Inspiral Carpets played Leadmill in Sheffield on Saturday, March 3rd. But first up was the support band, the appetizer to The Inspiral Carpets – Deadbeat Echoes. The hall was far from full, and those that were there stood, making sure they got a good place for The Inspirals, rather than seeing whatever the Deadbeat Echoes had to show. But when they started to play, they were amazing! These four unassuming young lads performed to the audience, commanding their attention, and hit with a professional raw sound; if you had closed your eyes, you’d swear these had been around for years. They lead from one song to the next seamlessly.
Jack Fearon (guitar), together with Mike Newton (bass guitar), Andy Brown (guitar), and Tom Webster (drums) will elbow their way into your ears, mind and iPod, you just watch!
Good choice on back up there.
The Inspirals brought Manchester to Sheffield. "Moooo! Boon Army! Boon Army!" They came to the sound of mooing from the crowd… Led onto the stage by keyboardist/singer Clint Boon, hand in the air, with singer Stephen Holt, drummer Craig Gill, bassit Martyn Walsh, and guitarist Graham Lambert.
The atmosphere was divided from the stage by a barrier, but the excitement and anticipation was equal on both sides. It was refreshing to see men with their arms outstretched, who the fans love and have missed, and they were welcomed like a favourite relative returning home. The background of visual art was magnificent. Designed by Andy Kellett, a mixture of retro psycho swirls to Doctor Who-type cutouts of the lads’ (or do we call them ‘blokes’ now?) faces, spinning. The audience looked happy, truly happy.
Walsh played guitar at the front and so obviously loved it. Throwing the guitar round, Holt sang his heart out. Great vocals and soul, the time slipped away as he took the crowd with him. Cries of gratitude were thankfully received by a nod or a smile. Thoroughly enjoying it, in his new Converse, moving his feet, tapping to the beat… and what a beat!
Gill was fantastic. He can carry the songs as a musician should, not just methodically thumping along in the background, but playing the drums as an instrument, as much a part of the song as the others. Lambert, fuelled by the atmosphere, played with cool enjoyment.
What can be said about Clint Boon that hasn’t been said before? That the chant of "Boon Army" from the crowd was going throughout the night was testament to his stature in their hearts. People love him, and what’s there not to love? He talked about their first gig being in Sheffield and engaged with everyone above his Farfisa organ.
Their first performance of their new single, "You’re So Good For Me", went down a treat. But all the songs were loved! It was simply one of those gigs that left you smiling, and humming. That the venue that followed them off by playing Stone Roses and Happy Mondays was great. A perfect way to end a perfect evening.