When Manc Indie band The Inspiral Carpets announced they were re-forming with their original singer Stephen Holt last year, they insisted it was on good terms with their frontman of some 20 years Tom Hingley.
But Tom’s newly-published autobiography reveals a rather different story – that he was left in tears after being sacked by his bandmates in a hotel in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Tom’s tome, Carpet Burns, tells all the highs and lows of his time with the band after he was recruited in 1989, the band’s 1995 split, reunion in 2003 and his work as both a solo artist and with The Lovers.
But it’s his revelations about being axed from the band last year – on the eve of a new tour – that will raise most eyebrows.
He writes of how he was summonsed to a band meeting at the hotel and told he was being “dismissed” as a member of the band, and that the others would be doing a tour with Stephen singing – a rumour he had heard in the summer.
Tom writes: “With tears streaming down my face, I said that I already knew that. I stuck the letter in my pocket and said that I wouldn’t be an a*** about it. I left the room and took my walk of shame back to the car, and drove away.”
The next day the band announced their reunion and tour with Stephen.
Tom says now that he was powerless to do anything about it – but feels they aren’t the real Inspiral Carpets without him.
He says: “Inspiral Carpets were a gang with Craig (Gill), Martyn (Walsh), Graham (Lambert), Clint (Boon) and me – that gang no longer exists. This is a new band – it’s not that band that appeared on Top Of The Pops or played Reading Festival.
“It’s entirely up to them what they want to do; I legally couldn’t stop them doing it and I had other things I wanted to do. There are two sides to every story and they told people through Twitter and Facebook that Steve (Holt) was singing for them again, but the vast majority of people who bought tickets for their tour in March or the shows they did with the Happy Mondays had no idea I wasn’t singing in the band.
“I’m not trying to make some issue out of that; they’re totally free to do whatever they wanted. But they didn’t tell the fans I wasn’t in the band. It doesn’t upset me, I just don’t think it’s very clever.”
A feature on Tom in Manchester Evening News diary pages.