Another glorious Manchester reunion is about to commence this week when The Inspiral Carpets fly to South America to play their 1st gig with original front-man Stephen Holt in over 24yrs, with the group making a return to their early line-up & punk roots Clint Boon cant wait...

The Inspirals not only playing again but back with their original front man, How did it happen?

We’ve actually been gigging on and off since we got back together in 2003. It’s just that we don’t do the Inspirals exclusively now. We have other careers outside of the band. I don’t want people thinking we’re only doing this because it’s quite popular now to ‘reform’ etc.
Tom leaving the band gave us the opportunity to explore a different chapter of the band’s history. Getting Stephen back in was a result of Tom leaving, not a reaction to it.

Without dwelling on it why do you think Tom didn't fancy getting back together again?
Tom stepped away from the Inspirals a few months ago. It was his decision. We didn’t sack him. We would never have sacked him. He’s at a place in his life where he’s happier doing his solo gigs and gigs with his band (The Lovers). He’s very industrious and I think working at his own pace suits him at the moment. The Inspirals work in a way that accommodates all our other individual activities, career wise and domestically. This sometimes means we are out of action for weeks, months, years at a time. I think Tom became frustrated with this.

Stephen was actually one of two of the original members of the band, along with Graham who both recruited the rest, from that point of view Stephen must be quite excited to be doing what he originally started out to do, sing with the band?
I think I can speak on his behalf by saying he’s absolutely over the moon to be back in the band.

Many fans still site the flexi- disc "Garage Full Of Flowers" as one of the bands the best releases?

I think the Inspirals are one of very few bands of our generation who could get away with changing our singer. The band has always been more well known for it’s sound, it’s spirit and it’s image than it’s front man. Our hardcore fans know we had a history before Tom came along. They’re as excited as we are that we can explore our garage band roots again.

Did you and the group always stay in contact with Stephen?

We lost contact with Stephen over the years but always got on great with him as and when we’d bump into him. When we put out our Greatest Hits record a few years ago we were really keen to recognise the contribution he’d made in those early years and include the tracks he’d sung on.

How about new material?

We’ve already started writing and recording new material. We’ve recorded our first music for 16 years. The new songs we’ve just recorded already sound like classic Inspirals. But at the same time, I think it’s as contemporary as The Vaccines, Interpol, Kasabian, Doves…
Our first gigs will be in South America in November. We should be announcing our first UK gigs in the next couple of months.

It sounds like as a band your all getting creative again?

There’s something different about the spirit in the band now. We’ve been inspired to write our first new material in 16 years or so. It’s not just the line up change. I think it’s realising that life’s short so best to crack on and knock out some more tunes while we can. There’s still a lot of love in the world for this band of ours.

The group "getting back to their garage roots" sounds great?

As a result of Stephen leaving and Tom arriving (late 1988), we moved away from being a garage band and became more of a contemporary pop group. Partly because Tom has such a technically great voice. We lost a bit of our punkiness. I’m not complaining though. I wouldn’t change anything about our story. The career we’ve had has been amazing and we owe Tom a lot for his involvement and contribution. But now is the perfect time to continue the chapter that ended in 1988 when Stephen left.

As the shows go what will you be covering, a spread from early tunes to the later material?

There’s a stack of ace garage tunes that we never actually recorded back in the 80s (apart from on 4 track demos). We intend to plunder that little goldmine but at the same time, we’re already writing new material. This is only partly a celebration of our past. We’re more forward thinking now than we’ve ever been.

And after all this time & with a new line up Clint, are the band still cool as ....
The band feels better than ever.