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Inspiral Carpets - Brixton Academy, London, 4/4/2003

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 17 / 4 / 2003

Inspiral Carpets - Brixton Academy, London, 4/4/2003


Always the coolest and trendiest of all the early 90's Madchester acts, the Inspiral Carpets recently reformed for a one-off tour. Anthony Strutt finds them to be on fine form at London's Brixton Academy

Tonight is not a gig. It is a celebration of the early 90's and our party hosts are one of the biggest bands of the time 'the Inspiral Carpets'. It was the 2nd line-up that broke through to the nation charts after 4 very successful indie singles. That line-up were Tom, Clint, Craig, Martin and Graham and they were and still are not the prettiest of the bunch but they were the coolest and trendiest by far. And they had more hits than the rest of Manchester's pack. Tonight the evening's entertainment starts with Coin-op who sound like the Inspiral Carpets if they had Iggy Pop on vocals. Entertaining stuff as the venue swells there is massive balloons above the stage and the warm up tape reminds us of the band's time. All the songs are late 80's to the early 90's. At just after 9:15pm an intro tape and mini movie introduces the gig before our non Joe Bloggs wearing straight haired over 40's heroes of the evening dive straight into indie hit single no 3 'Joe'. The one thing that has changed is the drum kit is actually small and now Clint Boon faces the audience. The band seem to be happy on stage but not as happy as their audience who are well over joyed to have the bad back. Tom later mentions he has never seen so many smiling faces. Over the backdrop is logos, the Cool As Fuck one, Clint's cow drawing, http://www.inspiralcarpets.com and films, videos on current on stage clips so we can see our mates from every angle. This music is very much psychedelic dance pop music for the masses and the party just gets better. After every song the audience's moos, yes moos, like in a cow, but I guess you had to be there originally to understand this. The sound is generally excellent compared to the usual Brixton Academy show. It may be good to view a band here but the sounds not always great. Over 1 3/4 hours the band roll off hit after hit and a few album tracks like 'Sackville' (named after the street in Manchester where you escape the city from ie. the bus station) She Comes In The Fall' features a marching band in full kit and is extended beautifully and has me in tears. The set is delivered with love and passion and after a stunning 'Dragging Me Down' they leave us. On their return, the band are released before delivering my favourite I.C. track 'The Easy As Pie' 'Commercial Rain' before they crash into that only cover being fellow Mancirians Doves 'Pounding' which sounds pretty cool with the added boon's keys. For their last encore they return suited in white with the drummer dressed in a mask of the clown from the Simpsons before taking us to 'Saturn 5' and then they gone. But it's not over. In great British style, a Dad's Army style film reminds us we have been watching... In which every one gets a big cheer. A fine evening. A great band. Good to have them back. Set list: Joe Directing Traffic Generations b*itches Brew 2 Worlds Collide This is How It Feels Weakness Move Caravan Keep The Circle Round Sackville She Comes In The Fall Find Out Why Come Back Tomorrow I Want You Dragging Me Down 1st encore Commercial Rain Pounding Butterfly 2nd encore Saturn 5

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Inspiral Carpets - Brixton Academy, London, 4/4/2003

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Interview with Tom Hingley (2003)
Inspiral Carpets - Interview with Tom Hingley
One of the most famous of all the Madchester groups , the Inspiral Carpets have recently reformed and have a new box set out and have just toured. Frontman Tom Hingley talks to Anthony Strutt about the group's history

live reviews

Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 24/3/2013
With their original front man Stephen Holt back with them after an absence of twenty four years, Dave Goodwin watches the Inspiral Carpets play a frenzied show at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham
Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 10/3/2007
Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 5/12/2003


Cool as... (2003)
Inspiral Carpets - Cool as...
The reformed Inspiral Carpets recently toured Britain, and also have an excellent new box set 'Cool as...' out soon . Anthony Strutt reflects back on their history, and profiles this new retrospective

digital downloads



Inspiral Carpets (2014)
Exuberant comeback album from the Inspiral Carpets, which finds the group reunited with their original vocalist Stephen Holt
You're So Good For Me/Head For the Sun (2012)

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