You write the reviews: Inspiral Carpets, New Roadmender, Northampton
Tuesday 25 March 2008
The reunion bandwagon continues to plough its relentless furrow through modern music, but at least the latest stragglers to re-appear were once pioneers of their time. Pre-Britpop, Inspiral Carpets were central to the much-celebrated Madchester scene along with their fellow Mancunians Stone Roses and Happy Mondays.
"You're looking much younger than us," declared the keyboard-player, Clint Boon, before mistakenly playing "Weakness" while the rest of the band played "Move". "He's been cryogenically frozen," joked the singer, Tom Hingley.
Time may have withered the memory and expanded the waistline, but bluster and energy formed a potent mix in an 18-song set. This was palpable from the opening number, "Dragging Me Down", an intoxicating stomp driven by Boon's Farfisa organ, a staple ingredient of any Inspiral Carpets song. Tom Hingley has lost none of his vocal clarity, either, and in "Two Worlds Collide", he pleaded, "What have I done with my life?", a question fans have been asking for 13 years.
Having once claimed that Inspiral Carpets were a "psychedelic beer band", Hingley bemoaned the fact that he'd spent the day "dry" before seeking the audience's approval to crack open a bottle. As "She Comes in the Fall" pounded into life, the audience toasted Hingley by throwing lager over themselves. It was just like the old times.
"Generations" may have vanished into the annals of music history, but as the bass player, Martyn Walsh, scythed his fret board in maniacal fashion, the song was brought vividly back to life. Those brave souls standing within striking distance must have seen their past flash before their eyes.
The sound was amplified by the introduction of "I Want You", the result of a collaboration between Inspiral Carpets and the Fall's frontman, Mark E Smith. Hingley proclaimed that everyone was "climbing aboard on a white-knuckle ride" just as the drummer, Craig Gill, set about assaulting the senses. The noise was mesmerising in its intensity.
The pulse was slowed by the encore, during which Hingley re-introduced members of the band. Finally, Graham Lambert plucked the opening chords to "Bitches Brew" and all seemed calm again. The atmosphere, though, remained thick with nostalgia, and this was further elevated by the final song. "Saturn 5" was a Top 20 hit for the band in 1994. But judging by the raised hands and filled lungs, its position should have been much higher.
Paul Bingley, Airline Commercial Executive, Ridgewell, Essex
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who ran away after argument with her parents
- 4 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
Game of Thrones season 6: George RR Martin doing 'anything he can' to get new book The Winds of Winter out before next HBO series airs
Game of Thrones, Battle of Hardhome: 20-minute Wildlings versus White Walkers battle took a 'solid month' to film
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 9, The Dance of Dragons: Jon Snow returns to The Wall after epic Battle of Hardhome
Touch-screen Teletubbies say hello: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po are back, now with smart technology
Black Angel: Long lost Star Wars precursor to be made into crowdfunded feature film
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers