The haircuts were considerably shorter, and maybe the clobber was a few sizes bigger than ‘back in the day’, but with the amount of Adidas trainees, Italian sportswear and sun hats been worn in the queue outside the Leadmill, it wouldn’t have taken a genius to deduce that one of the legends of the Madchester scene had arrived in town. Yes. Legends. For along with the Happy Mondays, and the The Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets were responsible for turning the late 80’s music scene on its head and letting the world know, what we already knew, that the North of England was, to coin a phrase, ‘cool as fuck!’
Even though the opening track – ‘Monochrome’ from this year eponymous LP – was not as well-known as the classics, Clint’s Farfisa started to fill the room and there was no doubting the Inspirals distinctive sound.
Second track in and we are transported from the present day back to the very beginning in an instant. ‘Joe’ is the first of many old favourites, and we were there!
Back with a new album the set consisted of a good mixture of songs from the LP and of course all the old classics, welcomed with plenty of ‘mooing’ (If you don’t know what we mean, check your history) and having myself and plenty of others acting like we were 20 years younger.
But this was no ‘old boys’ reunion, many of the crowd were as fresh faced, and to be honest, as well dressed, as we used to be the first time we saw the band.
It was a testament to the bands appeal to hear as many people shouting out for ‘Spitfire’ as had been baying for ‘This Is How It Feels’, and by the time we got to ‘I Want You’, we wasn’t just there, we were ‘having it!’.
The main set closed, but as with most gigs it was evident that the crowd were going nowhere without an encore, especially tonight. Yes we’d heard the new stuff and yes we’d sang along to almost all our old favourites.
But there is only one way way to end a night with the Inspirals – and there would be no prizes for guessing the three song encore would end with ‘Saturn 5’. Complete with NASA intro, it was a powerful number that saw plenty of arms raised and heads bobbing.
The music stops, the aforementioned ‘mooing’ fills the air, the band stand with backs to the stage and then leave. Top stuff!
View from the Pit Gallery (just click on any pic to see full size).
SETLIST: Monochrome – Joe – You’re So Good For Me – Two Worlds Collide – She Comes In The Fall – A To Z Of My Heart – This Is How It Feels – Spitfire – Move – Sackville – Find Out Why – Calling Out To You – I Want You – Let You Down Encore: Human Shield – Dragging Me Down – Saturn 5.
This was the third night of a 12 date tour, and if you haven’t already, you can still catch the Inspiral Carpets live at the following:
Thurs 11th: Middlesbrough Empire
Fri 12th: Glasgow O2 ABC
Sat 13th: Leeds O2 Academy
Sun 14th: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thurs 18th: London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Fri 19th: Manchester Ritz
Sat 2oth: Northampton Roadmender
Sun 21st: Preston 53 Degrees
www.inspiralcarpets.com for tickets.