Saturday, 13 April 2013

Tom Hingley (Former Inspiral Carpets Front Man) at Woody's Gig Review

A last minute (surprising) pass out was obtained to attend a Friday night Gig, in Hednesford to see Tom Hingley. Always good to go somewhere new, always good to start the weekend with a gig so I was well up for this especially as Bob was driving (Bob is an alias, he was christened that on my stag do to avoid confusion with me, although we had not had any confusion in the previous 20+ years we have been mates, seemed a good idea at the time).

Arriving at the venue, it was a real eye opener, I have been to some holes of venues (step forward Derby Venue, Leicester Sound House) but this jumps out as the other end of the scale. A small privately owned (since 2011) well loved venue. The decor is brilliant, iconic pictures of music stars (Aretha Franklin, Elvis, John Lennon, Hendrix) all up in graffiti subway style pictures. The place is bright and the mixture of people there span all ages, even down to the 8 year olds playing pool in the corner with their Dads. The venue exudes friendliness, the bar staff very attentive, smiley security on the door, and both of us have agreed we can't wait to go back, probably in May to see Dodgy. Here's the website for Woody's Music Bar , final thoughts, its how you would want the room in your house where your tunes are to look, and reminds me of where the Bananasplits used to hang out in their 70's kids TV programme (definitely in a good way). I can't enthuse more about the venue.

The gig was incredibly good value, £4 on the door (£3 advance!) and as one slightly drunken welsh man explained you can pass out and in as many times as you want with the hand stamp, so if you go out 4 times then its only a £1 a go.

We missed Klasside arriving late, which was a shame, especially as my mate messaged me on facebook as they are his mates, but Jon Hubbard sat down on stool and played a decent set, (Jon Hubbard of the Two'n'eights I find through some internet searching). Good set, really enjoyed it, really struggled with the banter between songs though. Now being a Brummie I should be ok with this, but I need Google Translate to develop an app for this in due course. But he was good enough for me to be wanting to search them out further.

Jon at a previous visit to Woody's
After a little while Waiting for Susan came on, Vocals & Guitar (red hair and braces), Small violinist lass and chap with mandolin(?). They cracked off into the first song which was one of the highlights of the night. Not for the reasons they would have wanted as it was clear everyone had a verse to sing, the lasses turn came and no sound came out her mic. They tried further, circling around the tune waiting panicked, then idea, lass moves over to vocalists mic, but sadly its about a foot to high cue comical jumping to the mic (a simple angling down Liam Gallagher style would have been cooler). They gave up on this and swapped to another vocalist. End of the song I'm sure the lass was over the moon with the vocalist announcing she hadn't turned the mic on. Perhaps she is Susan, and waiting for her to come in on the verse is where they got their names from.

Waiting for Susan were not Bob's cup of tea but my tastes have mellowed over the years (even to the extent that I don't leave a gig when I see a violin) and the set was good, interspersed with covers (Madness Must Be Love and finishing on a cracking version of Mumford and Sons Little Lion Man who they owe a reasonable resemblance to musically by their own admission). Good local band (judging by the family members in the audience and the dates at their website). Again worth another look WEBSITE 

And onto the main attraction, an older version of the man I saw in 1992 at my first Indie gig (Inspiral Carpets at Liverpool Royal Court). On with an electric acoustic guitar, asking for the lights to be dimmed to spare people who may want to take photos of him. He launched into 3 songs delivered with huge amounts of passion, knowing that the promise early of some Inspirals songs later in the set would give him the opportunity to cover his newer stuff. Good tunes real passion going in, the subject of one being his focus, new daughter Mabel, the next being a song about the record industry, not a wholly positive experience judging from the lyrics. Looking forward to his book to find out more that he sold at the end of the gig.

Then onto a number of crowd pleasers, but played in a Delta Blues style (think your particularly cool Jack White as this jumped to mind for me) Saturn 5, This is how it feels both replacing Clint Boon's keyboard solos with sing along noises. Then a cover of James sit down, welsh man above sitting on the floor, Spirals fan getting onto the stage to sit down, swiftly ushered away by Tom. The song segueing into take another little piece of my heart. Then back to the Spirals with Dragging me down, a Craig David cover, guitar sounding very Bon Jovi dead or alive esque (steel guitar) to start with, plectrum stuck to forehead, another trick playing the guitar with lager in hand. Then onto Janis Joplin's Mercedes Benz Guitar disguarded, backed by Tom and Crowd clapping above heads, finishing up the set using the hole in guitar to echo noise around - here's a man who's thought about his craft when solo / acoustic.

Really enjoyable gig, Tom keen to sell his merchandise understandably at the end and I was very happy to come away with his book and a double album of his solo stuff, read all about it here . Nice to see him also encouraging me to keep supporting the Spirals in their current line up and recounting memories of Clint throwing banana skins into the audience at Royal Court in the past.

Great Venue, Great Value, Great Support, Great Songs, Great Bloke, as Tony the Tiger would say their GRRRRRRREEEEEEEETTTTTTTT at Woody's.

As Tom would like Photo darkened

Here's a feel for Tom in Action.

Post Script: Always nice to get a bit of feedback:

lovely review that thanks x

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