Gig Review – York

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THE homely surroundings of The Fulford Arms on a Saturday evening was the perfect setting for former Inspiral Carpets frontman Tom Hingley’s solo acoustic show.

It may have been sub-zero outside but Tom, with only a guitar, a beard and a largely appreciative audience, managed to create a very cosy glow.

In a preview I wrote for the gig last week I told fans not to expect too much from the Inspiral Carpets’ back catalogue.

I was proved wrong right from the outset when Tom took the brave decision to open up with guaranteed crowd pleaser Saturn Five, followed by This Is How it Feels and three other Inspiral classics.

The power of the performance comes from Hingley’s voice, which appears to have increased in range over the years and is startlingly acrobatic.

That’s not to take anything away from his guitar playing – indeed his ability to bash out some of the dirtiest delta blues this side of Salford was the biggest revelation of the night and served as tempting showcase to his last solo album, Thames Valley Delta Blues.

Hingley put on a non-stop show of almost two hours, engaging his audience and leaving everyone wondering what he would pull out of the bag for his next trick.

As a massive Inspiral Carpets fan, I was thrilled when, after the show, the man himself took a seat next to my fianceé and I and, without coaxing, gave us his views on everything from UKIP to the modern music industry and even spilled the beans on his ups and downs with his former Inspiral bandmates. Why can’t all gigs be like this?

Review written by Richard Catton for The York Press

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