Saturday, 26 May 2012

Inspiral Carpets, Norwich Waterfront

Perusing the brief footage online of the Stone Roses at their Warrington comeback gig this week, two thoughts emerged: is it that exciting seeing Ian Brown murder Made Of Stone again? And, would I really want to shell out 65 quid (65 quid!) to hear huge swathes of Second Coming and Mersey bloody Paradise?  The news that I Am The Resurrection (the finest 8 minutes ever committed to disc) did not make this week's playlist would have had me sweating profusely had I been one of the hordes of believers who snapped up tickets for this summer's shows and, having been at Spike Island in 1990, a gig deemed legendary more by those not in attendance than we unlucky sods who had to suffer Gary Clail for seventeen hours, my abiding feeling is one of contentment at having opted out.  If they have 3 or 4 new songs loaded up and ready to go, why did they not play any of them this week?  Do we think they may be a little sub-Led Zep?
Far greater value was to be had at the recent arena tour featuring the original Happy Mondays line-up and tonight's headliners.  The Mondays have been a little overlooked recently, partly as a result of the comedy reality TV moments enjoyed by Shaun Ryder and Bez, but in truth they are the real giants of the Madchester era.  It took them four attempts to make a duff record (and even then, the making of Yes Please proved more entertaining than the majority of bands' fourth outings) and 1988's Bummed is a genuine classic record, distilling funk, punk and indie into a proper slice of northern soul.  It's been said before, but Ryder is lyrically magnificent, and live the band made an epic noise.  The Carpets were always the kid brothers of the scene, but what quickly becomes apparent this evening is just how many great tunes they have, and any gig that commences with Commercial Reign, Joe and She Comes In The Fall is never going to disappoint.  The sound remains as rooted in 60s garage as it ever did, with Clint Boon's trademark Farfisa providing them with a bona fide USP that always manages to stay on the right side of the cheese divide. And as men of a certain vintage throw their arms around a stranger and bellow the chorus to a suitably barnstorming Saturn 5 that closes tonight's proceedings, it is clear that, sometimes, a little bit of nostalgia can be a wonderful thing.  And we didn't have to sit through the opening twelve hours of Breaking Into Heaven to enjoy it.


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