Hold on tight for a new magical Carpets ride

Date published: 06 May 2014

THE Inspiral Carpets are back — ready to unleash an album of exciting new material and hinting that a glorious homecoming show could be on the cards.

Arguably Oldham’s most successful band, the Carpets were “Madchester” royalty back at the turn of the 1990s alongside iconic outfits the Happy Mondays, the Stone Roses, the Charlatans, New Order, and Northside.

By 1995 they had produced 13 top 40 singles and four massively acclaimed albums, the most successful of which — “Life” — reached number two in the album charts.

Once record deals dried up, fallow periods followed for each band member, with solo projects and alternative work commitments.

Hingley stunned the rest of the band in 2009 when he announced on Twitter that the Carpets had split.

That was a decision Lambert, Walsh, Gill and Boon were unaware of at the time and certainly hadn’t agreed to.

In 2011 original lead vocalist Steve Holt returned, and so began the re-energisation of the Inspiral Carpets.

Tours and two single releases — “You’re so good for me” and “Fix your smile” — followed in 2012 and 2013, and this year, armed with a new Cherry Red Records contract, it’s all happening.

“Dung 4”, an 11-track demo album dating back to 1987 (with Holt then still on vocals of course) has been reissued, alongside an even earlier, bonus four-track EP.

That has been well received and vinyl sales were good during last month’s “Record Store Day”, and there’s an album of totally new material due in September. As well as a Manchester Band on the Wall show on June 6, T in the Park and Isle of Wight festival slots are also booked for the summer.

Drummer Gill — another Carpet now well into his 40s — appears to be taking most satisfaction from working on new material again so long after the band’s 90s heyday, when biggest and most recognisable hits included “This is how it feels” and “Saturn 5”.

He said: “It certainly feels like an achievement. Since we got back together with Steve we’ve pretty much been playing greatest hits sets, so the new writing process, and the recording, that’s the bit that’s been missing. Getting the new material together makes us feel complete.”

Will there be a glorious Oldham homecoming show from the Carpets, who have previously played to packed crowds at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Tokyo Project?

“We’re getting offered gigs all the time and there are a couple of venues in Oldham that have sprung up in conversation,” revealed Lambert. “I’m sure we’ll do something one day. You can never forget your home town.”

Try these links to Inspirals material: