Monday, 22 October 2007


Friday night was as fun as it was freezing, as we went to see The Ting Tings launch their second single, the dizzyingly fizzy ‘Fruit Machine‘, at Salford‘s fashionable Islington Mill.

Things began with a trip to minimalist (ie. barely furnished) Northern Quarter ‘haunt’ Common for This Is The New, a mix of thrustworthy and very cool indie dance, spun by Ian from the legendary Keys Money Lipstick.

Then it was off to Islington Mill to see the other KML resident Justin Heaton warming up the crowd with yet more impeccably-chosen tunes. Surprisingly, being asked to support the hottest band of 2008 at the launch of their second single does not faze him. “I’m not really nervous”, he says, “I just hope it’s a friendly crowd. God knows what I‘ll play!”

A friendly and quite possibly artistically-inclined audience (as well as a ’club space’ - basically two tables and some fridges from which drinks are served - the Mill also houses over 50 artists studios and two art galleries) awaits and Heaton has no trouble applying some much-needed temperature to the room.

There then follows an incredibly artistic photo call during which The Ting Tings and a few other people gather to deface part of a wall using giant pencil crayons (pictured above). The resulting splurge of etchings and doodles is both visually stimulating and mentally confusing.

Beyond this point our memories of the night become a little blurred, due mainly to making a few too many trips to the fridge, but we do know that further support was provided by Hotpants Romance, who made a shouty but pop-infused racket, and were probably very good, but probably not as good as The Ting Tings probably were. Probably.

As a live venue, or indeed ‘club space’, Islington Mill is an odd one to call. What it lacks in lighting and basic furnishings it makes up in boho charm, filled as it is with a mix of forward-thinking types who love going there for a good time (one person we spoke to said it was his favourite venue in the world).

If you’re impressed by sofas and fancy lamps the place is not for you, but if swigging a few ciders in a place that is a bit like the Roadhouse (only less underground, cramped and full of children) sounds inviting, perhaps you should have a look at the Mill’s upcoming events.

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