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Inspiral Carpets - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 10/3/2007

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 23 / 3 / 2007

Inspiral Carpets - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 10/3/2007


On their third comeback tour, Anthony Strutt enjoys a perfect evening of psychedelic pop from 90's group the Inspiral Carpets

This is the Inspiral Carpets' third comeback tour now, but it isn't so much a comeback tour as a tour to promote another Greatest Hits set, this time a 29 track digital album entitled 'Keep the Circle : B-sides and Udder Stuff'. The Shepherd's Bush Empire is not one of my favourite venues and, after being fully searched by the security people, we get to buy over priced beer, but I don't really need anymore today, as it was one of my friend's 50th birthday today, so I am more than drunk enough. The set is a 19 song trek through the latter end of the baggy 80's and early 90's, and, even though the venue is less than half full, the band tell us that this is their most enjoyable tour to date. Eleven of the tracks played were hit singles, and not just minor ones, but absolutely massive ones. The Inspiral Carpets come on stage at just after 9.35 p.m..They begin with 'Generations', and follow this with 'Joe' and 'Directing Traffic', two very early tracks for the band which they recorded when they were still on their own own Cow Records before they signed to Mute and which became instant anthems for the group. 'This is How It Feels', which comes next, was their first single on Mute and first big single. It caught the UK's imagination and made the band stars. 'Two Worlds Collide' was latter era Inspiral Carpets, while 'Weakness' was another really early gem which keeps this lagered up crowd happy. 'Cobra' was from their last album, 'Devil Hopping',and goes down well. 'Come Back Tomorrow', which was their unsuccessful come back single from 2003, is the only relatively new song played tonight. It didn't really touch the charts, but is a classic Inspiral Carpets track. 'She Comes in the Fall' which follows these, came out after 'This is How It Feels' and was huge, while 'Find Out Why' is another gem from just before they signed to Mute. Danny McNamara from Embrace joins the band on stage and chats to the crowd as they go into 'I Want You', the original recording of which features Mark E Smith. The Inspirals Carpets then play a version of 'Saturn 5' which Danny joins in on too. 'Uniform' and 'Dragging Me Down' follow before they launch into a shorter version of 'Plane Crash' . The recorded version is an extra track on a single and clocks in with 15 minutes worth of Doors like grooves. Then the band are gone. At 10.50 p.m. they return and treat us to Inspirals 'Dance Land'. We moo to them while they take us back to the early 90's and play 'Commercial Rain', a song about Peter wanting his teddy bear, and then the anthem that is 'Sackville', named after Sackville Street, the road where the coach station takes you out of Manchester. They end by playing 'Saturn 5' again. A perfect evening of psychedelic pop from one of the early 90's true greats.

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Inspiral Carpets - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 10/3/2007

Inspiral Carpets - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 10/3/2007

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