Formed initially as The Furs in Manchester, England, by schoolboy Graham Lambert. He was joined in the mid-80s by Stephen Holt, Tony Welsh and Chris Goodwin.
In 1986, now called The Inspiral Carpets, they replaced Goodwin and Welsh with Craig Gill, Dave Swift and Clint Boon. Early in 1987, they recorded a version of Garage for a 7″ flexidisc given away free with Debris magazine.
The band rode to fame on the coat-tails of the Madchester scene, but their roots lay in garage rock, as they fused The Doors‘ grandiloquent psychedelia with ? and The Mysterians‘ wobbly Farfisa and The Fall-meet-The Prisoners‘ brand of snarly trash.
Their debut LP, Life, was released on 23 April 1990 on Cow Records, through Mute Records. The band zipped through a hardy batch of danceable, catchy pop tunes – the linchpin of which was Clint Boon’s cheesy-breezy organ, the prototype of which could be heard on dozens of Farfisa-fueled Sixties garage singles.
Three singles were released from this album, Move, This Is How It Feels and She Comes In The Fall.
By The Beast Inside (1991), the Inspirals had decided they now had “something to say”. While the lineup and instrumentation remained the same, the group now sounded like its fondest dream was to become a synth-pop unit. Goodbye Strawberry Alarm Clock, hello Depeche Mode.
Drummer Craig Gill died in November 2016, aged 44.