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: She Makes War... Jeffrey Lewis... The Burning Hell... Smoke Fairies... Kiran Leonard... The Drink... Eleanor Friedberger... Gun Outfit... Will Varley... Girls Names... C Duncan... The Wave Pictures... Aidan Knight... Momus... BC Camplight... Cale Tyson...

When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 2 December 2015
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with She Makes War for the first time!


Laura Kidd – aka She Makes War – is in a reflective mood, celebrating the fifth anniversary of her critically acclaimed debut album Disarm with an EP and a short winter tour.

Disarm: Reimagined will revisit several audience favourites from her debut, tenderly reworked with the benefit of five years of life, love and touring. As Kierkegaard said, ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’

It’s been a busy year for the Bristol polymath, taking in two German tours, a universally acclaimed one-woman show at Edinburgh Fringe (‘a charming hour of biographical storytelling and music… perfectly executed acoustic gems,’ said The List), support tours with Duke Special (UK) and The Levellers (UK and Europe), a 22-date UK headline tour, dates with tUnE-yArDs, Gruff Rhys, New Model Army and Pretty Vicious, and the recording of her third album, Direction Of Travel (due for release in early 2016).

A heartstealing blend of solo a capella looping, riot grrrl inflected indie rock and ukulele melancholy with a spellbindingly intimate vocal capable of melting even the harshest of hearts, She Makes War will visit Birmingham, Manchester, London and her newly adopted home town of Bristol for four special headline shows which will heavily draw from Disarm and forthcoming third album Direction Of Travel.

‘A fantastic Polly Harvey/Jeff Buckley hybrid – belting out tales of doomed life and love’ – Louder Than War

Tour support comes from Eliza Rickman. A hint of menace and reservoirs of force haunt the corners of Eliza Rickman’s voice, whatever register it occupies. Her presence on stage is an enveloping, soft darkness, impossible to ignore. After a Kickstarter-funded debut album in 2012, the release of multiple music videos widely considered to be small cinematic masterpieces, and a virtual non-stop touring schedule, Rickman is crossing oceans for her first ever UK dates.

Her song Pretty Little Head was featured on episode 45 of the immensely popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale and quickly became a fan favourite, which led to the coveted musical guest spot on their summer tour. She was also invited to contribute to Jason Webley’s Margaret – an ensemble concept album about a mysterious woman whose scrapbook was found in a dumpster. Eliza has recorded two albums with Jason Webley, both of which are slated for release in late 2015.

Opening the show is Her Name Is Calla frontman T E MorrisAnd You Were the Hunter is his second solo album, having already amassed a healthy back catalogue of five self-released EP’s and one full-length LP over the course of the last 18 months.

Book 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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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 9 December 2015
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to welcome back Jeffrey Lewis – with his new band, Los Bolts!


Manhattan is Jeffrey Lewis’s seventh studio album for Rough Trade, and his first since 2011’s A Turn In The Dream-Songs.

But the Lower East Side Renaissance man – apparently as unsleeping as his NYC hometown – has certainly not been on sabbatical for the past four years. Far from it: since his last LP, Lewis has played over 555 (!!) live shows (ranging from living rooms to Radio City Music Hall, supporting Pulp); released a collaboration album with Peter Stampfel, a three-song single entitled WWPRD (for What Would Pussy Riot Do) and a self-released album as Jeffrey Lewis & the Jrams; created and published both a series of zines in which he adapted Sonic Youth songs into sonnet form (naturally entitled Sonnet Youth) as well as two issues of his acclaimed comic Fuff. He has also illustrated several books and toured the US lecturing on the comic The Watchmen.

Lewis’s new album, produced with John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Phosphorescent, The War On Drugs), is both named after and directly inspired by New York City, but is no regionalised curio. Like contemporaries The Mountain Goats or The Decemberists, it’s the very specificity of the details Lewis uses to depict his characters and situations that make his songs so evocative, and so emotionally rich. While we may not have grown up five blocks away from where we now reside in the LES, like Lewis does, we’ve all encountered our own Scowling Crackhead Ian, stoop-loitering or not; we’ve all had a sad, aimless breakup conversation like Lewis’s in Manhattan, even if ours didn’t take us over the Williamsburg Bridge, through a graffitied train-yard, and across a crowded skate park on Avenue A.

While Manhattan’s Lower East Side/East Village and environs is no longer the creative hotbed of its half-apocryphal, legendary past, Lewis carries an undimmed torch once borne by other musical polymaths with their roots in the area, like The Holy Modal Rounders, Silver Apples, The Fugs, and David Peel, with the great poets of NYC’s past, Lou Reed and Bob Dylan, serving as eternal guiding stars. Lewis’s own background is studded with New York cultural history: one uncle was a notorious radical theatre activist in the ‘60s and ‘70s, one uncle a well-known composer, and his cousin, Perry Robinson, is a renowned free-jazz clarinetist and memoirist.

More than any of his previous records, Manhattan finds Lewis grappling with the weight of his own history, the history of his neighbourhood and his city, and the sometimes-overwhelming emotional burdens we all bear moving amidst human relationships. The production underlines his narrative, punctuated with episodes of sonic chaos as city noises, tape effects, guitar squalls, and monotone chanted refrains pile up and threaten to overtake Lewis’s vocals; elsewhere, big, warm guitars bring accessibility into the sweetness of love song Outta Town; Have A Baby is staccato and unrelenting, like the lyrics’ biological clock.

Manhattan, then, is both about and not about New York City; Lewis is both a lifelong resident and a detached observer of his hometown; but ultimately, it’s a simple treatment of human moments by one of our sharpest songwriting talents.

Support comes from Wedding. Wedding is the project of Thomas Craig and New Yorker Zachary Taube, joined by a live band. The group began during the pair’s time living in Berlin; now based in Manchester, they are set to release their debut EP on RIP Records in October. ‘Infectious, lo-fi garage pop,’ was Indie Shuffle’s view, while Clash wrote ‘songwriting of a rare intimacy’.

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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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 12 December 2015
Where: The Brudenell Social Club, 33 Queen’s Road, Headingley, Leeds LS6 1NY

We’re excited to be promoting The Burning Hell’s debut appearance in Leeds!


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 2015 will see The Burning Hell continue to tour in support of People, co-released by Headless Owl, (weewerk) and BB Island, throughout Canada and Europe. Onward!

For their debut appearance in Leeds, The Burning Hell will line up as a duo in the Brudenell’s Games Room.

Tour support comes from Susie Asado. Berlin-based Susie Asado moves bare-boned and mischieviously in the sonic ether somewhere between the alternate realities of Tom Waits and Patti Smith. At the heart of the band is Josepha Conrad, who fills the silences in the minimalist arrangements of bass, ukulele, violin and clarinet with her wry, intelligent lyrics. Susie Asado brings levity to their darkness and depth to their playfulness, existing at the point where avant garde meets folk and poetry meets pop. Susie Asado’s new album State of Undress will be released on the 21 August, with the title track preceding it on 26 June.

This show is a co-promotion with Please Please You and the Brudenell.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are also available from the Brudenell bar, Crash RecordsJumbo Records and on 0871 220 0260.

All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 16 December 2015
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be bringing Smoke Fairies back to Manchester!


Smoke Fairies have announced live plans to tour their Wild Winter album this December. The band will not only to celebrate the release of their winter-themed album Wild Winter but also the creation of a beer by the same name.

Wild Winter – a 6.8% abv Spiced Winter Ale – comes following an extensive tasting and research session between London’s Signature Brew company and Smoke Fairies, leading to the creation of this unique beer that will be on general release in keg and cask from 23 November.

Wild Winter the album, a holiday-themed collection of 10 songs, sees its full release Friday 20 November. Last year, the LP sold out entirely when it was released in limited edition run and sold exclusively Rough Trade Record Store in the UK as the December Album of the Month. The album is now being released via all digital and physical retailers via Full Time Hobby.

In the six years together since entering a recording studio for the first time, Smoke Fairies have released several albums and singles, firstly coming to attention with their 7” Gastown/River Song via Third Man Records which Jack White produced and played on. The band has toured the world with the likes of Brian Ferry, Richard Hawley and Laura Marling. Pitchfork said that Blamire and Davies ‘don’t trade vocal duties so much as appear to sing from the same body, their voices nearly indistinguishable, shifting between smoky moans and toe-curling trills.’

‘Smoke Fairies appear to have tapped into this mid-winter noir. It’s an intriguing return, one which allies their soft, folk-hued vocals to some rather distorted effects’ – Clash Music

‘Smoke Fairies rely on intertwining…their two voices move in close harmonies, with timbres blending almost like sisters’ – New York Times

This show is a co-promotion with Wotgodforgot.

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 Wednesday 13 January 2016
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We’re excited to be working with Kiran Leonard once more!


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 Tom Settle – who the Skinny described as possessing ‘a soaring voice reminiscent of Elliott Smith’ – and Friends.

Opening the show are Yerba Mansa – a ‘free’ rock improv duo from Manchester, featuring members of Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Irma Vep and Birchall-Cheetham duo.

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 28 January 2016
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with The Drink for the first time – and welcoming Liverpool’s Gulf back!


Playing things safe has never been The Drink’s philosophy. Throughout the trio’s evolution, their gloriously off-kilter guitar pop melodies and lyrical curiosities have commanded attention – and on brand new album Capital, they’re pushing the boundaries even further, eschewing meticulous planning in favour of instinct across even more wondrously intriguing tracks. ‘Capital can mean a lot of things’ explains Galway-born singer Dearbhla Minogue. ‘But it always has a gravity wherever it crops up. It brings to mind subtle or intangible force.’

Taking their celebration of controlled chaos out of the city (the trio all now reside in London), and into the Yorkshire countryside, Capital was recorded in a converted pig farm just outside Sheffield and is the next intrepid step in The Drink’s defiant rolling trajectory. The band’s ‘debut’ album Company was compiled from their first three EPs, received praise across the music press and set off twelve months of touring that culminated in a BBC 6 Music session for Marc Riley, support slots with Toro Y Moi and invites to the Green Man and End Of The Road festivals this summer. Whilst most would put writing a follow-up on hold to fulfil their live duties, that simply wasn’t an option: ‘We wanted to move on fast after Company, without that momentum-sapping two-year gap between albums,’ explains bassist David Stewart.

With drummer Daniel Fordham completing the line-up, if there’s one thing Capital has, it’s momentum. Through skewed time signatures and rapid key changes, whether drawing influences from krautrock (see the hypnotic Like A River and No Memory’s motorik drones) to girl group harmonics (Dearbhla’s cherubic falsetto on Roller and I’ll Never Make You Cry), time on tour has given the trio the chance to develop their impressive sound, giving way to a natural confidence and chemistry that has found its way into Capital’s song-writing. Potter’s Grave, in particular, highlights the album’s wonderfully strange collision between beautiful fragments of melody and lyrical imagery.

With a style that deftly evokes feeling over understanding, Dearbhla’s lyrics provide emotion to an uninhibited stream of unconsciousness, whether conjuring up references to dreams and sleep, or to nature, inspired by the folk songs she used to listen to and the poetry of Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas, and her great uncle Frank Thompson. ‘I wrote No Memory’s phrase “dreaming of a green field” after a flashbulb dream about the green fields back home… but I think a lot of my lyrical references to nature are allegorical to how far away from their own nature people have to behave now, in order to survive.’

Mixed and mastered by Tobias Warwick Jones, Capital exhibits the band’s appreciation of artists from The Modern Lovers to Rory Gallagher. The result is a record that transcends its predecessor, bolstered by playful danceability. Take the disco-infused You Won’t Come Back At All, born from a night out dancing in Whitechapel, whilst lead track The Coming Rain is the result of years spent listening to Kenyan Ayub Ogada. Elsewhere the nervy blues guitar sound of Hair Trigger and Like A River are driven by what Dearbhla calls a ‘got-to-catch-my-train feel’. ‘We only found the right guitar sound about an hour before I had to leave for my train and I wanted to record as many tracks as possible with that sound. It was a bit down to the wire but it’s given the record an energy we wouldn’t have otherwise had,’ she says.

Between them, the band members have other projects; Dearbhla continues to play in The Wharves and Shield Your Eyes, whose guitarist Stef Ketteringham has hugely influenced Dearbhla’s playing. Daniel has recently collaborated with award-winning short-story writer Stuart Evers, creating soundscapes inspired by the writer’s latest collection, Your Father Sends His Love.

‘The songs twist and turn in unexpected ways and the lyrics are fascinating and strange’ – The Guardian

‘One of the best debuts of the year’ – NME

Support comes from Liverpool psychedelic five-piece Gulf.

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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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 4 February 2016
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We’re excited to be working with Eleanor Friedberger once again!


Eleanor Friedberger will release her third solo album entitled New View on 22 January 2016. New View is the follow-up to 2013’s critically acclaimed Personal Record and is her first album as a signee to NYC’s seminal indie label Frenchkiss Records. The album opener He Didn’t Mention His Mother is an exciting first glimpse at New View, driven by melodic guitar lines, Wurlitzer electric piano and Friedberger’s signature, witty lyricism.

It’s been two years since the release of Eleanor Friedberger’s sophomore solo album Personal Record, which made countless year-end lists including Rolling Stone, Consequence of Sound, Paste, Magnet, MOJO, Uncut, CMJ and more. During that time, Eleanor has kept quite busy – she live-scored unreleased Andy Warhol films alongside Bradford Cox and Dean Wareham, and sat in with the 8G Band numerous times on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Most recently, Eleanor released a new song, False Alphabet City, giving us a taste of what’s to come on New View.

New View signals a fresh beginning for the former Fiery Furnaces’ frontwoman. After living in Brooklyn for 14 years, Friedberger moved to upstate New York, and the album reflects that region’s rustic charm. The songs were arranged with her backing band Icewater and recorded in Germantown, NY, live to tape, with producer Clemens Knieper in his converted barn studio. The result is an album that feels like an instant classic upon first listen, and is Eleanor Friedberger’s best record to date.

Friedberger drew inspiration for New View from many of her musical heroes – everyone from Van Morrison, Neil Young and George Harrison, to Slapp Happy, Yoko Ono and Elyse. There are ghost notes of all of those influences on New View, but mostly you hear the singular voice of Eleanor Friedberger, whose warm, inviting alto and incredible word play continue to make her one of the foremost songwriters in the indie rock world today.

For this return to the city – her first since a sold out show at the Castle Hotel 18 months ago – Eleanor will be performing solo.

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 Saturday 13 February 2016
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with Gun Outfit for the first time!


Opening credits. One weekend in 1947, teenaged filmmaker, music video forefather, fledgling occultist, and eventual Mick Jagger collaborator Kenneth Anger shoots a short film of homoerotic surrealism called Fireworks in his parents’ empty house in Beverly Hills. The stated intention is to capture ‘the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream’, and it does so with ghostly brutality, distilling a potent, symbolically charged amalgam of desire, dread, violence and the tentative trappings of magick that would occupy Anger (an Aleister Crowley acolyte) in later years.

Almost seventy years later, Dream All Over, the fourth full-length album by the cinematically minded Los Angeles rock and roll band Gun Outfit – and their first with Paradise of Bachelors – describes a comparable flickering and dimming of dreams, that moment when the lights go up, and the ‘temporary relief’ of sleep’s ‘imaginary displays’ dissolves into stark, deadening lucidity. The songs are suffused with a slyly cynical hangover/hangman’s humour that evokes, from the perspective of ‘a stranger / getting stranger still’, L.A.’s disorienting simulacrum kingdom of crawling pictures: ‘I looked familiar in a foreign land / I couldn’t speak, but I could understand / From another life I rode / Into a desert of my own / And when I put my blanket down / I’m going to dream all over’ (Legends of My Own).

The dangerous California obliquely mapped by Gun Outfit herein bears little resemblance to Tinseltown fantasies, except insofar as the incantatory dialogues of singers Carrie Keith (guitar, vocals, slide) and Dylan Sharp (guitar, vocals, banjo, balalaika) throw off a muted, wary carnal heat, the lingering afterimage of spent desire. (‘Isn’t enchantment what we like?’ asks the song In Orbit, dubiously.) Instead the inscape drawn through Dream All Over navigates the dark side of the moon – the Hollywood Babylon L.A. of Kenneth Anger and David Lynch, Father Yod and Charlie Manson, muscle cars and drought – as reflected upon a pair of road-weary human hearts. As Dylan sings in Only Ever Over, ‘Out here on the West coast where the ocean eats the sun / We’ve known for a long time the end’s already come.’

The band members, all of whom have made or worked on their own and others’ low-budget, homebrew art films in various capacities, draw from the syntax and systems of cinema, in two senses: the songs invoke imagistic memories and unfold like dreams unremembered upon waking, but they also rely on staunchly collaborative team processes. The unmistakable rhythm section of Daniel Swire (drums, percussion) and Adam Payne (bass, also of Residual Echoes) fuel Dylan and Carrie’s spacious, enmeshed guitar work with a corporeal throb, and all decisions are democratically decided. Friend and mentor Henry Barnes (Amps for Christ/Man Is the Bastard) plays three different homemade electric sitars on the record. Facundo Bermudez (Ty Segall, No Age) engineered and co-produced.

Although reared in the realm of hardcore punk aesthetics, these days Gun Outfit bears a greater sonic and songwriterly kinship to the likes of Lee Hazlewood or Blaze Foley than to anything released in the heyday of the SST label. But there is an unspoken understanding throughout their recordings, but pointedly so on Dream All Over, that punk rock is folk music, certainly as much as honky-tonk belongs to the American folk tradition. But the band somehow communicates this kinship by barely acknowledging the formal tropes of either genre. It’s a compellingly elusive aesthetic strategy articulated in the withering Gotta Wanna: ‘I wanna squirm around / I’m a wild primate / Can’t never make no art / When my clothing chafes.’

There are many such moments on Dream All Over, deflating lyrical reversals that frame these plainspoken riddles with devastating regret and resignation, in the manner of all great country songs. The existential beach-blanket bingo ritual of Came to Be (‘futility,’ we learn, is ‘the reason for the partying’) ends with a scathingly dismissive indictment: ‘And that’s what I know of Paradise.’ Worldly Way finishes with a desolate aphorism: ‘Oh world, what knowledge do you teach? / To grow a tail and chase it / Or sit awhile in grief.’ The album begins with a cautious, nodding admission of our powerlessness to resist the dominion ‘Of the often noticed clock / And its fascist frame.’ But it ends with a glimmer of prehistoric hope, a ‘temporary relief': ‘So cup a little coal / Try to make it glow / We’re going to have a fire before we go.’ End credits.

‘Dylan Sharp is starting to remind me more and more of Lee Hazlewood as both a singer and writer, and Carrie Keith’s voice has bent into something between Stevie Nicks and Courtney Love, rasping with beautiful, weatherbeaten soul’ – Dusted

Main support comes from Butcher The Bar. Butcher The Bar are five young(ish) men playing – sometimes jangly sometimes fuzzy – power pop. They do this in Manchester. They share a love for, among other things, Teenage Fanclub, Elliott Smith, Flying Nun Records and Yo La Tengo. Once the solo project of Joel Nicholson, Butcher The Bar has long outgrown its beginnings in his Rotherham bedroom, and the band are now adding the finishing touches to the third album – the first to capture this bunch on record. Currently signed to Berlin indie Morr Music (múm, Telekinesis, Seabear, Lali Puna), Butcher The Bar have toured around Europe and the UK – including a jaunt supporting Death Cab for Cutie – and you may have seen them in Manchester opening shows for Mark Eitzel, Allo Darlin’ and Francois & The Atlas Mountains.

Opening the show are Tremors, who Scruff of the Neck described as ‘Manchester’s own personal slice of Americana’.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Gullivers’ 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 Saturday 13 February 2016
Where: Night & Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN

We’re delighted to be promoting Will Varley’s debut headline show in Manchester!


Rambling folk singer Will Varley, who walked over 500 miles along England’s south coast with a guitar on his back, is gearing up for the release of his third album Postcards From Ursa Minor, out on 30 October via Xtra Mile Recordings. His last two records received rave reviews from The Independent, fRoots and Q magazine, and he has been described by Frank Turner as ‘one the best singer-songwriters in the UK’.

With forthcoming tour with said label-mate and champion Frank Turner in November 2015, Will Varley will then be heading out solo in February for 17 dates up and down the country. This headline tour follows a jam-packed couple of years for Will who has played at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust, headlined his own spring tour earlier this year, played dates with cult legend Beans On Toast, released an EP, and spent a summer supporting The Proclaimers across the UK as well as festival appearances at Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Green Man and BoomTown among others.

Produced by Tristan Ivemy and mastered at Abbey Road by Frank Arkwright (Arcade Fire, Blur), Postcards From Ursa Minor is a masterclass in songwriting that pushes the boundaries of the ‘one man and a guitar’ format. From rowdy drinking songs with sprawling chaotic arrangements to his sparse solo performances, he covers a range of subjects with his trademark sprinkling of social commentary, politics and wry humour.

Since completing his walking tour in 2014 and being named one of Time Out’s rising stars of 2015, Will has had tracks played on BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and XFM – including mentions from Steve Lamacq, Communion Records and Rob Da Bank. Varley’s high energy live shows, which jump effortlessly from heartbreaking love songs to hilarious shaggy dog stories, are complimented by his self-made music videos that in turn have clocked up hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube and bought attention to his songs from all over the world.

Between touring constantly for the past five years and co-running his own record label and the sell-out Smugglers festival where he’s based in Kent, interest in Will, and his highly anticipated third album is reaching fever pitch. Looking forward to 2016, with his headline tour in February and his first visit to the USA scheduled for March already, the future is bright for this rising star.

‘Powerful, political and pertinent’ – The Independent

‘Excellent… blew me away’ – Q Magazine

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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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 18 February 2016
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with Girls Names for the first time!


Northern Ireland’s Girls Names recently released their third full-length album, Arms Around a Vision, via long-term home, Tough Love Records.

‘We look to Europe for inspiration. For romance. For the idea of a better life,’ says the band’s frontman Cathal Cully when discussing the album. ‘For me, living in Belfast just makes you focus on your own art.’

True, Girls Names formed in Belfast, but they’ve long considered themselves a European band. The distinction is important – their vision of Europe is one of weird, labyrinthian histories, blackest-ever-black coffee, and long drives to dismal places. Romantic notions for those of a certain disposition, but behind the thousand-yard stares they’ve always been a soft-hearted lot. As the title of Arms Around a Vision would suggest, they’re all set to let love in.

The band initially came together as a relatively lean two-piece back in the summer of 2010, but over the course of a handful of EPs and three very different albums, they’ve grown in number and ambition. Their previous album, The New Life, was an unexpected underground hit in early 2013, taking the band around the world and garnering much critical praise, culminating in nominations for both the Northern Irish and Irish music prizes. Emboldened by the reception to that record, in March they returned with an 11-minute single that was played in full on Radio 1 and, typically, does not feature on their new album. Girls Names like to do things a little differently.

On Arms Around a Vision, they’re more widescreen than ever but also more direct and aggressive. Recorded and self-produced by the band and mixed by Dan Rejmer (Ben Frost, Tim Hecker), the bass, drums and guitars are still there, but so are saxophones, organs, detuned broken guitars and pianos, and even sheets of metal assaulted with hammers. Conceptually, Arms Around a Vision acts as a love letter to European elegance – Italian futurism, Russian constructivism, Germany’s Zero Group and both Neubaten and Bowie’s Berlin.

Love and pain, romance and fucking. It’s all in there somewhere. Grand claims, perhaps, but in an ever bleak world, why not skygaze? The album opens with Reticence, a song in two parts that’s half metallic knockout, half midnight swagger. It sounds unlike anything they’ve ever done before, and is a perfect primer for an album that treads a course between Eno-era Roxy sleaze, Birthday Party dissonance and M.E.S’ three Rs: repetition, repetition, repetition.

‘The Belfast band meld Sonic Youth’s dissonance with New Order’s dystopian dance. Compelling’ – The Sunday Times

‘Book it: Girls Names are about to release the best underground rock album of 1983′ – SPIN

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Wednesday 2 December via Seetickets.com.

Attend on: Facebook

All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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