The Scene column: No singer, no problem for Inlak’esh

Instrumental band Inlak’esh are interviewed by music reporter Vicki McCarthy ahead of their headline set at the The Stables this month.

Rock legend Lemmy Kilmister was once quoted as saying, “The Beatles was the first band to not have a lead singer.”

Over the years, some have attributed Paul, others claimed it was John, while many believed they were all lead singers!

So what about bands that literally don’t have a lead singer? Is there a place in modern music for instrumental groups?

I really think there is; over the years I’ve followed the success of a few local instrumental outfits such as forest of fools and Black Martis, but the whole time, another band were waving the flag for the instrumental only scene. That band is Inlak’esh.

“Formed in 2011, after an impromptu (and drunken) jamming session at a BBQ, Inlak’esh started out organically and almost accidentally,” smiled lead guitarist Dan Cairns.

“Then in 2012, we began taking part in the Open Mic night at The Craufurd Arms. It grew from there.”

After funding and producing the first album ‘Breathing Under Water’ in 2013, Dan C, Dan M, Steve and Ashley became a ‘party band’. Playing at weddings and birthdays, they built a following.

Dan elaborated: “At the time, our sound was a slower pace, we even sat down while playing, until someone suggested we stood up! Which we did and a different energy was suddenly injected into our performances.”

So why no singer, what was the thought process there?

“None of us can sing!” laughed Dan honestly. “Plus we wanted to tell the story through our melodies, we thought vocals might complicate things.”

Unable to pigeonhole the band, Dan describes Inlak’esh’s sound as a blend of rock, Latin and Spanish – music that means punters can’t fail to dance!

So, there’s a big gig coming up to prove this claim! Inlak’esh are looking forward to a headline set at The Stables on Saturday January 20, supported by acclaimed, local singersongwriter Kasia Wardman.

“We’ve just released our new album Fill The Void,” explained Dan. “A headline gig at such a great venue is perfect for showcasing the new material. We really can’t wait!”

I’m sure Inlak’esh’s talent will continue to be ‘instrumental’ in the band’s success.

Catch the Inlak’esh gig on Saturday January 20 at The Stables in Wavendon. Tickets are £12 in advance. Visit for more details.

This column was published in the January 2018 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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