When: 7.30pm on Sunday 19 May 2013
Where: Takk Coffee House, 6 Tariff Street, Northern Quarter, M1 2FF
We’re happy to welcome back Portland guitarist Ryan Francesconi – this time, performing his recent duo record with violinist Mirabai Peart.
In recent years, Portland’s Ryan Francesconi (previously best known for his work as the musical director on Joanna Newsom’s stunning triple album Have One On Me) has established himself as a leading figure in acoustic composition and performance. Now, he prepares to return to European stages to perform with his partner, violinist Mirabai Peart, in the wake of a new album, Road To Palios, released on Bella Union in December.
The album finds Ryan developing his collaborative work with Mirabai (whom he met through their membership of the Joanna Newsom band). A set of spellbinding duets for guitar and violin, Road To Palios evidences a world of musical inspiration flowing through its minimal instrumental palette, spanning Baroque, Americana and jazz improvisation but centring on the pair’s main obsession: Balkan folk music, mainly from Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. On stage these ornate and detailed compositions possess a rare transportative power: an atlas of vividly evoked musical places performed with heart and soul by two extraordinary musicians.
Parables, Ryan’s first record under his own name (having been producing solo electronic music as RF since 1999), served dazzling notice of his ability to conjure pieces that ring with personal truth while absorbing myriad influences and techniques. He toured Europe in 2011, spellbinding hushed rooms across the continent and picking up press acclaim along the way.
‘The duo showcase exceptional musicianship and an effortless unity… Francesconi’s guitar work is mind-boggling at times and Peart’s fiddle produces a wonderfully eerie accompaniment’ – Line Of Best Fit
‘Sparkling ornaments that recall Toumani Diabaté’s kora… although Francesconi undeniably has great technique, he doesn’t go in for grandstanding or flashy sprints… a beautiful album, carried off with poetic aplomb’ – The Wire
Support at the show comes from Manchester’s own Jon Southall. The celtic and English-influenced acoustic guitar instrumentalist and songwriter cites influences including John martyn, Nic jones and Richard Thompson among others. His new album is due out later in the year on Crowfoot Records.
Takk is an excellent new coffee house on the edge of the Northern Quarter. Complimentary tea and coffee is included within the ticket price, with other refreshments (including alcoholic) available to purchase.
When: 7pm on Tuesday 14 May 2013
Where: Sound Control, 1 New Wakefield Street, Manchester M1 5NP
When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 15 May 2013
Where: The Kazimier, 4-5 Wolstenholme Square, Liverpool L1 4JJ
When: 7.30pm on Friday 24 May 2013
Where: The Fleece, 12 Saint Thomas Street, Bristol BS1 6JJ
We’re excited to be promoting three shows for Public Service Broadcasting on their Inform – Educate – Entertain debut album tour.
Public Service Broadcasting is the corduroy-clad brainchild of London-based J. Willgoose, Esq. who, along with his drumming companion, Wrigglesworth, is on a quest to inform, educate and entertain audiences around the globe.
PSB’s uniquely spell-binding live AV Transmissions see them weave samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material around live drums, guitar, banjo and electronics as they teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future – beaming our past back at us through vintage TV sets and state of the art modern video projection devices.
PSB released their debut single, ROYGBIV, to the masses in March 2012. The single won the Rebel Playlist on BBC 6 Music (the first of the band’s unprecedented four public- voted Rebel Playlist triumphs in 2012) and was on the receiving end of a 5* review in Artrocker magazine.
Next came The War Room EP in May 2012. The EP included BBC 6 Music favourites Spitfire and London Can Take It, both of which became mainstays on the daytime playlist, as well as receiving multiple plays on Xfm, BBC Radio 2 and Absolute Music. Live sessions with Gideon Coe (6 Music) and John Kennedy (Xfm) followed. The War Room received ‘CD of the Week’ in the Independent on Sunday and has sold over 12,000 copies to date.
Fresh from the success of The War Room, PSB set their sights on the summit of Everest, adapting the 1953 feature-length documentary ‘The Conquest of Everest’. The stunning film was shot by expedition member George Lowe, and recounts Hillary, Tenzing et al’s successful ascent of the tallest mountain in the world. The single won (yet again) the Rebel Playlist on 6 Music and also received airplay on Xfm, Radio 2, Amazing Radio and more, and led to appearances for the band in Q, MOJO, Loud and Quiet, Wire and numerous other publications.
In support of the release of Everest, PSB took their live AV show on tour around the UK, selling out multiple dates including their headline London show at XOYO. The band are now preparing to release their debut album, entitled Inform – Educate – Entertain, in Spring 2013, in what is shaping up to be a very busy year indeed.
‘This duo are bringing the past up to date whilst sounding like they belong in 2012? - Music Week
‘The music is a moody sheen of rock rhythms and samples occupying the space between Pink Floyd’s The Wall and the Orb’s early output’ – The Wire
MANCHESTER: Support comes from Golden Fable (formerly Tim & Sam Band). Tickets are available from the bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Seetickets.com and on 0871 220 0260.
BRISTOL: Tickets are available now from Seetickets.com and on 0871 220 0260
When: 7pm on Wednesday 29 May 2013
Where: Sound Control, 1 New Wakefield Street, Manchester M1 5NP
We’re proud to be presenting a unique show featuring joint headliners – Titus Andronicus and Fucked Up – plus special guests METZ!
Titus Andronicus is a punk rock/indie rock band which formed in Glen Rock, New Jersey in 2005. They consist of Patrick Stickles (vocals, guitar), Julian Veronesi (bass), Liam Betson (guitar) and Eric Harm (drums). The band takes its name from the Shakespeare play Titus Andronicus. Titus Andronicus is known for their energetic punk/indie sound (tinted with hints of New Jersey rock and early rock ‘n’ roll) and their use of lo-fi production.
Their debut album, The Airing Of Grievances, was released on the Troubleman Unlimited record label in 2008 to many positive reviews. The album’s loud, heavily distorted guitars are influenced by shoegaze, while the lyrics and song titles are references to various books and other forms of entertainment (such as the album title, from the Seinfeld episode The Strike about Festivus). The Airing Of Grievances was reissued in 2009 on XL Recordings.
The band’s second album, The Monitor, was released on March 9, 2010 through XL Recordings to wide critical acclaim, and was cited as one of the best indie albums of the year.
Their third album, Local Business, was released on October 23, 2012, through XL Recordings.
While Canadian punk provocateurs Fucked Up play aggressive and incendiary music, that’s hardly where their desire to stir up trouble begins and ends. The group strays far from the standard template of four-four punk stomp, incorporating extended instrumental workouts, unusual arrangements, and lengthy experimental passages along with the furious guitars and ranting vocals. While Fucked Up have paid homage on record to pioneering anarchist movements and creative and political troublemakers of all stripes, they’ve also flirted with fascist images and obscure mysticism in a bid to puzzle and confront their audiences. And despite their fondness for lengthy musical statements, Fucked Up waited until four years into their recording career to record a full-length album.
Fucked Up formed in Toronto, Ontario, in 2001; the group members (all of whom use pseudonyms) were Pink Eyes (aka Father Damien) on lead vocals, 10,000 Marbles on lead guitar, Concentration Camp on rhythm guitar, Mustard Gas on bass, and Mr. Jo (aka Guinea Beat) on drums. In 2002, the band released its first record, a vinyl 7″ called No Parasan distributed by Deranged Records. Over the next four years, Fucked Up would release a steady stream of singles, EPs, and cassettes, most notably the infamous Looking for Gold vinyl 12″, which featured the epic-length title song (which incorporates massive guitar overdubs, extended drum solos, and a whistled coda); rather than deal with the expense of the EP’s elaborate package, the band opted to post the record online rather than go into a third pressing.
In 2006, Fucked Up released their much-anticipated full-length album Hidden World through Jade Tree, a musically ambitious collection that featured 13 songs in 72 minutes, though its release didn’t stop their ongoing parade of singles and EPs, eight of which appeared the same year as the album. By 2008, the band had accumulated nearly 40 records to its name, mostly limited vinyl singles, and a third guitarist had been added to the lineup, going by the name of Young Governor. In March, a chaotic performance on a pedestrian bridge at South by Southwest added to the hype for Year of the Pig, which was released in mid-July that year. Just three months later, the band released their first full-length for Matador, The Chemistry of Common Life, and became the first “hardcore punk” artists to grace the cover of NME.
Completing what promises to be the line-up of the summer are METZ. The Toronto-based Sub Pop band play music that makes ‘a frantic nod to Nation of Ulysses, Shellac, The Pixies, The Jesus Lizard, and Public Image Ltd’.
When: 7pm on Wednesday 29 May 2013
Where: The Ritz, Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5NQ
Nile Rodgers’ legendary disco group Chic to play a rare headline show in Manchester this May.
Chic are an American disco and R&B band that were founded in 1976 by guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards. The group, still fronted by Rodgers, are best known for hit songs including Le Freak, Dance Dance Dance, I Want Your Love, Good Times – the latter of which provided the bedrock of The Sugarhill Gang’s A Rapper’s Delight, the first multiple-platinum Hip Hop single. The group regard themselves as a rock band for the disco movement ‘that made good on hippie peace, love and freedom’. In October 2012, Chic were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the seventh time.
Nile Rodgers, whose 1958 Fender Stratocaster has played on an estimated $2bn worth of hit music, also has numerous producer credits to his name – including Let’s Dance, David Bowie‘s biggest-selling album, and Madonna‘s blockbuster album Like a Virgin, plus records by Sister Sledge, Duran Duran and Diana Ross. In March 2013, Rodgers was profiled in the highly rated BBC4 documentary special, Nile Rodgers: The Hitmaker.
Chic and Rodgers follow up on recent high-profile appearances at The Warehouse Project and Parklife Festival (featuring Johnny Marr on guitar for Le Freak) with this rare headline performance at The Ritz.
When: 7.30pm on Friday 31 May 2013
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE
We’re delighted to be presenting the first Manchester show for Camper Van Beethoven since 2004 – and only their second here in the past 25 years.
Camper Van Beethoven introduced an eclectic, often humorous blend of hippie psychedelia, avant-garde improvisation, country-western shadings, pseudo-ethnic sounds, and a hardcore punch to the mid-1980s postpunk scene. What saved the group from novelty status was its genuine talent for making interesting, adventurous music.
Born in San Antonio, Texas, and raised in cities around the globe as an air force brat, CVB leader David Lowery ultimately landed as a teenager in Redlands, California (just outside of LA). By 1983 Lowery was studying mathematics at UC Santa Cruz and had begun playing with his first band, Sitting Duck, which experimented with ethnic sounds by way of TV shows and advertisements, and played alongside thrashy punk and psychedelic rock & roll. The earliest version of Camper Van Beethoven grew out of Sitting Duck and included Lowery, Krummenacher, Molla, and guitarist David McDaniel (who actually named the band shortly before leaving). It wasn’t until the next year, however, that the Campers began following their eclectic muse in earnest. Lowery had returned to college in Santa Cruz and was soon followed by Krummenacher and Molla. There they met up with local guitarist Greg Lisher and composition student Jonathan Segal.
The band’s first album, Telephone Free Landslide Victory, on the arty LA-based label Independent Projects, produced the single Take the Skinheads Bowling, which became a cult favourite among college students. The album also featured a slowed-down, violin-drenched version of Black Flag‘s first single, Wasted. The album was followed by a string of equally offbeat collections of songs —which featured titles like ZZ Top Goes to Egypt and Joe Stalin’s Cadillac —on which the Campers experimented with everything from Beatlesque tape manipulation and Arabic-like drones to absurdist lyrics and offbeat covers (such as Ringo Starr’s Photograph and Pink Floyd’s Interstellar Overdrive). In 1987 the group recorded with the eccentric guitarist Eugene Chadbourne —calling themselves Camper Van Chadbourne —for the tiny indie label Fundamentalist Records. Virgin signed the band in 1988, releasing the more accessible (yet still very offbeat) Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie.
In 1988 Krummenacher, Lisher, and Pedersen took the band’s arty quality to their side project, Monks of Doom, and Segal recorded a solo album. Camper Van Beethoven parted ways in 1989, and Lowery took the hooky pop side of the band into his group Cracker. With guitarist and Redlands friend Johnny Hickman, Lowery relocated to Richmond, Virginia, to make music. Coming immediately after Camper’s far-out Key Lime Pie, the feisty roots-rock sound of Cracker initially earned derision from alternative circles, as it discarded Camper’s violins and strange polyrhythms.
New Roman Times was Camper Van Beethoven’s first major recording project since the band quietly reunited in 2000 to share some live bills with Lowery’s popular post-Camper outfit Cracker. The resurgent combo’s performances were rapturously received by longtime fans and new admirers alike. But, rather than rushing to cash in, they chose to wait before recording a new album, instead releasing a pair of unconventional archival releases. Those discs – 1999′s Camper Van Beethoven Is Dead, a collection of rarities and live tracks retooled into a suitelike sonic opus, and 2002′s Tusk, a distinctive song-for-song remake of the Fleetwood Mac album of the same title – functioned as a test runs for the reunited bandmates, allowing them to rekindle their collaborative rapport in a relatively low-key manner.
True to the freewheeling, joyfully schizophrenic swirl of rock, punk, ska, folk, world music and (insert next genre-bending style here) that has defined the Camper Van Beethoven aesthetic since the enduring lineup took shape circa mid-80s, La Costa Perdida, their debut on 429 Records and first recording since New Roman Times in 2004, brings a listener into the strange world of the northern California coast above San Francisco.
Support comes from WALK. Now Then said of them: ‘Rik Warren’s display of electric blues minimalism, manufacturing crunching grooves with the fewest of notes and giving repetition a good name. His new project with David Schlechtriemen (aka The Pickpocket Network and also of Driver drive faster and Honeyfeet) is named WALK but Stomp might be more apt given the similarity to Junior Kimbrough’s persistent riffs. The kick with WALK is the evolution to sequencer blues; leaving electric blues in the past by warping their sonic creations with 21st Century electronic gadgetry.’ Here’s their video for Please Don’t.
When: 7.30pm on Monday 3 June 2013
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE
We’re delighted to be promoting Ralfe Band’s first Manchester show in almost five years!
Welcome back to the intriguing world of Ralfe Band, whose new collection of 12 songs, Son Be Wise, is out on 3 June. The brainchild of English songwriter Oly Ralfe, Son Be Wise marks a new chapter in the Ralfe Band story, and draws on a vivid pallet of sounds blending euphoric folk pop, whispering ballads and gothic picaresques to craft its uniquely enigmatic sound.
Infused with images of travel, the album draws inspiration from Oly’s life of living between England and Berlin and adventures in Iceland, Mexico and the USA. The album was recorded in the UK, beginning with Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi) in a remote Wales studio, continuing with Andy Ramsay of Stereolab in South London and was completed in rural Oxfordshire. The album?s lead single, Come On Go Wild, dances its way through an infectious bossa nova rhythm, imbued with an English eccentricity that is unmistakably Ralfe Band.
Son Be Wise marks a new chapter in Oly Ralfe’s songcraft, drawing on a kaleidoscope of inspiration from Eric Satie‘s music to Borges’s Labyrinths and Emily Brontë‘s poems.
Son Be Wise also features backing vocals from Alessi Laurent-Marke aka Alessi’s Ark who appears on four songs, including album openers Ox and Barricades, with Piney Gir lending her voice to Dead Souls.
Ralfe Band’s musical journey began in 2005 with debut album Swords, a madcap voyage praised by Mojo and The Independent and earning the band an early cult following. Second album Attic Thieves strengthened the band’s reputation for blending ingenuity and intrigue in their wholly original sound. Son Be Wise follows Ralfe Band’s acclaimed soundtrack and album to 2010 feature film Bunny and the Bull (Warp Films).
Oly Ralfe’s distinctive artwork and videos have shaped a unique image, from his animated video for single Women of Japan – winner of Best International Music Video at SXSW – to his artwork for the band’s singles and albums. Past creative collaborations with Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt have seen Oly contributing songs and cameos to The Mighty Boosh TV shows, and in 2010 he directed the film The Mighty Boosh On Tour – Journey of the Childmen. Oly also won the Raindance Award at the British Independent Film Awards for BBC4-screened The Ballad of AJ Weberman, a documentary about the notorious Bob Dylan obsessive.
Support comes from Kiran Leonard, a mercurially talented 17-year-old musician from Oldham. His debut album Bowler Hat Soup is set to be released on Hand Of Glory in 2013 as a limited run of 300 vinyl copies. Listen to his song Dear Linconl on Pitchfork here.
Opening the show is Jo Dudderidge – lead singer of Hey! Manchester favourites the Travelling Band.
When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 4 June 2013
Where: Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD
We’re delighted to be promoting the first Manchester show in three years by Icelandic pianist/composer Ólafur Arnalds.
Born 1986 in the suburban Icelandic town of Mosfellsbær, a few kilometers outside of Reykjavík, composer/performer Ólafur Arnalds has always enjoyed pushing boundaries with both his studio work and live-shows. Since the release of his debut album Eulogy for Evolution in 2007 he has built up a dedicated international following and is well established for his genre-crossing compositions blending classical, pop and ambient/electronica influences to a unique musical language.
Starting out as drummer for several hardcore/metal bands, Ólafur was asked to write instrumental intros and outros for the album Antigone of German metal band Heaven Shall Burn. This led to more work in the field of neo-classical strings and piano-based music, and ultimately to the release of Eulogy for Evolution and the beginning of Ólafur’s partnership with Berlin-based label Erased Tapes. In 2008 he embarked on a tour with fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós.
In 2009 he started a week-long project of composing one track per day, making it immediately available online to his fans. The collection was later officially released under the title Found Songs. He repeated the same experiment in 2011 under the title Living Room Songs. Also in 2009 the ballet Dyad 1909 premiered with a score composed by Ólafur. Choreographed by Wayne McGregor and performed by Wayne McGregor Random Dance, the ballet was inspired by Ernest Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition to the South Pole in 1909.
In April 2010 Ólafur released his second full-length album entitled … And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness, which was backed up with an extensive tour, including his first trip to China.
His third album, and the first to be released under his new partnership with Universal Music’s Mercury Classics imprint, is titled For Now I Am Winter and planned for international release in February 2013. Expanding on his previous work the new album features a full orchestra and – for the first time – introduces vocals to his soundworld. Icelandic singer Arnór Dan is to be heard on four tracks of the album.
More recently Ólafur has been venturing into the world of films, writing his first Hollywood film score to Another Happy Day. He also had music in the hit film The Hunger Games and has been featured several times on popular American television show So You Think You Can Dance. For 2013 his scores include the music to the new ITV thriller series Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, as well as to the film Gimme Shelter, directed by Ron Krauss and starring Vanessa Hudgens and Brendan Fraser.
For this Manchester concert – his first here since a triumphant performance with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall in 2010 – Ólafur will perform on a grand piano, accompanied by a string quartet, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist.
Support comes from new Erased Tapes artist Douglas Dare – a London-based singer-songwriter, originally from the coastal town of Bridport. Son of a piano teacher, Douglas began composing instrumental music from a young age but it was not until studying popular music at University in Liverpool in 2008 that he began songwriting. Douglas’ rich and haunting vocals are combined with lyrics crafted from his own poems and short prose, a writing style that gives his intimate songs wisdom far beyond his 22 years.
This event is a co-promotion with the RNCM.
When: 7.30pm on Thursday 6 June 2013
Where: Takk Coffee House, 6 Tariff Street, Northern Quarter, M1 2FF
We’re delighted to be presenting Icelandic folk musician Ólöf Arnalds at Manchester’s Icelandic coffee house.
Ólöf Arnalds is an Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist. Classically educated on the violin, viola and self-taught on guitar and charango, Ólöf’s most distinctive asset is, nonetheless, her voice – instantly captivating and possessed of a magical, otherworldly quality.
Favourably compared with the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Judee Sill and Kate Bush, Ólöf’s approach to making music remains highly individual: playful but intimate; accessible and uplifting, yet deeply personal and suffused with a timelessness that goes beyond the puckish inscrutability of her native tongue. Ólöf has quickly proved herself a magnetic, self-assured stage performer, reliant as much on vaudevillian charm and even outright bawdiness, as much as the contrasting delicacy of her song delivery.
Recorded in her native Iceland, Sudden Elevation, Ólöf’s third full album and her first sung entirely in English, captures a rare and idiosyncratic songwriting talent in full bloom. From the breezily skipping rhythm of opener German Fields to the pealing vocals of closer, Perfect, Sudden Elevation’s particular brand of heartache is magical, dislocated and otherworldly; its harmonies complex and quietly electrifying. Produced again by long-time collaborator Skúli Sverrisson, Sudden Elevation was largely recorded in a late autumn 2011 stint in a seaside cabin in Hvalfjörður (literally ‘Whale-fjord’), in the west of Iceland.
Support comes from Shield Patterns. ‘Wandering electro-folk dreampop’, Shield Patterns’ songs are inspired by a combination of things heard, read, experienced, resulting in a sound that is dark and rhythmic, melancholy and fragile. The name Shield Patterns is an invented term derived from a compulsion to count, or to create habitual routines and personal ‘mantras’, used as protective forces from anxieties and fears.
Takk is an excellent new Icelandic-inspired coffee house on the edge of the Northern Quarter. Complimentary tea and coffee is included within the ticket price, with other refreshments available to purchase.
When: 7.30pm on Monday 24 June 2013
Where: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN
We’re delighted to welcome back Hey! Manchester favourite David Thomas Broughton, plus Rachael Dadd and Ichi.
David Thomas Broughton occupies a contentious position, divides opinion, unsettles, is self-consciously clumsy, hilarious, beautiful but above all memorable. You’ve never seen anything like it before. Walls of noise and layers of beauty interweave and delight at every turn. Many people use loops these days. Broughton includes the glitches, mistakes, and the resulting comedy in his act, works with what he has, and moves on. He never leaves his onstage persona, and that can be unsettling. Even confrontational.
Leeds born, with an art lecturer father, Broughton himself thought it unnecessary to study art given the books at home. He is an accomplished illustrator (all his sleeves and cover art are his own work). His own degree is in environmental science, and he can tell you what bird is sitting on the fence 100 yards away.
Broughton released long-awaited new album Outbreeding, via London indie label Brainlove Records in May 2011. Featuring eleven songs that will be familiar to his loyal and ever-growing live audience, Outbreeding brings together compositions written over the last couple of years into a compelling new collection.
‘Straddling the line between music hall turn and avant-garde performance artist, Broughton’s live show is not to be missed’ – MOJO
Experimental folk multi-instrumentalist Rachael Dadd is one of the busiest artists we’ve encountered. Living her life between Japan and England, she is constantly touring, writing and skipping from one unlikely show to the next – whether it be a church in England, a gallery in Japan or atop a mountain in Switzerland. Whilst at her happiest when keeping things honest & low-key, Rachael’s nomadic approach to life and music has not gone unnoticed. She’s been celebrated by the likes of Rob Da Bank, John Kennedy, and her peers – where her music and approach to recording via four-track have drawn her comparisons to the likes of Diane Cluck, Sufjan Stevens and Regina Spektor.
Ichi, from Nagoya in Japan, takes the notion of a one-man band to new limits, combining his quirky handmade instrument inventions with steel drum, ping pong balls, toys, tape loops, xylophone, double bass and trumpet, all in the space of one short set. Somehow there’s an ancient, ritualistic feel to his performances – he’s like the misplaced leader of a tribe. To see Ichi live is to witness something so playful and unusual you know that you’re experiencing something entirely new. It’s fun, it’s danceable, it’s exciting. He is championed by the likes of David Byrne, 6music’s Tom Robinson and Lauren Laverne, and Deerhoof, who invited him to play with them in New York at their event, the Wordless Music Series.
This show takes place at The Kings Arms, one of our favourite small venues in town. It’s a great independent theatre and arts hub, which also happens to be one of the best real ale pubs around, and is just a five-minute walk from Deansgate, just down Bridge Street.
When: 7.30pm on Sunday 30 June 2013
Where: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY
For our fourth visit to the Burgess Foundation, we’re excited to be helping local star Nancy Elizabeth launch her new album, Dancing.
Nancy Elizabeth’s new album, Dancing, has emerged incrementally since the release of its predecessor, Wrought Iron, in 2009. Seeking to repair and retreat after an intense period of travel and personal flux, Nancy created a bower in her tiny Manchester flat, with a piano at the centre, guitars hung on the wall, and her unique palette of instruments within easy reach. Flat broke and stuck at home, and using a computer to help her make music for the first time, she began to develop a new sound in her isolation.
Slowly, surely, she nurtured these twelve handsome songs, playing and recording almost everything herself. Remarkably, the resulting album is her most cohesive and most uplifting yet. It’s her lightness of touch as a musician, songwriter, producer and performer that sets Nancy apart. While the adventurous sounds she has conjured conspire to create a mesmeric physical effect, the emotional purity of the lyrics is just as powerful. Free of creative limitations, Nancy Elizabeth’s heart just pours out.
Headphones on, her balletic voice at the ready, the songs began to tumble out, with Nancy often working long into the night. Listening to Dancing, the sense of total immersion is tangible, as you fall headlong down a rabbit hole where gloriously detailed rhythmic patterns entwine with vocal symphonies.
After two and a half years working in seclusion, Nancy handed the precious sound files to her long-time collaborator Peter Philipson, who untangled the haphazard creation and carefully stitched the album together. First single The Last Battle heralds the album, a magnificent introduction to its trove of pure musical delights. A soaring, celestial-soprano array, the song recalls Ennio Morricone and Arthur Lee, enveloping you in its skillfully constructed soundworld.
Support comes from Dan Haywood. The Lancastrian songwriter/poet/ornithologist performs stripped-down selections from his epic big-band triple-LP New Hawks (praised as ‘livid with ideas’ by WIRE, ‘wild-eyed’ by Uncut and ‘as dour in texture as a North Sea shoreline’ by the Independent on Sunday), as well as debuting material from his forthcoming Dapple and North American songbooks.
This show takes place at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, a charity that encourages and supports public and scholarly interest in all aspects of the life and work of Anthony Burgess, the late novelist (best known for A Clockwork Orange), poet, playwright, composer, linguist, translator and critic. The foundation, situated just off Oxford Road, features a fully licensed cafe-bar and an engine room, which will host this concert.
When: 7.30pm on Saturday 13 July 2013
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE
We’re delighted to be promoting a rare collaboration between Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits) and Joe Pernice (Pernice Brothers, Scud Mountain Boys)
Finding themselves new neighbours in Canada, Glasgow-born Norman Blake and Joe Pernice from Massachusetts began a low-key collaboration in a Toronto tavern. Their performances were marked by plenty of banter, open-tunings and sublime pop smarts. Now they bring their two-man show to the UK and Europe under the guise of The New Mendicants.
Two of the most sublime and revered songwriters of the 1990s, Blake and Pernice between them have founded Teenage Fanclub, Scud Mountain Boys, BMX Bandits and Pernice Brothers. Performing together on stage, they delve into each other’s hefty back catalogues as well as their new material. They are currently working on a full-length album, which they expect to release later this year.
Support comes in the form of London-based, Edinburgh-born Blue Rose Code. Under the moniker, singer/songwriter Ross Wilson’s beautiful, classic songs have been described as ‘Caledonian soul’.
When: 7.30pm on Monday 12 August 2013
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ
We’re excited to be hosting Owen Pallett’s first Manchester show in over three years – with special guests Buke & Gase.
Owen Pallett is a composer, violinist, keyboardist and vocalist. His violin-looping live project spawned several records under the moniker Final Fantasy, including the Polaris Prize-winning He Poos Clouds. He currently releases records under his own name, including 2010′s Heartland.
Pallett has written string, brass and orchestral arrangements for numerous bands including The National, R.E.M., Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Mountain Goats, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, Linkin Park, Snow Patrol and Arcade Fire. He has scored several films, including Richard Kelly’s The Box, with Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, and The New York Times Magazine’s Emmy-Award winning Fourteen Actors Acting.
As a soloist, he has performed with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Noord Nederlands Orkest, yMusic and the Britten Sinfonia. Owen’s violin concerto written for Pekka Kuusisto, co-commissioned by the Barbican and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, will be performed as a part of the New Creations Festival in 2013.
Owen is joined on stage by drummer Rob Gordon and bassist Matt Smith.
Special guests are Buke & Gase – aka Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez. The New York duo have performed at festivals and on stages throughout North America and Europe with the likes of Deerhoof, Death Grips, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Tinariwen, Tune-Yards and The National.
Buy 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, WeGotTickets.com, Ticketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.
When: 7.30pm on Friday 20 September 2013
Where: The Roadhouse, 8 Newton Street, Manchester M1 2AN
We’re delighted to be back at the Roadhouse for the first time in a couple of years, with one of our favourite Canadian bands.
Life on the road will play havoc with your head. If anyone can vouch for that it’s Canadian garage outfit Hooded Fang. Coming over like a spate of incurable sleep paralysis where fantasy and reality meet, the band’s unreal tour bus lifestyle is revealed through Gravez – their equally mind-bending new album.
Seamlessly following on from last LP, Tosta Mista, the new record is a continuation of the spontaneous, lively, heavily splintered guitar sound that has secured Hooded Fang as high flyers on The Hype Machine and nominees for Canadian Mercury equivalent, the Polaris Prize. Yet whereas Tosta Mista was a danceable take on real life’s ups and downs, Gravez is a skewed, off-the-wall piece of moving punk pop fiction blurring the boundaries between what’s real and fake, each track powering along like an interstellar joyride through The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
If ever a band were to have a Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds moment, this is it. Ode To Subterrania comes over like a West Coast War of the Worlds and baselines reverb like a rubber band through the Tarantino soundtrack style of Sailor Bull. Wasteland tips a hat to The Black Lips if they played 1960s tropicalia while the bluesy slant of Genes recalls a more lethargic The Bees. The sinister Trasher sounds like each band member smearing their face in green for their own Halloween Party celebrations – albeit a good four months premature. Altogether wrapped up in 30 minutes dead; this is a group who know there’s nothing to be gained for labouring the point.
Joining Dan, Hooded Fang are April Aliermo (bass), Lane Halley (guitar), and D.Alex Meeks (drums). That the group even had time to write, let alone record a brand new record is a surprise. Aside from main band duties they continue to play in numerous side-projects, run a label (Daps Records) and work at April’s artist-led playschool, giving kids music lessons as well as putting on a host of all-ages shows.
‘A brilliant hybrid of Dick Dale-style surf guitar, psychedelic / beat group / go-go tunes and ‘Nuggets garage attitude – then rejigged it for Strokes- and Shins-attuned ears’ – Time Out
‘The Jesus And The Mary Chain in surf shirts’ – Uncut