bit. This band only released their debut album last week, it went into the UK rock charts at number three, and we have a packed hall tonight. I have been in this venue for many a well established band, and the crowd has been nowhere near as big as this. Tonight was my last test for the band, as I have listened to the album non-stop since I first received it way back in November last year. I knew instantly this was something special, and it was now down to the live arena to be delivered on or fail miserably… but before we get to that, we have two talented support bands to discuss.
First up, at the ungodly rocking hour of 7pm, was The King Lot. They only had 30 minutes to win over a crowd, a crowd that was only really filtering through the door with their eyes firmly settled on the bar (it was a Saturday). A local band that I have somehow missed, to date (and that does surprise me with the amount of gigs I do in this fair city). They took their slot, and they made a statement. A solid set, for a solid band. They had some real tinges of early U2 mingled in with their brand of rock, and I would definitely recommend you checking them out.
Next up, and support for the whole tour, is Ali Clinton, another band that has somehow passed me by, but that has been rectified after tonight’s blistering set. You may know him as rhythm guitarist for Uli Jon Roth, where, after seeing his full range of skills on a fretboard, you, like me, will be thinking he is wasted there. this young lad can play, and that could be my biggest understatement of 2016. He also never had much time to show his talents, but for that 30 minutes, I was lost in sublime guitar work. His mix of rock and blues was just what the crowd wanted tonight. Although he didn’t play it tonight “Purple Haze” is one of his go-to songs, and I will be honest, whilst I watched this kid mesmerise me, I saw a link to the great man, but not what you may think. Ali’s vocals were a bit shaky at times tonight, just like the great man’s were. He has a very ‘rough around the edges’ feel in everything except the instrument he wields like a weapon. I suspect his youth was not one filled by playing playstation or football. A very enjoyable set, and a band I will be keeping a very close eye on.
And now for the main event… let’s get ready to rumble, Glasgow! The stage in the G2 is not the biggest. It has massive steel pipes right in the middle of the hall, which to be fair, is a right pain in the arse, but it has been a stalwart in Glasgow through many years and name changes. It doesn’t really have space for 6 band members and their equipment, especially if you have an energetic band. Over the years, that stage has seen guitar-smashed faces, punching of the walls, and falls from the stage! A health and safety nightmare, and not one hi-viz vest to be seen.
Inglorious, minus Nathan, took to the stage as the PA was blaring The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. They took their allocated two feet of space on the stage, and awaiting the big man… who duly strolls on to a huge cheer. As we get the usual “Hello, Glasgow”, it struck me just how posh he is. Just as well we knew who he was, or this could have gone down differently. Jeez, at the end of the show, he even said we were lovely. Of all the shows I have ever been to, I have never heard a Glasgow audience described as that. I can only assume the spotlights were in his face and he really could not see the assembled crowd that looked like a convention of zombie rejects on a christmas night out.
Nathan introduced the first song (and the latest video) “Until I Die”, and it is here my breath gets held. This is the moment I get to hear whether they cut it live… and as he starts singing… nothing comes out. Nothing. He is giving it some, but nothing is making it to the PA. My pain and worry are extended, until the mic is sorted and the vocals hit my ears like a battering ram. What on earth was I worried about? His voice was stunning, the power impressive, and each note was pitch perfect. I gave out a sigh of relief and could enjoy the show with all my negativity and pessimism thrown away. The band powered right into “Breakaway” and we got the top range from Nathan and there was no loss of power. At this point, you could see why the band have been given all the accolades and passing quotes and similarities to all the great British rock vocalists. He could easily sit at the table with Gillan, Coverdale, Mercury, and Plant.
Next up, was the first of tonight’s covers, and Rainbow’s “I Surrender” got everyone in this room bouncing and screaming at the top of their lungs. A well-placed number just in case anyone was getting a little sleepy (yeah, right).
After this, we got a bass and drum solo with Colin and Phil. I will leave comments on this as I am not a great fan of solos, however, I reckon Phil picked up a few licks from a Mr Billy Sheehan on their recent support slot with The Winery Dogs.
With that out the way we burst into my personal favourite track of the album “High Flying Gypsy”, and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. I can happily rest now having heard this live and played to perfection. From here on the highlights just kept building one after the other, but a work of genius was the inclusion of a Deep Purple track… and not one you would expect, with the Mk III number “Lay Down, Stay Down” Mix that with another Coverdale number in “Fool For Your Lovin” and you have Classic Rock heaven in your hands.
I also have to give a massive shout out to the whole band. Inglorious are unbelievably tight for such a new band, and the licks we were seeing from Andreas and Wil were just jaw dropping. It was also brilliant to see all 6 members under back lighting, it took me back to the days of old, the days when the UK ruled the rock world and all those posters I had on my walls.
I left hoarse, happy, and smiling, knowing I will be seeing Inglorious on a full stage in June as they are headlining the premier Scottish Rock festival that is Wildfire… sometimes life just does not get better than this!
Review and images Ritchie Birnie
Catch Inglorious at The Wildfire festival. Full details and tickets HERE.