Inspiral Carpets – Live at Manchester University – May 5, 1989
A dose of early Madchester to start the week. Inspiral Carpets in concert at Manchester University and recorded on May 5, 1989.
Inspiral Carpets formed in Oldham in 1983. The band’s most successful lineup featured frontman Tom Hingley, drummer Craig Gill, guitarist Graham Lambert, bassist Martyn Walsh and keyboardist Clint Boon.
Formed by Lambert and singer Stephen Holt, who departed the band before they signed with Mute Records, the band had a sound characterized by the use of organ playing and distorted guitars. The band was part of the late 1980s and early 1990s Madchester movement.
They came to prominence, alongside bands like The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, in the Madchester scene of the late 1980s. After a flexi-disc featuring “Garage Full of Flowers” given free with Manchester’s Debris magazine in 1987, followed by the Cow cassette, their first release proper, the 1988 Planecrash EP on the Playtime label received much airplay from Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who asked the band to record a session for his show. The band reworked their single “Find Out Why” as the theme tune to the 8:15 from Manchester.
As their popularity grew, Playtime’s distributor Red Rhino Records went bankrupt, leading the band to form their own label, Cow Records in March 1989, the label’s first release being the Trainsurfing EP. But with half of the first album, Life, written, Holt and Swift departed and formed The Rainkings, so the band recruited Too Much Texas singer Tom Hingley and Martyn “Bungle” Walsh of The Next Step to replace them. Martyn Walsh became the band’s thirteenth bass player. After a handful of singles on their own label, the last of which, “Move”, came close to the UK top 40, they signed a deal with Mute Records, and immediately had their first top 40 chart success in the UK with “This Is How It Feels”. The single reached No. 14 in the singles chart, and debut album Life reached No. 2 in the albums chart, both in 1990.
For a dive back to 1989, click on the Play button and have a listen to this Manchester University gig – good start to the week.