Tom Hingley was the lead singer of legendary Manchester band Inspiral Carpets. After writing an acclaimed book of his time with the band and performing live across the country for years, he is back playing all the Inspiral Carpets hits with his backing band the Kar-pets. I caught up with Tom to preview his upcoming free gig at Social Bar on 24th September.
The last few times you played in Doncaster it was a solo acoustic gig, what can people expect this time round with the Kar-pets?
This will be 5 people, playing all the hits of The Inspiral Carpets. Stuff like Southfield, Saturn 5, This Is How It Feels, She Comes In The Fall, Two Worlds Collide etc.
Do you prefer the more stripped down, intimate gigs or the bigger shows with a full band?
The band are all funny blokes and we have a great camaraderie. Malk is a pub landlord as well, so sometimes he is so busy with that he forgets half his drum kit, our keyboard player Dickon is a real instrumentalist, unlike me (laughs), he plays double bass and all sorts. Phil really gets into the part, he definitely has grimace down. Ste is actually fairly quiet and introverted when you first meet him but he can be a animal once you get to know him, you wouldn’t see that sort of behaviour in Chessington Zoo!
So the camaraderie helps. It brings you down to Earth as well, travelling in a group. It’s ok doing a solo tour but you start to go mad after a while.
Do you find playing as part of a band again rejuvenating?
Well my mum and sister in law passed away recently so things like that give you a new outlook. I have been keeping busy going to the gym most days and sticking to a workout and weight watchers and things which works well for the tour because I look how I did a few years ago again now. I definitely feel rejuvenated.
You turned 50 last year. Do you think that has affected your outlook on life or your song writing at all?
You live in your own box of experience and that is what I write about. I don’t write a lot of jingles… For me, you can’t write properly about things you haven’t experienced yourself. I think the mood at the moment is quite frightening and anarchic. With Donald Trump running for president and with Brexit it is difficult to remain positive. I don’t think the country realizes what is done. That will definitely influence anything I write in the future.
The last time I saw you Tom was at the gig at the Notorious Advark record shop in Doncaster, do independent record shops still have an important part to play in the English music scene?
Record shops are great and The Notorious Advark was wonderful. It was a good gig. It’s difficult to be creative at the moment in this country so to see something like that in a town centre is encouraging. Doncaster is a culturally rich area. There is a great community spirit and a pride in that part of Yorkshire. I have played at Camelots with the Inspirals and also The Leopard, Social, and others and it’s always a good atmosphere.
Doncaster is culturally completely different to Sheffield and Barnsley. That’s something that you wouldn’t get in America. It’s similar to the difference between Manchester and Oldham. I’m really looking forward to coming back and playing again.
Well thanks for talking with me Tom.
This article was written for Doncopolitan magazine: