Monday 27 May 2024

Inspiral Carpets / Stanleys - Chester The Live Rooms - 25th May 2024

Inspiral Carpets continued their run of intimate live shows around their summer festival appearances with a sold-out show at a hot and sweaty Live Rooms in Chester supported by Stanleys.

Wigan four-piece Stanleys have built a following on the back of support slots like this as well as their own more celebratory headline shows. A compact tight unit they write melodic songs that rely on charm rather than blowing your head off and the live experience is the same and it’s nice to see a young four piece male band follow their own path rather than be another Gallagher / Monkeys clone. Recent single She’s Done It Again, half way through the set, is a perfect example. They struggle with a muddy sound for the first half of the set but as that clears and Jake’s impressive guitar playing starts to shine, they get a warm reception and no doubt acquire some new fans.

There’s a celebratory atmosphere as Inspiral Carpets take to the stage. The room has sung along with a series of the standard Manchester classics as the clock ticked towards nine o’clock and time for Inspirals to deliver twenty of their own. Whilst new material, live at the very least, isn’t on the cards, it’s noticeable just how much joy the five of them get from these songs that are old friends to most of the audience whose formative years they formed the soundtrack to.  And some of their kids are along for the ride too. That family feel is accentuated by both the presence of Oscar (bass) and Clint Boon on stage and the regular call outs to old friends in the audience.

Joe kicks off the set and Oscar sings two of the choruses. We’re later told that it’s because Steve Holt was having in-ear issues, but live it felt like a new take on an old favourite. We’re constantly drawn too to Graham Lambert’s guitar work and with the sound issues from earlier gone, hearing him eke new subtle takes on these classic songs. At the back Kev Clark holds everything together, the perfect man to take on Craig Gill’s indeliable presence in the band and shown the love of both his bandmates and the crowd with his solos at the end of She Comes In The Fall and at the start of Commercial Rain that opens up the encore. 

Across ninety minutes there’s never a lull. The early garage band singles - Keep The Circle Around, Butterfly, Joe and Find Out Why as well as live staple Directing Traffic - flow seamlessly among their hit singles from across their four 1990-1994 albums. This Is How It Feels is, as it always has been, dispensed of early in the set with a cursory reference to the football whilst Dragging Me Down and Saturn 5 provide the finales to the main set and encore.

In many ways though it’s some of the lesser starred singles that steal the show. Let You Down, with the John Cooper Clarke spoken word middle section, is the sole representative of the post-reformation Inspiral Carpets - the only quibble we’d have with the setlist choices - but more than stands it own and makes a claim to be the highlight of the night. Bitches Brew and Uniform soar though despite their more modest place in the canon of Inspirals hits whilst Sackville straddles the garage / Top Of The Pops divide with pride. Commercial Rain sees them free of the traditional song structure while 96 Tears is a joyous hundred second roll through the classic ? And The Mysterons song.

As the final strains of Saturn 5 die down and the band take their final bows to a deafening roar, Inspiral Carpets, both old and new, remind us of their legacy. The least cool of the supposed Holy Trinity of Madchester bands, but the one with the most stone-cold classics and least steeped in the time lock of that period.

Inspiral Carpets played Joe, Generations, Weakness, Butterfly, She Comes In The Fall, This Is How It Feels, Two Worlds Collide, Let You Down, Bitches Brew, Find Out Why, Move, Sackville, Directing Traffic, Keep The Circle Around, I Want You, Uniform, Dragging Me Down, Commercial Rain, 96 Tears and Saturn 5

Inspiral Carpets official website is here. They are also on Twitter and Facebook.  

They play Bedford Summer Sessions (July 6 with James), Lytham Festival (7 with James), Carlisle Old Fire Station (18), Holmfirth Picturedrome (19), Castleton Devil's Arse (20), Edinburgh Liquid Rooms (August 8), Sunderland Fire Station (9), Alloa Town Hall (10), Swansea Patti Pavilion (15), Reading Sub 89 (16) and Beautiful Days Festival (17).

Stanleys are on Facebook and Twitter.


Follow Even The Stars on Twitter at @eventhestarsuk and like our Facebook page for all the latest updates

No comments:

Post a Comment