INHEAVEN, PORTLAND ARMS, CAMBRIDGE
1ST FEBRUARY 2018
There’s cause for celebration tonight. Independent Venue Week is in full swing and The Portland Arms is brimming with punters angling to catch a glimpse of indie band-du-jour Inheaven. But before they take to the stage, Brighton-based Thyla kick off proceedings with their amalgamation of untethered melodies, swirling guitars and battering drums, lead by the perfunctory yelps of frontwoman Millie. The four-piece provide a thorough warm-up and leave the room with a tangible air of excitement for the headliners.
Tonight marks Inheaven’s first headline appearance in Cambridge, having previously opened for Circa Waves at Junction last year. This time around the South London quartet are armed with their debut album and an impressive spate of support slots, famous fans (Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas put out their first single) and zealous reviews. If there’s anyone here tonight who isn’t familiar with the band’s rapid success, it doesn’t take long for the four-piece to spell it out.
Launching straight into the opening number, Inheaven waste no time with pleasantries. The band set an impressive energy that doesn’t let up, whilst also offering a duality to the set. The momentous, building numbers such as ‘Sweet Dreams Baby’ are equally as rousing as the high-octane punk cuts like ‘World On Fire’. But of course, the most powerful synergy comes from James Taylor and Chloe Little, who are equally as enthralling in their front person duties. Between Little’s wild-eyed stares at the audience and Taylor’s hair flicks after each line, they’re rock stars in their own right. And, though each provide strikingly different lead vocals (Little’s Riot Grrrl-era yelps and Taylor’s Britpop-borrowing rally cry), their voices coalesce perfectly when heard together.
The band display gargantuan ambition, both in their live performance and in their written material. If there’s one song to prove this, it’s closing number ‘Regeneration’ which sparks a mini mosh pit in the zealous crowd and an enthusiastic singalong. It’s not hard to image lyrics like ‘I don’t want to bring you down/ I just want to fuck around/ I’m bored of my generation’ echoed back to them in a bigger capacity someday, but tonight it feels like Inheaven are exactly where they should be: conquering this small and sweaty room during Independent Venue Week.
Photos: Amelia Roffey