Inspiral Carpets Announce 'Life' Tour

It was just confirmed this morning that iconic band Inspiral Carpets will be hitting the road next year playing their debut album Life in full. Below, David Brown fills us in on the nitty gritty (like dates) & puts the tour in context. Also included are some photo’s of the band taken by Elspeth Moore during their recent Ramsbottom set.

There’s been a string of bands playing “classic album” tours over the past few years, but none promise to be quite so interesting as Inspiral Carpets revisiting their debut album Life. The reason for this is that it will give an insight, twenty three years on, as to what the album could have sounded like had original vocalist Stephen Holt not left the band in early 1989 to be replaced by Tom Hingley, just as the band’s commercial star began to rise.

Old school Inspirals fans will tell you that the infamous Dung 4 cassette, which was effectively a set of demos recorded over a few days between Christmas and New Year in 1987 featuring the band’s distinctive cow logo and sold at gigs and in Manchester record shops, was their real debut. But Life was the point where the Inspirals made their commercial breakthrough, after This Is How It Feels became their first top 40 single reaching 14 in April 1990, and followed by the album hitting number 2 a few weeks later and She Comes In The Fall also breaching the Top 30.

The history of the band means that Life is an album recorded (in September 1989 at Out Of The Blue with Nick Garside) and released at a time of transition. Half of it remains true to their garage band roots with the songs coming from the first Holt era, whilst the other half demonstrate a more melodic edge, aided by Hingley’s voice, not as evident on Dung 4 and the Plane Crash and Trainsurfing EPs, but which pervades most of their later work. As their most successful album and the one with the closest link to Holt and the garage band past and future they’re hailing, it makes perfect sense as the one to give the classic album treatment to.

This photo © Elspeth Moore

What it will also hopefully do is generate time and funds for a new Inspiral Carpets record in 2013. Last year’s “You’re So Good For Me” / “Head For The Sun” single stands tall against their whole back catalogue and having heard two other new songs “Reason Why” and “Changes” already and with at least two more in the pipeline, the band cannot be accused of simply resting on their laurels and churning out their hits. It’s a delicate balance to strike, particularly with Holt back in the frame, but it’s allowed gigs to include a mix of the very old (Butterfly, Greek Wedding Song, Keep The Circle Around) as well as the more well-known hits and the new songs.

The tour will coincide with a re-release of the Life album, rumoured to also include the two Holt EPs and a DVD release of the full 210790 concert at Manchester’s G-Mex.

Inspiral Carpets play their “Back To Life” tour at the following venues in March 2013. Tickets go on sale on Friday at 9am

Weds March 13 ”“ Newcastle O2 Academy
Thurs March 14 ”“ Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
Fri March 15 / Sat March 16 ”“ Glasgow King Tut’s
Thurs March 21 ”“ Birmingham O2 Academy 2
Fri March 22 ”“ London Koko
Sat March 23 ”“ Sheffield Leadmill
Sun March 24 ”“ Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thurs March 28 ”“ Wrexham Central Station
Fri March 29 ”“ Manchester Ritz

all words by David Brown, all photo’s by Elspeth Moore. You can read more from David on LTW here. 

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