Northwest Music News – 20 Oct: Natalie McCool, Lydia Lunch + more

Our semi-regular missive from the Northwest brings news of a Lydia Lunch Islington Mill residency, plus new music from Natalie McCool and more...

Blog by Simon Jay Catling | 20 Oct 2015

Lydia Lunch the latest to take on Samarbeta Islington Mill residency

Following residencies from the likes of This Heat's Charles Hayward and Liverpool minimalists Ex-Easter Island Head, Samarbeta have a true pioneer coming to Islington Mill at the end of the month, with no wave-spawned solo artist, collaborator, writer and actress Lydia Lunch spending two weeks in the venue and arts space between 24 Oct and 5 Nov.

Lunch will be working with her collaborator Weasel Walter, including running two workshops, From the Page to the Stage, whilst Walter will run a third workshop entitled The Art of Improvisation. Page to the Stage culminates in a performance on 3 Nov, while other highlights include Lunch and Walter teaming up their pairing of histrionic spoken word and virtuoso drumming as Horrible True Confessions on 27 Oct. Halloween sees a trio of local acts operating at varying degrees on the rock spectrum, the Bella Union-signed Pins joined by Mill-based improv unit Water and brilliant confrontational punk group Ill. More info at

Natalie McCool announces new single through Fortress Sounds

Having released a clutch of singles that are crying out to be picked up by radio pluggers nationwide, the LIPA-graduate continues her progression with the glittering melancholy of Cardiac Arrest. Produced by Outfit's David Berger, the track is a bold, bright stab at pop anthemia that belies a sensitive fragility at its core, and comes out through Fortress Sounds on Nov 13. McCool meanwhile plays the Eagle Inn in Salford on 22 Oct. 

O>L>A releasing new EP

Featured right back at the beginning of these semi-regular missives, Manchester duo O>L>A have had quite a year locally, including performing at the re-opening of The Whitworth Art Gallery and going on to play a packed slot at Dot 2 Dot Festival, as well as performing a special score for the 1982 Godfrey Reggio film Koyaanisqatsi atop a Northern Quarter rooftop in Manchester. Now the group have new material on the way, in the form of new EP Call of the Wild – which promises to take their cinematic opulence and marry it to more beat-driven gridlines. The pair are to be joined by Andrew Hunt from Outfit, under his Dialect moniker, and Melodic Records-signed Patterns for its launch at Sways Records new hideout out in M3 7LW on 24 Oct. Pre-order Call of the Wild here.

Digital Crate Digging 

Various Artists – Blak Rainbow (Blak Hand Label)

Released on cassette especially for Cassette Store Day, Blak Rainbow comes from the Liverpool label Blak Hand and takes a small snapshot of both Liverpool and Manchester's current fuzzy lo-fi guitar pop territory with artists including new psychedelic-minded freakniks Electric Lazarus and Freakout Honey. Of the tracks we've heard though, our favourite is perhaps by Manchester's Sprinters, whose Last Song possesses the sort of hazy warmth and pared down hookery of Real Estate. More information at Blak Hand's bandcamp

TVAM – Porsche Majeure (Static Caravan)

Following the punchy garage rock of breakout track No Explanations, recent Static Caravan signing Joe Oxley pulls his TVAM project in a new direction with latest single Porsche Majeure. Maintaining his sense of distorted, warped VHS sound recordings (live he plays alongside an old 80s TV projecting decaying video images), this time he opens up the space between competing elements, drifting upwards into the worlds of dream-pop and shoegaze. 

Cornered Yet Climbing Featuring Kelly Jayne Jones – Fevered Realities (Tombed Visions)

From apppearing on Gnod's triple-LP blockbuster Infinity Machines, to playing with Naked (On Drugs) and his own mighty power trio Lake of Snakes – to name but three – the sound of David McLean on saxophone has been one of the most familiar in Manchester's murky underground this year. Here, he teams up with Wire magazine favourite Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides for a truly haunting set of rurally evocative dark meanders, pulling one way and the other between Raw Healing's bolshy industrial squall to the likes of Calm Winds Carry the Breath of the Birds attempts to push away from the clutter of urbanity.

Elsewhere on The

— It's Liverpool Music Week starting on Oct 23! Along with the likes of Deerhunter and Holly Herndon, a host of local talent will be on display – catch up with just a few of them here.

— Having stormed our gig at the Deaf Institute last month, Gary Kaill speaks to ascendant Mancunian punks False Advertising.

— There's still plenty of gig highlights to come this month! To our recommendations for more.

We took in Liverpool Psych Fest as it returns for a fourth triumphant year.