Inglorious Have A Feeling About The Future
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Frontman Nathan James tells us why...

liz medhurst
Words: Liz Medhurst, Photos: Eric Duvet
30th October 2017


There's a beautiful moment three songs in during tonight's finale of the Inglorious UK headline tour at the Electric Ballroom, Camden. As the music pauses for vocalist Nathan James to greet the crowd, they are nearly knocked over by the volume of the cheering as the wall of sound is end of show level.

The looks of surprise and gratitude at the reception are genuine. Inglorious know they have a top class product but there's been no taking for granted, or easing up on the graft that it took to get here.

This is a group of fantastic musicians living their best lives, and it shows.

It's been a packed couple of years for the band, playing over eighty gigs in 2016, releasing the self-titled debut album, and blasting into the public consciousness with a bang.

2017 may have seemed quieter on the surface, but not a moment has been wasted it seems, with the big headline being second album, 'II', making it to No 1 in the UK Rock charts.

Before tonight's gig MetalTalk sat down with frontman Nathan James for a recap of a pretty remarkable year, which began with a major line-up change.

In January, Drew Lowe joined the band – re-joined to be accurate, as he was the original guitarist from before their signing to Frontiers, replacing Wil Taylor who had been part of the line-up for the first two albums.

"I remember when I made the call to him when I knew that a change had to happen in our band as we weren't happy. So we all sat down drunk in a pub, and I knew I had to get Drew back, so I rang him drunk and then we agreed to meet the next day - in the pub. I said 'oh by the way if you do want to come back your first gig's gonna be the Monsters Of Rock cruise so if you are going to join again we need your passport details straight away.'

"He joined, and we went on that ship and it was just incredible. He loved the whole experience I think. We were stood next to Jack Blades and Kip Winger doing drill at the muster stations and Drew's a massive fan, he could hardly believe it.

"It was first time the Americans had seen us at all and it had to be right, and having Drew back and making the choice we made as a band was the correct thing to do as we just had the most incredible time."

Drew Lowe, Nathan James and Andreas Eriksson

With the line-up sorted it was straight into new album promotion time with a seriously impressive social media campaign and engagement with fans, led by Nathan. Was there a master plan in all this?

"Our goal was to get enough of those pre-sales so that they all counted. Last time we released an album all the sales we made via our website didn't count towards our chart position which was a real shame so in hindsight we would have tried to set that up. We would have charted really well, made the same kind of mark."

The final week of promotion saw five dates in HMV stores where the songs were showcased acoustically.

"That was so much fun, going out and playing these songs acoustically as that's how we wrote them. Early next year we are releasing an EP that we recorded at YouTube space in London. I think it's going to be called 'Live And Unplugged In London'. It's five songs from over both albums. These videos are great, and after we listened to it though it was too good not to release.

"Something I'm most proud of about this band is that these songs stand well like that which is sometimes quite hard; not all songs can do that. The riffs work really well, you get to hear everyone's vocals, a bit more harmonies and stuff. I'm really really proud of how it turned out and I can't wait for people to hear them."

This side of Inglorious is received really well, whether whole band or, like the acoustic interlude in this tour, Nathan singing accompanied only by Drew Lowe's guitar. Tonight's choice of songs is in tribute to Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell with 'Numb' and Black Hole Sun' and it's emotional.

Colin Parkinson, Nathan James

One of the reasons for the success of this tour is a result of what Nathan describes as the biggest chance that they have taken this year, following the album launch show in May. This was a landmark moment in the band's story, where everything came together and was a real "I was there" moment.

"It felt great. It ticked all the right boxes with all the people we needed to, our agents and all these people who thought 'ok, we took a punt on these guys because they are a new band'. They said the week before, 'If you sell that out we'll find somewhere bigger for you next time', and here we are – and this is sold out!

"Our agent told us that he could have done an album launch tour in May, around that gig and I remember going 'yeah ok, let's do that. We wanna tour, we wanna do dates, be busy'. But then he said 'I don't think you should, I think you should wait' and I was like 'NO – we want to tour!

"Having that five month period before we toured meant that everyone learnt the words to the album, more copies of the album were sold, people were loving it, so tonight when we play the newer stuff they know all the words.

"That's what I found most impressive is that our agent knew this, cos if we would have come to the ballroom a couple of months ago there wouldn't have been a thousand people here, so he knows what he's doing does Steve Strange [of X-Ray Touring]."

Phil Beaver

So instead, Inglorious played half a dozen illustrious European festivals in the summer, where picking a shorter setlist from the stable of songs in their catalogue made for an enjoyable challenge.

The songs have always come first and the two albums have stood up to repeated listens. Some of them are undoubtedly going to end up on future compilations of classic rock; one of the front running contenders will be 'Holy Water' for which the cliché "instant classic" appears appropriate.

"I knew when we wrote it, when we all sat there writing that first album and I hummed the riff and then Colin and Phil played it on guitar we sat there looking at each other and were like 'this is cool'. I remember going 'now this is going to be really good, keep going, keep going, let's get a chorus' and I sang it and that's something I always wanted, dreamt of writing. The same with 'I Don't Need Your Loving' on the second album - I was so, so proud of it"

'Holy Water' is such a highlight live, starting with Andreas Eriksson spotlit on stage improvising ethereal runs and coaxing out honeyed tones, before the main riff kicks in and Nathan appears in the crowd leading a mass singalong of the chorus.

Nathan James, Andreas Eriksson

It's been quite a tour overall, with virtually every place sold out or close to. The Dublin show, reviewed here, had low attendance but this appears to be a common location issue, certainly not a band one.

"I'm so gutted about that gig. We had a fantastic show, but they didn't announce us on the website until five days before, so no-one could buy tickets, they didn't know where to get tickets from. Apparently we did the same amount as The Dead Daisies though, so that's pretty good going.

"A lot of the success of this tour is to do with having Toby [Jepson, leader of support Wayward Sons] with us as well 'cos they are such a great band and he's an absolute legend.

"I'm a big fan of Toby so it was a really good fit, and it's nice when label mates get to go out on tours. It's been a really happy time, everyone's really happy."

Wayward Sons

The effort and graft that's gone in is clear to see. There's no signs of excess here backstage, and the only hot and steamy thing in sight is the humidifier we are sharing the room with - a vocalist's best friend.

"I've had to be more careful with these longer, ninety minute sets. Years ago when I was probably twenty, I used to think 'I'm just going to go out every night and drink loads, sing loads and get absolutely wrecked, go mad', and you can't do that.

"All these blokes right, who back in the 70s and 80s tell you that they went out and partied and then sang like birds the next day are talking shit. There's no way! They're totally lying about it because there's no way you can go there and sing like this every night and go and do, I dunno, whatever people apparently say they got up to. There's no way - they're talking shit.

"It'll be really good to do forty-five minutes again, go all out and be able to enjoy it, and be able to go out for a drink after the show and talk to people and be a bit more of a normal human being other than wearing a frigging nightgown on the bus with slippers and drinking tea."

There's a few more long sets to get through before the end of the year though, as Inglorious head out on a European tour in December.

"Christmas markets in Germany – I can't wait!"

Securing a promise from Nathan to send pictures with Gluhwein in one hand and currywurst in the other, I leave him to finish getting ready for the gig. It's an absolute belter with Wayward Sons delivering a high octane dose of brilliance, and then Inglorious captivating the Electric Ballroom with a perfectly pitched set with so much light and shade.

This is the sound of classic hard rock thriving. Inglorious are only just getting started – 2018 and beyond is shaping up to be very tasty indeed.

Inglorious European Tour 2017:


Inglorious and Wayward Sons will team up again in January as support to Steel Panther at the following dates - get your tickets now, this is one not to miss:

20th January: Glasgow - Academy
24th January Manchester - Apollo
26th January London - Hammersmith Apollo

Check out the video message from the band right here:


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