Manchester favourites, Inspiral Carpets, were well-known in the late 80’s/90’s for their psychedelic guitar sound. They were formed by Graham Lambert and Stephen Holt in 1983, their unusual moniker coming from the name of a clothing shop which was on their Oldham Estate. Drummer Craig Gill joined soon after – and the garage punk sound was firmly established.
In 1987, David Swift and Organist Clint Boon joined the band which went on to be famed as a popular ‘’Madchester’’ band along with the likes of the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses. Towards the end of the 80’s, notorious band merchandise , the ‘’Cool as Fuck’’ t-shirt grabbed column inches, culminating in a student from Oxford Polytechnic prosecuted for wearing one.
After their record label, Playtime's distributer Red Rhino Records, went bust, the group set up their own label, Cow, at the same time Holt and Swift left to form the Rainkings. Too Much Texas vocalist, Tom Hingley, and Martyn ‘’Bungle’’ Walsh of the Next Step replaced them.
Around 1990, Inspiral Carpets signed to Mute Records, with success in the form of anthem ‘’This is How it Feels’’ reaching No.14 and debut album, ‘’Life’’ peaking at No.2.
The 2nd, and more complemplative album, ‘’The Beast Inside’’, encouraged a strong following in Portugal, Germany and Argentina. It gained a Top 5 placing in the UK.
In 1992, ‘’Revenge of the Goldfish’’ spawned 4 Hit UK singles, and was best placed at No.17.
The album ‘’Devil Hopping’’ never charted, but singles such as ‘’I Want You’’ (with cantankerous Mark E Smith, (The Fall) guesting) and ‘’Saturn V’’ were Top 20 hits.
When ‘’The Singles Collection’’ was released in 1995, Mute dropped the band , resulting in a split. Hingley went on to form the Lovers with Jerry Kelly of the Lotus Eaters, Boon formed the Clint Boon Experience!, Gill worked with band Hustler, while Walsh took up production work.
Oasis’s Noel Gallagher started out as a roadie in the band.
The band reformed in 2003, to sell- out tours, a compilation album, and single: ‘’Come back tomorrow’’.
Inspiral Carpets have toured occasionally since and are in talks to revive the old Cow label.
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