INGLORIOUS / CITY OF THIEVES / BLIND RIVER - Rock City, Nottingham 03.02.19




Another evening at Rock City?  Ah go on then especially as there are 3 good bands playing.

The queue was stretching along the pavement way before the doors opening time which is a good indication that there are going to be plenty of willing participants in the musical frivolities.  A strong turnout for the opening bands is always good to see and testament to how much the good people of Nottingham love their music.

First up tonight is BLIND RIVER playing an acoustic set of 6 songs. Opening with ‘Going Nowhere’ the guys were firing on all cylinders, a really energetic and enjoyable half an hour set.  Other songs included ‘Bone House’ and ‘Resurrection’ which had the crowd singing along.  The stage doesn’t seem big enough somehow for them, performing with as much commitment as in their full electric set.  A solid dose of hard-hitting blues fuelled rock and roll, a great way to start the night.

A swift changeover and London based CITY OF THIEVES took to the stage.  The band have made an impression on fans who have already been to a couple of shows on this tour evidently by the cheers that greeted them as they began their set.  Proper old school, hard rock and roll, sing along choruses and pulse-raising marvelousness.  One of the best drummers, Will Richards, I have seen for a while too. I love the band and I think they have a great future and I hope that the response to their set as they walked off stage will help to keep them on track.  One tiny bit of constructive criticism is that whilst their sound is big, the riffs are solid and the basslines enough to vibrate your brain, but I think they need the addition of another guitar to fill out the sound further, personal preference of course and they are very good as a three-piece. I just feel they could benefit from the additional padding.  Buy their music, go and see them, you will love them!

To the main event: INGLORIOUS’ new album ‘Ride To Nowhere’ has been a little overshadowed by some line-up changes but there is no doubting the quality of the songs, a slightly different direction, a little darker emotionally and combining songs from the new album with the previous two albums should prove to be a winning combination.

A new backdrop from the last couple of tours and a change of intro song as ‘Inglorious’ boomed through the PA and the band consisting now of Danny Dela Cruz (lead guitar), Vinnie Colla (bass) and Dan Stevens (rhythm guitar), ably assisted on this tour by Rob Lindrop on keys, confidently joined Phil Beaver (drums) and Nathan James on vocals to flood our ears with ‘Where Are You Now’.  I had been at their London show last week but the sound tonight at Rock City is off the scale.  Perfect balance allowing the full force of bass and guitar to reach our eardrums through every nerve in your body.  The new guys looked much more comfortable too, Dela Cruz is not shy in coming forward, he is a phenomenal talent and tonight Colla and Stevens are not overshadowed by his confidence at all, moving forwards to the front of the stage, taking their turn in the spotlight and deservedly so. ‘Taking The Blame’ has people on the barrier bouncing as the pace lifts the vibe even more.

 Nathan James is happy chatting to the audience, he seems relaxed and genuinely pleased to be at Rock City saying that after selling out the Rescue Rooms twice in succession, tonight playing the main room is a dream for him.   The set continues with ‘High Flying Gypsy’ and ‘Read All About It’ before slowing things down with ‘Glory Days’.  Probably my favourite track from the first album, ‘Warning’ punches hard as the pace of the night continues.  A strong mix of songs in tonight’s set allowing the music to shine together with the vocal.

 I had been blown away by James’s rendition of ‘Uninvited’ in London and tonight was no different, the goose bumps I had then re-appeared at the start and when the music blasted in, really blasted in, it became mind blowing. 

As the set progressed, the smiles around the crowd didn’t stop, lots of fists in the air, clapping and a great atmosphere to the whole show.  The title track to the new album is fast becoming one of my favourite songs at the moment and live it sounds even better.

A warmth from the crowd who really do take this man into their hearts was evident during the introduction to a couple of the songs, James’s reasons behind the lyrics tugging on heartstrings.

Receiving a great deal of airplay is the new single ‘I Don’t Know You’ and we were surprised and treated to an appearance from Heather Leoni, sounding as powerful as James during the duet.  It was obvious that this is an emotional song for them both, describing Leoni as his best friend, the connection between the two on stage was lovely to see.

 Nathan James made an appearance in the crowd for the beginning of ‘Holy Water’, singing as fans held their phones aloft, capturing a close encounter with the man with the power pipes at close range.  The final song ‘Until I Die’ saw the night come to a really epic close.  I did not hear one negative comment from anyone in the room or from on the stage, queues of people waited to speak to the band and they obliged, happy to chat and have endless selfies.

A cracking night and one which has seen the band improve even over the space of a few nights quickly gaining the cohesiveness needed to play live.  Don’t miss out, grab yourself a ticket, buy the album, enjoy the songs.