Inspirals Just Became Too Comfy in the End; Ben Turner Talks to Former Inspiral Carpets Front Man Tom Hingley

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), August 31, 2012 | Go to article overview

Inspirals Just Became Too Comfy in the End; Ben Turner Talks to Former Inspiral Carpets Front Man Tom Hingley


Byline: Ben Turner

THE Inspiral Carpets are carrying on without him, The Happy Mondays are back together and the remaining member of Madchester's big three - The Stone Roses - have just pulled off a triumphant comeback.

So ahead of a gig at Liverpool's O2 Academy next month you could forgive ex-Inspirals frontman Tom Hingley if he cut a lonely and bitter figure.

Not a bit of it, says Tom who between 1989 and 2011 was the "glory years" vocalist of the band famed for their cow-emblazoned T-shirts and string of hits including This is How It Feels and Saturn Five.

While the Inspirals plough on, having enlisted pre-glory days original lead singer Stephen Holt, Tom cannot wait to return to Liverpool - a city he knows well with the Inspirals using Parr Street studios to record albums Revenge of the Goldfish and Devil Hopping.

The 47-year-old insists he is all the better for parting company with the band last year, believing it was being treated as "a hobby".

Fresh from penning his book Carpet Burns - a frank, funny, and moving account of his time with the group, Tom says: "We also recorded the single I Want You with Mark E Smith (lead singer of The Fall) at Parr Street and I'm friends with Jem Kelly who used to be in Lotus Eaters and the Wild Swans and would stay at his gaff in Hope Street.

"We would do six hours recording Devil Hopping and then go back to his flat working on his computer and samples at his house.

"Liverpool's great. It and Manchester are a bit like two sisters because they have such large Irish populations. There's a common thread between the two, but it's far enough away to have its own identity."

His Liverpool date will see him and his band The Lovers perform a complete run through of the Inspirals' second album The Beast Inside.

He will also read extracts from Carpet Burns - a must read for anyone who sported a curtain haircut in their teens.

It charts everything from the Inspirals headlining the Reading Festival with the help of a pantomime cow in 1990 to former roadie Noel Gallagher (what ever happened to him?) completing a risky dare involving an electric fan.

On his decision to perform The Beast Inside - a top five UK album - he says: "I'm singing an album the guy they are with now never sang on and just creating bit of space. …

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