Findlay photo by Ric Harris

Photo by Ric Harris

Natalie Findlay is just like your average twenty two year old. She likes going to festivals (having hit up Latitude three years in a row), going out with her friends around London, and yeah maybe one minor difference, she’s also the power vocals behind UK band Findlay. It’s all very très typique for a girl who grew up hanging around Manchester’s Northern Quarter, where without a doubt she was soaking in all that inspirational juice this city’s musical higherground has to offer. From a residency at The Castle Hotel, to a support slot for folk-heartthrob Jake Bugg, Findlay’s back in her old stomping grounds to open up for Mod-pop sensation Miles Kane and I’m backstage to catch up with her on how it’s all going.

Welcome home! Last time you were here at Ruby Lounge in the Spring you were headlining your own tour. I bet that’s a change! And what’s this about some guy vomiting in the crowd? I definitely didn’t catch that…

Thank you. It’s a bit weird to be back again, and this time I’m in the support dressing room! It’s funny. Yeah at that gig, someone vomited in the middle, like down the backs of some of my friends. I was just like, “Are you serious?!” We also played at Zoo [for Dot To Dot Manchester just recently]. I’ve never been there. I thought it was just a pub but they’ve got this massive room, it was really good actually. 

How has the tour with Miles Kane been? Do you two get a chance to hang out at all?

Yeah it’s been fun. Spread out but fun.Yeah Miles is really funny. It’s like a weird kind of northern alliance going on. All the bands from the North seem to tour together.

Can you expect all your friends and family to be at the gig tonight? Does that make you nervous?

Yeah they’ll be here. I think my mum and dad are coming. To be honest when I get on stage I kind of forget about everything, but I know they’re all in the crowd. I can see my mum like bobbing around! She’s having a better time than me!

When you’re in Manchester, where are some of your favourite spots to hang out?

Everytime I come back there’s like three new bars opened or something! I used to live on Oldham street and we always used to drink at The Castle Hotel. I did a residency there last year too. It was where I played my first ever gig as well, that venue is home to me.

How would you say Manchester, if at all, has shaped the sound of your music, given that it’s such a musically driven city?

Yeah it definitely has shaped me. Loads of my friends out here are in bands and its got such a musical heritage as well, you can’t go on a night out without hearing The Smiths or Joy Division. I think you have to be influenced by them. If you’re into good music you’re going to like those bands.

Findlay photo by Ric Harris

Photo by Ric Harris

{Laughs} It wasn’t a real affair, no. It was a Film Noir film about a guy and he has a wife and then he’d tell her that he was going to see his sister but it was really his mistress, and then the wife catches him and says “Your sister’s not your sister. I’ve seen the way you kiss her” so I took it from that.

Are a lot of your songs written about relationships?

I think it’s really difficult to write honestly when you want to write autobiographically. So I guess there’s snippets of real relationships but then a lot of them, I have too much respect to that past relationship to tell everyone about it. It’s easier to take the perspective of someone else in a different relationship and comment on that. I just like to tell a story, whether it’s about me, conspiracy theories or newspaper articles I’ve read

Do you write the music as well, or just the lyrics?

I write the lyrics but I’ve co-written some of the music with other people. I like collaborating with someone, it’s way more fun with others, rather than being really critical of yourself. Sometimes I just end up hating something that I’ve written and I get the reassurance from someone else that it’s good, and that I should add something else or change it up.

Are you performing with a new band or have you been together a while?

The lineup we have now has been like this for about a year and before that it was just a three-piece with drums, guitar and vocals. We’ve got a bass sound now and then I play guitar as well.

What element of performing would you say is most rewarding?

Travelling is really great and just having fun all the time. It doesn’t feel like work.

What would you say has been the biggest lesson learned since getting into the music business?

Try and sleep as much as possible and try not to get too drunk. Just to look after myself better, really. You can end up just totally running yourself down. I try to make the most of the time I have off with the people that I love. It’s hard to balance friends in a normal life because I’m going away so much and trying to juggle everyone, as well as my career.

Are you the type of songwriter who is easily influenced by what you’re currently listening to?

Oh yeah. I’m influenced by music that came out fifty years ago as much as I’m influenced by stuff that’s coming out right now. There are so many good bands that you go see and it’s so inspiring and you go home thinking ‘Shit, I want to better myself and be like them’ – which is why I got into music in the first place, going to shows when I was really really young and thinking how I want to do that one day.

What music can’t you get enough of right now? I read somewhere that you’re into Allah Las. They’re brilliant, aren’t they?

Yes, I went to see them, they’re amazing and it was so good. I like Mac DeMarco, seen him a couple of times, oh and Parquet Courts, I rinsed that record! They’re like if Jonathan Richman was a bit more punky, meets early Strokes with shouty lyrics.

So you’re headed off to Spain in the next few days to support Jake Bugg. Do you think you’ll get a chance to soak up the sun while you’re there?

Oh definitely. We’re taking the ferry from Mallorca to Ibiza which is like three hours in the middle of the sea so I’m looking forward to that. I’m definitely going to be burned though! I’m terrified of doing a gig with a burn it would be so painful.

So what’s next for you Miss Findlay? A full-length album in the works?

We’re releasing another EP at the back end of the summer, I think September and then hopefully the album will come out in the new year. I haven’t even thought of a name for our EP yet, I’ve been so busy!

Findlay’s EP Off & On is available now on iTunes. For more information and upcoming tour dates, check out

Brit Jean

One time time Gigs Editor over here at Silent Radio HQ. I've been music blogging and writing in Manchester for the past few years after graduating with a Literature degree back home in Canada. Never have I experienced a city quite like Manchester - so many great gigs and so little time! In 2014 I started an Independent Record label, Blak Hand Records with my best mate, and we aim to put out some of our favourite garage rock and psychedelic artists from both Liverpool and Manchester.