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We review Inhaler live at Manchester’s Deaf Institute 16/08/2021


Tonight it’s an early drive over the Pennines for an album launch gig by up and coming Dublin based band Inhaler promoting their debut album It won’t always be Like this.

For those unaware, a recent tool to help gain pre-sales for chart position is an album and ticket offer by certain independent record stores which usually give fans a chance to see their favourite bands in venues much smaller than they would usually play, in this case, it’s one that helped propel said debut album to number 1.

Also helping this no doubt was the several different formats and versions – at least 13 of which I’m aware of (some of those releases going for 3 or 4 times their initial selling price on resale sites already such is their demand) but I digress, tonight’s gig is in the recently saved, much loved and unique Deaf Institute, 1 of 2 they’re performing here today.

Getting into the venue fashionably late but just before the band are on it is quite surreal looking at the crowd, down the front, it’s all full of the pretty young things in their finest whereas at the back and in the seats its the oldies, There’s an unusual vibe of a school concert happening and of which there’s a reason, for those new to the band, Inhaler frontman Eli also has a rather famous frontman for a father, the aforementioned Dublin might be a clue and upon seeing Eli it would become pretty obvious that he is none other than Bono of U2 so the lad has some pretty large footsteps to follow in.

Those footsteps seem to be with certain privileges too, it’s not often you’ll see a band releasing their debut album and be touring with roadies, 2 sound desks, and a rack full of expensive guitars – even tho the band are doing their own thing individually it’s pretty clear that it’s not really being a just a band and a van type beginning for them.


Anyway, the lights have dimmed and the band takes to the stage and the crowd is cheering and it’s straight into it, album opener and title track It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This kicks in and it’s clear that the kids get it, the front of the stage is alive and bouncing, up next is My Honest Face which has been around for some time with a minor rework for its album track release and again the crowd reaction is more than favourable.


With Slide Out The Window and Cheer Up Baby next a few things are becoming clear – 1, we’re getting the full album in track order tonight and 2, just how tight this young band is. Your attention however cannot be taken away if you’re of a certain age of just how much like his dad Eli is, subconsciously he’s mimicking his dad’s actions and the sound could really be a rebirth of “U2” for the next generation, could we be watching a future stadium filler in the tiny Deaf Institute? It’s more than an outside possibility, especially as by the time we’re at My King Will Be Kind the crowd are singing back lyrics followed later by choruses during Totally.


It would appear Inhaler have captured the hearts and minds of the young ones and with the foot-tapping, respect for their music from the older ones. The performance is polished, maybe a tad too clinical but there’s no doubting the crowd tonight approved and this band is going places.