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Air, mtm

New Blues Convert

Tom Hingley

(The Inspiral Carpets 1989 - 95)

Tom has completed an extensive solo, acoustic tour of the UK, Ireland and, Germany playing to over fifty thousand people. His style plays testament to twenty five years of singing, in church, and later as lead singer of Inspiral Carpets. ‘I only play songs I like’ says Tom, ‘that’s the only real criteria’. This logical approach resulted in a series of headlining and support dates, including most notably the new years eve celebrations supporting Ian brown in front of 20 000 revellers in Manchester , two Scottish dates with Shed Seven, and a major UK tour with Glenn Tilbrook.

He is still lead singer with the Inspirals where along with Shaun Ryder and Ian Brown he came to the fore as part of the late eighties Manchester music scene. As well as being the finest singer of that generation he also wrote many of the Inspirals hit singles.

The singing style incorporates Soul, R and B, and Jazz. His delivery is technically superior, and easily more emotive than many of his contemporaries. Celebrated artist Lenny Kravitz was moved to comment ‘You should be singing on Broadway’ after witnessing Hingley singing live at a television recording. Damon Gough (Badly Drawn Boy) , is another aficionado.

‘Keep Britain Untidy’ is Tom’s debut album with no overdubs, just one guitar, one voice and 11 great songs. Few artists could carry such a minimalist approach , but Tom’s unique talent makes him an all together different proposition. His vocal prowess is something to behold, and it is almost impossible to convey the beauty and sheer power this man can produce with his La Scalla Larynx. It is surely tuned to his very heart and soul.

‘Keep Britain Untidy’ is a heavily personal anecdote charting Tom’s recent marriage break up, perhaps most potently in ‘Good bye to the Lord of my Life’. The lachrymose nature of this track is deep enough to crush a whale. ‘Port In A Storm’ is another highlight where he shows the full extent of his awesome vocal range. The haunting arpeggio intro recalls Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway’, but the chorus lift establish the tune in its very own territory.

In many ways this material, despite the unmistakable voice, couldn’t be any further away from the Inspiral’s pop format. Tom seems to be tapping into ramshackle Blues, roving folk and Soul, the type which John Martyn made his name with his 70’s albums ‘Solid Air’, and ‘One World. This is roots music.

Ian Fortnam in his Music 365 review of Tom’s 100 club concert in London said,

‘’Armed with only an acoustic guitar and sporting a Hilfiger lampooning ‘Tommy Hilfiger T shirt, Tom Blasts out a series of denuded epics from his forthcoming debut album along with the stunningly forceful ‘Straight Into Your Heart’ (complete with spine-tingling falsetto climaxes), through the deliciously salacious ‘Taste Of You’ to the stunning Scott Walker-esque fire of ‘What Can I Lose?’ Hingley’s self- penned material is by turns brooding, explosive and undeniably awesome.’’

‘’Tom Hingley could always be counted upon to shatter lenses at fifty paces with his rare clarity, and heavens be praised, he’s lost none of his power, In fact, it would seem that he’s extended his range to a quite stratospheric level’’.


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