Oldham’s Inspiral Carpets were one of those classic 80s/90s indie bands who came out of the North-West. Along with Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and others, they fused the original brit-rock and indie-pop influences that created their guitar-band sound with a house or disco vibe (and signature organ sounds in the case of the Inspirals) to create what became known as baggy. Manchester became Madchester, its underground rave scene exposed to the world, its indie music scene ready to take it over.
Starting out as the meant to go on, with their ‘Cool as fk’ logo, their first EPs in 1988 and 1989 didn’t chart, but they hit the Top 20 in 1990 with This is How it Feels. In 1991, Caravan - from their album **The Beast Inside reached number 30. Inspirals followed it with a further 11 singles, never quite managing to breach the Top 10.
There are two reasons I can think of why Inspiral Carpets are so low on my list: firstly, they are something of a nostalgia band for me now - if a track came on a 90s radio station I was listening to I would grin and turn it up, but I can’t remember the last time I picked out a whole album of theirs to listen to; secondly, going back a few years to when I bought their Cool As box-set, which contains greatest hits, rarities, and a disc of videos and live performances, it’s a fair bet that it would have been played mostly as part of a late night CD collection treasure hunt, sifting through all the old classics looking for something to accompany a cheeky late night ale.