Tom's top tips
By Linda Serck
Former Inspiral Carpets frontman Tom Hingley hails from Abingdon, which he claims was part of Berkshire when he was born. Here he dishes out great advice to local bands ahead of a Newbury gig appearance (23.01.09).
Listen to the Tom Hingley interview here:
The Inspiral Carpets were one of the cornerstone bands of the Madchester music scene in the 90s, delivering hits such as This Is How It Feels and Saturn 5.
Nowadays frontman Tom Hingley is still busy on the music circuit, playing with his band The Lovers and performing solo gigs.
Psyched out: Inspiral Carpets in their heyday
In fact, he played at Newbury's Arlington Arts Centre on Friday 23 January 2009, wheeling out the Inspiral Carpet hits as well as plugging his forthcoming album Thames Valley Delta Blues.
While this comedy title seems odd for a supposedly Manchester frontman, it may surprise you to know that he actually hails from Abingdon, not too far from here.
He also currently lectures in music business studies, and so has some top advice for unsigned bands.
"This is a bit cruel really, but most creative people are incredibly lazy," he begins. "They'll put a lot of effort into buying a guitar or amp or writing songs but won't put any effort into trying to let anyone else know that the songs actually exist.
"You've got to be very realistic about what it actually takes, what qualities it actually takes to market what you're making.
"If you're going to set yourself up as a musician you have to be prepared to spend 15 hours managing and organising one gig that may last an hour-and-a-half."
He certainly followed his own advice when he fronted The Inspiral Carpets.
"We were one of these bands that were offered record deals with quite good advances," he says, "but the thing is we'd already put records out ourselves and we already had a degree of success ourselves."
He adds: "It's like having a regular nine to five job or a career but you have to put twice as much effort into it.
"I do quite a few lectures around the country and the general mistake that a lot of people playing music make is that they think if they do the exciting creative bits - the writing and the recording - someone else is going to the paperwork, the book work, the promotion and the marketing. I can tell you now: they aren't, and they never did - ever!
Inspiral Carpets' reunion tour
"The first rule of management is don't ask anyone to do anything that you're not prepared to do yourself.
"I think people think that being talented is enough to guarantee success. It isn't at all. There's far more talent than there is the requirement for it. Just having talent in itself isn't no guarantee of anything.
"Van Gogh was mega talented but I don't think he sold one painting during the whole of his short, rather troubled life."
Speaking about his Inspiral Carpets days, his memories include touring the world and being rather chuffed that a certain rock legend had heard of them.
"We met Iggy Pop and he knew who we were."
But oddly a certain Countryfile presenter also sticks in his mind.
"John Craven used to come to our gigs because his daughter was into the band, so that was quite amusing."
Fans aside, it was with bands such as the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses that Inspiral Carpets helped inspire bands such as The Charlatans, and later on Oasis and new Manchester bands like Twisted Wheel.
"It was a long time ago now - 1989 - but some of the ripples that we started are still happening."
Find out what Tom Hingley is up to here:
last updated: 28/01/2009 at 18:29