Kenneths opened for INK. as the only support act for the show at Camden Assembly, and they got everyone in the mood with ease on account of being really quite good! They have a lot of attitude and a lot to say – ‘My Favourite Ex’, sung by drummer Aicha Djidjelli was a particularly brilliant jam as I’m a sucker for a female rocker and that is one catchy ass song. Towards the end of their set frontman, Josh Weller crowd surfed and came into the audience, who were happy to greet him, and thank him for the awesome set.
INK. sauntered onto the stage to the sound of cheering fans and without wasting any time they went straight into playing ‘Fever’, one of the four songs off of their first EP; Heaven. Bassist Dougie Poynter had immediately drawn the crowd’s attention by wearing a floral shirt and wielding his weapon of choice, a bright pink bass, making it clear that he would be doing most of the talking after they’d got the first song out of the way.
I didn’t know what to expect from vocalist and guitarist Todd Dorigo other than a beautiful deep drawling voice that I had heard when listening to the EP but I was struck by his demeanour, he came across with a sort of 70’s glam rock flare. This was a nice touch for me as a huge fan of that particular music era – I found out after the show that they list David Bowie as one of their influences which didn’t surprise me.
Poynter filled the space wonderfully and his energy was insatiable, as ‘Back to the Noise’ began he threw himself all over the stage and at one point jumped so high I thought he was going to hit his head on the not very high ceiling. So it was no surprise that after the song drew to a close when he declared jokingly, “oh fuck, I’m tired already!” but we all knew he had more stamina than that.
Then the moment everyone had been waiting for came as Dorigo asked the crowd, “who wants to hear a new song?” as, after all, we have only had four songs to keep us going and this is arguably not enough to give us much more than a hint of what to expect in the near future of INK. The new song was called ‘Black Magic’ and was lyrically poetic showing off Dorigo’s skills in more than one way as he moved away from behind the microphone for the first time to kill it on the guitar.
We were then told some audience participation was in need as Poynter apparently refuses to sing backing vocals on the song ‘Symphony Woman’ and so that was going to be our job, and a section of the crowd obliged. INK. then played ABBA classic ‘Lay All Your Love On Me’ which garnered more zealous audience participation then the previous song had and without the need to ask for it, definitely an audience pleaser.
Poynter sang the next song and the crowd was really into it – me not so much. Dorigo who spoke very little suddenly announced that he had a feeling and after some banter with Poynter clarified to us all, who stood in anticipation, “I have this feeling I want to be inside you…” with that he proceeded to jump down into the crowd. After a little assistance setting up the mic, he began to serenade us with his masterful voice in the form of a new song ‘Satellite’. In case you didn’t guess it, my favourite thing about INK. is the soulful lyrics spun in a voice to die for.
The second cover of the night came in the form of Sia’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ and the audience loved it, almost as much as they loved Poynters party trick: calling for the lights to go off he revealed that if it was not attention-grabbing enough to have a bright pink bass, one that lights up red would do the trick. After they put the lights back up INK. played another new song ‘One Of My Kind’ before finally closing with fan favourite and title track to their EP, ‘Heaven’.
Personally, I had an extremely good time at this show and although the between songs banter was not always in my taste, the music was. The band are described as “alt-rock” and this is a rather broad term that encapsulates a large number of musical styles which at first I thought was not a helpful description. However, after seeing them play live I can honestly say they encapsulate a large number of musical styles so the shoe definitely fits.
Photos by Imogen Bird.