It was another cold and snowy night in Nottingham and the home of The Rescue Rooms, the smaller but more sophisticated relation and next door neighbour to Rock City. As we walk in, it is pretty empty, but there is a flock of people making their way up the steps. This one, as I am trustily informed, is a sell-out, and the adverse weather conditions, as I am also jokingly informed, are due to global warming.

There are three acts on tonight. The first a great alternative/electro/dance/house/guitar-pop band from Liverpool by the name of the Tea Street Band who got us warmed up with an expertly executed set. Man and guitar Danny Mahon then playsan acoustic set of some comical catchy songs. My mate liked the Tea Street Band though. He keeps telling me. All night!

Inspiral Carpets, I hear you mumble. If you were big into the Manchester scene in the mid-1990s, then Inspiral Carpets will be no strangers to you. If you missed all that because you were lucky enough to be too young, then a quick brief is needed. Well, according to Wikipedia, Inspiral Carpets are an alternative rock band from Oldham in Greater Manchester, England, which was formed by Graham Lambert and Stephen Holt in 1983. Their sound is based around psychedelic keyboards and guitars, and the group currently consists of Graham Lambert (guitars), Craig Gill (drums), Stephen Holt (vocals), Clint Boon (keyboards, vocals) and Martyn Walsh (bass). They have seen different members come and go and may not have been as big an act as the Happy Mondays or the Stone Roses, but they were responsible for producing one great pop tune after another. This tour sees them revisiting their 1990 debut studio album, 'Life', and some of their later material.

The Carpets are back to near enough the original line up with Stephen Holt back up front, having replaced Tom Hingley and having rejoined the band after an absence of twenty-four years. As I glance around after the supports have been on, it is evident just how much this band was thought of in the 1990s. The guys on the door weren't joking. The Rescue Rooms is sold out, for sure. The balcony is heaving, and the whole place littered is with people wearing trackie tops and carrying tins of Red Stripe.

There is a largish void at the front though where no-one seems to want to go. At around 9.30 p.m. as billed, the main act rustles on to the large Rescue Rooms’ stage and slides straight into the first track. The void at the front disappears within seconds and the room blasts into a frenzy. There are nods of approval all round the pit area where I am, and slowly the crowd builds up steam until just like a kettle it explodes into a heaving, pushing and dancing mass. The inside of The Rescue Rooms is now warm on a global scale.

The Carpets race through the first part of the set with ease, Holt lapping up every shout and yell and Boon on keyboards responding with joking retorts. Moos erupt from the audience at every space they can, reflecting the line of cows on each side of the stage's banner and behind the mad bashings of drummer Gill. They play for at least an hour and a half, and certainly give value for money as they run through twenty-seven tracks including hits 'This is How It Feels', 'She Comes in the Fall', 'Monkey on My Back' and 'Caravan'.

We wander back out into the Nottingham cold fully satisfied with the antics we have just had, and my mate tells me, as if we had just walked in, that he liked the first band that were on. Really? We trudge off to the car park in the icy glow. Global warming, my arse!

Set List:

The Real Thing
Song for a Family
This is How It Feels
Directing Traffic
Besides Me
Many Happy Returns,
Memories of You,
She Comes in the Fall,
Monkey on My Back
Sun Don’t Shine
Inside My Head
You’re So Good
Two Worlds Collide
Fix Your Smile
So Far
I Want You
Dragging Me Down
Seeds of Doubt
Out of Time
Saturn 5

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