Having seen InMe more times at this point than I would like to count, for fear of coming across as a rabid fangirl and far less cool than I like to pretend I am, it was quite a surprise to see both the size of the O2 Academy Islington and just how packed it was. I have seen the band play venues little larger than public toilets (which, from the smell, may have actually been public toilets), right the way through to the decently sized Garage in Highbury, but this venue was something a bit special.
Full from front to back, bar to stage from the moment I arrived early enough to miss Mojo Fury (every time, no matter how early I leave, I miss the first support every.single.time) there was a relaxed but celebratory atmosphere throughout the venue and a good number of people crushed up against the barrier over an hour before InMe were expected to arrive onstage.
I’m glad I managed to make it in early enough to catch LostAlone because, although they epitomise ‘not my thing’, with a look that is so 70’s glam rock it’s not even funny (except it is a bit), and uninspired but audience friendly rock, they were really, really entertaining. There was one song from their newest release which I wish I’d caught the name of because it was ridiculously catchy, and all three members of the band seemed to enjoy what they were doing to the point where at times they were having more fun than the gathered audience. This is not a bad thing, and the band managed to keep everyone entertained throughout their short but fun set.
After a break, during which I moved upstairs so I could actually see what the hell was going on, InMe came on to a huge welcome from their audience and launched straight into ‘Reverie Shores’ from newest release The Pride. Over a month of touring had done nothing to squash their energy and, although the band were looking a little road-weary, you couldn’t have guessed this from their performance. InMe seem very proud of their newest album, and they really should be. With some of the cleverest hooks they have ever come up with, teamed with epic fantasy moments and anthemic quality, songs like ‘A Great Man’ and ‘Moonlit Seabed’ actually showed up some of the old fan favourites.
Being a pathetically loved-up superfan, there wasn’t a low moment for me, but the inclusion of songs from The Pride did suddenly pull a sharp contrast between the grungey material evident in Overgrown Eden (although ‘Natural’ was an incredible addition to the set) and the newer releases.
InMe always perform like they really feel it and want to be there, and their audience tends to react accordingly. The moshing was, as always, totally brutal and worrying (I’m getting old) but the ecstatic arm waving and singing from the crowd at large brought a really exciting edge to the night, which made it feel more like an event than just a gig. The band themselves seemed to enjoy every moment of the gig and, despite vocalist Dave McPherson seeming to have trouble with his voice, (which I suppose a month of screaming your lungs out will do to you) it didn’t affect their output whatsoever.
At one point Dave incited the crowd to split in two, going completely against the O2 Academy’s ‘no insane wall of death’ policy, then jumped over the barrier and ran down the centre, high fiving everyone brave enough to be at the front of a wall of death, before asking everyone to move gently back into place. They still punched the hell out of each other as soon as he was back on stage though.
High points for me were ‘Pantheon’ and ‘Legacy’, strangely enough songs which I haven’t particularly enjoyed on The Pride, but somehow come into their own in a live environment, and Daydream Anonymous’ ‘Cracking the Whip’ which is just a really really good song.
With that the gig, and tour, was over and the band and crowd seemed to leave as exhilarated as each other. There is no doubt in my mind that, while they still have it in them, I will continue to go to InMe shows and have a great time every single time.