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: Eleanor Friedberger (The Fiery Furnaces)... Lower... Ultimate Painting... Undressed featuring The Travelling Band and Jesca Hoop... Tiny Ruins + Julie Byrne... Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams... Vena Portae (ft. Emily Barker)... Steven James Adams... The Burning Hell... Kevin Morby... Ezra Furman... Angel Olsen... Lust For Youth... Clint Mansell... Peter Broderick... Haley Bonar... Tokolosh... The Rural Alberta Advantage... Beans on Toast... Sweet Baboo & The Pictish Trail...

When: 7.30pm on Sunday 3 August 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Eleanor Friedberger for a rare solo show.

At a time when most female singer-songwriters perform as alter egos, Eleanor Friedberger is simply, refreshingly herself. And that’s just the way her fans like it. Having spent the last decade fronting the indie-rock institution The Fiery Furnaces (currently on hiatus) with her brother Matthew, in 2011 she emerged as a formidable solo artist with Last Summer, a thoughtfully crafted tale of memory and place couched in the organic pop of her 1970s idols. Instantly, Friedberger established herself as a modern-day heir to the tradition of Donovan, Todd Rundgren, Ronnie Lane and their ilk: Warm, nuanced, timeless songs. No gimmicks necessary.

Eleanor returns this summer with her second solo album, Personal Record, out last summer on Merge Records. It is Eleanor at her finest; recorded in late 2012 in New York and Los Angeles, and written with musician/novelist Wesley Stace, Personal Record is full of love songs – hellos and goodbyes, infatuation, pre-occupation, loss – but not simply about romantic love. Eleanor explains, ‘They’re also love songs to music: how you feel on stage when you do something spontaneous and it works, how you feel when you hear someone sing a song for the first time, what it’s like to watch a friend perform, how you can feel close to someone you barely know because you both happen to love the same record, or playing the same song forty times in a row, not being able to rest until you own every song recorded by your favourite singer, or every version of your favourite song.’

Eleanor will be making a short stop-off in the UK to play London’s Visions Festival – and this intimate solo show.

Support comes from Tiger Lion. Before moving to Brighton then, more recently, Manchester, Clémentine Blue, aka Tiger Lion, aka superlative Michael A Grammar bassist and sometime chanteuse, was one part of French pop trio The Dancers. Tiger Lion is an experiment in musical instinct – raw, global, tribal – overlaid with Clémentine’s luscious vocals. Tiger Lion’s new video Under Water, inspired by Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, is on YouTube now.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 6 August 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with Lower for the first time.

Lower make intense music. Seek Warmer Climes, the Copenhagen quartet’s debut album, released through Matador, sparkles with the harmonic dissonance and high-strung urgency of their underground rock forebears. But Lower also channel the romance and drama of great singer-songwriters, from late-period Scott Walker to Bryan Ferry. The result is a hugely ambitious and affecting rock album that enters deeply personal and unusual sonic and topical spaces.

Certainly, you don’t have to dig deep to hear how far Lower’s music sits from the traditional concerns of modern rock music. Adrian Toubro’s lyrics are finely wrought emotional dramas that, in their poetic construction and raw honesty of delivery, gesture to the music of Walker or Leonard Cohen. As inspirations he cites Cornelis Vreeswijk, the half Dutch, half Swedish troubadour whose coarse language and fascination with low society shocked the conservative listeners of the day, and filmmaker John Cassavetes, who made his movies about ‘real people with real issues’.

The striking cover art of Seek Warmer Climes is a photograph shot by Emdal, who has directed visual material for a lot of Copenhagen groups (he also directed a Vår video and took the photo of a hunting falcon that adorns Iceage’s You’re Nothing). It’s one of several connections between the band and the Copenhagen underground. They are members of other bands including Age Coin, Olymphia, Vår, Marching Church and Sexdrome.

‘Dense, beguiling punk poetry’ – Pitchfork

Support comes from Denim & Leather. Often billed as sounding like a hybrid of Flipper, Pissed Jeans and Black Flag, the band were recently reviewed thusly: ‘What I heard and saw was rollicking lead-lined and cement-booted sludge-punk with stinking bin bags of attitude. Like a kind of bastard offspring of Discharge.’

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 14 August 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be bringing Ultimate Painting – featuring Jack from Mazes and James from Veronica Falls – to Manchester

Drop City was a community formed by a small group of American artists in 1965. It was the first real commune, pre-summer of love, inspired by the happenings of Allan Kaprow, Fluxus and John Cage. The artists’ most celebrated collaboration was a piece they called ‘The Ultimate Painting’.

Ultimate Painting are James Hoare and Jack Cooper. They’re a band. ’James and I started talking about making music while we were on tour with our other bands,’ says Jack. ‘We’d known each other to say hello to for about four years and saw each other other regularly at shows in London. I’d always enjoyed seeing him and chatting, but I found him to be an tricky character; he had a habit of threatening to get me and being abusive. I took it as a sign of endearment.’

The seeds of the band and friendship were sewn in Europe whilst Jack’s band Mazes were on tour supporting James’ band Veronica Falls. ’On returning, we began figuring out where we could take the whole thing and what sort of music we’d like to make,’ Jack continues. ‘Demos were exchanged and we hit on some synergy in the songs we were sending each other. After a fairly disastrous first attempt at recording, we reconvened and recorded what became the song Ultimate Painting, a vague theme song for the band… everything began to fall into place; us both singing and playing guitar, me playing drums and James playing the bass. Our ethos was; if it wasn’t working, don’t push it; so some sessions ended before they began… oh and the music won’t be touched by anything digital till it needs to go online or something.’

Initial plans to record a couple of tracks together became an EP and then a full album, which will be out via Chicago’s Trouble In Mind (Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, Jacco Gardner) this Autumn. The album – five songs from James and five from Jack – is very much a product of their collective taste… obviously. That’s what records usually are right? Yo La Tengo, Red Krayola, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stereolab, Townes Van Zandt, Velvet Underground… some sense of space and feel. ‘But really there’s no story apart from the fact we set out to do something and we did it.’

Main support comes from WAITERS. Their chiming, emotive guitars, rudimentary drums and minimalist arrangements have previously been heard on a string of releases on Comfortable On A Tightrope, Bijin Record, Birthday Tapes and Night School among others. Named in alignment with The Shop Assistants, Waitresses and The Servants, and taking cues from Guided By Voices, Yo La Tengo, Dead Moon and co. WAITERS deal in a kind of restrained abstract form of late 20th Century un-Popular music. This show is their first in over a year, the first with a reconfigured line-up and coincides with the release of a new 12-inch EP, WHAT FOR ART THOU, on C/F Records of Belfast and Comfortable On A Tightrope of Manchester.

Opening the show is Aldous RH, who plays rock/pop/blue eyed soul – sad/smooth love-maker music  - and always tries to keep things sensually spontaneous.

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, Seetickets.comWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 5pm on Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 August 2014
Where: Hallé St Peter’s, Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5AH & St Michael’s, George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DG

We’re excited to be presenting Undressed, our first two-stage, two day event. Undressed will present the finest folk and alt country acts from Manchester in two of the city’s hidden gems: Hallé St Peter’s and St Michael’s, within a minute’s walk of each other in Ancoats. This will be the first public concert in St Michael’s since its recent re-opening, having been closed since 2004, and one of the first in the recently restored St Peter’s, built in 1859 – 10 years before St Michael’s.

Headlining on Saturday are The Travelling Band, perhaps the city’s finest alt-country group. The show marks the release of their third album, The Big Defreeze, three years in the making. Having promoted shows for the group for several years, including with them headlining our Sounds From The Other City stage in May, we’re delighted to be working with them once again – and for this performance, they’ll have string and brass players too.

Also confirmed for Saturday are Liz Green, Bird to Beast, Seventh House, Olympian, Jake Mattison, Elle Mary and Elizabeth Preston.

The Sunday is headed up by Jesca Hoop, the American singer-songwriter now based in Manchester. She’s duetted with Elbow’s Guy Garvey and Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam – both of whom she’s also toured with – and found fans in the likes of Tom Waits and Marc Riley. This weekend takes its inspiration from Jesca’s most recent album, Undress, which – like this event – featured songs stripped back to their rawest and most intimate.

Also confirmed for Sunday are Josephine, We are Willow, Race to the Sea, Cavan Moran, Matthew Whitaker, Hawker Reunion and Stefan Melbourne.

A bar will be available in both churches, stocking First Chop ales among other beverages.

A limited number of early bird tickets are now on sale at Seetickets.com and Billetto.co.uk.

A day ticket allows access to both venues throughout the evening, space permitting, with acts scheduled to alternate between the two venues – so you can potentially catch everyone. A small quantity of two-day tickets are also available, at a reduced price overall.

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This event is subject to licence.


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 21 August 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re pleased to be working with Tiny Ruins for the first time – plus special guest Julie Byrne!

Tiny Ruins released Brightly Painted One, their second album and first since signing to Bella Union, this May. Formed as a solo project in 2009 by songwriter Hollie Fullbrook, the band now includes bassist Cass Basil and drummer Alexander Freer. While continuing to be based in their native New Zealand, Tiny Ruins has spent much of the past three years touring throughout Australia, Europe and the US, opening for artists such as Beach House, Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, The Handsome Family and Calexico.

Lyrically ambiguous and poignant, the songs roughly follow in the traditions of folk and blues that Fullbrook has drawn on in the past, engaging moods both hopeful and world-weary. Yet there is more of an expansive approach to this album – where debut Some Were Meant For Sea presented a host of characterful vignettes, Brightly Painted One follows a journey, cyclical and whole, with tones falling between dream pop and folk-blues.

While still retaining a minimalist approach, this sophomore release is layered and shaped with an array of brass, percussion and strings. The arrangements are lush and fully realised, with the warm fuzz of hammond and rhodes keyboards, subtle string parts and electric guitar jangles and thrums. The writing of these songs spans roughly three years, growing out of Fullbrook’s varied life of touring, working when home, relationships and everyday observation. From the mountain walks of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round , the roof-tops of White Sheet Lightning and the street corners of Reasonable Man, the songs document the stasis and the movement of life; of persevering its humour and mystery.

Julie Byrne, who recently moved to Seattle from Chicago, crafts elegant, deliberately wrought songs that chronicle memory, hope, and loss using finely crafted lyrics and complex fingerpicked guitar run through delay. The sombre, dreamlike quality of her songs is similar to a stripped-down Grouper, with restraint and measure in her deep, unusual vocal timbre.

Julie’s first recording for Orindal was a 7″ called Faster Or Greener Than Now. It was produced by Owen Ashworth (Casiotone For The Painfully Alone/Advance Base) and was released in December 2012. Her debut album, Rooms With Walls and Windows, collects twelve tracks from two limited-edition cassette releases, recorded between 2011 and 2012 by Jake Acosta in Chicago. Each song was recorded live, with Julie accompanying herself on fingerpicked acoustic guitar. Rooms With Walls & Windows was released on vinyl, CD and digital formats in early 2014 by Orindal.

Opening the show are Memory Drawings. Memory Drawings are an Anglo-American collective featuring members of Hood (Domino Records) and Lanterns on the Lake (Bella Union). Led by the hammered dulcimer of Minneapolis-based Joel Hanson, the group’s debut album, Music For Another Loss (Second Language, 2012), featured collaborations with members of Rachel’s and Piano Magic. Their new album, There is No Perfect Place, is due for release on Hibernate Records in August and showcases Talk Talk-like atmospherics, ethnic-tinged pop, Angelo Badalamenti-influenced instrumentals and ethereal William Basinski-style piano pieces.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Saturday 23 August 2014
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to welcome Jeffrey Lewis back to Manchester – his first show here in three years – with new band The Jrams.

Born and raised New Yorker Jeffrey Lewis leads a double-life, as both a comic book artist and an indie-rock musician. Beginning with homemade cassettes in the late 90s, and moving on to touring the world and releasing ‘proper’ albums since 2001, Jeffrey’s now 15-year career has included sharing bills and tours with the likes of The Vaselines, The Fall, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Roky Erickson, The Mountain Goats, Daniel Johnston, Devo, Pulp and many other luminaries. In between his contemplative folk narratives and bashed-out indie-punk songs, Jeffrey is known for often including a couple of his illustrated songs in each concert (what he calls ‘low budget videos’) sometimes covering historical topics (like The History of Communism), biographies (like The Life of Barack Obama) or strange flights of fancy (like The Creeping Brain).

Appearing in the past as Jeffrey Lewis & The Jitters, Jeffrey Lewis & The Junkyard and other touring ensembles, his newest band incarnation is Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams (pronounced “drams”) featuring Caitlin Gray on bass and Heather Wagner on drums.

Rough Trade Records (label of The Smiths, The Strokes, etc.) has released six Jeffrey Lewis albums to date; Jeffrey has self-published ten issues of his comic book series Fuff, and Jeffrey’s writing, illustrations, comic books and music have been featured by the Guardian, The History Channel and The New York Times (among other places).

‘Hands down my favorite contemporary songwriter’ – Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie)

‘Jeffrey is the only artist I’ve sent fan mail to’ – Jens Lekman

Main support comes from Onions. Simply put, Onions are Manchester based trio and are named Martin, Jim and Chris. Weaving mutual influences such as Talking Heads, Hefner, Sparks and 60s girl groups together to create a sound described as ‘muscular twee’. Typically, the songs are a cynical and/or self-deprecating take on sex, history or whatever rhymes at the given moment (but mostly about sex). After gigging extensively and an unprecedented amount of airplay, debut album Pleasure Blast sold out in its first week. Onions will be returning fresh as daisies from a windowless studio after a six month hiatus with the release of the Here Comes the Rage EP in August and a second album scheduled for later in the year.

Opening the show is Seth Faergolzia (formerly of Dufus). His new album, Doubting Won’t Do, includes solo acoustic songs and new loop material, both personal and complex in production, and includes artwork by friend and collaborator Adam Green of the Moldy Peaches.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 30 August 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re pleased to be helping Emily Barker’s Vena Portae celebrate the release of their debut album.

Vena Portae are an Anglo-Swedish alt-folk band, comprised of BAFTA award-winning singer songwriter Emily Barker, songwriter and performer Dom Coyote, and Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist Ruben Engzell.

Vena Portae’s eponymous debut album draws the listener into an epic journey of love, loss, memory and longing. From the heady alt-pop highs of Flames and Fury, and Summer Kills, to the dark, atmospheric depths of Turning Key and Transatlantic, this is an album that is atmospheric, moving and irresistible. The album is due for release on 18 August and features stunning lead single Summer Kills, which is remixed by Swedish indie legend Peter Morén (lead singer of Peter, Bjorn and John). As the band puts it, Summer Kills is ‘A song about longing, about a broken past and an uncertain future. A song about regret and vain hopes. A song about love.’

‘Vena Portae’ means ‘vein portal’ in Latin; it’s a short vein that carries blood to the liver. The band were inspired by ideas of roads, rivers, veins, portals, creative openings, connections between people, places and life force.

In the winter of 2012, Vena Portae found themselves in the tiny, snowed-in Swedish town of Mölnbo just outside Stockholm. They built a make shift studio, full to the rafters with analogue equipment, spring reverbs, electric guitars, banjos, pianos and an array of weird and wonderful instruments. Over the space of a month, they recorded a treasure trove of songs, inspired by heartbreak, passion, and intrigue, which together make up the album Vena Portae.

Emily Barker is the BAFTA award-winning writer and performer of the theme to BBC TV crime drama Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. With her band The Red Clay Halo, she also provided the atmospheric theme to highly acclaimed noir thriller The Shadow Line. Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo have released four critically acclaimed albums, toured extensively over the world, performed alongside friend and collaborator Frank Turner at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and recently released their album Dear River in the UK on Linn Records to critical acclaim, with four- and five-star reviews across the board.

British songwriter-theatre maker Dom Coyote is an associate artist with the world renowned Kneehigh Theatre and has performed in sold out shows with them throughout the UK, South America and the US. He has performed and composed for acclaimed companies such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, Art Angel and the National Theatre as well as creating his own brand of gig-theatre, mixing alt-folk, rock, world music and multimedia.

Ruben Engzell is a shining light in the Swedish music scene. Working with Christian Kjellvander, Peter Morén and EP’s Trailer Park to name a few, Ruben worked on ground-breaking London projects such as Future Cinema and Sona Soul before returning to his home country to set up his own studio in SoFo, the creative heart of Stockholm.

Jesper Jonsson, who joins the band onstage as a live drummer/percussionist, grew up on the remote Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic sea, before moving to Stockholm where he headed up the rhythm sections for highly regarded artists such as EP’s Trailer Park, Lisa Lindal and Laakso.

Support comes from York’s Helen Chambers, who has previously played for us supporting Laura Stevenson.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 10 September 2014
Where: Takk Coffee House, 6 Tariff Street, Manchester, M1 2FF

We’re excited to be bring Steven Adams back to Manchester – this time for an intimate solo show.

Steven James Adams has announced details of the release of his debut solo album. House Music will be released through The State 51 Conspiracy on Monday 1 September. Recorded primarily at Steven’s house in Walthamstow, with further sessions taking place at co-producer Neil Rogers’ Cambridge studio and elsewhere, House Music draws on a wealth of influences without ever sounding second-hand.

House Music was originally conceived as a stripped-back home recording, but soon grew into something more textured and far-reaching, showcasing both Adams’s songwriting prowess and his perceptive lyrics. The cover features an original work by acclaimed artist Dan Hillier.

With musical contributions from Vancouver ‘s JUNO Award-winning Dan Mangan, rising stars John Smith and Emily Barker, Justin Young of The Vaccines and Scottish musical luminaries Martin Green (from three-time BBC Folk Award winners Lau) and Inge Thomson, and more, the resulting record is ambitious, beautifully conceived and graceful.

House Music is Steven’s first ‘solo’ album. He started out in 2001 as frontman and principal songwriter in the much-lauded Broken Family Band - who released seven albums over the course of eight years – and more recently released two albums with his band Singing Adams.

Steven plays this intimate solo show in support of this debut solo album.

Takk is an excellent new Icelandic-inspired coffee house on the edge of the Northern Quarter.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 17 September 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be bringing Canada’s The Burning Hell back to Manchester – this time as a full band!

The Burning Hell is the alter-ego of songwriter and ukulele-slinger Mathias Kom. Loosely based in St John’s, Newfoundland, The Burning Hell have toured back and forth across Canada and Europe since 2007, playing everywhere from festivals to bars to living rooms – and once even a mental asylum in rural France. The band has garnered acclaim for their hyperactive live shows and their caustic yet sincere lyrics, believing as they do that songs about the inevitability of death can also be fun to dance to.

In 2012, The Burning Hell both made AND broke a record: the band recorded their newest album, People, in Berlin, and later in the summer, they set a new world record: playing ten shows in ten countries in less than 24 hours. But the band aren’t tired yet, and April will see The Burning Hell begin a three-month tour in support of People, co-released by Headless Owl, (weewerk) and BB Island, throughout Canada and Europe. Onward!

‘Will appeal to fans of Jonathan Richman… and They Might Be Giants’ – Q, 4*

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

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Friday 19 September 2014
Where: Kraak, off Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB

We’re excited to be bringing Kevin Morby to Manchester.

Harlem River marks the solo debut of songwriter Kevin Morby. Known for his work as the singer and guitarist for the Brooklyn band The Babies and bassist for Woods, the Kansas City native and new Los Angeles resident calls the record ‘an homage to New York City’, his adopted home for the past five years.

Harlem River features eight interweaving tales of tragedy and misfortune; a series of desperate characters playing out their dramas with the city as backdrop. A departure from some of the signature sounds of his better known projects, Morby’s songs glisten with a haunting intimacy and while he maintains that the songs are stories about other people, it’s hard not to feel a piece of him in each one; a half-imagined, half-painfully personal world of lost love, addiction, violence and prayers for the departed.

The album was recorded in Los Angeles in February and March 2013 with producer Rob Barbato who recorded The Babies’ second album, Our House On The Hill, and whose guitar and bass work figure prominently on Harlem River. The album also features drummer Justin Sullivan (The Babies) as well as contributions from Will Canzoneri, Tim Presley (White Fence), Dan Lead and Cate Le Bon.

Kraak is a performance and exhibition space in the Northern Quarter. It’s down a cobbled street, just behind Fit To Dance off Stevenson Square.

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, Seetickets.comWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Monday 22 September 2014
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Ezra Furman – who sold out Soup Kitchen with us earlier in the year.

Day of the Dog saw Ezra Furman progress from the dark chamber-pop and gorgeous balladry of his solo debut and emerging as a stylish, technicolor, pulse-quickening rock provocateur conjuring an intriguing selection of iconic vintage styles. With early singles My Zero and Tell ‘em All to go to Hell all being playlisted on BBC 6 Music, and with a five-star Guardian review under his belt, Furman returns to the UK off the back of a sold-out tour to play a string of festivals over the summer including Dot to Dot, End of the Road and Bestival. After selling out Soup Kitchen earlier in the year, Ezra returns to Manchester – this time to play Band on the Wall.

Day of the Dog was recorded with the members of his regular touring band The Boy-Friends: Sam Durkes – drums, percussion; Ben Joseph – piano, miscellaneous; Jorgen Jorgensen – bass, miscellaneous; Tim Sandusky – saxophone. Furman supplied vocals, guitar, miscellaneous. Throughout the album, there is a sense of bold ambition and grand artistry in the tradition of songwriting giants of the past, but set apart by an undercurrent of deranged, ragged glory.

Songs like My Zero and Been So Strange take the broad-stroke tunefulness 1980s heartland rock, strip off the gloss, deconstruct it, and reassemble it along unsettling and far more potent lines. Tell ‘Em All to Go to Hell, Anything Can Happen and And Maybe God is a Train, affect a lurid 1970s glam stance – jittery drumming driving glitter-and-dirt smeared guitar, strategically gilded with leering sax lines. Meanwhile, the title track evokes the shock therapy of John Lennon’s initial harrowing post-Beatles albums – stark piano chords reverberating over massive but minimalist drums. Through it all, Ezra sings in a uniquely stylised yet powerful voice that alternates between odd, tremulous beauty and startling, guttural viscerality.

He formed his first band, Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, in 2006 while attending Tufts University. His lead singing and songwriting connected with listeners like a left hook to the jaw, a mix of stinging garage-rock and stripped-down acoustic numbers. He would write and record a total of four albums with this combo: Banging Down the Doors (2007), Inside the Human Body (2008), Moon Face (2009) and Mysterious Power (2011). Furman and the band toured extensively during this period, winning a cult of hardcore fans across the US as well as in Europe.

Ultimately, Ezra parted ways with that band, returned home to Chicago, holed up in an attic recording studio and wrote and recorded the cycle of ten songs, each assigned to particular months of the year, he titled The Year Of No Returning. His aim was the self-professed ‘lofty goal of real protest’. Initially self-released, The Year Of No Returning was picked up by Bar/None and released for the first time on CD in the Summer of 2013.

For Day of the Dog it’s all about the rock ‘n’ roll with some punk panache thrown in. Ezra once again has re-invented himself , this time as an angry young man ready to throw himself on the pyre in search of the redemption that will follow.

‘This Chicago-based singer-songwriter offers a bratty, ragged take on New York Dolls, Spector-era Ramones and E Street Band carnival rock, revealing a gift for crafting freeway-cruisin’ tunes served with an extra helping of roadkill. Like Mac DeMarco, probably his closest peer, Furman draws from well-worn ’50s rock’n’roll tropes and coats them in fuzz’ – NME

‘Please take the five stars not as a statement that this is the best record of 2013, but as a delighted endorsement of a genre classic. Clever, funny, sharp and tuneful – a great rock’n’roll record’ – The Guardian

Book tickets now. Tickets are also available from Band on the Wall’s box office, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Seetickets.com, Bandonthewall.org, wegottickets.com Ticketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Monday 22 September 2014
Where: The Brudenell Social Club, 33 Queen’s Road, Headingley, Leeds LS6 1NY

When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 23 September 2014
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

Following her sold-out show in March, we’re delighted to be welcoming back with Jagjaguwar’s Angel Olsen in September – for shows in both Manchester and Leeds.

Many of the superlatives describing Angel Olsen refer to how seemingly little it takes for her to leave an audience speechless, even spellbound. But Olsen has never been as timid as those descriptors imply, and the noisy, fiery hints in her earlier work find a fuller expression on her newest LP, Burn Your Fire For No Witness. Here, Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition and bold, expressive melody. Also, with the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy.

Angel Olsen began singing as a young girl in St. Louis, where she explored the remarkable range of her voice and the places it could take her songwriting. Her self-released debut EP,Strange Cacti, belied both that early period of discovery and her Midwestern roots. Cautious and homespun on the one hand, the EP transported us to a mystical, unrecognisable world on the other, and it garnered extensive praise for its enigmatic beauty. Olsen then went further on Half Way Home, her first full-length album (released on Bathetic Records), which mined essential themes while showcasing a more developed voice. Olsen dared to be more personal.

After extensive touring, Olsen eventually settled for a time in Chicago’s Logan Square neighbourhood, where she created ‘a collection of songs grown in a year of heartbreak, travel and transformation’. The new songs go on to tell us to leave, or to high-five a lover who is lacking, or to dance our way up and out of sorrow. Many of them also remain essentially unchanged from their bare beginnings. In leaving them so intact, a more self-assured Olsen is opening up to us, allowing us to be in the room with her at the very genesis of these songs, when the thread of creation is most vulnerable and least filtered. Our reward for entering this room are many head-turning moments and the powerful, unsettling recognition of ourselves in the weave of her songs.

This act of meaning-making recurs as a theme throughout the album, as the sublimating response to the power of negativity. In the song, Stars, for example, Olsen wishes to ‘have the voice of everything’ and in a moment of hatefulness and hurt realises that the strength of fury results in the power she had been seeking all along. Thankfully for us, Olsen has decided to channel a lot of this newfound power into the ethereal, hypnotic performances of her new and revealing songs, sharing with us the full grace and beauty of her transformative moments.

Tour support comes from Rodrigo Amarante. Amarante is a songwriter and multi-intrumentalist who has made an international name with his band Little Joy (alongside The Strokes’ drummer Fab Moretti and Binki Shapiro), and by recording and playing with Devendra Banhart on his last three albums. What you might not know is that Amarante is an inescapable figure in Brazilian music and has influenced a whole generation in his homeland. He is one of the masterminds of the band Los Hermanos and a founding member of samba supergroup Orquestra Imperial alongside Seu Jorge and Moreno Veloso. He has recorded and performed with Brazilian icons such as Tom Zé, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso and was elected one of the 100 best musicians in Brazilian history by Rolling Stone Magazine. After the last five years of voluntary exile in the US, he has now made his first solo album entitled Cavalo, which was released in May.

LEEDS: Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar, Crash Records, Jumbo Records, Seetickets.comWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 27 September 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with Denmark’s Lust For Youth!

To put it bluntly, Lust For Youth’s International is unrecognisable as a Lust For Youth record on first listen. Hannes Norrvide’s previous solo albums under the moniker have been described as ‘dark, cold, atonal, tormented, lonely and lower than lo-fi’. The approach on International has shifted dramatically. Writing as a three-piece now, with longtime live collaborator Loke Rahbek and new band member Malthe Fischer, who produces and plays guitar, LFY have entered a completely new territory. The result is stunning. International is a buoyant synth masterpiece in the vein of early Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and New Order. Norrvide’s work has always had pop sensibilities buried deep in the reverb, but the hooks are front and centre on International, and there is nothing lo-fi about it.

That is not to say the record is without substance. There are still some deeply introspective moments as well, notably the instrumental passages Ultras and Basorexia, which evoke the morning-after loneliness that a lot of earlier LFY work has explored. According to Rahbek, ‘the record sort of happened by chance. Hannes and I had talked about recording some stuff together for the fun of it, and Malthe offered to help us record. Initially, we were just going to do a song or two for the fun of it, but within a few weeks it was obvious that it was a combination that worked. Malthe went from recording to joining within the first few days and we made the whole thing over the last half-year, drinking gin and tonics everyday in the studio. The period was strange, terrible things happened in everyone’s life outside of the studio, so as a result many hours were spent in the studio, like a safe zone.’

‘As the title indicates,’ Rahbek adds, ‘the record deals with the rootless, sometimes almost inhuman, nature of traveling and touring. Hotel rooms and strangers beds, drugs and clubs, and the impossibility of living a regular life.’ It may be an irregular life, but nothing could suit them better; International is Norrvide’s magnum opus, and with Fischer’s production and Rahbek’s co-writing skills, the potential this band has always shown has been fully realised.

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

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When: 7pm on Friday 10 October 2014
Where: Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD

We’re delighted to be bringing Clint Mansell to Manchester.

The 10th of October sees an evening of film music by acclaimed British composer Clint Mansell – the man behind some of the most celebrated soundtracks of the past two decades – who will perform alongside his band, pianist Carly Paradis and the Sonus Quartet.

A longtime collaborator of groundbreaking director Darren Aronofsky – for whom he has scored Black Swan, Requiem For A Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler and Pi – Mansell was recognised for this outstanding work with Grammy and Golden Globe nominations. ‘Lux Aeterna’ (from Requiem for a Dream) has become ubiquitous even outside the realms of the film itself. In addition to his impressive work on Aronofsky’s films, and a plethora of more mainstream films, Clint received major acclaim for his 2009 score for Duncan Jones’ directorial debut Moon. His latest creation is the soundtrack to the upcoming film Noah, starring Russell Crowe.

This show is a co-promotion with DHP.

Tickets are available from the RNCM box office (no booking fee), RNCM.ac.uk, Seetickets.com, Ticketline.co.uk and on 0161 907 5200.

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 18 October 2014
Where: The Roadhouse, 8 Newton Street, Manchester M1 2AN

We’re delighted to be bringing Peter Broderick to Manchester.

Peter Broderick‘s name has become synonymous with the thriving independent music scene over the past decade, having released ground-breaking albums on prestigious record labels such as Erased Tapes, Bella Union and Type Records. 2014 has already been a busy year for the ever-prolific musician, releasing the collaborative project with British composer Greg Haines under the guise of Greg Gives Peter Space (where the duo share their fascination with dub music), and collaborating on the latest full-length from The Album Leaf (Never Held A Baby).

Peter Broderick is an American-born multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. In his later teenage years he became entwined in the Portland, Oregon indie folk scene, recording for the likes of M. Ward, Laura Gibson, Horse Feathers and Dolorean. 2007 saw him moving across the ocean to Denmark, where he began a long collaboration with the Danish band Efterklang, touring around the world with them for the next five years (and prominently featured on the recordings Performing Parades (2009), Magic Chairs (2010) and Piramida (2012).

Meanwhile he recorded several albums of solo material, ranging from sparse classical compositions (Float) to homemade folk music (Home), constantly experimenting with different musical genres (2012′s These Walls Of Mine fuses country, folk, neo-classical, ambient and hip-hop), and also being commissioned to write music for several films and contemporary dance works (Music For Falling From Trees, Music For Contemporary Dance). He then lived in Berlin for several years where he met and collaborated with Nils Frahm, Dustin O’Halloran, Machinefabriek, Lubomyr Melnyk and several others.

‘A precociously talented multi-instrumentalist’ – The Independent

Tour support comes from Loch Lomond. After a string of head-turning, critically acclaimed releases on Hush Records, Portland’s Loch Lomond have brought their unique brand of raw symphonic chamber pop to locally based record label Tender Loving Empire. Loch Lomond released their much-anticipated second full lengther, Little Me Will Start A Storm, in 2011, and are currently recording new material. The album was mixed by Adam Selzer (who has recorded all of M. Ward’s records), Tucker Martine (Laura Veirs, The Decemberists), Kevin Robinson (of Viva Voce) and Jeff Stuart Saltzman.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 30 October 2014
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be presenting Haley Bonar’s Manchester debut.

Haley Bonar releases her debut UK album Last War on 29 September via Memphis Industries – a nine-track collection as relentlessly catchy on the surface as it is alluringly complex underneath. Haley Bonar was first discovered by Low’s Alan Sparhawk who spotted her at a local open mic club in Duluth, Minnesota and was so impressed he immediately invited her to join them on tour. Which is how, a week later, 19-year-old Haley Bonar was transformed from college student to ambitious dropout, crammed into a Honda Civic with a guitar and a drummer for company, touring the US opening for Low.

But there is more to this story. In the decade since Haley has released a succession of recordings, each of which have garnered more praise the last, and has seen her collaborate with the likes of Andrew Bird (with whom Haley occasionally plays live) and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (who features on the new album). That’s not to mention the company she keeps in a rotating cast of premium band members including Jeremy Hanson (Tapes ‘n’ Tapes), Luke Anderson (Rogue Valley), Jeremy Ylvisaker (Andrew Bird, Alpha Consumer) and Mike Lewis (Bon Iver, Alpha Consumer). Now, with her new album Last War, Haley looks set to find a wider audience.

Much of the joy of Bonar’s songwriting is in the tension between her sparkling melodic sensibility and her deeply ambivalent lyrics. Album opener Kill the Fun positively crackles with traces of the Bangles and the Cure at their most pop, as Bonar chronicles her travels with a lover, taking some moments to reveal the nature of the relationship: ‘You’ll be here till morning / You will get back on the plane / Go back to work / where you never knew my name.’ On No Sensitive Man (which features the most Clem Burke drums outside of a Blondie record), she claims ‘I don’t want no sensitive man / I don’t want to talk.’ While on the captivating Heaven’s Made For Two Bonar’s daydreaming vocal drifts ethereally as the instrumentation builds from stripped-back beginnings into a country-meets-shoegaze wall of sound crescendo.

On Last War, the complexities hit as hard as the hooks, a smart, careful balance achieved through equal doses of mystery and charm.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 22 November 2014
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We’re delighted to be helping Tokolosh launch their debut album, Stay Strong.

A product of Manchester’s collaborative music scene, Tokolosh are a five-piece collective featuring members of The Whip and The Earlies alongside solo artist Liam Frost.

Named after a mischievous Zulu water sprite, the band blend aggressive drumming with darkly sexual lyrics, creating a unique and addictive sound that is complemented by artwork from Vaughan Oliver and Marc Atkins, known for their work with the 4AD label.

Featured in The Guardian and Clash Music, and championed by 6 Music’s Marc Riley and Gideon Coe, plus XFM’s John Kennedy, the album promises to cause a ripple in their native north west of England.

Tokolosh have supported the likes of I am Kloot and will be announcing some tour dates later in the summer when they return from various projects, and re-unite once more in Manchester to play their debut album in full – including this launch show at the Eagle Inn. Stay Strong will be released on Monday 4 August on Jack to Phono Records. It features the singles Bloodlines, Shapeshifter and A Great Wave.

‘Laced with Liam’s distinctive vocals and evocative lyricism, the band’s darkly magical sound combines soul, R&B and tribal rhythms underscored by Nathan’s driving bass’ – Skiddle

Support comes from Liverpool five-piece Veyu.

The Eagle Inn is an excellent traditional pub from the team behind the Castle Hotel, the Parlour and Gullivers. It’s just off Trinity Way, an eight-minute walk from Manchester Cathedral on Deansgate.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 25 November 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with The Rural Alberta Advantage for the first time!

In 2006 singer-songwriter Nils Edenloff, percussionist Paul Banwatt and multi-instrumentalist Amy Cole came together to release their debut self-titled EP as The Rural Alberta Advantage. The ensuing years have brought two full-length albums (2008’s Hometowns and 2011’s Departing), widespread critical praise, two Juno Award nominations (Best New Group, Video of the Year), a Long List Nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, and a hard earned reputation as one of the most impressive live bands you’ll ever see. It was through all of this that The RAA’s latest album, Mended With Gold, took shape.

The twelve songs found on the album have been filtered through these experiences and achievements, pushing them to heights previously unreached by the band. While maintaining the heartfelt lyrics, fetching melodies, and explosive percussion that won the band a loyal following worldwide and one the highest-selling eMusic selects album to date with their debut, Mended With Gold makes it clear that The RAA have reached the next level. From the first moments of album opener Our Love, it becomes unmistakable that these collective experiences has helped the band compose the most fully-realised work of their career.

Two key elements that led to this leap was the band’s road warrior status and the chance to take full advantage of their time in the studio this time around. The trio spent months shaping the songs, sometimes first on keyboard, then guitar (and vice versa), and taking others on the road to workshop live.

The RAA’s long-time live sound engineer, Matt Lederman (Hayden, !!!, Besnard Lakes) was brought into the studio this time around as a key piece towards capturing the live energy of the band for these songs – something the group was intent on reflecting on this album. Teaming up with co-producer Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett, Austra, F*cked Up), the two settled into Candle Recording in Toronto to record the album.

The ideas and moods created in these songs tie back to the album title Mended With Gold, embracing the idea that the breakage and repair of an object becomes part of its unique history and ultimately makes it more valuable instead of a blemish to disguise. The Rural Alberta Advantage have taken all of their successes, losses, adventures, and heartbreaks over the past few years, and forged them together into an unforgettably powerful work of beauty.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 27 November 2014
Where: The Ruby Lounge, 28-34 High Street, Manchester M4 1QB

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Beans on Toast.

Drunk folk singer, barefoot troubadour and cult legend Beans on Toast has been around the block more times than he cares to remember. Thankfully though, with his unique blend of simple songs and no holds barred quick wit, he is an act that is anything but tired.

With a fresh spring in his step after an incredible start to the year, which saw him conquer his first American headline tour, play a series of shows with Flogging Molly in the US and perform to over 100,000 people in just one week whilst opening Frank Turner’s UK stadium tour in February, Beans On Toast will be heading back onto the UK live circuit for 16 dates across the country ending with his biggest headline show to date at Electric Ballroom.

Marking the release of his sixth studio album with Xtra Mile Recordings, as is tradition on his 1 December birthday, The Next Album Tour 2014 will be an unforgettable experience as the singer, storyteller and guitar player’s self-deprecating nature goes a long way to break down the barriers between musician and audience, creating a real sense of equality.

With digital single Keep You added to the XFM Evening Playlist at the start of the year, a Best of Toast Pressed on Vinyl flying off the shelves for Independent Record Store Day and his busiest upcoming festival season yet, anything is now possible for this unmissable performer.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 11 December 2014
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re excited to be promoting the Manchester leg of Sweet Baboo and The Pictish Trail’s joint headline tour.

Two sonic stallions from the Moshi Moshi stable canter around the counties, for a seasonal co-headline tour.

Lyrical singer-songshapers Stephen Black and Johnny Lynch (Sweet Baboo and The Pictish Trail, respectively) both know the power of collaboration.

Something of a fixture within the burgeoning Welsh psyche-pop scene, you’ll recognise Black not only from his prolific solo output, but as a frequent musical cohort to Euros Childs, Cate Le Bon and Gruff Rhys among many, many others. Across four albums, and even more EPs, Sweet Baboo’s dry wit and melodic flair have seen him become a firm favourite with BBC’s Marc Riley (who has had him in session more than any other artist), and deservedly recognised as one of the country’s finest performers.

Meanwhile, from a static caravan up on the remote isle of Eigg, tucked away within the inner Hebrides of Scotland, Lynch runs DIY label and collective Lost Map (formerly Fence Records). As well as producing countless mini-albums, EPs and assorted LPs of self-professed ‘wonky-pop’ material under his Pictish Trail moniker, he’s collaborated with a plethora of the greatest songsmiths across these fair lands, including James Yorkston, Malcolm Middleton, King Creosote, KT Tunstall and Adem.  With the latter, he formed electro-pop powerhouse Silver Columns, proving his chops both as a versatile song-writer and as a wet-spandex leotard model.

Lynch invited Black up to the island to help him record his latest Pictish opus, Secret Soundz Vol.2 - which was very recently given a full nationwide release, alongside Vol.1, by London taste-makers Moshi Moshi. For this special advent tour, the pair are reunited for a fortnight of song-swapping, thigh-slapping and local-ale gargling; expect folk-tinged winter hymns, lo-fi audio wizardry and sweet Eigg-nog kisses under the casio.

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

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Hey! Manchester is supported by First Chop Brewing Arm.