Music legends in town - exclusive interview with Inspiral Carpets bassist Martyn Walsh

The Inspiral Carpets
The Inspiral Carpets

The music public of Bedford are in for a special treat as the legendary Inspiral Carpets are playing at The Corn Exchange on Friday July 11.

The iconic group from Oldham were one of the bands associated with the impossibly cool ‘Madchester’ scene that came to prominence in the late 80s and early 90s.

It featured edgy young bands from Manchester and the surrounding areas including The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, The Charlatans, James, 808 State, and Northside fusing dance music with elements of psychedlic rock and vivid guitars into a mesmerising blend which captured the imagination of a generation and still continues to inspire great loyalty and interest from fans young and old.

The Inspiral’s celebrated bassist Martyn Walsh spoke exclusively to huge Inspirals fan Layth Yousif for bedfordtoday - where he talked about the resurgence of vinyl, revealed details about new tracks from their much-anticipated new album entitled ‘Inspiral Carpets’ - their first studiio album for twenty years - and much more.

To paraphrase Mrs Merton badly - what attracted you to Bedford Corn Exchange?

The way that we operate is in short sharp bursts - come and see us while you can - as it were, so inevitably the larger areas like London, Manchester and Glasgow - for the T in the Park Festival which we’re playing the day after Bedford - get first dibs on us. But the associated gigs around them like the one we’re playing at the Corn Exchange in Bedford give us a chance to visit new places.

Once we’re out and about touring and playing live, one of the things we like to do is play at new places we’ve never really been been before so playing at the Corn Exchange means we get to visit to a good place, and it’s a cool place to come and play.

Are you looking forward to playing a more intimate venue like the Corn Exchange?

Yes definitely. We’ve heard really good reports about the Corn Exchange venue being a cool venue - and also a lot of the time we like to play independent small venues. There’s a lot of homogenous type venues which could be anywhere, and sometimes it is nice to play in places which have a bit of character and a little bit of history to them which makes it memorable.

Because otherwise you could just be in a room - and that’s when touring for some bands can be draining when you have to do gig after gig without really knowing where you are.

Would you say you’ve honed your craft in smaller venues?

Absolutely. We’ve got a new album out in September called ‘Inspiral Carpets’ on the Cherry Red label and we will be playing new songs like ‘Spitfire’ and ‘Calling Out To You’.

With ‘Calling Out To You’ I’m really looking forward to it because everyone has played their individual parts really well, I think it will be great. Sometimes when we’re recording a new track fourth-fifths work - for example, for me, the baseline for This Is How It Feels isn’t one of my favourite baselines: but the track is a fantastic track. Whereas with ‘Calling Out To You’ I think every single one of the band can feel very proud of each individual part they played - and the song is great as well.

Dung 4 has been re-issued on vinyl - vinyl’s making a bit of a comeback - we had a vinyl pop up shop in Bedford recently and it was really popular...

It’s weird because we were at the Isle of Wight Festival the other week which was a great place to play, and we had a great time, but afterwards we ended up going to Tim Burgess’s [lead singer of The Charlatans] tent and Clint [Boon, the Inspiral’s keyboard player] was doing his DJ’ing and there were a few stalls and one of them was called Pie and Vinyl - we were chatting to the guy there, and he said he was chatting to some of the kids there and told us that they thought that vinyl was a new format!

That’s the problem for us as the last few records we’ve put out have been on vinyl - but I don’t have a record player anymore!!!

Tickets are priced at £16.50. Call Bedford Corn Exchange Box Office on 01234 718112 for more details or to book online visit