‘Carpet Burns’ is Tom Hingley’s account of his life as lead singer of Inspiral Carpets, one of the big three bands of the Manchester movement who, along with The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, changed music for a generation. Tom’s own words provide an account of what it felt like to be in the eye of a pop hurricane and what happens when the hits end and the arguments kick in.
Tom’s journey starts in rural Oxfordshire before moving to Manchester and being thrust into the limelight as the new singer with a rapidly climbing pop group. With popular anthems like ‘This Is How It Feels’ and ‘She Comes In The Fall’, several appearances on Top of the Pops and headline gigs at festivals, Inspiral Carpets soon rose to be one of the most popular bands in the country.
This is not your usual music memoir, Tom is from a radically different background to his contemporaries – his father translated the complete works of Chekhov for Oxford University Press – and thus brings a new perspective to this cultural era. All the key characters from the Manchester scene are featured, plus there is fresh insight into a youthful Noel Gallagher who learned his trade as a crew member with Inspiral Carpets before joining his brother to form Oasis.
Carpet Burns tells the story typical of any band signed to a five album deal and their battles to keep the hits coming. Tom takes us through the band’s original split, the forging of solo careers, and a series of reformations until a Tweet he sends brings his time with the band to an end.
Early Reviews: -
‘This is a fascinating and unique book about a unique and fascinating life. Memoirs are made of this.’ – David Quantick
‘Oh my God! Every band is the same. I couldn’t put it down.’ – Peter Hook
‘A cool as f**k memoir. There’s no overriding sense of bitterness or regret in [Hingley's] eminently readable memoirs, a first-hand account of a fascinating era in British pop, conveyed with atmosphere and colour.’ – Record Collector
‘Carpet Burns provides a first-hand look at the Madchester movement from a man at the heart of his adopted city. Anyone interested in tour life and the impact Manchester’s music scene had will quickly devour every word.’ – Manchester City Official Match Programme
‘Often witty and at times poignant, [Carpet Burns] charts the band’s barrelling rise to success during the heady Manchester years of the late 80’s and early 90’s, before bearing out the adage that what goes up must come down. As the first and only account of the band it’s a must for all Inspiral’s fans and devotees to popular culture of the time (want to know where Noel Gallagher first cut his teeth). The book could also act in part at least, as a how-to or how-not-to guide for surviving the music industry, a business not famed for providing soft landings or after care.’ – Eartwister
‘A brutally honest and open account of the Inspirals journey through the nineties. It does not just concentrate on the success and the highs, it is also a very candid recollection of the band’s fall from stardom. This is what makes this book so very special. Most memoirs or autobiographies written by musicians, often highlight the success and achievements only. This book is different. It takes you on a worded tour of the rise and subsequent fall of the band right from the very beginning to the end. It is a colourful narrative of the good, the bad and the wild times (believe me, eye-opening in parts).’ – Kerry Voellner
‘This is one of the best of its kind books I’ve read in a while. Tom Hingley is certainly near the top of the pile when it comes to compiling his memoirs.’ – The Crack
‘An entertaining and refreshingly frank memoir’ – The Big Issue
‘While The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays had the swagger and velocity, of the so-called ‘Holy Triumvirate’ that rescued British pop, the Inspiral Carpets have somehow been squeezed out of the picture. But part of their charm was the fact they weren’t cool and when it comes to music their output far outweighed that of their rivals. Carpet Burns offers an intriguing glimpse into the music business at the time.’ – The Yorkshire Post
‘Entertaining to read, particularly poignant and interesting reflections on an era which gave young outsiders an outlet for anger and a glimmer of hope.’ – The Oxford Times
‘Every now and again a book comes along charting a period of music history in such an accessible way, with such a clear and honest voice that when you finish that story you feel slightly lonely for a while.’ – Phil Maddocks
‘Tom lays down his life in print with a brutal honesty that few would dare to approach, some of the anecdotes will have even the hardest faced reader rolling around on the floor or crying like a baby in a random pattern.’ – Simon Holliday
‘A well written and above all honest account, you are not going to expose yourself emotionally as Hingley does throughout the book without being sincere. I loved this part of my life and this book was written in a way that took me back with such clarity that I felt you could close your eyes and reach out and touch it.’ – Paul Croves