Beast Inside Tour Review – Manchester

Tom Hingley and his band The Lovers played the cult Inspiral Carpets album ‘The Beast Inside’ to a packed out venue at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge on Friday.

Hingley, who left the Carpets in uproar last year, still looked and sounded the star he has always been as he rocked the lounge taking fans back to the early 90s when the album was originally released.

The band still clearly had a taste for performing live as they recounted the album in its entirety before moving onto numerous Inspiral and Lover’s hits as well as several covers.

Neither Hingley nor his band tired throughout this mammoth set that would put many modern rock stars to shame, living up to his reputation as a legendary showman.

The line-up features former Fall brothers Steven and Paul Hanley on bass and drums, who combined with Hingley’s distinct voice to produce a powerful sound that the fans clearly loved.

Hanley, who Hingley quite rightly describes as ‘the best bassist in the country’, was on top form producing powerful riffs that had the crowd bouncing off the ceiling.

The band recounted such hits as ‘This is how it Feels’, ‘Caravan’ and ‘Please Be Cruel’ as well as covering Janis Joplin’s ‘Mercedes Benz’.

Clearly they are a five-piece that live for the road and love the crowd as much as they adore them – and with Hingley as a frontman it is doubtful that much can go wrong.

All we can hope is that they continue to tour, and judging from their performance on Friday that looks promising.

The band was supported by local upstarts The Brightsparks who lived up to their name by producing a lively sound that was a perfect warm up to Hingley.

Incredible singer-songwriter Rory McKee also took stage and his rich baritone voice reverberated around the lounge producing a powerful sound that certainly won him many fans.

Review of the gig at The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, by Oliver Pritchard for Mancunian Matters.