TOM Hingley reckons Oasis would not have happened without the Inspiral Carpets organ-fuelled pop that delivered wide-eyed hits This Is How It Feels, She Comes In The Fall and Dragging Me Down.

The baggy icons were one of the cornerstone bands of the Madchester music scene and, long before he found fame with Oasis, Noel Gallagher cut his rock and roll teeth as the Inspirals’ roadie.

“Noel’s a lyrical genius, but he owes a huge debt to the band because he would probably never have been heard of if he had not worked for The Inspirals,” said ex-Inspirals leader Hingley.

“No-one forced him to stand at the side of the stage for 250 gigs and watch me sing.

“No one made him be in the studio where we wrote songs and told someone how to play them.

“He met Alan McGee and Paul Weller working for the Inspirals and when we did interviews abroad and we were tired Noel would sit in and pretend to be me or Clint (Boon — The Inspiral Carpets’ keyboard player). It was a rock school for Noel Gallagher.”

Now Hingley fronts his own three-piece, The Tom Hingley Band, who come to Darwen’s Library Theatre tomorrow, boasting a repertoire of fresh songs and a new album.

“We make a real racket, and it is a bit like The Jimi Hendrix Experience with Frank Spencer as the lead singer,” joked Hingley.

“We are a down and dirty electric blues band and we practice in a pub in Bury.

“I’m a journeyman musician, and I still do 150 gigs a year, but I’m extremely proud of what we did with the Inspiral Carpets. It was a long time ago now — 1989 — but some of the ripples that we started are still happening,.

“However, we don’t play any of their stuff in this band — I leave that to the Inspiral Carpets now.”

Hingley also lectures in music business studies at Liverpool University, so has some top advice for unsigned bands.

“If you’re going to set yourself up as a musician you have to be prepared to spend 15 hours managing and organising one gig that may last 90 minutes,” he said.

“It is like having a regular nine to five job or a career but you have to put twice as much effort into it.

“But most of all, do it as a lifestyle, don’t do it to make million pounds.

“People think I’m a multi-millionaire because I appeared on Top of the Pops six times.

“Sadly it doesn’t work like that.

“You should play music to define yourself and to bring meaning into your life, not to earn lots of money.”

  • The Tom Hingley Band, Darwen Library Theatre, Friday, May 9. Details from 01254 706006.