Date: January 25th 2020
Venue: The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
Support: Haggard Cat / Messers
Essex rockers InMe have proven their worth over the last two decades, with their brand of British rock evolving endlessly by incorporating grunge and metal throughout their six full-length records.
The recently released ‘Jumpstart Hope’ sees the band reach record number seven, and also jumpstarts a new era for the Brentwood five-piece in 2020. A full album tour sees the band hit the proudly independent The Craufurd Arms for a night of old classics and new bangers.
Proceedings are kicked off by London newcomers, Messrs , who only played their first show back in November but are confidently experienced and charismatic on stage; eagle-eyed onlookers will recognise singer Ollie Bennett (along with his cracking beard) from playing the local area with his previous band, A World Away. Debut single ‘Falling’ showcases their slow alternative and amorphous rock, which can be moderately pedestrian, but ‘Slumber’ has a decent conclusion when it all comes together. ‘Lanterns’ concludes the harmless set, which proves more than anything, that the band are more proficient than their infancy suggests.
The destructive onslaught of Haggard Cat  is vastly popular around these part as the Nottingham duo have been dropping into the venue since the release of ‘Charger’ in 2015. There’s no time to adjust to the riff heavy punk that ‘First Words’ bludgeons the room with, as the band give us all a taster of what’s to come on their upcoming new record. The new singles have shown the song writing capabilities the band have, as ‘European Hardware’ proves they can still write unbeatable vocal hooks like “We are building a wall, we’re building a wall, we’re building a wall…” that’s even rivalling the likes of ‘Powerboat Disaster’ from the duo’s Baby Godzilla/HECK days.
Guitarist/vocalist Matt Reynolds‘ necklines on his t-shirts gets wider and wider every show to the extent that Milton Keynes can expect it to slip down completely when Haggard Cat return to headline this room in March. ‘Grave Digger’ and ‘American Graffiti’ sound monstrous, and the horribly overused cliche of saying that a band make a lot of noise for a two-piece is painfully relevant here. The crowd are lapping it up, and there’s no doubt that many of them will be back for the ‘Common Sense Holiday’ album headline show in a few weeks time.
The venue is bustling for the main event tonight, as it always is when InMe  come to town. Dave McPherson emerges in his almost iconic combo of flat cap and glasses, and throws us straight into the new record with ‘Blood Orange Lake’ sounding fresh this Saturday night, but naturally ‘Underdose’ eclipses it with the crowd lapping up the screams.
InMe‘s rock sound evolves through different genres, but the classic easy line choruses are what this kind of audience laps up, so it’s no surprise that “What’s that shit on the radio?” on ‘Single Of The Weak’ is left for the room to sing, and give McPherson intermittent breaks throughout the song.
By the time ‘Her Mask (P.A.)’ comes round, you can pretty much taste the sweat in the air, so the dulcet track is welcomed; McPherson even takes this chance to take to the floor to brush shoulders with his fans. A polite applause follows the end of the song, but when the guitar riff kicks in for ‘7 Weeks’, it’s back to the ruckus that the older songs are providing. Fresh number ‘The Leopard’ shows the crowd what InMe are still capable of producing in 2020, and you can see the reception of ‘Jumpstart Hope’ turning from scepticism to approval as the night progresses.
The show comes to a close with a stellar one-two of seminal tracks, ‘Firefly’ and ‘Faster The Chase’, that represent the best and most praised material that the Essex band have produced. McPherson tells the crowd that the band saved his life but probably ruined it too, before joining them once again for the ‘White Butterfly’ classic that closes what has been a victorious and personal evening exhibiting what InMe have been about throughout their career.