CONCERT REVIEW : The Inspiral Carpets Take Glasgow by Storm: A Night of Nostalgia and Excitement at SWG3 On 13th April 2023

Oldham’s favourite Indie sons Inspiral Carpets are on tour after a break of 8 years to promote their latest collection of hits entitled The Complete Singles, and gave a performance like they’ve never been away.

Opening for the band were fellow Oldham youngsters Dirty Laces, who’s guitar-based music tied in perfectly with the theme for the evening.  Their short set was well received and they showed a lot of promise for the future.

Now for the headliners.  Initially formed in the early 80s, the band as we know it made their name in the 90s ‘Madchester’ era of music, when so many Manchester based bands were dominating the British music scene, such as James, The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses.   They were a mainstay of the top 40 and the UK album charts until the mid-90s when Mute dropped them from the label and the band called it a day.  Reforming in 2003 for a period in collaboration of a first Cool As collection of hits, they released their first album in 20 years before singer Tom Hingley departed from the line up.  Now in 2023 theyre back again with another collection of singles and a promotional tour, with the sold-out signs posted on many dates.

Opening with early single Joe, the band showed they have lost none of their sparkle with the thumping drum intro and Clint Boon’s trademark keyboards.  The packed crowd, mixed with old and new fans alike were up for this from the start.  Big numbers She Comes in the Fall and a superb This Is How It Feels lifted the roof off the old foundry building.  Stephen Holt’s vocals are still sounding fine with Graham Lambert’s guitars on point.  The band are joined on stage now with Clint Boon’s son Oscar on bass, completing the line up.

Other classics filled the set.  Two Worlds Collide, Caravan, Move, Sackville, I Want You with The Fall’s Mark E Smith on video screen behind the band, and the 1992 hit Dragging Me Down closing the first set.  A three strong encore followed on, with a fantastic Commercial Reign dedicated to drummer Craig Gill who passed away in 2016, a cover of the Question Mark & The Mysterians 96 Tears and ended the evening with another singalong in Saturn 5.

This was a fabulous gig, great to relive our youth and the heady days of Madchester music from a bygone era when music meant everything.  Inspiral Carpets made some magnificent music back in the day and the songs still song great live now. Great band, great music, great days, great memories.  Just…. Great!!

Review & Photographs by Stephen Wilson

Author: Stephen Wilson

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