The late 80s were significant for the introduction of another new word in our Musical Lexicon; Madchester.
In the late 1980s a music scene was developing in the Northwest English town of Manchester. It was a scene which embraced a lot of Psychedelia, mixed with sprinklings of R&B, Alternative, Experimental and Garage. The music broke away from the heavily industrial sound of New Wave Techno, and was a reaction to the overly fashion-conscious bands of the period, preferring a look that went straight back to the 60s, mixed with elements of hip-hop fashion and Grunge. It signaled a change – and while America was diving into Grunge via Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots, the UK was absorbing Madchester via Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, and tonights band; Inspiral Carpets – with many more to follow.
Together since 1983, when the newly formed Inspiral Carpets leaned on a combination of Punk and Garage for their musical inspirations – it wasn’t until the mid-late 80s that they settled into this new hybrid and emerged as an important element in a new direction, and while doing it, became key factors in the evolution of a number of bands – among them, The Charlatans, Oasis and many others.
Tonight it’s a session recorded around the time of the release of their Trainsurfing ep, from March 26, 1989 for John Peel, who was an early advocate for the band. This is the second of three sessions they did for Peel before breaking up in 1995.
They resumed in 2003 and are still going strong. But for those who remember Inspiral Carpets during their first incarnation, here’s a reminder of what they were up to in 1989.