Inspiral Carpets is an alternative rock band which formed in Oldham, England in 1983. It was named after a rug shop in Shaw.
The band was formed by vocalist Stephen Holt (vocals) and guitarist Graham Lambert. Another uncredited founding member, was basist Glenn Chesworth. His partnership with the band lasted only a couple of years. It was and emerged alongside bands like The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays from the indie scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Bassist, Martyn Walsh, and drummer, Craig Gill, joined in 1984. Playing garage rock, they were joined by keyboardist, Clint Boon, who changed their sound based around harmonic (and often psychedelic) keyboards and jangly guitars.
After a couple of singles on a local indie label, Holt left the group and was replaced by Tom Hingley. The band were propelled to fame after being ‘discovered’ by the Radio 1 DJ John Peel and had their greatest chart success in the UK with a single entitled This Is How It Feels, which is a song about loneliness and unemployment.
At the time of their initial success, the band earned some notoriety for their squiggly-eyed cow ‘Cool as Fuck’ T-shirts; a student at Oxford Polytechnic was prosecuted on obscenity charges for wearing one. One of their roadies, Noel Gallagher, went on to great success with the band Oasis. The band is named after an Inspiral Carpets tour poster which included the venue Swindon Oasis.
They reworked their single Find Out Why as the theme tune to early 90’s kids TV show ‘The 8:15 From Manchester’. Another release I Want You was used by Sony to advertise their in-car entertainment systems on this advert ; an early example of advertising agencies co-opting and promoting non-mainstream music to add kudos to mainstream brands (a trend that has increased significantly).
After the release of their 4th studio album, Devil Hopping, they started to record new, more darker-sounding demos in 1995 which their label, Mute Records rejected. An amicable split followed but they re-formed in 2003 for a tour and new compilation. For the next several years, they played gigs on and off, until Hingley could no longer give his 100% commitment so original vocalist, Stephen Holt, rejoined in March 2011.