On first hear­ing that jagged, frac­tured gui­tar intro to Intu­ition, I was trans­port­ed back to the days of the late 70s band Gang of Four, my for­mer uni­ver­si­ty col­leagues. Indeed Julie Ann Camp­bell, aka LoneLa­dy, is a bit of a fan­girl for the group, and for that era of spiky, spare post-punk. More recent­ly her per­for­mance at Oslo, Hack­ney, saw her sup­port­ing Gang of Four, or what’s left of them, now that Andy Gill remains the sole orig­i­nal member.


With no pre­am­ble oth­er than a vague ‘Hi’ at the direc­tion of the grow­ing crowd spilling into the space at the back of Rough Trade East record shop, LoneLa­dy – the four-piece band – open with Into the Cave, lead song on brand new album Hin­ter­land. It’s a col­lec­tion of tracks inspired by the urban land­scape of post-indus­tri­al Man­ches­ter, not the ren­o­vat­ed inner core but the unreg­u­lat­ed anony­mous sprawl around its edges, an uneasy mix of low-lev­el build­ings punc­tu­at­ed by high-rise towers.

The new retro-syn­thy album can rough­ly be divid­ed into two types of songs: clas­sic punchy dance­able num­bers like Groove It Out, and those which, although still anchored by the insis­tent beat of the drum machine, allow Julie to vocal­ly explore a more com­plex range, such as on (I Can See) Land­scapes. The for­mer songs are the ones that draw you in with their dancey riffs, and once you’re there, you can take your time to explore the more com­plex tracks.

Lonelady Lonelady

The strongest num­ber is title track Hin­ter­land. It is a beau­ti­ful and wist­ful num­ber, decep­tive in its progress which starts with a  jagged gui­tar intro and leads into an unex­pect­ed cel­lo sam­ple. Those warm notes of the cel­lo com­bined with the cadence of Julie’s voice give the song an almost Eng­lish folk-song feel, albeit still in post-punk territory.

LoneLa­dy is a fas­ci­nat­ing artist and it’s no won­der this album is mak­ing waves. But although the 5‑minute pop song for­mat works for some tracks – on oth­ers, the track Hin­ter­land for instance, that for­mat feels slight­ly con­strain­ing, I would have loved it to have gone on for longer.


Lonelady 4


WHO: LoneLa­dy
WHEN: March 25, 2015
WHERE: Rough Trade East, Brick Lane


Man­ches­ter and Sal­ford went through mas­sive “slum clear­ance” in the 1960s, and one local pho­tog­ra­ph­er who wan­dered through the city cap­tur­ing this time of great change was pho­tog­ra­ph­er and teacher Shirley Bak­er, who died last year.

Shirley baker 1

Shirley Baker 2

She doc­u­ment­ed the city over a peri­od of 15 years and cap­tured a time that was fast dis­ap­pear­ing – some of the pho­tos from the ear­ly 60s have the appear­ance of Vic­to­ri­an times. An ret­ro­spec­tive of Shirley Bak­er’s work will take place at The Pho­tog­ra­pher’s Gallery in Lon­don start­ing from 17th July 2016.

Read about Shirley Bak­er, her life and work here 

Book: Street Pho­tographs: Man­ches­ter and Beyond by Shirley Baker


4 thoughts on “Focus on Manchester: LoneLady at Rough Trade mini gig; Shirley Baker photography retrospective

  1. Pingback: Review: Debut album Hinterland by The Bedroom Hour | Gourmet gigs
  2. Pingback: The Photographers’ Gallery: images of Manchester by Shirley Baker | Gourmet gigs

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