REVIEW: Inspiral Carpets, The Leadmill

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THEY haven’t played in the UK for four years, but this lot definitely haven’t lost the loyalty of their fanbase in that time.

While the Inspirals were slightly overshadowed by fellow ‘Madchester’ band the Stone Roses in their heyday, there was definitely no sign of that here, absolutely packed for a sell-out show with the audience chanting for Inspiral Carpets before they came on stage.

Returning original frontman Stephen Holt introduces a new song – “First time we’re playing it live,” he announces – and the band swing into You’re So Good For Me. It’s standard Inspirals fare – that is to say, if you’re already a fan then you’re sure to love it. Simple lyrics and a lively tune conspire to leave everyone on the floor dancing – a tough act for a new song. Having said that, better known songs such as Saturn 5 and This Is How It Feels get an even better reaction.

There’s a definite sense of nostalgia tonight, highlighted when Holt asks who saw them supporting Sting many years ago – pretty much everyone in the audience was there for the Inspirals the first time around. Still, there’s no doubt that everyone’s having fun and the reaction to the songs is insane – ‘enthusiastic’ could very well be an understatement.

And although nostalgic, it’s not embarrassing. There’s no sense of trying to recapture their youth – Holt and co have grown up more gracefully than some, and are just doing what they do best: enjoying themselves on stage and playing some catchy music. Not bad at all.