Hey! Manchester promotes gigs by folk, Americana and experimental bands from around the world in Manchester, England. Read more here, see below for our latest shows, check out our previous shows, contact us, or join our mailing list, above.

Upcoming shows: Kiran Leonard... Karl Blau... Hey! Manchester at Festival No.6... Danny & The Champions Of The World... Eleanor Friedberger... Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards... Guadalupe Plata... John Murry... Lawrence Arabia... Ultimate Painting... Meilyr Jones... Skinny Lister... Freakwater... Angel Olsen... Simone Felice... Jenny Hval... Tom Brosseau... Public Service Broadcasting... Peter Broderick... Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker... Amber Arcades... Haley Bonar... Emanuel and The Fear... Merchandise... The Wave Pictures... The Lovely Eggs... Will Varley... Kristin Hersh... Ryley Walker... BC Camplight... Robert Ellis... Steve Gunn... Beans on Toast... The Handsome Family...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 25 August 2016
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

Following his sold-out show in March, we’re delighted to be working with Kiran Leonard once again!

Kiran-Leonard-Deaf-Institute-Manchester

Kiran Leonard has signed to Moshi Moshi, and announced details of his new album, Grapefruit, released 25 March 2016. He has also shared its lead single Pink Fruit – the album’s 16-minute centre-piece – which will be released as a strictly-limited one-sided etched 12” vinyl single on 12 February 2016.

Stereogum, who premiered the single, said: ‘A lot of Pink Fruit is a widening sound collage, with the meandering improvisational and commercial quality of Broken Social Scene, except it all comes from one person’s mind… It’s a worthwhile trip, one that justifies its long runtime.’

Influences on the new Kiran Leonard single Pink Fruit include:

‘deerhoof; shellac; dirty projectors’ “the getty address”; vasco da gama (RIP); enablers; death sentence: panda!; the end of eraserhead where [spoiler] the baby dies and the whole of henry’s apartment fills with mashed potato; set design and costumes in alan bennett’s the madness of king george iii; a lack of professional percussion equipment (seriously, anybody who’s ever bought a cabasa is a fool of a took: just wrap a piece of sandpaper round a block of wood and scratch the surface with a washing-up brush. it’s exactly the same noise); warren ellis’ 4-string guitar playing on grinderman’s disgustingly underrated second album grinderman 2 (which for my money is the best album nick cave’s ever been a part of); old friends & new; contrasts & the past & the future;’

‘[…] and i think that the root of it was more connected with cowardice than with malice. it was just pathetic posturing […] “he belittles her because he is afraid that if he doesn’t, they will say that he is a pussy and start to belittle him instead.” this is the inspiration behind the song’s central motif, of the squid in the hollow abdomen. i don’t want to tell you why exactly […] god almighty a school is such a terrible place to spend your formative years […] boy who used to call me a long-haired faggot and punch me in the kidneys in biology classes, this one goes out to you.’

Kiran Leonard is a mercurially talented 20-year-old musician from near Oldham, Greater Manchester. In the wake of numerous Bandcamp EPs and homemade CDR releases, Grapefruit is the follow-up proper to his 2013 acclaimed debut album Bowler Hat Soup.

Main support comes from Secret Admirer, the new solo project from Nick Ainsworth of Former Bullies and Dinner Party fame. He has recently released a 20-song self-titled tape via Belfast’s CF Records.

Opening the show are Duds. The Manchester-based no wave band make a terrific racket.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Common (no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 1 September 2016
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with Bella Union’s Karl Blau for the first time!

Karl-Blau-Castle-Hotel-Manchester-2

On Introducing Karl Blau the enigmatic vocalist charts a new vision of country music. A Northwest indie hero, Blau channels darkness and hope in a cinematic collection of Nashville country hits from the 1960s and 1970s. Produced by Tucker Martine, the record features performances by Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Laura Veirs, Jon Hyde, Eli Moore (Lake), Steve Moore (Earth, SunnO)))), among others.

It all started with cutting a 7” single, a cover of the 1969 Tom T. Hall hit That’s How I Got to Memphis. Blau, whom Martine had come to know from sessions with Laura Veirs among others, asked if he could try singing it. ‘I knew what a special artist Karl was, but I had no idea what a powerful interpreter of songs he was,’ Martine says. The collaboration, pairing Blau’s deeply sonorous voice with Martine’s warm, modern arrangements, recast the Nashville hit in a new light. ‘He was able to communicate the essence of the song in such a moving way that we started dreaming of making a whole record based around our excitement for that collaboration.’ The result was the single and, now, Introducing Karl Blau.

Martine and Blau worked for years on shaping the narrative of the record. ‘I feel like I am starring in this country-western movie, written and produced by Tucker, and it tells a story,’ says Blau. A sense of emergence from the shadows of loss, loneliness, infidelity, and melancholy runs through Introducing Karl Blau. ‘We’ve threaded a story through the record,’ says Blau. ‘My character is moving through this dark place, but there is always this light of hope.’

The record, all covers, is a crate-digger’s feast of forgotten hits and deeper cuts; most of them from the Nashville country-soul renaissance in the late 1960s and early 1970s – Tom T. Hall, Bobby Bond, Allen Reynolds. Other songs are from the Bee Gees (To Love Somebody), Link Wray (Fallin’ Rain) or Townes Van Zandt (If I Needed You). The project was a labor of love for Martine, the son of a Nashville songwriter who grew up listening to many of these songs.

Karl Blau is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and DIY icon who helped turn his hometown of Anacortes, Washington, into an indie-music mecca. He has released more than 40 records in 20-odd years, many self-released in handmade packaging and mailed to subscribers, and others on iconic indie Northwest labels K and knw-yr-own. Blau has also toured and recorded for years with Laura Veirs, the Microphones, Little Wings, D+ and Earth.

Support comes from Benedict Benjamin. Benedict Benjamin is Ben Rubinstein, formerly of The Mariner’s Children and Peggy Sue (Wichita). His debut album Night Songs is a collection of timeless compositions recorded in a series of churches, bedrooms and kitchens across London and Kent with producer Dan Blackett (Landshapes, Bella Union).


Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: Thursday 1 – Sunday 4 September 2016
Where: Portmeirion, Minffordd, Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales, LL48 6ER

We’re excited to be involved in Festival No.6 this year – programming the Lost in The Woods stage on Saturday 3 September!

Hey-Manchester-Festival-No-6

For our Saturday evening session at the excellent Lost in The Woods stage, we’ve invited some of our favourite artists – including The Wave Pictures, The Lovely Eggs, Trembling Bells, Laura J Martin and Manchester’s own MOTHER.

The four-day festival takes place in and around the picturesque Italiante village of Portmeirion and is named after No.6, Patrick McGoohan’s character in the classic 1960s TV series The Prisoner, which was filmed in the village.

Festival-No-6

Find out more and book tickets at festivalnumber6.com

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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 6 September 2016
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with Danny & The Champions Of The World for the first time!

Danny-Champions-World-Gullivers-Manchester

There’s something to be said for hitting the ground running, with a good tailwind behind you. Danny Wilson agrees. And his new album is the proof.

Wilson and his band, Danny & The Champions, spent much of 2014 on the road, playing shows all over the world, the kind of legendary, life-affirming rock and soul revues (with country fringing) that have seduced them a global following, and which they finally committed to wax on last year’s glorious concert double-album, Live Champs! When their touring schedule drew to a close at the end of the year, you might have thought Wilson and his Champs would hunker down on the sofa for a few weeks, get some much needed R’n’R. But that’s not how Champions roll.

‘We’d been playing festivals all summer, did 17 shows in Scandinavia in September, and another 25 shows in October,’ Wilson remembers. ‘We had all of two days off, and then we went into the studio (Chris Clarke’s Reservoir Studios). I had a hacking cough, everyone was ill, but I told everyone, we’ll be in the studio two weeks and then it’ll be Christmas and we can all collapse.’

The momentum they’d accrued on the road carried them through, though, and the music they cut during those two weeks – What Kind Of Love, the album you’re holding in your hands now – is some of Wilson’s very best. There’s a glint in his eye as he talks about the vibe within the Champs camp right now. ‘We’re a bit more of a gang than we used to be,’ he grins. ‘It’s not hard for a band to feel like a gang, because generally you’re up against it, but you keep on at it because you’re dogged and in love with it. And it feels amazing, like my old bands Soul Green and Grand Drive did back in the early days.’

The songs contained therein started life on the road, at soundcheck or back at the hotel after the show, and saw Danny writing many songs with his bandmate Paul Lush instead of penning tunes on his lonesome, as is his usual MO. ‘We wrote songs in Scandinavia, in Nashville, in the Preston Travelodge,’ he explains, proud as a new dad. ‘Going down the pub or partying after the show… you can’t really sustain it on tour, and sharing a bottle of wine and writing a song together in the hotel room is really cool. This line-up of the Champs has been together for some time now,’ he continues, observing that the group that started out as ‘a loose, lawless thing,’ a floating collective contrasting to his then-band, Grand Drive, is now a more solid organisation. ‘Everyone brings so much to the table,’ he adds, ‘I wanted them to be a part of it all.’

The songs are rich, joyful and moving, opener Clear Water another Wilson classic-in-the-making, with its tale of finding yourself far from the ones you love but still feeling the strength they give (When life gets crazy / I see you, runs the hook). The celebratory horn peals suggest the celtic soulfulness of Dexys Midnight Runners, and the reference is no accident, Wilson admits. ‘We started playing Seven Days Is Too Long [the Chuck Wood northern soul burner Dexys covered on their debut LP] at soundcheck on tour, and I’d often lapse into Kevin Rowland impressions,’ he grins. ‘Kevin’s amazing, I’ve massive respect for him. He’s a huge Van Morrison fan, and there’s a definite Van Morrison influence to our music.’

Tour support comes from Dean Owens. Velvet-voiced Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s most acclaimed and established singer songwriters, with fans including Bob Harris, Irvine Welsh and Russell Brand. His latest album, Into the Sea, was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Neilson Hubbard and a whole host of amazing US musicians, including award winning guitarist Will Kimbrough and renowned singer-songwriters Kim Richey and Suzy Bogguss.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7pm on Wednesday 7 September 2016
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be bringing Eleanor Friedberger back – this time, with special guest Chris Cohen!

Eleanor-Friedberger-Eagle-Inn-Salford

New View, the third solo album by Eleanor Friedberger, was rehearsed in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Echo Park and recorded in upstate New York. The former is a place where characters in Warren Zevon songs get clingy with their old lady while toughing out heroin withdrawal; the latter is where Bob Dylan got clingy with Robbie Robertson after flying off his motorcycle and revisiting the highway with his face.

Fittingly, there’s a fair amount of recovery in the songs of New View (though you won’t find much in the way of smack or motorcycles). ‘Today I’m frozen but tomorrow I’ll write about you,’ Friedberger sings, and much of the album seems set in that post-traumatic tomorrow, when stuff’s calmed down, the figurative road rash has healed, the metaphorical junkie sweating up your mattress has finally packed his bags.

Counting the albums she made with her brother Matthew as the Fiery Furnaces, this is Friedberger’s twelfth full-length. I’ve been listening since the beginning, and to me New View seems like just that – a vista that’s opened up when I thought I’d seen everything Friedberger had to offer. (Then again, I believed her last album Personal Record was indeed her best to date, so maybe I’m just susceptible to album titles.) Before she entered the studio with New View producer Clemens Knieper, Friedberger made a playlist of reference songs. A live version of Warm Love by Van Morrison was on there, as was 80s-era Dylan, Neil Young at his most bummed out, a scattering of Robert Wyatt-era Soft Machine, and the odd gem by Slapp Happy, Fleetwood Mac, Funkadelic, et al. There are ghost notes of all of those influences on New View, but mostly you hear Eleanor Friedberger. She’s never lacked confidence – this is someone who once took a fractured nine-minute ballad about the international blueberry trade and put it across like it was Thunder Road – but there’s a new kind of confidence on this record. You can hear it on the warm, stately Your Word, which holds a special place for Friedberger. She says:

‘It was the last song I wrote for the album. I finished the lyrics with lines taken from a dream that Jonathan Rosen had about me. I stayed at a friend’s house in LA who had a bunch of later George Harrison CDs – already a huge fan, I thought I knew it all. But I heard Love Comes To Everyone and it kind of blew me away. Everything I love about Harrison – beautiful slide guitar and vocals and vaguely spiritual lyrics – plus a weird disco thing. That was the big influence for the sound.’

The songs on New View were recorded live to tape with simple instrumentation: drums, bass, Wurlitzer and 12-string acoustic guitar on almost every track, courtesy of the band Icewater (Malcolm Perkins, Jonathan Rosen, Michael Rosen, Noah Hecht), with Dorian DeAngelo contributing a handful of well-placed guitar solos. Producer Knieper (son of Jurgen Knieper, the German composer whose credits include the score to Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire) gives the album a classic sound, like something that’s existed forever on a record collector’s shelf, wedged in with Dylan’s New Morning and John Cale’s Vintage Violence.

For everything new about New View, it still fits comfortably in the continuity of Friedberger’s work. By coincidence, Knieper’s studio in Germantown, NY where the album was recorded is in a barn that was once rented by Matthew Friedberger and stored the furniture of their grandmother – the same grandmother whose spoken word reminiscences were the basis of the Fiery Furnaces LP Rehearsing My Choir. You won’t hear much of that album here, but songs like Open Season recall the Furnaces at their most magisterial. The wry, plainspoken Because I Asked You builds on the style Friedberger first polished on her solo debut Last Summer. And then there’s A Long Walk, the sun-striped finale that lends a memorable afterglow to New View. It’s a sweet, aching goodbye from an album that seems full of them.

Special guest on this tour is Captured Tracks’ Chris Cohen. As If Apart, the long-awaited sequel to Chris Cohen’s 2012 soft psych garden of unearthly alter-pop earworms and studio-sonic delights Overgrown Path, follows on its predecessor with another bittersweet ensemble of dreamy, complex songs. Pushing the idiosyncrasies of Cohen’s melodic and rhythmic approach into even more fractured, shifting spaces, As if Apart unsettles lazy pop conventions, upending jaded heads and hearts with an expansive, moody psychedelia. Where Overgrown Path plunged within, As if Apart voyages out. And up.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 8 September 2016
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be bringing Dan Michaelson back to the Castle!

Dan-Michaelson-Castle-Manchester-2016

Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards have released their new album Memory through The State 51 Conspiracy this May. Written and produced by Dan Michaelson and mixed by Ash Workman (Metronomy, Christine and the Queens), the album was recorded at The Premises, London and will be available on CD, vinyl and as a download. Memory is the follow up to 2014’s much-celebrated Distance and the final instalment in an album trilogy that commenced with Blindspot in 2013. Michaelson recently scored the music for BAFTA-winning BBC series Detectorists, starring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones.

As the album title suggests, ‘memory’ is one of the key themes explored on the record. Michaelson, who admits he has ‘almost zero memory’, ponders the impact and consequence of our ability, or inability, to remember and how our recollections are often warped and reinterpreted. ‘There’s very little I could say with any authority about my past,’ he says. ‘Memory’s role in retelling a fact and slowly shaping it into a fiction without my consent, keeps rewriting my history. Songs are a way of freezing a moment recollected before it moves on without me.’

From the sparse, minimal Blindspot (2013) to the relatively more replete Distance (2014) and concluding with Memory, the trilogy retains a type of ‘epic minimalism’ Michaelson was trying to achieve musically. ‘I went looking for a way to carry what I’d written. Memory is the end point of this particular story. In my small world, Blindspot is the script, Distance is the play, and Memory is the widescreen movie.’

Thematically, there’s also a common thread running through the trilogy; from ‘lost love’ through ‘acceptance’ and finally ‘reflection’. ‘I’ve recorded moments that were once raw, important or significant but now have layers and layers of memory overlapping and are unrealistic. I want to keep trying to pin down a moment before it’s lost.’

Dan Michaelson and the Coastguards are Dan Michaelson (vocals, guitar, piano), Henry Spenner (drums), Laurie Earle (guitar, piano) and Horse (guitar). Joining them on Memory are Romeo Stodart of The Magic Numbers (bass), Ali Friend (double bass), Gabriel Stebbing (cello), Johnny Flynn (violin and flugelhorn), Jin Theriault (baritone sax), Yusuf Narcin (trombone) and Christo Squire (alto sax).

‘A magnificently melodic masterpiece from London’s answer to Leonard Cohen’ – NME

Support comes from Ivan Campo. Ivan Campo borrow inspiration from majesty to malady via reality and, every now and then, wander into the realms of make believe. Writing, recording and performing together since 2004, they have developed a unique style, infused with echoes of films, snatched memories, and a healthy sense of the absurd. Their latest seven track EP entitled Fantastic Blue was released through Debt Records in August 2014.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 15 September 2016
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with Guadalupe Plata for the first time!

Guadalupe-Plata-Castle-Hotel-Manchester

If the Spanish town of Úbeda had its own rogues gallery honouring the misfits and outlaws whose boots had scuffed its dusty ground, three ‘Wanted’ posters would surely hang; a trio of mug shots simply referred to as ‘Guadalupe Plata’ – the most deathly delta blues outfit to ever emerge from Andalusia.

‘Our name comes from our hometown’s patron, the virgin of Guadalupe, so she protects us as we play the devil’s music,’ they say. ‘Our music inhabits that place in our collective imagination where the demonic force straddles the blues and cante jondo.’

Make no mistake – the music of Guadalupe Plata derives from the murkiest of depths. Channelling red hot passion for the blues into Hispanic roots, theirs is a sound that lingers in the sunset like a voodoo curse. Using flamenco terms, they describe their process as straining to be podrío; to be rotten, and talk of ‘involution’, ‘duende’, and ‘hechizo’ – supernatural terms of invocation, and, well, goblins. But then again, that’s what you’d expect – concocted in a town famed as a location for Spaghetti Westerns, the band’s unique blues sits like a cowboy soundtrack pulled from a zombie’s grasp by the Mississippi Blues greats, Os Mutantes and Jon Spencer.

It is a pounding sound, blending blues, bebop and rockabilly to the Andalusian tradition, which draws from Romany, Sephardic and Moorish strains of music. Lyrically casting spells via a curious mythology centred around dogs, the devil, Christ, rats, black snakes and cats, where all the lovers are Frankie and Johnny. It bewitches listeners who may have never walked Úbeda’s mean streets, as it is possessed by the sense of space, sex and the magic of the night which belongs to both rock’n’roll and blue-collar folk art.

‘We’ve listened to every kind of musical style since we started playing,’ they say. ‘In the beginning we listened to psychedelia and 60s blues. From Canned Heat we went backwards; our sound arises from an chemical experiment that mixes the edge of Hound Dog Taylor’s well wheel, Skip James’ darkness, Jon Lee Hooker’s hypnotic rhythms, Screaming Jay Hawkins’ craziness, Tampa Red’s sweetness, Elmore James’ killer slide and Son House’s essence.’

Whilst it’d seem Guadalupe Plata’s underground origins couldn’t be further removed from Spanish tradition, the band equally draw on music closer to home – something that has solidified the band as stars in their home country and Mexico. From the fast and furious punk kids Los Bengalas, the infinitely inventive blues duo Crudo Pimento, Seville’s own Pata Negra, Mexican composer José Alfredo Jimenez, and legendary flamenco guitarist Sabicas exiled from Spain after the Civil War. It’s a musical journey that has seen the trio perform hundred of gigs each year since they formed in 2007, everywhere from working men clubs to strip joints, not to mention the odd trip to a graveyard in between (an interpretation of which can be seen on the album’s cover, felt tipped by guitarist and singer Pedro.

‘Culturally rich, and instantly identifiable as excellent, this one’s an extra-hot essential’ – Mojo

‘Hardcore Andalusian psychobilly blues’ – Uncut

Tour support comes from The Bonnevilles. The Bonnevilles are shaking Northern Ireland in a way it hasn’t felt since Van Morrison & Them obliterated Club Rado in 1964 and Stiff Little Fingers blew apart The Trident in 1977. The Bonnevilles don’t so much play punk blues as use it as a spring board to create a completely new genre. Their new album, Arrow Pierce My Heart, is evidence of a band at the top of their game. The Lurgan duo take Mississippi Hill Blues and Punk Rock and mix into their own unique dark Northern Irish Punk Blues stew.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 16 September 2016
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with John Murry for the first time – plus Clive Barnes!

John-Murry-Gullivers-Manchester

It’s not easy to hold an unclouded mirror up to the world. The temptation to fog up truths or angle them in ways that are less painful is nigh irresistible. To look at things as they are – warts and all, good and bad – requires a brave heart and sturdy constitution. To then stir that honest stuff into songs that communicate successfully to others is rarer still. This is what Oakland, CA-based singer-songwriter John Murry does with clear-eyed, unsentimental efficiency.

Cut from the same cloth as Elliott Smith, Lou Reed, Jeff Tweedy and Darkness On The Edge of Town-era Springsteen, Murry faces what he sees in the glass unflinchingly and then turns the mirror on us in ways that allow one to see their own reflection in sharper focus.

He’ll be joined for this duo show by Neil Quigley.

‘I don’t expect to hear a better album this year’ – The Guardian

Special guest is Nadine Khouri. Nadine Khouri is a musician and songwriter currently based in London. Influenced by dream-pop, film soundtracks and spoken-word, Khouri’s sound has been described as a ‘music born of perennial outsider status’. Noted by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Giant Sand) for her voice, Khouri was invited to sing on a track on his Screenplay LP and subsequently to record her forthcoming album with the producer in his hometown of Bristol. Sparse and minimal in its arrangement, the resulting album is a haunting collection of poetic and atmospheric meditations on loss and transformation, reminiscent of the dreamy alt-folk of Mazzy Star and Sparklehorse.

‘Meditative, spectral dreamscapes… extraordinary voice: a fragile, sensuous instrument’ – MOJO

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 17 September 2016
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We’re working with New Zealand’s Lawrence Arabia for the first time – plus special guests Songs For Walter and Oh Well, Goodbye!

Lawrence-Arabia-Eagle-Inn-Manchester

It’s no secret that New Zealand’s resident pop song-book connoisseur Lawrence Arabia has a penchant for penning earworms at once inspired and unsettling. His 2009 single Apple Pie Bed took out the prestigious APRA Silver Scroll, positioning Mr Arabia (real name James Milne) in the great Kiwi song hall of fame.

Fast forward a few years and the enigmatic chanteur is back, on the cusp of releasing his fourth solo album. Milne’s songwriting has reached a commanding new level of skill and control in the years following Chant Darling; 2012’s The Sparrow was a sparse, dark affair stripped back its essentials – stark imagery and unflappable hooks. Following The Sparrow came the birth of Milne’s first child, meaning that the songs to follow were written amid ‘hazy post-partum exhaustion,’ in Milne’s own words. ‘It wasn’t a time for self-indulgence or misery. Even the tiniest free moment of reflection felt like a blessing.’

The result is Arabia’s strongest yet – aptly named Absolute Truth.

The album’s debut single A Lake is at once personal and abstract; its haunting melody ushered gracefully along by a 1960s groove and four-on-the-floor stomps.The Line Of Best Fit described it as ‘a confident, assured sound and the overall feeling that he’s finally happened upon the sound that works for him… with tracks as strong as this, there’s every chance that Lawrence Arabia’s new album will give him the worldwide recognition his music deserves’.

Joining Lawrence Arabia is Manchester’s own Songs For Walter – aka Laurie Hulme. Signed to Red Deer Club, he lists The Magnetic Fields, Bill Callahan and Destroyer among his influences, and has been described by Tom Ravenscroft as ‘one of my favourite discoveries of recent years’.

Following the release of his debut album to glowing reviews earlier this year, Songs For Walter warms up for his European tour with this intimate show.

Completing this excellent line-up are Oh Well, Goodbye. Hailing from Liverpool, Oh Well, Goodbye quietly crept into the UK scene with debut cassette release BG092 through US label Bleeding Gold Records. Beginning as a solo project during down time of his ‘day job’ band People//Talk, Philip Rourke (founder of EDILS records/booking) quickly assembled like-minded musicians and played a scattering of shows in London and northern England, as well as a five-date tour of France in late 2015.

Oh Well, Goodbye will be releasing three new EPs before the end of 2017.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Common (no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7pm on Friday 30 September 2016
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be working with Ultimate Painting again – this time, at the Deaf Institute!

Ultimate-Painting-Deaf-Institute-Manchester

Dusk is the third album from London-based duo Ultimate Painting, a 10-song set that expands the group’s sound from their self-titled debut and their critically acclaimed sophomore effort Green Lanes, about whose tunes Pitchfork raved their ‘deceptively simple interplay slowly worms into your synapses.’ Dusk heads along the same path, albeit in a slightly different direction, forging to new territory by heading inward.

Most groups would kill to have one talented songwriter in their ranks, but Ultimate Painting are lucky enough to be comprised of two singular voices in Jack Cooper and James Hoare. The pair’s distinctive songwriting styles began to blur a bit with Green Lanes, but on Dusk it’s hard to tell where Cooper ends and Hoare begins. Their tunes weave in and out of each other like the duo’s respective six-strings, spiralling around each other in a laconic dance. Album opener Bills dives head-first into a crystalline pool of jangle, furthering the duo’s rep as purveyors of the Verlaine/Lloyd legacy, but despite the evident influence of American guitar pop both past and present, the group’s recorded an album that feels decidedly English, with Cooper’s abstract poeticism balanced perfectly alongside Hoare’s alluring and universal pop leanings. The group’s discovered a simple lushness in Dusk’s arrangements, sometimes only with subtle additions like Hoare’s recently acquired Wurlitzer piano that drives tunes like Lead The Way or washes underneath others like Monday Morning, Somewhere Central. They’ve tapped into the subtle grace that infects the mood and emotions experienced at times like sunrise and dusk. Hopefulness. Resignation. Ennui. A breathing in. A breathing out.

Dusk was once again recorded to tape by guitarist James Hoare in his London flat. The casual setting allowed the sessions and songs to unfold naturally, with the two of them accompanied by recent live drummer Melissa Rigby, who drums on the entirety of Dusk. Her skills lend a rhythmic elasticity to songs like A Portrait of Jason and I Can’t Run Anymore, with jazzy undertones that break from the band’s previously unadorned 4/4 leanings. Dusk feels different and cements the group’s presence in the modern world guitar pop, finding voice in the allure of quietude.

Tour support comes from London quintet Leif Erikson. Named after the Icelandic explorer who beat Christopher Columbus to America, the band have drawn comparisons to The War On Drugs, Kurt Vile and Steely Dan.

This show is a co-promotion with Comfortable On A Tightrope.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Common (no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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