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Inspiral Carpets - Inspiral Carpets

  by Carl Bookstein

published: 14 / 11 / 2014

Inspiral Carpets - Inspiral Carpets
Label: Cherry Red Records
Format: CD


Exuberant comeback album from the Inspiral Carpets, which finds the group reunited with their original vocalist Stephen Holt

The Inspiral Carpets arose from the “Madchester” boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s to much attention. The Manchester boom encompassed music, popular culture and fashion. The Inspiral Carpets were a highly recognised presence on the scene that included the Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays. The self-titled ‘Inspiral Carpets’ is their first studio album in 20 years. ‘Monochrome’ starts out charging from the gate, with rollicking distinctive keyboards and steady drums, “I’ll take you on a journey through the night/Piece by piece it falls into place,” sings vocalist Stephen Holt, who, the group’s original vocalist, rejoined the group in 2011 replacing Tom Hingley. The single ‘Spitfire’ is appealing, buoyant pop rock song craft- energized and likable. The lyric “Spitfire, taking me higher/Nothing’s going to get in my way” is a statement of pure positivity. On ‘You’re So Good for Me’, the momentum grows, indicating an urgency about an arrival at a new point in time: “Something’s got to give/I’ve got to keep on moving.” ‘A to Z of my Heart’ expresses a pronounced romanticism with lyrics about enduring love, alongside a swirling keyboard line. A soothing number, ‘Flying Like a Bird’, possesses an easy ebb and flow. On ‘Hey Now’ and through much of the album we hear keyboard work from Clint Boon that somehow recalls the playing of Steve Nieve of Elvis Costello and the Attractions fame, although otherwise quite unique. The Inspiral Carpets’ organ and keyboards are at once at least a trace psychedelic as well as compelling. ‘Our Time’ is both fast paced and rocking with a hypnotic beat and an energy indebted to punk. ‘Forever Here’ is a bold statement of arrival. ‘Let You Down’ is an intriguing collaboration with punk poet John Cooper Clarke. All in all, a solid, capable album ends with ‘Human Shield’. On the closer we hear Stephen Holt gratefully reflecting on his muse, and expressing the heartfelt belief that nothing can go wrong.

Track Listing:-
1 Keep the Circle Around
2 Butterfly
3 Joe
4 Find Out Why
5 Move
6 This Is How It Feels
7 She Comes in the Fall
8 Biggest Mountain
9 Weakness
10 Caravan
11 Please Be Cruel
12 Dragging Me Down
13 Two Worlds Collide
14 Generations
15 Bitches Brew
16 Come Back Tomorrow
17 Saturn 5
18 I Want You
19 Uniform
20 Come Back Tomorrow

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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
Brixton Academy, London, 4/4/2003


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



You're So Good For Me/Head For the Sun (2012)
Fantastic post-punk influenced first single in nine years from the Inspiral Carpets

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