Jammerzine has an exclusive interview with English singer, songwriter and guitarist Tom Hingley. As a member of Inspiral Carpets, Tom has more than made a name for himself across radio, tv, and stages around the world. And now he and Gordon Mackay (Too Much Texas) have a new album titled ‘Decades’ (review HERE), which more than continues that upward spiral of a storied career in music. The kind most musicians would love to have.
And, in this interview, we get a more personal and inspirational side of Tom both as a musician and a human being. We talk about ‘Decades’ and so much more. Definitely more than a conversation than an interview, but that is what happens with the best guests.
Check out our other features with Tom Hingley HERE.
Gordon and Tom were glass collecting staff at the Hacienda in the mid 80s when they formed the pre-Inspirals Manchester Indie band Too Much Texas. After a few years of supporting the likes of New Order,The Beloved, The House of Love and The Pastels, as well as recording a Peel session at the famous BBC Maida Vale studios, Tom jumped ship onto the Inspirals juggernaut whilst TMT continued on to record a track on the Ugly Man released Bananas compilation with new singer Lee Severin.
Spring forward to post pandemic 2021, Tom met up with Gordon who was newly mourning the recent passing of his sister Angela and Father, Ian. Tom suggested marking his friends 60th birthday in January 2023 by recording a memorial album , and that’s what we have here in ‘Decades’. One song for each of the decades of Gordon’s life.
The pair set about recruiting Gordon’s son Angus, to play bass and synthesiser. Local Oxford multi-instrumentalist Ben Heaney was drafted in to play violin, electric violin and piano on the last track. Scott Bearman-Brown was found via a Facebook post, calling out for Oxford based percussionists to play on two tracks.
The six songs were recorded and mixed by Stuart Jones in ex Fairport’s charming rural Woodworm studios, in St Michael near Banbury throughout Summer and Autumn 2022. The same studio that Radiohead cut their teeth and George Harrison also recorded material.
‘Decades’ features two kinds of songs , the plaintive memorials of ‘Ian’, dedicated to Gordon’s father who became deaf on a National Service rifle range as an instructor , but retained a tolerance to the challenges of both his children and grand children throughout his life . ‘Angela’ is a meditation on the passing of Gordon’s sister , an artist , who coincidently Tom was in a class with at Larkmead School as a teenager.
The other songs are more mischievous, ‘Document 6’ is a deceptively happy sounding song which really describes a serial killer incarnating his human prey, the chorus warning that “it’s Spring, Summer , Autumn, Winter outside”, ‘Tiny Shadow of Love’ is a song about an imaginary love triangle . ‘Killing Kittens’ is a song about esotericism, as a listener you will either know what the song is referring to, or have to find out.
The closer is ‘When Ali Came to Abingdon’ a pub singalong folk song detailing various events that did might or definitely didn’t happen when Muhammad Ali visited Abingdon Gordon’s Hometown in 1972 and 1987.