Natalie McCool is one of Liverpool’s brightest new talents, Getintothis’ Joseph Viney met with her to talk about her new single, a national tour and working with Bernard Butler.
It would be fair to say that things are looking up for Natalie McCool.
The last 12 months have been kind to the Liverpool songstress. Her eponymous debut LP was released in April and, in her own words, “things have been absolutely non-stop ever since!”
She was lucky enough to work with ex-Suede guitarist and Libertines producer Bernard Butler, fulfilling something of an ambition held since childhood.
“Bernard is really great, he is very laid back; I couldn’t believe it when he laid down some guitar on my single Thin Air. I was made up!
I used to listen to my sister’s Suede CD when I was about nine, so it’s pretty amazing to know that he played on my track. He also likes a pint of Guinness which in my book makes him a top fella!”
An album in the bag, working with an idol and nothing but good press by October would be enough for some people. It would cap off a fantastic year and with one eye on the slow road towards the new year, most would be willing to take their foot off the pedal.
Thankfully, Ms. McCool has a lot more determination than that, and her year will end with both the release of a one-off single and a national tour.
Her new single is her own breathless take of Billy Fury’s Wondrous Place. It turns out McCool owes the burgeoning days of her career to our homeboy Fury:
“Not only have I always really loved that song, I chose to cover it because when I was a student, I won some music funding from a charity set up in his name, by his mother and late brother. That helped me buy my laptop which I still use to work on music now.
Then by complete coincidence, as part of this year’s Threshold Festival, I was asked to perform two songs from rock critic Paul Du Noyer’s musical chronology Liverpool: Wondrous Place and one of the songs I chose was Wondrous Place.
I decided to really invert the song from Billy Fury’s original, and I really liked the track, so I started performing it at my live shows. After a while I thought, why not release it too?”
Why not indeed! Natalie’s version offsets creeping guitar loops with a close and intimate vocal, slowly building into a finale that could sit comfortably in between The xx and London Grammar.
It’s a thing of beauty, a genuine and well-crafted piece of art, but given McCool’s talent and plaudits, it’s no surprise at all.
As part of her tour, McCool plays the Kazimier on Thursday November 7.
Naturally, she has high hopes and expectations for the gig and the tour itself.
“Obviously I can’t wait to play the Kazimier. It’s always a great feeling to play in your home city.
I’m really looking forward to the Manchester show – at one of my favourite venues – The Castle Hotel.
I’m excited for our London show too. As I used to live there, it’s going to be great to see all my friends down there.”
Of course, being blessed with such a voice does have its drawbacks. There has to be a minimum of classic rock and roll hijinks.
This must put the skids on the fun quota, surely?
“I’m actually quite straightlaced anyway! I don’t like to drink alcohol if I have a show the next day, so I suppose I’ll be quite sober throughout it all I don’t think I could say the same for the rest of the band though!”
Well, we’ll just have to have one in your honour, Natalie.
For more information visit Natalie McCool’s official website.
Further reading on Getintothis:
Highfields, Wonderlust, Natalie McCool: Shipping Forecast, Liverpool
FestEVOL Part Two picture gallery feat. Natalie McCool
Liverpool Sound City 2013 review feat. Natalie McCool