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Making Music, 1997

The Lovers: gig review

Tom Hingley's new band caught live in 1997

Now the Inspiral Carpets have unravelled, singer Tom Hingley has a new band. The Lovers explore the darker side of passion: the obsession, the pain and the danger. But this is not goth. This is pop, sung with agonising intensity and rage. It's the kind of tune you awake humming, but feel like shouting. Hear a song like 'Isolation Tank' once, and you'll remember the chorus for weeks.

The Lovers: This is how it feels...

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Although the songs are co-written by Jerry Kelly, formerly of the Lotus Eaters, on stage The Lovers is a three-piece, with Paul Kehoe on drums, Chris Livesey on bass and Hingley on guitar/vocals. Debut single 'Work, Rest and Play' is a rap with an excitable bass line yapping at its sinister lyrics about prostitution. The use of loops together with live drums makes for a sparse but punchy rhythm. 'Clear' grinds from the mellow opening to a guitar crunching chorus, with the vocals pleadingly soulful. At times Hingley sings so loud it looks like his head might explode. It really does.

The sound is still evolving from gig to gig, with the arrangements fluid enough to allow the band to improvise around each song. At their centre, though, is strong songwriting for its own sake and a performance that makes you feel each song means the world to the band.