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
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Oldest footage of London landmarks released
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove