I’d fallen in love with the sound of TLI when their debut album came out in 2014 and was eager to see them live. As is the way of things, when they first visited Glasgow I was out of the country and missed the chance so it had been a long wait for them to return.
In the meantime, there came a chapter of turmoil for the band that further extended the gap between worldwide tours. With an embattled divorce from their record company that blocked them from releasing anything new, followed by their van being robbed just as they were getting some momentum back. I was concerned that they might fade away without fulfilling the great potential.
Among the items stolen were laptops that contained new studio material, which put even more distance between their first album and a follow-up. Aside from a couple of bootleg collections, an unplugged album, and some covers, it had been a long five years since We Will Reign was released until Soul On Fire dropped in early 2019.
Then came the announcement of a tour and when I saw they were playing King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, I snapped up tickets as soon as they went on sale.
The allure of the band, for me, is the tight riffs and epic songs loaded with social commentary delivered by the incredible voice of Delila Paz.
On the night the support was superb – especially local band, Black King Cobra’s brand of funk-rock. It’s always great when you go to see one of your favourite bands and end up with another one.
Then came TLI and they opened with a fast-paced number from the new album that met the full approval of the crowd in the intimate venue. I was just stoked at finally hearing them live and captivated by both Edgey Pires intricate fretwork on lead guitar and, of course, those incredible vocals from Delila Paz.
Given that We Will Reign is now five years old, I had wondered if the set list might be weighted toward songs from their new album to help promote it. Their new album is good but their debut is stronger, to my mind. As the numbers ticked by it became clear that they’d cherry-picked the strongest tracks from both albums and it was great to hear all my favourite tracks.
Late in the set, whilst the band took a break, Delila performed an acoustic cover of A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke. During this, she stepped away from the microphone to deliver a powerful verse to the hushed audience. Her pitch-perfect vocals filled the room even without the amp & speakers. Amazing!
The final number, the breathless 1968 from We Will Reign, is a total barn burner and it struck me that this night, this experience, probably wouldn’t be repeated because – if… no, when I see them live again it’s going to be a bigger venue for sure!
The Last Internationale are definitely back on track and I can’t wait to see what their next studio album brings. Hopefully without the same kind of wait!