Islington Mill Studios


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Every so often we send out emails letting you know about the events, exhibitions, residencies or opportunites to get involved with Islington Mill. If you are interested in hearing/reading about any of this then maybe you should sign up to our newsletter here .... 

Noise Restrictions

Just as Islington Mill has taken a giant step forward with our successful Arts Council bid, we are simultaneously being restrained by a complaint about patron noise which has resulted in the Statutory Noise Nuisance notice under a 7 day deferral from Salford City Council. The suddenness of this development seems to negate the efforts we have previously made to work with the Council and residents at monitoring the impact of sound from our courtyard and main entrance. These efforts appear to have not made any tangible difference, hence our current urgent circumstances.

Our case is under review and any further complaints during the assessment period would seriously threaten our license so events like Gesamtkunstwerk, Daniel Avery & Dopplereffekt have all been relocated to other venues. Events like these feature the creators of some of our favourite music and we were proud to be able to host them in the City of Salford. However, the short term actions necessary to stage the events without jeopardising our license would mean we would not able to host them to the best of our ability. Artist and audience experience is something we value extremely highly and we don’t want to compromise it for any reason.

There is a high possibility that the outcome of our review will include some kind of revision to our 24-hour license. We are sensitive to the needs of our neighbours and keen to avoid animosity and upset, and to that end we have submitted an extensive proposal of short-term and longer-term methods to limit the impact of sound and outdoor activity on our neighbours. These include additional soundproof doors, on-site sound-monitoring engineers, exterior and interior structural alterations, new taxi arrangements, and many other suggestions. In short, in terms of what we are willing to do to keep our current license, we have shown ourselves willing to consider every possible avenue, and we hope the Council and residents will appreciate this.

However, with all of the discussions around regeneration and increased footfall to the Chapel Street area – which centres around the Mill and which underpinned our successful expansion bid – we are left in a state of some confusion as to how an independent arts venue with a 24-hour license is meant to operate under an ethos of experimentation and spontaneity with a series of caveats and compromises that effectively curtails our ability to operate the way that we do. Islington Mill is not just a bar or a club or a gig venue, but is a unique and dynamic mixed use space within which artists are encouraged to develop and expand their work and present new and stimulating and inspiring work to a wide public, demonstrating on a daily basis that people can do great things, that things are possible in Salford. The recognition from Arts Council England and Salford City Council, investment in our long-term future consistently acknowledges this.

We are working hard to find appropriate and workable solutions to these problems in the immediate as well as the long term and we will keep you all informed of developments. If any of our friends or followers have experience in this area or technical knowledge they would like to share with us, our doors are open, and our doors will remain open to all, so please continue to check out our programme of events that are still happening.

Thank you.



“As friends and followers of Islington Mill you might be aware that after a decade and a half of successful but largely organic and unmediated growth, we have recently spent considerable time and energy in the formulation of a £2.2m project to safeguard Islington Mill.

The latest stage of this development plan has involved a Capital application to Arts Council England, and we are extremely excited to announce that they have agreed to award £1 million of investment towards the Islington Mill project. This will fund a new artist-in-residence facility with the capacity to bring up to twenty visiting artists to the region at a time, signalling a major development of the arts infrastructure in the North West.

As you all know, Islington Mill has always been proud to be an independent, self-sustaining entity – we follow no model and receive no public revenue funding, and we are keenly aware that this is intimately connected with the independence and versatility that characterises the work of the Mill. Securing such an enormously significant contribution from Arts Council England not only represents a huge stride forward in our wider project, but strengthens, endorses and recognises an approach we have always firmly believed in: that of a dynamic mixed model for the production of the arts like none other in the North West. The award represents an acknowledgement of, and strong commitment to, the versatility and uniqueness of that approach.

Now for some detail… The specifics of the capital project is focussed on major building improvements, including a brand new Artist-in-Residence facility to be housed within our atmospheric attic space; new rooms that will enable up to twenty artists to be accommodated at the Mill at any one time; a new production and showcase space that will occupy the entirety of our currently unused 5th floor bringing 4000 sq ft of space back into productive use; plus the replacement of the roof and provision of lift access to all floors that will secure and improve the long term futures for our existing fifty studios and workspaces, project and gallery spaces, venue and residency spaces.

While the homely and nurturing environment that is fostered at Islington Mill might be at odds with its industrial past, it is, and always has been, a space of production – no longer of commodities borne from social hierarchies, but of ideas and energies, of new ways of thinking and working and living, and of combining all three.

We are aware that the work only just begins to now make this project a reality, and that to remain steadfast we will need all the support that we can get. We welcome anyone who may be able to contribute in any way. We want to sincerely thank our friends, audiences, collaborators and community for supporting the team and directors at Islington Mill through three long years of the development of this bid.

Steve Lloyd Tribute

We are so sad to hear the news of the passing of Steve Lloyd (Noisebox) at the Weekend.

Steve was instrumental in supporting us at Islington Mill in the very early days of chaotic gigs in our freezing, dirty ground floor space. Taking care of all the tech stuff that we knew nothing about, putting in the kit and not batting an eyelid while trying to pack up around googley eyed punters and organisers stumbling around at all time of the morning.

He helped us graduate up by providing us with kit that had been around every other venue in Manchester until we ultimately got our first in house system that he left with us until we blew it into just barely above a crackle n hiss with random noise bands and distortion. For both Islington Mill and Sounds From the Other City he made those early steps easy, available and affordable. Bands come in all shapes, sizes and sounds but none of them would sound any good at all without those unsung heroes in the shape of great sound & tech guys who keep their heads in those intense situations when something does go wrong, often taking the flack from both the artists and the crowds while battling to do a technical and unpredictable job and keeping the nights vibes going. Spare them a thought as they are the invaluable glue enabling the rich variety of noises we often take for granted in this great city of ours.

Very very sad news. R.I.P

Maurice Carlin - Short film

Earlier this year one of Islington Mill’s Direcors, Artist Maurice Carlin, held an exhibition at Castlefield Gallery entitled 'First...Next...Then...Finally…’. Filmaker Paul Wright has made a short documentary about the exhibition and the thoughts behind it which you can watch here.

Majestic Disorder

We were lucky enough to have had website and soon to be magazine, Majestic Disorder, stay with us for a few days in November. Whilst with us they made this lovely short film after interviewing some of the people who call Islington Mill home.

"Amid a concrete maze rests a peculiar former cotton mill whose clandestine nook alludes to an artistic haven, one that undoubtedly serves as the collaborative headquarters of our dreams. Subconsciously woven into the fabric of Manchester, Islington Mill is a place where creativity roams free and inspiration sees no boundaries.

Home to over 50 artists’ studios, residential flats, galleries, a B&B and nightclub, The Mill is wholeheartedly DIY in spirit. The characteristics of each unique mind shine through signifying the perseverance and power of artistic longevity. 

Strengthening the imagination and keeping the soul hungry, the environment represents a niche collective where life and individual identity not only coexist but also thrive. It’s an ingenious dwelling that seeps into your consciousness, altering your way of thinking."

Read more here...

Plan For A Ruin review

Words by Susanna Hill

Plan For A Ruin is the exhibition currently occupying the wonderful spaces that are the fifth and attic floors of the Islington Mill. And it seems that I am not the only one who adores spending time in this cobwebbed corner of Salford; for curator Simon Morrissey the space itself acted as atmospheric inspiration for the vision of the exhibition.

As you enter on the fifth floor you are met by two small paintings by James Parkinson, which offer a dialogue of opposites – quite literally through their colour, but also in the graduation of the markings and form. The works are simple, but the titles – which seem unrelated – are worth musing on further...

Islington Mill Art Academy in The Guardian

"Islington Mill Art Academy in Salford and the School of the Damned in east London, were set up by art students and recent graduates who could not afford rising course fees and were dissatisfied with the structure, ethos and curricula of traditional art degrees.


Islington Mill Art Academy in Salford was set up in 2007 by a group of local art foundation students who decided a traditional BA would not prepare them for life beyond education. Co-founder Maurice Carlin recalls that resident artists had expressed disillusionment with their degree courses. "They spent three years developing their practice but struggled to turn it into something in the 'real world'. They were not engaged with working artists on a day-to-day basis."

Read more of the article with various arts organisations and schools here

'Performance Publishing, Regents Trading Estate'


AQNB - "the artist is brought to life as the medium through which an audience interacts with one and the other."

The State - "This handmade work that appears digital... is a comment on the very nature by which physical and digital worlds are interwoven and interdependent."

Domus - "For Carlin, this negotiation between early information technologies, rubbings made in Ancient China with the most recent one – the digital information age, is something that he highlights and contrasts throughout the project"

Corridor 8 - Interview with Maurice Carlin

Islington Mill in New York

After residencies in Berlin and more recently Ibiza, Islington Mill are currently on residency at Flux Factory in New York. Long-term Mill tenants and collaborators Volkov Commanders and Rachel Goodyear will be contributing to the Flux programme as well as producing satellite events across NYC and Skype performances via Salford with Islington Mill Directors Mark and Maurice Carlin and Mill programmer Rivca Burns.

Using Flux Factory as a base to study the cultural and creative funding landscape within New York City, Mark Carlin is researching new strategies and models of funding, finance and organisation that will enable the renovation of Islington Mill’s currently underused 5th and 6th Floor and realise a long term ambition of developing a 9 room residency and large scale, flexible, working and showing space.

Maurice Carlin is presenting work in the ‘Self-Interruption’ exhibition curated by Helen Kaplinsky, at the Jack Chiles gallery running from October 20 to October 29 as well as presenting a discussion on October 24 at the Public School, addressing “surplus knowledge, how knowing too much and notions of criticality in art education can lead to a stasis.”

During the residency Rachel Goodyear hopes to create an energetic collage of ideas beginning with drawings and projections and expanding out to the possibilities of collaboration, performance, projected intervention, writing, hand drawn loops, costume and creative social engagement.

Volkov Commanders are using this as an opportunity to experiment and test out new ideas within every aspect of their practice, whether it’s a costume idea, an impromptu performance piece or a video shoot.  Collaboration, cross disciplinary projects and working spontaneously with a DIY approach is at the core of what they do, and they will be using the opportunity of being in a new city to do more of this.

The Islington Mill residency culminates at Flux Factory on Wednesday 30 October with ‘Unguided Tour’, a portal transporting the participant to another world, slipping through exploring and extracting all that has to offer on a tour that is simultaneously guided and unguided, experiencing all that is familiar impossibly contorted into a unique perspective.

Other Islington Mill associated events whilst in New York include:'A Night Of Transatlantic Collaboration' at Silent Barn on Tuesday 29 October presented by Mill tenants and collaborators Fat Out Til You Pass Out. CHERYL and BYT NYC present R.I.t.E. on Halloween night at Brooklyn Masonic Temple with Volkov Commanders and KHOM on Thursday 31 October.

An Islington Mill Christmas

Here at Islington Mill we don’t go about life in a conventional fashion and our Christmas parties will definitely provide your business with an alternative way to celebrate the 2013 festive season. With a variety of spaces to chose from and packages that include mulled wine on arrival, a delicious buffet of home cooked festive food and an array of entertainment, all in the unique and enchanting location of the Mill. Our Mill is your Mill and with the ability to transform our space into your perfect Christmas party you will truly have original and unique festivities.

Our very own Mill resident, Kim Irwin will bring you your delicious Christmas buffet at reasonable prices.

If your company is interested in the Mill hosting your Christmas Party then please get in touch with Emma emma(at)

MELK Discussion

Islington Mill and TENT invited Bjarne Bare, co-founder of MELK an artist run initiative for new Scandinavian photography based in Oslo, to give a talk discussing the motivations behind MELK, photographers in the region and the his views on the position of the medium today.

Islington Mill strives to work with and build ongoing relationships with locally based collectives such as TENT. TENT is an initiative developed by Adam Murray of Preston Is My Paris and Oliver Whitehead formerly of Photoworks that looks at developing creative networks, providing pedagogical events and presenting commissioned work.

Psychic Rhythm Abduction Tour

A massive thank you to everyone that came to Psychic Rhythm Abduction on Saturday night. We had an absolute blast with the Initiation Room, table of neverending cakes, performances and lots and lots of dancing. We are thrilled that you joined us, take a look at the photos here...

Positively Destructive, Volkov Commanders and CHERYL have now taken Psychic Rhythm Abduction on tour to Berlin's Monster Ronson's (July 27) and Barcelona's Hangar (August 2) to initiate more people into the ways of Islington Mill.



As part of the GNOD residency Got No Obvious Destination, sound artist Callum Higgins transformed our club space into a fully immersive, light reactive environment. Using the PA system and light sensitive noise creating circuits people were directed into to the room in small groups equipped with only a torch to guide them around. Their very presence and behaviour in the room manipulated and shaped their unique experience.

Watch the video

Vondelpark Review

Words by Max Pilley

Islington Mill tends to be home to the more freaky, experimental end of the live music spectrum in Manchester, so this visit of London-based indie-electronic trio Vondelpark is a little against type. Their music is vibey and textured rather than intensive or otherworldly, but on this occasion the setting works a treat. Opening the night are Bloom, recent signings to the Salford label SWAYS. It’s an unlikely support choice (ignoring the obvious local connection), but still an appetising way to set the mood...

Aliyah Hussain

Islington Mill resident and friend Aliyah Hussain is currently undertaking a 3 week residency creating new work at La Escocesa in Barcelona as part of our residency exchange programme. She is a member of the performance collective Volkov Commanders and recently had a double page spread in The Skinny which you can take a look at here. We couldn't be prouder of her and look forward to hearing about her exhibition.

Exhibition Review

The Glowing World Of Snotboobs and The Severed Toe

Words by Holly Casio

Yiiikes is a brand new art collective formed by the most amazing rad grrrls: Seleena Laverne Daye, Kandy Diamond, andAlison Erika Forde. Individually, they are completely amazing artists all working in different mediums. The Glowing World of Snotboobs... is their first exhibition as a collective and all the details surrounding the exhibition had been super hush-hush leading up to opening night. I had no idea what to expect from the exhibition. I knew it would be glo in the dark, I knew it would be a mixture of large scale textile pieces incorporating knit and felt, as well as painted pieces, and above all I knew it would be FUN...

FutureEverything Review

Words by Leah Connoly

Islington Mill, one of the city’s best kept secrets housed next to a primary school, a fleet of takeaways and just a tangent off Salford’s recognisable Chapel Street playing host to tonight’s ensemble, the venue is a columned basement-like room with a wonderfully intimate capacity of 250, Lapalux is first up on stage to bring his auditory textures of otherworldly electronica to the forefront. 

Delivering tracks from his Brainfeeder debut ‘Nostalchic’, Stuart Howard manages to enchant the packed-out venue with his blissful summits of sonic electronica, omissions of screwed beats and even the induction of provocative remixes that make it hard to believe that this is a one man show of epic proportions.

FutureEverything Review

Words by Lauren Strain

Jackknifing from his smogged-out, strapped down hip-hop samples on the one hand to his oily, slick oscillations on the other, Lapalux deals in textures as in so many swatches of fabric. Backlit by a blinding lightshow and wrestling with his hardware, he is a bold, even cocky physical presence. Album highlight Guuurl gets the room in gear, but it's nothing compared to the frenzy that Berlin trio Brandt Brauer Frick – with help from vocalist-cum-hype man Om'Mas Keith – induce with their extraordinary mania of wounding, techno-derived rhythms and shamanic, mesmeric sense of build and release. It's 11pm on a Wednesday night, and it's raining from the ceiling...

6 Million Ways of Getting into the Arts

Words by Sandra Bouguerch

On Tuesday 12th February I attended the FREE event called 6 Million Ways of Getting into the Arts, in conversation with Alessandro Vincentelli and artist Hew Locke at Islington Mill. The event was run by Castlefield Gallery who are working with Quays Culture to programme a series of presentations encouraging creative practitioners based in Greater Manchester and beyond.

Hew Locke is an international artist who currently lives and works in London and Alessandro Vincentelli has for the last eight years been the Curator of Exhibitions & Research at the BALTIC in Gateshead. Alessandro has developed and curated solo exhibitions with internationally renowned artists.  In 2011 he was co-curator of the Turner Prize when BALTIC hosted the prize...


CASTLEFIELD GALLERY Exhibition Preview: Thursday 7th February 6-8pm

Continues 8th-17th February

Our very own Maurice Carlin (Visual Arts Director) has been selected as the first Castlefield Gallery Launch Pad Solo Show. Carlin was selected through open submission by a panel including Bryan Biggs, Director of the Bluecoat. Carlin's exhibition will feature new work exploring medium of print, publishing and performance often produced within the public realm. Launch Pad offers a prestigous opportunity to CG Associate members to use the gallery as a test bed for the production, display and consumption of contemporary art. 

GNOD in The Guardian!

We are proud as some heavily spiked punch that our very own GNOD were Guardian's New Band Of The Day. They say some lovely things and compare them to some wonderful people. Here's a snippet for you.

"Before you've even heard Gnod you can sort of tell they're going to be purveyors of ambient sludge, of prog-metal, of murky motorik psych-drone space-rock. You can tell that Julian Cope might be a fan, that reviewers are going to be drawing comparisons with Ash Ra Tempel, and that they would make people come away from their concerts saying things like: "My head is throbbing like a stained glass window-lined grotto of unconventional thought and atavistic proto-religious impulses." Read the rest of the article here.

Boris Review

Words by Adam Stone

Could I really start this review without ruminating upon the significance of Japan? A nation that is endlessly fascinating to ‘Westerners’, just as the West and its popular culture is equally as magnetic to the Japanese. And who better to illustrate contemporary Jap-Rock (to use Julian Cope’s term) than the mighty Boris? Ever since the forced encroachment of western aesthetics via American imperialism into Japanese sensibilities from the early 20th century, the quake isles have been a mind-swirling and often amusing melting-pot of east meets west. For most serious listeners, Boris typify the ultra-Japanese take on pop and rock with super-cool explorations into genres that could too lazily be termed certain labels like ‘indie’ or ‘sludge’ or ‘pop-punk’...

COAT 8th Birthday; First Night Review

Words from Folly Of Youth

"I'm not very good at ending songs". Apostille aka Michael Kasparis manages the intense parts before those abrupt endings well though. In ripped silk shirt and over pre-programmed industrial beats and shrill stabs of noisy drones, he paces the stage and sings (rants) about reputations, appeasement and contempt. It is not Swans loud but is still shaking the denim of my jeans with its concentration of dark rage. The final song introduces some tuneful melody to proceedings – would have liked to see more of this light-and-dark rather than just the bleak, threatening blast...

Kult Country Review

Words by Mike Emerson

From the record label that introduced us to Money and Great Waves, you have to expect something brilliant from Kult Country. Sways records have made sure the hype has been duly distributed for this Islington Mill feature, and as I lean against a pylon amongst the sea of knitted jumpers, this venue’s brilliance is firmly conveyed. The former cotton spinning mill provides an appreciated getaway from the commercial manifesto which most city centre venues seem to follow… a vast, underground chamber in which everyone resides for the music...

Land Observations Review

Words by Sophie Arnold

James Brooks, aka Land Observations, stunned a small and intimate crowd with a performance of his debut album Roman Roads IV-XI on Saturday night.

The gig was part of a special event to showcase a visual art project by Off with Their Heads and Volkov Commanders entitled Black/White\Light for which attendees were requested to wear white in order to create a white ‘slate’ to allow the intricate and colourful projections to dominate.

The entrance hall was filled with white boiler suits, eerily hanging from the low ceiling for visitors to don in case they were unaware of the white theme. The old Mill building has not so much been renovated but rejuvenated and now houses an underground club, several floors of artist studios and a shabby chic loft with exposed wood beams. As a preview to how bizarre the evening would get, the loft was home to a gallery that boasted both installations and paintings in a setting that sends a shiver down your spine...

Last Harbour Review

Words by Anne Louise Kershaw

Following immediately from the release of their EP ‘Replacements’, Last Harbour set out on a UK mini-tour and hit Manchester on the 24th October.

Having recently commissioned visual artist and photographer Andrew Brooks to produce live projections for the tour, the Manchester collective, not content to simply perform music, came bearing delicious visual gifts.

Anyone familiar with their album will know that its production was personal, hands-on and site-specific. Having been recorded in a church – to benefit creatively from the acoustics and atmosphere of the place – the album comes complete with a screen-printed illustration of the exact location of each band member during the recording process....

Where is Kylie?

We can officially say we know where Kylie is hiding.

A few weeks back we opened our doors to Coronation St as they took a shining to our Engine House. They were a pleasure to work with and here is a little backstage video from their filming. If you watch the Omnibus on Sunday you should be able to get a sneaky peek of the scene that was filmed here.


Dan Deacon Review

Words by Robert Cooke

You know when you go see a band and you leave thinking “well, that was fun,” because the guitarist played well and they did all your favourites and maybe you had a little bit of a dance and a sing-along? Well you’re wrong. That’s not really fun. Not like going to see Dan Deacon is fun, because going to see Dan Deacon is more fun than you will ever have when you’re not at a Dan Deacon gig...


Noise Festival Review

Words by Renee Richards

Salford Noise had a great atmosphere with a surprising mix of age groups in the 150 strong audience. This was the final night of the three-day student music festival, which ended on a high note at Islington Mill. 

I was surprised at the mixture of ages busting moves on the dance floor with lots of rapturous applause in all the right places to fuel this Salford shindig.  Mums and dads, aunties, cousins, old friends and new friends formed the crowd alongside the expected university turnout. The clapping was not token, it was heartfelt, and came as a real thank you to the entertainment on offer.


Hunx & His Punx

Words by Vienna Famous

"“How about this? Too gay?”

I’m running my outfit choices for Hunx past my girlfriend, Esther. I’m partial to some high camp, but she wants me to pass unharmed through the football fans swarming in Manchester today. I’m never sure how to reconcile the different identities in me. Man/Woman, Straight/Gay, all just different shades of the same thing. 50 shades of gay"


Barn Owl Review

To those in the know around Manchester's underground music scene, the name Fat Out Til You Pass Out is more generally associated with noisy, extreme bands called things like Drunk In Hell, Child Abuse and 100% Beefcock & The Titsburster (the latter topping Fat Out's fantastically weird and wonderful looking bill at The Crescent for Sounds From The Other City - we're sure it's only a matter of time before they're onto our official favourite vaguely offensive band name of this week, Gay Witch Abortion).

So what's all this then? Candles? On tables? Well, as we've touched on here before (not least during Jasper TX's incredible performance at Sacred Trinity last week) there's a shorter distance than you'd immediately have thought between the hardest, most sinister genre of recent years Black Metal and its brow-furrowing odd bedfellow Ambient.


Spring is Coming

Well what a great season we've had here at the Mill. It’s been our best start to the year ever, with the Blackest Ever Black label showcase, Country Club, Nat Baldwin and Herbal Sessions amongst the highlights. The art exhibition ‘Dynamic Death Party’ which ran throughout the season was really special too. Dark and mysterious in tone… where else are you gonna see art that makes you want to start over at 2am?

In line with our new seasonal opening pattern, events are now on hold until 29 March.

Islington Mill is not only an art and event space. As well as 50 artist studios there are also a number of flats here at the Mill with residents such as Kim who runs catering business, FOOD by Kim and works with Cracking Good Food, as well artist, lecturer and photographer David Williams and members of the band, Gnod. These folks form a big part of the community and feel of Islington Mill and we think it's fitting that we launch our Easter programme with a photography exhibition by David Williams who has lived here for several years. As well as being a critically acclaimed photographer, David has single-handedly been responsible for all the beautiful plants that make our courtyard an amazing urban oasis during the Summer months.

Last Summer’s blooms form the subject matter for David’s work and will give you an idea of how stunning our garden can look. His exhibition will be open throughout the Easter Season – and to keep the courtyard looking gorgeous this year, we are hosting a Garden Party on Thursday 5 April to raise funds to contribute to the further development and maintenance of the garden.


After what has been a great 2011 for the Mill, we have decided to change things around a bit for 2012. This year, we are going to experiment with a new seasonal opening pattern. By changing the ‘look’ of our gallery and club space as well the Mill's opening times, we hope to present an even more exciting and cohesive experience when you come to visit us, as well as a programme that includes only the very best in music and visual arts.  

After selling out our three arena New Year’s Eve party we will be closed until January 25th. We will then reopen for our first season of 2012 on Wednesday 25th January with a preview of our new gallery show 'Dynamic Death, showcasing new and emerging young artists from the North in a building-wide exhibition titled ‘Dynamic Death’. During this  season the Mill will be open for gigs, parties and events from Wednesdays till Sundays until February 26th. Some of the region’s finest promoters including Bohemian Grove, Now Wave, Herbal Sessions, Faktion, and I Am will bring you the best in live music, dj's and parties.


Sounds from the Other City 2012

Sunday 6th May: 3pm to 3am

This year's Sounds From The Other City was the best yet, from Black Belles's brewing up a storm and Volokov Commanders confusing yet astounding passers by to PINS packing out the club space and CHERYL beginning their month long residency in the gallery with fake blood and glitter.

Images, videos and reviews will be uploaded soon to the Sounds From The Other City website.

First review of the New Year!

Friday 23rd December: the night before the night before Christmas. The party season is well and truly under way, but it’s not really Christmas yet. There’s no sitting around, feeling bored and consuming more food in one day than you have done all week. This is the fun bit of Christmas, making time for friends, getting drunk and dancing around merrily – cue: DJ Derek. The 68 year old DJ took a liking to the black music that was coming to the fore in the early 60s as a young man in Bristol (such as Reggae, Rocksteady and Soul). The man has a record collection to make any DJ feel humble and will ensure bookings till he kicks the bucket. cont...

Simply. The best

Woohoo! We have been crowned 'Salford's No.1 Cultural Haven'. Yep, old rough and unpopular us. We are very excited about this as we think it is quite an accolade.

The Best Of Salford is voted by members of the community and celebrates the best that this fair city can offer which is a hell of a lot. We look forward to working with these guys more in the future to really show newcomers to the area what we are all about!

Susie MacMurray Solo Exhibition

We are very proud of the fact that Agnew's Gallery in London is hosting an exhibition of Susie MacMurray's work. Titled 'The Eyes Of The Skin' this exhibition will be an amazing chance to see a collection of Susie's drawings, sculptures and exhibitions in one place. 

The exhibition opens next week, Tuesday 8th November through to the 4th of December, so if you are down in the Big Smoke you  should definately check it out.

Xmas at The Mill

Christmas at The Mill saw the wealth of creative talent based here showcase their work and offer a range of unusual, one-of-a-kind gifts and treats. The Mill's residents offered a range of beautiful, limited-edition pieces, from ceramics and jewellery to photography and printmaking. There was music from members of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, mulled wine, hearty homemade soup and of course mince pies!

Thank you to everyone that came, we had a lovely time and we hope that you did too.

Inspiration = Motivation

Words from Northern Comfort

So tonight I went to Islington Mill to an event run by Beep Industries. It was a talk by Aaron Draplin – founder of Portland’s Draplin Design Company and co-creator of Field Notes.

Now – got to say straight away – I wasn’t aware of him really until a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, I know. A friend of mine posted a link to a video of his, I then read his blog, then his twitter, then he posted that he was in Manchester this week. So I bought tickets, quickly passed on the baby to Elisabeth and drove over to the Mill.

Cutting to the chase – man was I glad I went. A great, funny, super-talented, inspirational guy. Above all what struck me was his sheer passion, the sheer joy and love he had that all day he could work for himself, making things that he loved and live that way. It was clear that this was a privilege to him; that the ability to do this, and to work and live like this is not something to be taken for granted, but something to be cherished and loved and celebrated.

Now he’s about 12 months or so older than I, but waaaay ahead of me on this thing. He’s a way better designer, way more experienced, etc. And sometimes, as I’m going greyer, losing hair and am constantly tired, that could get one down. But actually, it was all just super inspiring. Just the idea that your life can be what you make of it, if you work hard. I’m not saying anybody can do anything, but as someone who went completely freelance in March this year, and has a 6 month old baby, that’s genuinely inspirational.

I started freelancing with no clients and from a job which wasn’t the one I freelance in (so I wasn’t ‘known’ in the industry), and knowing I had a baby on the way, and a mortgage to pay. Scary. But it’s working. Slowly, but it’s working. And I can get up in the morning, I don’t need to put on a suit, or even get dressed. My commute is to my computer with a coffee. I can listen to whatever I want, work the hours I need to, spend time with Evie and my fiancé, catch up on shit on the internet without having to hide my computer screen, and what’s the worst I have to do? Make more amends than I’d like to a client’s work? Have to chase an invoice a couple of times? So what?

Also – it shows that if you work hard, work like it means something, like you’re the client, then you can produce great stuff that you love, and have a job that you love. And in these days of ‘a missing decade’, etc, that’s quite something.

So thanks to Draplin, and thanks to Beep. Shame more people weren’t there, you missed out. It’s sending me back to my work inspired, fired up, and ready to work harder and better. But not for some shareholders, or a boss, or whatever. But for me.


Praises are sung by Cutteruption

On Bonfire Night, I found myself at Off With Their Heads at Islington Mill watching one of the gnarliest musical peformances of recent memory. I’m not in the habit of referring to things as ‘gnarly’ but if there’s one band deserving of the epithet, Organ Freeman could be it.

I’m a big fan of immersive performances: ones where the line between the audience and the performer is blurred, both spatially and figuratively. I have been ever since I saw Jean Genet bouncing up and down on a stage wearing tit-tape and squirting the audience with water pistols in a pub in Leeds a few years back.  In my own performances, one of the most enjoyable things can be wandering into the audience’s space and seeing what happens.

If you get a chance to see Organ Freeman, do. They combine live drumming with hyper electronic backings, blend pop hits into their own original numbers and dance like they’ve got ants in their pants. They also drenched themselves in an avalanche of talcum powder, launched illuminated balloons into the audience and menaced the audience with their fleshy pincers to an instructional dance called The Wirral Crab.


New/Build Review

Review by Quenched Music

The first time I saw Suzuki Method was probably while Quenched Music was still just a blog and it is incredible to see how far they have come over such a short space of time.

To be honest the first two bands Working for a Nuclear Free City and The Rial To Burns absolutely tore the house down and everyone was dancing wildly to these two bands. Both really impressed me they were very original, yet not niche which is always a fear.

I hope to hear more from these two groups of musicians as they flourish during the following year.

Suzuki Method have had rapid success in that their debut EP sold out, which was a decisive statement of intent. Each of their tracks get the crowd dancing as well as posses a certain intelligence to them, which make the hardened music critic take a moment to notice them.

The smoky atmosphere of Islington Mill just added to the overall refreshing and vibrant performance of Suzuki Method. It is no wonder why soon the world will be their oyster as their originality these days transcends genre, which is a rarity these days.

The main track that got the crowd invading the stage was ‘You asked for the moon and you got it,’ simple electronic bliss coupled with strong distinctive vocals a trademark Suzuki Method track.

The night was kept in check by the Djing skills of the Salford City Radio gentlemen, a mixture of tracks to keep everyone’s appetites moist during the set breaks as well as after all the musicians had finished performing.

I look forward to the next Helmets for Men gig as they do not seem to disappoint.


Reviews in The Guardian

Check out these lovely reviews of Islington Mill that were in THe Gusrdian earlier in the year. There is one piece on the cool and trendy things to do in and around Manchester, where we are rightly described as a 'creative hub of a minor cultural renaissance' and the other is a lovely review of our 2 storey open plan B&B. Exciting things are being planned for the B&B which will be announced very soon!

Book a room now in our B&B

The B&B is housed in a converted workshop with an open plan contemporary feel. With two double bedrooms and a dormitory room sleeping six the B&B can house a maximum of ten at any one time. Each room has ensuite facilities and there is a communal kitchen and dinning area for guests to share. The B&B predominantly houses bands and artists visiting the city, recent guests have included Billy Childish, David Medalla, and Roger Cardinal and musical stars Earth, Salem and Group Doueh. Housed in the midst of Islington Mill artist’s studios, the B&B provides a lively and alternative introduction to the city. If you are interested in booking a room please contact Morry on 07917714369.


Screen Printing & Applique Workshops

The powers of One69A and RAG are collaborating to give you the opportunity to design, print and create your own tshirt. Dont miss out on this fantastic opportunity to learn from the masters.

The price is £15 for one person or £25 for 2 people and more information is on our events page which you can see by clicking here. But remember you must book your place on any of these workshops and they do sell out so, please email

SFTOC Review

The walk from the bright lights of Manchester is short, and if the signs didn’t tell you so, you’d still think you were in the rainy city. For many it may as well be a different country, with Urban Mancunia seemingly frightened to step outside of its Northern Quarter comfort zone for any length of time. Whilst some would shy away from the risk of doing anything away from the usual haunts, Sounds from the Other City is a festival that absolutely revels in its outsider status, an obvious link to the new music is around to champion. So whilst Maps festival took residency in some of the more bizarre venues dotted around Manchester, a whole other world of sound lay just over a canal.

As with any festival, the weather seems to conspire to dampen the hopes of a carnival atmosphere, but whilst the threat of rain doesn’t ever really show up, the bitter cold does. The walk to collecting a wristband is immediately brightened by some ArtYarn knitted animals hanging from a tree – a blue octopuses’ awkward smile cancelling out the grim numbness of the fingers.

After huddling around for a wristband, it’s time for the first band of the day. Using the excellent SFTOC special edition of Shrieking Violets as a guide, The Angel Centre is found with enough time to browse through Salford ‘Zine Library’s collection whilst taking in the slightly bizarre surroundings. Wonderfully, there have been no efforts made to conceal the fact that Girl Mountain is playing in what is essentially a canteen. Indeed, as he opens up his set, people take the opportunity to grab a late lunch, whilst the workers openly look bemused at what’s going on in front of them.

Consisting of one man, a synth and a whole lot of presets, the room is filled with a cacophonous racket whilst the crowd slowly swells. Girl Mountain is far from the easy listening that you might want to ease you into the day, coming across like a more brutal, sociopathic Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. As far as statements go it’s pretty daring, and after half an hour of feedback, fuzzy synth, distorted vocals, stilted rapping and a claim to be sponsored by Sanitary pads, the set is ended with the refrain of ‘I’ve not got cancer/I’m just thin’.

Down the road at the Old Pint Pot, the locals set about watching the football whilst the masses crowd on the floor above for the start of the most hyped line-up of the festival. There’s no room to move as Dutch Uncles rip into


their set. They might look as though they’ve been dragged backwards through a charity shop and have some of the most bizarre dancing around, but they’ve got the tunes to back it up. In the flesh is where their quirky math-pop really comes to the fore, all angular guitars and falsetto vocals. Showcasing new material, the band have taken huge strides from their earlier work and understandably, the cramped crowd seem to love every second.

The gamble on seeing the enigmatic Wu Lyf on the same bill means that the chance to see Jo Rose is the ornate surrounds of St. Phil’s Church is pointlessly missed as it’s announced the band have cancelled, so the opportunity is taken to visit Old Pint Pot’s downstairs and have a listen to The Cavalcade. Shamelessly dream pop, it’s difficult not to fall for their swirling sound. Their debut album due later in the year could be one of the more exciting releases of the summer.

Despite the many drawbacks of purpose built gig venues – the lack of soul, purposeful sense of identity and overpriced drinks – they do have some advantages. The queue for the toilets as Tim and Sam’s Tim and Sam band with Tim and Sam opened their set would’ve killed for a decent amount of grotty cubicles. In every other aspect, the church surpasses pretty much any other kind of venue you could imagine, and the acoustics mean that Tim and Sam’s wondering instrumentals sound like they’ve found their home.

After nipping off for some chips, it’s up to The Crescent for a delicious vegan cupcake and The Graveyard Shift. Coming on around 20 minutes late, they batter the audience with easily the loudest performance of the day. There’s some rockabilly in their sound, but they built their own unique, ramshackle house on a bluesy base. The only thing guaranteed at festivals is that set times will conspire against you, and just as the band get into their stride, it’s time for Divorce’s set for Lamb and Wolf. The five piece absolutely dominate the floor of Islington Mill with their fierce reinvention of noise metal. The relentless Juice of Youth is an obvious highlight, but it’s a flawless set that gets a few people jumping and the rest nodding along.


As the sun goes down and the chill intensifies, it’s back to Bring on the Dancing horses at the Old Pint Pot for Egyptian Hip Hop. Chronically overcrowded, the bouncers are called down to keep order by the time the band start playing. Looking like a collection of friend’s younger brothers, in amongst all the blogs and NME articles it’s easy to overlook the fact that they’re actually incredibly talented. Proficient on several instruments, they alternate between the breakdowns of a major rock band and the experimental posturing that has garnered them such a following. Instead of getting swept away by the praise, it seems to have grounded them, as they put in an engaging performance that the teeming queue at the door are desperate to be a part of.

Whilst internet bloggers have been all over Egyptian Hip Hop, Islet have purposely stayed away from online. Having only recently started their own website and still without the industry-standard MySpace, they’ve got their following on the back of a series of emphatic live performances. Blessing Postcards from Manchester’s stage, they’re unlike anything else on the bill – or, indeed, anything else in music at the minute. At one point a member of the band takes a rattle, saunters through the crowd and cowers underneath the stairs for a couple of moments, before rejoining Islet on stage. It’s weird, but experimental is what they do, and brilliantly so, being primitive and tribal whilst keeping tuneful. Above all else, it’s a feat.

Headliners downstairs at Islington Mill, word about Chrome Hoof has really got out. The sorrow of a one in, one out policy is compounded by the band themselves, dressed in sparkling silver robes, passing by on their way in. Admittedly, they sound as astonishing as you’d expect a nine-piece experimental orchestra to, but even their otherworldly noises can’t detract from being at the back of a crammed venue and the gnawing pain in the feet. 8 hours and 9 bands later the walk back to Manchester commences, but not without constant reminders of what a spectacularly individual concept sounds from the Other City is – a few hundred people crowd around a Manchester Scenewipe street show whilst knitted artyarn bombs cling to railings. There are many festivals that tread similar ground, but none of them come close to doing it with the deftness and personality that Sounds from the Other City has in buckets. If 2010’s edition is anything to go by, it’d be a crime to miss out next year.

From - The Pigeon Post

Rowf! Rowf! Rowf! in the Guide

Rowf! Rowf! Rowf!5
Islington Mill, Salford
Ears can get tired, but for eager clubbers suffering auditory fatigue due to unavoidable unpleasantness at work - heavy industrial machinary or the in-office stereo being permanently tuned to Radio 1 - recuperating in a quiet space of a weekend night is seldom the cure.  Annual freakfest Rowf Rowf Rowf! might be.  The Golden Lab label specialise in the less well trodden paths of contemporary music, as the drone, weird folk, psych, improv and free rock occurring here might suggest.  The artists delivering the sounds such as Brooklyn's Blues Control, dub/folk singer Staphanie Hladowski, sound experimenters Bridget Hayden and Blood Stereo, would be recognised by those who read the Wire rather than watch it, but with only 300 places available for this mind melt, plus the Gnod DJs providing kraut rock, dub, psych and world music into the small hours, there should be a healthy attendance.
Marc Rowlands
Islington Mill, James Street, Sat & Sun

Perimeter, the Guardian's pick of the week

Perimeter Islington Mill, Salford, Friday, A celebration of leftfield pop music, old and new, from Blondie, World of Twist and teh B-52's to the Whip and MGMT.  Ace, weird pop group Fol Chen Play Live Early doors

Perimeter Salford
Promising even bigger and better things, lineups have been released and tickets will be close to selling out for some nights at the returning, efficient Warehouse Project, a hugely enjoyable addition to MAnchester's annual clubbing programme.  Less than two miles away in Salford, another warehouse project is helping to revive that city's cultural contributions.  In a perhaps less sterile environ than its legal rave brethren, arts space Islington Mill manages to attain more of the exciting, spontaneous feel of the original earlly 90s warehouse parties, drawing a cool clubbing crowd away from Manchester as a result.  The variety of nights held there may account for the ever present sense of surprise (as does the finely stocked, well priced bar).  This Friday's live guests, werido Californian pop group Fol Chen seem perfectly placed to kick off proceedings at Perimeter, a celebration of leftfield pop, old and new.
Marc Rowlands
Islington Mill, James Street, Fri

Ting Tings stuff

The Ting Tings release there first single since signing to Columbia on March 3rd.  Great DJ is available to download for a limited time and there will be a 1500 7" vinyl for release.

As part of the single release the band are gathering up old 7" singles, which are going to be reversed and used as the new covers for the single.

Some of these have already been done and you will be be able to buy these on any of their upcoming NME tour dates and the remainder in selected stores. In order to get a copy you need to bring along an old 7" to swap at the gigs. If you can't make it to any of the gigs but want to get involved by recycling an old gem anyway, drop an email to

The band also have loads of stuff coming up including live sessions on Radio 1 with Jo Whiley and Zane Lowe - more info on


ArtYarn Website

Artyarn would like to share with you a link to their website:

Here you will find out about all of their projects from the past 12 months.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have assisted in making Artyarns first 12 months in operation fun and creative and for those of you have given the support and opportunities for them to make their projects.

The Metamorphosis of Islington Mill

We would like to thank Arts Council England, Central Salford Urban Regeneration Company,  Anna Scrine, Architects Britch and everyone invovled with supporting the refurbishment of  Ground Floor of Islington Mill and giving us new toilets! amongst other things, but new toilets! let's here it for new toilets! and full disability access! Woop woop! a nice floor and cobbles that you don't twist your feet on! yes! that's right! and many other improvements.