Foo Fighters support Manchester: We thought someone was taking the p*** about Emirates Old Trafford gig

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“It was insane to think that we probably had a song out at the time about why we hate a bus in Manchester, and they must have loved that.”

When Natalie Wardle, lead singer and bassist of Manchester punk band Loose Articles, heard that Foo Fighters wanted them as a support act, she thought the promoters were “taking the p***.” Fast forward a couple of years, and they are just weeks away from opening up for one of the biggest bands around. 

“I didn’t believe it until it was officially announced,” Natalie said. “Then there was one time we were driving to a gig in London and we passed a massive billboard with ‘Foo Fighters and Loose Articles’ on it. It felt pretty real then.  

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“What I’ve heard about how they selected us is that they asked the promoters for a list of local bands in Manchester. They listened and picked the bands, so it was insane to think that- we probably had a song out at the time about why we hate a bus in Manchester, and they must have loved that. It was crazy.”

Loose Articles are set for a big 2024Loose Articles are set for a big 2024
Loose Articles are set for a big 2024 | Loose Articles

Most of Loose Articles met through handing out leaflets for a club night in Manchester whilst attending university. They discovered they shared similar music tastes and could play instruments. Their conclusion? They started a band.  

“We started by practising in a room above the Castle pub, because Tree, who used to be in the band, worked in the pub,” Natalie said. “They let us use their staff area to acoustically write songs for acoustic practice. Once Louise joined we sorted a pay-as-you-go studio in Denton.”

Loose Articles have been a feature of the Manchester music scene for several years now, one Natalie has seen change and enjoys being part of.

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“It’s really nice. I was in a band before this one, over 10 years ago, and I feel like it’s changed so much,” she said. “When I was in the other band, it felt more competitive, but now everyone seems to get that the music industry is very competitive and everyone seems to get on better. It feels as though everyone is there to help each other out. If a band releases a single, all the other bands post about it on their social media and everyone goes to each other’s shows.”

Bands on the scene have plenty hurdles in their way to overcome, but Natalie believed there was one that was a constant. 

She said: “A big challenge with bands is always the money. Everyone’s trying their hardest to make it. We’re signed to a  little independent label, we have booking agents and press support- but we’ve never made a penny off our band. We’re probably in debt half the time and have to scrape money together by playing lots of gigs. It’s always money that’s a bit of a strain. 

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters PIC: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty ImagesDave Grohl of the Foo Fighters PIC: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters PIC: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

“At the end of the day, it is technically a job. Any band turning up to soundcheck at 2/3pm and staying until 10/11pm, it’s like a full-time job having to do this, and no-one is getting paid for it. Everyone is doing what they do as a day job and then having the band stuff on the side.”

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The members of Loose Articles also have day jobs, but Natalie added that their dream is to be able to turn the band into their full-time gig.

“I work doing marketing for a music venue in Manchester, working a 9-5 job and begging to get time away to work with the band,” she said. “Erin is a teacher, Louise is a designer, Abbie works on the bar at one of the venues in Manchester- we need to do these jobs to be able to get by, but we’ve reached the point now where it’s like ‘how far can we push it?’ in terms of asking for time off to do our unpaid second job. 

“The dream would be to have the band as a fulltime job. It’s the dream and the aim. We can kind of see ourselves doing it by making ourselves skint in the process. We love what we’re doing and we’re so passionate about it. We do extra bits with the band, we have a project called ‘Kick Like A Girl’ where we inspire women, anyone who identifies as women or non-binary who want to get into music. This is a bigger thing than the band.”   

Loose Articles will support Foo Fighters on Thursday night, June 13, at Emirates Old Trafford alongside Wet Leg. Courtney Barnett and Chroma open up for Dave Grohl and the gang on Saturday, June 15.

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