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Inspiral Carpets: Cool As

Inspiral Carpets: Cool as

The new triple-disc compilation includes the singles, a rarities disc and a DVD of the videos and some live songs. The track listing has been put together by the band - unlike The Singles album which was put together by Mute - and reflects the diversity of output the band recorded. Perhaps more telling than the fact that they can fill CD1 with 20 singles is the fact that the previously released rarities promise CD2 will be just as good. The third disc (called 'spool as') will be the first release of the videos for the singles. You can pre-order it now for despatch on release on 12 May 2003.

New Greatest Hits album

CD: Greatest HitsFor those who can't view the region 2 DVD or those who don't want to buy an additional disc of rarities, there's a new Greatest Hits compilation out.

As well as all the singles up to Come Back Tomorrow, it features new songs Iron and You've Got What it Takes and the extra track I Don't Want to go Blind. The album is released at mid-price.

New Inspirals DVD

DVD: Inspiral Carpets Live The Inspiral Carpets hae released their first standalone DVD, called Inspiral Carpets: Live. The DVD captures the band's sell-out Brixton Academy show in April 2003. There was an impressive light show and for She Comes in the Fall, the band was joined by a troupe of majorettes.

The show captures a greatest hits performance for the first time. The previous live video 21790 was recorded before Revenge of the Goldfish and the final album Devil Hopping were released.

New Tom Hingley & The Lovers album

The Lovers: Abba are the enemyTom Hingley and the Lovers have released 'Abba are the enemy'. Although Tom has toured and recorded with a band called The Lovers for some time, this is the first release with this line-up, which includes Steve and Paul Hanley from The Fall.

It's a confident album, opening with an instrumental track and mixing punky shouty tracks with melodic ballads and pure pop harmonies. It has all the energy and spirit of the Inspiral Carpets' debut album Life, but it would be a mistake to write it off as an also-ran. This album has an identity of its own and stands up without any back-story.

'Abba are the enemy' is available to order from and directly from The Lovers website.

Tom Hingley: Soul Fire

Tom Hingley: Soul Fire

Tom's second solo album includes several incarnations of his on/off band The Lovers recorded between 1997 and 2001, but it all hangs together perfectly. It's quite a noisy, mechanical album with strong, danceable indie rhythms. Great, memorable songs.

Tom Hingley: Keep Britain Untidy

Tom Hingley: Keep Britain Untidy

Tom Hingley's debut album is unplugged and emotional. There are 11 tracks, including the closing 'What Can I Loose?' which was recorded by the Inspirals but never released. Styles shift from rockabilly to country as well as some moving slow ballads.

Clint Boon: solo album

Pioneering 'Space Opera', Clint's new band includes an opera singer and a trumpet player. Apart from the cheesy-organ stuff, there's some slower songs and a wonderful ambient track 'Presley on Oldham Street'. The 12 track album has already spawned four singles and has received a lot of good press and radio coverage.

Inspiral Carpets: The Singles

The Singles is a 19 track chronology of releases from the debut Joe through to Uniform. Although missing some of the classic album tracks, the album represents the diversity of moods the band recorded. Slower numbers like 'Bitches Brew' and 'Move' sit side by side with stormers like 'Generations' and 'Find Out Why'. This essential album is marred only by the chronological running order which sees moods jump unsettlingly between tracks.

Inspiral Carpets: Sessions

The Radio 1 Sessions album, issued in 1999, features 21 tracks spanning the band's career recorded live in the studio. It includes tracks that I don't believe are otherwise available on CD, such as 'Butterfly' and 'Gimme Shelter'. There is a good selection of album tracks from Life, including Directing Traffik, Sun Don't Shine and Song for a Family. Singles include This is How it Feels and She Comes in the Fall. These recordings are intimate and emotive and a nice reminder of how the band's radio sessions premiering new material helped them to build their appeal and test new ideas.

Inspiral Carpets: Studio albums

The debut album includes 'This is how it feels', 'Sackville' and 'Move' and is an especially good investment now that it is available at mid-price.

The second album 'The Beast Inside' was my favourite Inspiral Carpets album. As well as the danceable stuff ('Caravan' and 'Mermaid') and poppy stuff ('Please be Cruel' and there are a few slow songs (Niagara, Sleep Well Tonight) that are wonderfully moody and meandering. The album closes with a keyboard instrumental 'Dreams are all we have'.

By the third album 'Revenge of the Goldfish', the farfisa has been pushed far into the background and the keyboard effects are quite spacey and aggressive. 'Dragging me Down' was my favourite single and closer 'Irresistible Force' is one of the band's strongest anthems.

The final Inspiral Carpets studio album came out in 1994. Although fired by energy pop like 'Saturn 5' and 'I Want You', the highlights are in the melancholy 'I Don't Want to go Blind' and 'Just Wednesday'.

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