​bunkerpop to bleakrave: lonelady brings her experimental manchester club night to london

As part of her residency in the Rifle Range at Somerset House, LoneLady relocates Shutters Down! from the urban wastelands of the north to subterranean London crypt the Deadhouse this Saturday night.

by Charlotte Gush
24 February 2017, 3:21pm

Manchester's post-punk pop-funk master LoneLady brings her occasional club night Shutters Down! to the Deadhouse crypt under Somerset House this Saturday night, as part of her residency in Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace for artists. Dubbed 'Transmissions From A Wilderness State Of Mind', the event will transform the subterranean space into an atmospheric installation with a soundtrack of "music shaped by post-industrial landscapes".

"I have built a new studio system incorporating some analogue equipment, combining machines from different eras, and figuring out how it all works," LoneLady says of what she's been working on. Ahead of the club night, i-D dropped the artist an email to find out more about Shutters Down! and what we can expect on Saturday night...

How did Shutters Down! start, and what did you want it to be?
I spend so much time in semi-derelict buildings and wilderness landscapes it feels natural to make creative use of these spaces and celebrate them. I think they can re-connect a person to a sense of playfulness, magic and wonder, away from the 'ordinary' world. Shutters Down! is a shapeshifting event, its programme and location different each time, but the connecting thread is that it takes place in unusual or derelict spaces, and it feels bespoke, a one-off, semi-secret event.

Where has Shutters Down! been held previously, and what happened at the events?
The first Shutters Down! took place in my then studio HQ in a small mill on the Manchester-Salford border, overlooked by a ruined tower, and the looming Strangeways prison. It is a bleak but evocative space. LoneLady played live, and Stephen Mallinder (Cabaret Voltaire / Wrangler) DJ-ed late into the night. I made a map for people to find the location, and the ruined tower came in very useful as a landmark; about 200 people navigated the wilderness to find it.

What do you find so compelling about the 'urban wilderness' of post-industrial landscapes?
It's a case of being resourceful with the environment that surrounds me; landscapes that at first seem unremarkable and derelict over time reveal their treasures, if you're receptive. Walking the outskirts of Manchester became an almost daily ritual whilst writing my last album on Warp, Hinterland. Somehow I found it was a way to invoke magic and meaning… let the imagination roam as it did when I was a child.

What do you have planned for the event at Somerset House, and why does the Deadhouse suit the club night?
Lo-fi atmospherics, myself and John Doran (The Quietus) will be DJing post-punk and 'bleakrave' sounds, there'll be a short set from new spoken word/avant noise project Vanishing (Tombed Visions), and lots of projected moving images animating the space. The Deadhouse is a 17th century stone crypt with lots of dark recesses and turnings. A very Gothic space, I think it will lend itself very well to a playful wilderness haunting.

Shutters Down! is in the Deadhouse at Somerset House this Saturday 25 February. Tickets are available here.

Read: Meet Manchester's creative collaborators


Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Dan Wilton

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