Inspiral Carpets tonight. From a session recorded for John Peel by BBC Radio 1 on June 5, 1990. Inspiral Carpets, even though they began life as a quasi Punk/Garage band, became heavily involved in the Madchester scene and became synonymous with that for most of their initial tenure (1983-1995).
A lot of history has been associated with this band. Not the least, the fact that Noel Gallagher was their roadie/technician for a while, before going off to form Oasis with his brother Liam, as well as driver Mark Collins, who would go off to become a founder member of The Charlatans. But Inspiral Carpets were also at the forefront of the Madchester movement, closely aligned with Stone Roses and Happy Mondays – this was the core of the Madchester sound in the late 1980s – and they were a pivotal band during that period. They issued four albums between 1990 and 1994. With the exception of Devil Hopping, which would be their last album before breaking up in 1995, all their albums and singles were well received and scored big on the charts.
This session, their last for John Peel, comes about two months after the release of their debut album, Life which would be a huge breakthrough for them, topping at Number 2 on the UK Charts and also released in the U.S. in July of that year.
Unfortunately, U.S. success was elusive – primarily popular in underground circles and College Radio, they didn’t make much dent in the mainstream. But it’s important to realize America was slightly preoccupied with Seattle around this time, and the Nirvanas, Pearl Jams and Stone Temple Pilots were monopolizing just about everything.
Here’s a reminder of what Inspiral Carpets were all about in 1990 – a pivotal period of time for a lot of music and a particularly healthy one.