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: The Handsome Family... Rainbrother... Man & The Echo... Meilyr Jones... Sam Coomes... Mark Eitzel... Irma Vep... King Salami & The Cumberland Three... Hurray for the Riff Raff... Alexis Taylor... Wedding... The Hidden Cameras... Sinkane... Itasca... Francois and The Atlas Mountains... Haley Bonar... Jens Lekman... BC Camplight... Pictish Trail... Jesca Hoop... Funke and the Two Tone Baby... Weyes Blood... Laetitia Sadier... The Unthanks... Xenia Rubinos... Happyness... Holy Moly & The Crackers + Rob Heron... Skinny Lister... Joan Shelley... James Leg + The Bonnevilles... Theme Park... C Duncan... Lowly... Jenn Grant... Angel Olsen... Aldous Harding... The Besnard Lakes... Julie Byrne... Nikki Lane...

When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 22 February 2017
Where: Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD

We’re delighted to be bringing The Handsome Family back – for their first Manchester show in two years.

Handsome-Family-RNCM-Manchester

Rennie Sparks disappeared one afternoon while waiting for a flight at O’Hare. A middle-aged businessman, McDonald’s bag in one hand, rolling-bag handle in the other – walked up to Rennie and, without pause, turned and sat down on her lap. A second later his French fries and rolling bag were on the floor and he was sputtering apologies, insisting he’d seen an empty chair.

Rennie often has trouble with automatic faucets ignoring her waving hands, but this unexpected airport invisibility was in 2014, the year the TV show True Detective used her song, Far From Any Road, as its opening theme. This was the year The Handsome Family (aka husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks) became visible to millions. Even as she was getting sat on by strangers, Youtube counts for The Handsome Family’s ‘hit’ song climbed from two million to ten million, twenty million and more. The song was in the top 10 in US and UK Spotify charts and spent months in iTunes top 100 in countries as far-flung as Vietnam, South Africa and the Ukraine.

Millions of viewers ‘broke the internet’ watching the final episode of True Detective S1, but Rennie and Brett watched in their little house in Albuquerque, NM, feeling oddly alone. The Handsome Family were now known around the globe for a song they’d written 12 years earlier about fire ants and desert plants, a song now linked forever to a show about cops in a psychic swamp. The Sparks were arguably famous now, but at the same time unknown. They were not their famous song nor was their famous song written for the show that made it famous. All these disconnections, though, are fine when you’re a writer of songs.

For almost as long as they’ve been married (26 years) Brett and Rennie have written songs together (Brett, music; Rennie, words). Their finished work is never fully one or the other’s, but lives in unseen space between them. William Burroughs claimed he walked busy streets without being seen, simply by seeing everyone else first. This is similar to the Sparks’ approach to songwriting and why Rennie embraces her power to vanish. You have to willingly disappear in order to write lyrics for someone else’s voice, or to write music for someone else’s words. Invisible songwriters are happiest when their songs outshine them, leaving their creators unseen in the dust.

The Sparks have released 10 albums since 1995’s Odessa. Their songs have been covered by countless Youtubers and well-known artists like Jeff Tweedy, Amanda Palmer, Cerys Matthews, Christy Moore and Andrew Bird (who released an entire record of HF covers). Guns ’N’ Roses used Far From Any Road as stage entrance music for a South American tour, and both Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr are fans. Decades into their careers, after winning the TV theme-show jackpot – the Sparks still find their greatest reward in disappearing into new songs.

And so in the strange light of 2014 they began again to write. 2016 brings the release of Unseen – 10 songs by a couple both world-famous and happily invisible. Each song on the record has a guiding colour – gold, silver, green, red, white. Rennie is also a painter known for her vivid and surprising use of colour, and she finds herself painting even when her brushes are made of words. The stories of Unseen are mostly inspired by real events – Gold began when a bunch of twenty-dollar bills blew in Brett’s face in a parking-lot dust storm. Gentlemen is a tribute to William Crookes who built the first vacuum tube in 1875, hoping to detect spirits from unseen dimensions. And Tiny Tina – Rennie still hasn’t seen that little horse.

Unseen is about the light that emanates from things we can’t see – behind The Red Door, in the empty hands of blackjack losers (The Silver Light), and amidst desert bones bleaching in the sun (King of Dust).

Since 2001 Brett has made their albums in a converted garage at the back of their house. He recorded Unseen on a Mac and played most of the parts at night, with only hawk moths listening. There were guest musicians: David Gutierrez, mandolin on Tiny Tina and dobro on The Silver Light; Alex MacMahon, guitar on The Silver Light, baritone guitar and pedal steel on Gold; and Jason Toth, drums throughout (except Green Willow Valley). Rennie wrote all the lyrics. She sang and played banjo and autoharp, but didn’t bother to write down on which songs.

The Sparks’ music is steeped in the western gothic of New Mexico life. The unseen is powerful here. Nothing rusts, but entire oceans have disappeared. Ski masks mean robberies, but in the slow dive of the sun, enormous bugs awaken in thorny yards and unseen sirens and coyotes cry out to the purple sky. Just about anywhere you stand there’s been some blood drawn.

In 2016 The Handsome Family continue to sell out venues worldwide that they couldn’t have filled before TV fame. Live, Brett (guitar/vocals) and Rennie (banjo/bass/vocals) are joined by drummer Jason Toth (worldwide) and multi-instrumentalist Alex MacMahon (USA). Their shows are full of humour and chit-chat. The Sparks’ aren’t afraid to reveal their ordinary humanness. The invisible couple is also very happy to be seen.

Unseen, the new album from The Handsome Family, will be released 16 September on Loose. Available on 180g green vinyl, CD and download.

Tour support comes from Courtney Marie Andrews. At just 16 years old, Courtney Marie Andrews left home in Arizona for her first tour. For a decade or so since, Courtney’s been a session and backup singer and guitarist for nearly 40 artists, from Jimmy Eat World to Damien Jurado. She never stopped writing her own material, though. Picking up admirers like Jurado and Ryan Adams along the way, she has quietly earned a reputation as a songwriter’s songwriter.

With plans to settle down for a bit and focus on her own songs, Courtney moved to the Northwest in 2011 to record her last full-length record, On My Page. However, the record had hardly been released before she was on the road again performing other artists’ songs, eventually leading her overseas to play guitar and sing with Belgian star Milow. At the tour’s end, though, the other session players joined her to record her 2014 EP Leuven Letters in one take.

It was during this time that Courtney also wrote many of the songs on Honest Life. She found herself realising the impact of growing up on the road and this constant reconciling between her and other’s art and identity. Honest Life will be available on 180g turquoise LP, CD and digitally in January 2017.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the RNCM box office, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Ticketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 23 February 2017
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with Rainbrother for the first time – plus guests Wedding and Myles Manley!

Rainbrother-Castle-Manchester

After the success of psychedelic folk outfit The Migrant, frontman Bjarke Bendtsen is ready to transcend furthermore into electronic folk-rock territory with the release of his latest project Rainbrother’s debut album Tales From The Drought, out on 3 February 2017 via General Bird.

Tales From The Drought is all about making your way while on the road, dwelling on memories both beautiful and troublesome and coming to terms with the decisions that have been made. Album opener Riverside is a stunning piece of songwriting that carries you away into the abyss and as the album continues, so do your thoughts. Each one a little more comforting than the next. Tales From The Drought invites the listener into a speckled dream, filled with steady beats, wistful Pink Floyd inspired guitar slides and a storytelling charm akin to the likes of Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver.

Rainbrother was formed after Bjarke eventually found his way back to Copenhagen. While touring with The Migrant in Europe, he performed with a group of fellow Danish musicians and after moving back to his home turf, Rainbrother was born. The album was produced by Noah Georgeson (The Strokes, Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart) whose flickering elements have been spun into the group’s tight rock sound making Tales From The Drought both an earthy and elevating affair.

Bjarke has already received praise from numerous well-regarded publications including Rolling Stone, Americana UK, Drowned In Sound and Pop Matters to name but a few. He has also been praised by the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and has supported acts such as Kurt Vile, Villagers and Sharon Van Etten.

‘Endearing, touching and memorable’ – Drowned in Sound

Local 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 released their debut EP on RIP Records in late 2015. ‘Infectious, lo-fi garage pop,’ was Indie Shuffle’s view, while Clash wrote ‘songwriting of a rare intimacy’.

Rounding off this triple bill is Irish singer/songwriter Myles Manley. Clash recently called the Sligo musician an ‘eccentric genius’, while the Irish Times praised his ‘adventurous live shows [and] audacious ambition’.

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

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When: 7pm on Friday 24 February 2017
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

PLEASE NOTE: This show is completely sold out! Join our mailing list, above, for information about future Man & The Echo shows.

We’re delighted to be promoting Man & The Echo’s biggest Manchester show to date!

Man-&-The-Echo-Soup-Kitchen-Manchester

‘The Man And The Echo is a poem by W.B. Yeats. It’s about a man who is thinking of ending his life, but when he shouts out that he is going to lie down and die, he hears the echo and argues with it, deciding that he wants to live. It has a personal significance. I also think it’s a really cool band name’ – Gareth ‘Gaz’ Roberts, Man & The Echo.

Gaz Roberts can certainly relate to the other The Man And The Echo, but it was music – not life itself – that he was on the brink of ending. His band, Cheap Cuts, had built up a decent following in their hometown of Warrington, with their tragicomic songs about local motorway services and radio phone-ins and the singer’s rapier between songs wit. However, in the end, he didn’t feel there was anywhere left for them to go. A gig at London’s 100 Club was set to be his last until, like in the poem, fate intervened, the manager of the headline band came up and said ‘If you change the name and write a whole new set of songs, I think I’d like to manage you.’

Three years on, neither Gaz nor his Warrington bandmates have had much time to ponder their brush with the pop scrapyard. With the name changed, the songs duly written and that manager in place, they’ve signed to James Endeacott’s hugely respected 1965 Records, been invited to play Billy Bragg’s leftfield stage at Glastonbury, enjoyed lots of airplay and had influential BBC DJ Steve Lamacq call Gaz ‘a great northern storyteller’, comparing him to Jarvis Cocker and their gigs to the first time he saw Pulp.

There is a bit of Sheffield’s finest’s era-defining mix of smart, observational pop and musical glam about Man & The Echo. But there’s also a bit of ABC, The Smiths, the Divine Comedy, Dexys, Super Furry Animals, blue eyed soul, 50s/60s crooning, literary references, social commentary, humour and much more, as they have arrived at a sound that isn’t retro so much as ricocheting through pop’s many decades and landing squarely in the post-Brexit, conflicted, chaotic UK of the here and now.

Their recently released album, produced by Neil Comber (MIA/Django Django) delivers. Distance Runner – also their fifth single – is a sparkling pop homage to a ‘northern otherness’ of pylons, graffiti, farmer’s fields and containers, partly inspired by Paul Farly and Michael Symmons-Roberts’ book, The Edgelands. The sublime ABC-ish northern funky Operation Margarine was partly inspired by an idea in Roland Barthes’ Mythologies: ‘Margarine is advertised in the same way a church or army is upheld: by virtue of their own faults.’ Gaz is particularly proud of the song’s lyric, ‘It’s cheaper than revolution and it tastes the same.’ Not least because, endearingly, he originally assumed he’d borrowed it from Barthes, only to realise it was actually one of his own.

The soulful Very Personally Yours references ‘Cheshire grippers’ – men who stare, anvil-faced, with their pints. The dreamlike Goodnight To Arms came to Gaz after he read Ernest Hemingway’s Farewell To Arms and saw a comparison between the book’s ailing protagonist and nurse and himself and his wife, in the days when they had no money and would nurse a coke in a pub for hours.

Already – playing the guitars and drum kits that they received as Christmas presents when they were kids – Man & The Echo have managed more than Gaz could have dreamed of in those days, although, like the man in the poem, perhaps this was all meant to be.

Support comes from Sugarmen. With a breadth of songwriting as wide as the Atlantic miles that separate their hometown Liverpool and the consecrated concrete jungle of New York, Sugarmen are like a soundbite straight out of the Big Apple’s diverse underground, all clever art school cosmic cool and surging memorable melodies. Sugarmen’s faster tracks are deliciously danceable and infectious, the slower ones all inky, melancholic and unforgettable.

PLEASE NOTE: This show is completely sold out! Join our mailing list, above, for information about future Man & The Echo shows.

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 4 March 2017
Where: The Ruby Lounge, 28-34 High Street, Manchester M4 1QB

We’re delighted to be working with Meilyr Jones once more!

Meilyr-Jones-Deaf-Institute-Manchester

It’s been an amazing – and busy! – year for Meilyr Jones. Following rave reviews for his solo debut album 2013, released in March via Moshi Moshi, he’s toured the land rapidly building a devoted fanbase and stealing hearts at festivals and headline shows.

Now, in celebration of his most excellent year, Meilyr returns with a new recording of Return To Life, one of the many stand-out tracks from his album. This new version is a recording made with the band with whom he’s toured throughout the summer, serving as an alternate version to the more orchestrated original that features on the album.

Meilyr is soon to take to the road again, playing a clutch of regional shows in December, then again in 2017, for a five-date tour in March.

‘There are traces of Welsh peers Cate Le Bon and Euros Childs, but Jones has a broader palette: 30-piece orchestra, accordion, choir, field recordings et al… This is Meilyr’s time’ – MOJO

‘What a lovely record this is… 2013 fits snugly into the line of cosmic Welsh music alongside the work of Gruff Rhys and Euros Childs’ – The Guardian

Support comes from Manchester’s MOTHER.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 March 2017
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We’re delighted to be working with Sam Coomes (Quasi)!

Sam-Coomes-Eagle-Inn-Salford

Transparency: it’s me, writing about myself. I couldn’t be bothered to hornswoggle someone or other to churn out some hypey bio, so we can forget the idea that this was written by a disinterested third party. They never are anyway. Let’s consider this something more like an ‘artist’s statement’ like those you might see in some gallery – although I doubt this particular statement would fly with any normal gallery owner. But this is still nominally rock & roll, so fuck it.

Alright, let’s get the preliminaries out of the way, quickly as possible. (& here I commence the rightfully mocked practice of referring to myself in third person…whatever. I’m going to call myself ‘S.C.’) S.C. is probably best known as half of the long running underground pop duo Quasi, the other half being Janet Weiss, herself better known as the drummer for Sleater-Kinney. Quasi has managed to release nine or ten (depending on how you count) albums on such labels as Up, Domino, Touch and Go, Kill Rock Stars, and has toured all over the place for a couple decades or so. Concurrently S.C. has toured &/or recorded with a number of other bands/artists, such as Built to Spill, Elliott Smith, Jandek & numerous other less recognized names, & also worked as a producer (with above mentioned Built to Spill, for instance), scored underground films & art installations, etc., etc. In short, not a newcomer to the scene.

Which brings us to the issue at hand – Bugger Me, the first solo album under the given name ‘Sam Coomes’. A sympathetic promoter of a recent performance described the music as ‘Suicide meets Plastic Ono era John Lennon‘. I’ll take that! But actually it’s probably a little more accurate to call it Suicide meets the Beach Boys. Not the sophisticated Pet Sounds Beach Boys, but more like Surfer Girl type stuff. More conscious reference points were Chris Montez, or Timmy Thomas. The idea was to keep to a rigorously minimalist aesthetic, and balance classicist impulses with an overtly non-mainstream approach. The fact that Bugger Me is a murky, maybe even a little creepy sounding album is no accident. It is entertainment music, but entertainment music meant for those not served by more mainstream entertainment music. Maybe one might want to take a break from Sheer Hellish Miasma & enjoy some simple tunes that maybe speak to the same sense of the absurd, that likewise reject commercialism & market-based aesthetics, & even now & again pay a little homage to the raw synthesizer noise we have grown to love & even crave. Maybe timeworn themes such as love & war still resonate in the dusty backrooms of your mind (indeed maybe they are the only themes which do so).

And maybe, in a time where anyone with a computer & enough time on their hands can micro-manage a given piece of music to the nth degree; can process, arrange, edit & otherwise wheedle a song into a state-of-the-art showcase of outclevering the next guy… maybe allowing a song to exist at its most basic level – just voice, accompanying instrument (in this case, organ), & a very basic rhythmic element (in this case a circa mid-’60s rhythm box {non-programmable, not even really a drum machine} named ‘Conny’) – maybe this is a means to not only subvert market-based (or, almost equivalently, technology-based) standards of production, but also a means to keep the music & the performance of the music honest. This is assuming of course that honesty is a good thing, or at least is considered a good thing by those unmoved by mainstream entertainment music, which often reeks of dishonesty. Whether this is a safe assumption, who knows? Actually, I’m suspicious of people proclaiming their own honesty – so forget it. Certainly, its artifice. But the intent is honest artifice – like the original King Kong, as opposed to the remakes. If King Kong for you means Willis O’Brien rather than Dino De Laurentis or Peter Jackson, then you probably have an idea of what I’m driving at.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, WeGotTickets.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 Thursday 9 March 2017
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

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

Mark-Eitzel-Deaf-Institute-Manchester

Mark Eitzel’s tenth solo album and his first in three years, Hey Mr Ferryman, will be released on 27 January 2017 by Decor Records on LP, limited edition LP with bonus disc, CD and download.

Hey Mr Ferryman is Eitzel’s first full studio album recorded entirely in London. It was made at 355 Studios with Mercury Prize winner Bernard Butler (ex-Suede, McAlmont & Butler), who has produced and/or recorded albums with Tricky, Ben Watt, Bert Jansch, Edwyn Collins, and more. Butler produced Hey Mr Ferryman and played all of the electric guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on the album.

Butler wrote of the process: ‘I spent a fortnight on my own in the studio seeing where I could go, how to expand every mood, make the dark songs darker, the drama bigger, the joy more celebratory. I was elated when I sent initial mixes off and Mark was happy. The greatest gift for a producer is the trust of the artist with their work. I knew from the off with this record that the songwriting was in a different league. It was for me to find beautiful frames for each story.’

Mark says of the album “Many of these songs I demoed four to five times with different musicians and arrangements over a couple of years including the great Bruce Kaphan and Patrick Main as well as my UK band – and somehow they never came together for me. My manager met Bernard Butler at the school gates where their children go and asked if he would be interested. I sent Bernard my 15 demos and our original idea was to make an acoustic album because the budget was severely limited – but he had different ideas and insisted on re-recording the whole thing and did an absolutely amazing job. I think this might be the best record I have made since recording with Tom Mallon of American Music Club. He produced the songs much as I imagined them – though I didn’t know it.’

Hey Mr Ferryman features the vivid melodies long associated with Eitzel’s former band American Music Club (a.k.a. AMC), which remains a cult favourite to this day, as well as Butler’s distinctive guitar that serves to complement Eitzel’s expressive vocals. Of that voice, Pitchfork once wrote: ‘If Leonard Cohen’s voice is a story about the passage of time and Levon Helm’s is a story about losing what is most precious to you, Eitzel’s is about the circuitous roads we take in search of ourselves.’

As both a solo artist and the frontman for AMC, Mark Eitzel is a celebrated lyricist and champion of the downtrodden. A hauntingly evocative singer, he has earned even greater notoriety for his brilliance as a composer, combining the intensity of Ian Curtis, the pastoral beauty of Nick Drake, and the melodrama of Scott Walker and Jacques Brel to build one of the most impressive and darkly poetic bodies of song in the modern pop canon.

Mark Eitzel has released over 15 albums of original material with American Music Club and as a solo artist. The Guardian has called him ‘America’s greatest living lyricist,’ and Rolling Stone once gave him their Songwriter of the Year award. Originally formed in 1983, AMC released seven albums before breaking up in 1995. The band reunited in 2004 for two full-lengths, Love Songs for Patriots and The Golden Age. In April of 2012 while working on a solo record, Eitzel suffered a heart attack which forced him to slow down and delayed the album’s release. That autumn, Decor Records put out Don’t Be a Stranger to much critical acclaim, and in 2013, a newly healthy Eitzel embarked on what proved to be the most successful tour of his career to date. In 2015, he wrote music for Simon Stephens’ Song from Far Away, his second collaboration with the English playwright, and began work on the forthcoming Hey Mr Ferryman.

Tour support comes from Fernando Viciconte. Argentina-born Fernando came of age musically in LAm fronting the popular hard rock band Monkey Paw. He moved to Portland, OR, in 1994 were he Co-founded Cravedog Records. Fernando has released seven critically lauded independent albums and currently runs his own label, Domingo Records.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange,  WeGotTickets.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 Friday 10 March 2017
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with Irma Vep once again – this time, with special guests Former Bullies!

Irma-Vep-Gullivers-Manchester

“Some say that Irma Vep‘s latest record, No Handshake Blues (out now on Faux Discx/Comfortable on a Tightrope) is ‘Derivative’ and ‘Lazy’.
Some say that he is “A lonely man with an electric guitar and a dream. A six pack of beer and bag of weed for an audience”
Some say he is a “Narcissistic, sociopathic sex junky, hell bent on paying the rent…”
Some say “He has toured the world in pursuit of flesh and money, stopping to dip his green toe into the sea of depravity in each town he stinks up, abusing audiences with torturous wails and bloated, floaty guitar skronk that anyone with half a brain wouldn’t give a shite about…”
Some might say “…sunshine follows thunder, go and tell it to the man who cannot shine…”
Some might say “…..we should never ponder on our thoughts today cos they will sway over time…”
Some might say “…we will find a brighter day”
Some have said “…Yeah, I saw him once, didn’t like it much, thought it a bit too…erm…’hammy'”
Some have said “…Yeah, I see your point, Dave, it is hammy and he also thinks he’s ‘it’…but he’s not”

Well, I’ll tell you this for nout, bud.
They’re not wrong.

But witness the fitness for yourself and make up your own mind by going to see Irma Vep and band on tour in the UK this March.
I’m not going to say it’ll be good and I’m not going to say it will be fun, I’m not even going to say that it will be worth your money, I’m just saying, no, I’m asking, please, give them a chance…

Thank you”

– Chris Martin, Coldplay, 2017, on a yacht, with a cat up his arse.

Special guests are Former Bullies. Since coalescing around singer Nick Ainsworth in 2003, Former Bullies have been a regular presence in Greater Manchester’s pop underground, becoming spiritual godfathers to more recently emerged gems such as Kiran Leonard, Irma Vep, and Pins. Though prolific performers, the pace of their recorded output has been somewhat slower, with new release Stranger being just their fourth long-player in all that time.

And opening the show is Sheffield-based bedroom recorder Toucans.

This show is a co-promotion with Comfortable on a Tightrope.

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

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When: 7pm on Friday 10 March 2017
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with King Salami & The Cumberland Three for the first time.

King-Salami-Cumberland-Three-Soup-Kitchen-Manchester

King Salami & The Cumberland Three is London’s greatest and most sensational Rhythm’n’Blues-Punk band. And this is a band that truly represents London, being a mongrel mix of Caribbean, France, Japan and Spain.

With a repertoire influenced by many of the great songs of the ’50s and ’60s made to sound fresh and new to modern ears, you won’t be able to help but move your feet when the Cumberland Three are blasting out of your speakers. The King howls like Screaming Jay Hawkins with Bo Diddley chasing his coat-tail whilst Andre Williams tries to offer up some of his bacon fat, and the Trashmen do the Surfin’ Bird behind him. This is a man that never stops shakin’ and twistin’ and groovin’.

The Cumberland Three (former members of punk rock bands, including The Parkinsons) rock up a storm with their own branded mix of vintage rockabilly, desperate rock’n’roll and stomping soul, with fire, energy, gusto and, above all, fun! Their numerous vinyl singles and their two albums have sold like the proverbial hot cakes and they keep releasing new records all the time. This is an old fashioned singles band, one that puts out one seven inch after another, all designed, and guaranteed, to get you dancing like a madman – and both sides of their new long playing platter are sure to do the same, with one hit record coming one after another.

The band has played pretty much everywhere in Europe, plus Australia, the USA and Japan, and more recently in China (Shanghai, Beijing, Nanjing, Wuhan, and elsewhere from big cities to rural villages) and have shared a stage with the likes of the Standells, Pretty Things, Trashmen and the Mummies, to name a few. Indeed, so well regarded are they by the titans of rock’n’roll and rhythm’n’blues that they have a record coming out soon on which they share the grooves with the legendary Andre Williams!

Whether on stage or on record this is one of the most exciting bands in rock’n’roll right now – they are guys who know what it takes to make you move. Equal parts rock’n ‘roll and soul, with a healthy dose of blues and rockabilly and a good bit of punk rock attitude, whether you’re at a club show or in your living room you won’t be able to help yourself from shakin’ and shimmyin’. You can bet your bacon that they’re gonna be cookin’ up a party at your house too!

Their third album Going’ Back To Wurstville will be out on Dirty Water records (Europe), Off the Hip (Australia) and Disk Union (Japan) in the summer, and they will also appear on the BBC Two programme UK’s best part-time band, presented by Rhod Gilbert!

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

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When: 7pm on Tuesday 21 March 2017
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, this show has been upgraded to Gorilla! Original tickets remain valid, and all other details stay the same.

We’re delighted to be working with Hurray for the Riff Raff again – this time, at the Deaf Institute!

Hurray-For-The-Riff-Raff-Deaf-Institute-Manchester

It had been a successful, if tumultuous, ride for Alynda Segarra, who’s been spreading a new kind of roots-conscious folk music across the country from her adopted hometown of New Orleans. But as far as the Bronx native had come with her band, Hurray for the Riff Raff, there was still a missing link to her story. ‘The more I toured, ending up in the middle of nowhere bars from Texas to Tennessee,’ said Segarra, ‘I just started feeling more and more like, I don’t belong here, I gotta get back to my people, you know?’

After many years in New Orleans, Segarra found herself getting antsy. Hurray for the Riff Raff had four albums under their belt, with the last one, Small Town Heroes, featuring The Body Electric, a song that NPR’s Ann Powers called ‘The Political Song of the Year’ in 2014. Yet even though her musical career had begun by running away from home at 17, busking for survival and honing her craft through dreams of Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie and Woody Guthrie, Segarra realised she is a Puerto Rican kid from the Bronx with a different story to tell.

To find her way back home, Segarra became the willing vessel for a character she calls ‘The Navigator‘, from which her new album takes its name. She describes The Navigator, aka Navita Milagros Negrón, as ‘this girl who grows up in a city that’s like New York, who’s a street kid, like me when I was little, that has a special place in the history of her people’. Through The Navigator, the listener hears an ambitiously interwoven, cinematic story of a wandering soul that finally realised she needed to connect with and honour her ancestors.

Segarra quickly went to work with producer Paul Butler, whose work with British soul singer Michael Kiwanuka she deeply admired, to capture the cinematic, old but new quality she wanted. It also meant assembling a core group of percussionists like Kansas City-based Juan-Carlos Chaurand and Devendra Banhart’s drummer Gregory Rogove to play everything from Cuban to Puerto Rican to Brazilian backing beats. The result is an interconnected set of introspective songs, grounded in Segarra’s eclectic rustic root style, yet adorned by elements of son montuno, plena, and a kind of Mink De Ville retro-doowop rock.

Segarra drew early inspiration from cult favourite Rodriguez, a Mexican-American who translated working-class stories from Detroit into powerful rock ballads, and the Ghetto Brothers, an underground band from the 1970s South Bronx who stitched Puerto Rican nationalist messages into a rough-hewn fabric of Santana and Sly and the Family Stone Afro-Caribbean funk. She reached back to her cultural ancestors in the form of the radical political group the Young Lords and the salsa singer Héctor Lavoe. ‘I would just try to have the rhythm in my head and write the lyrics,’ said Segarra. ‘Then I went back and added everything else, it was like poetry?’

Poetry permeates The Navigator, like when Segarra juxtaposes the feeling of growing up in a box in the sky on the 14th floor of an apartment building with the feeling her father had flying for what seemed like an eternity in a propeller plane from Puerto Rico to New York in the song 14th Floor. Or when, in the elegiac piano-driven ballad Pa’lante, named after the Young Lords newspaper that showed the way forward, she inserts the sampled voice of legendary poet Pedro Pietri reading from his seminal opus The Puerto Rican Obituary. The Navigator is a restless observer, perched at the nexus of Allen Ginsberg’s East Village and the Nuyorican Poets Café, confessing the blues and dancing the punky salsa steps of a lonely girl, a hungry ghost.

Like a song-cycle from an imaginary Off-Broadway musical, The Navigator rises from the ashes of loneliness and striving, honky tonks and long walks by the river of urban dreams. From the wistful melancholy of Life to Save, to the stubborn resignation of Nothing’s Gonna Change That Girl, Segarra’s voice speaks with a husky weariness that coexists with a naïve curiosity. It’s the voice of a rebel who wanted everyone to think she was so tough, and nobody could take her down, but at the same time was yearning for love and magic, some kind of an awakening.

Long-time Riff Raff fans should feel at home in The Navigator’s World. There’s always been a little bit of syncopated Caribbean strut to down home rock and roll, Appalachian rags share a similar root with Spanish troubadours and the blues is the same in any language. On The Navigator, Segarra’s voice has never been more soulful, whether she’s decrying urban gentrification on Rican Beach or mourning the lies people tell on Halfway There. Like the moment we’re living in, The Navigator is as much about the past as it is the future.

With its 12 tracks and its Travellers, Sages, and Sirens, The Navigator comes straight at you from the intersection of apocalypse and hope. This album rides Patti Smith’s high horse while straddling Chrissie Hynde’s thin line between love and hate. Segarra may lament the Trumpsters who want to ‘build a wall and keep them out,’ but she knows that, like the outcasts she embraces, ‘Any day now/I will come along’. There’ll be no more hiding at the dimly lit intersections of class, race, and sexual identity – now we will all come into the light.

‘I feel like my generation, through groups like Black Lives Matter, is really focusing on that type of intersectionality – if one of us is not free, then none of us are free,’ said Segarra. ‘The Navigator’s role is to tell the story, tell it to the people who don’t know their own story, so they can be free.’

Tour support comes from The Higher Planes. The Higher Planes are a new old-fashioned folk rock and soul group based in South London. The Seakens Brothers, Adam and Jon, once a lowly pair of ‘cosmic, blues-beaten troubadours’, are joined by Ginger Drage on the Boom-booms, JJ Stillwell on ‘The Triple Bass’ and The Hail Marys, known to their friends as Sarah and Decima, on the Oooh-la-las.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, this show has been upgraded to Gorilla! Original tickets remain valid, and all other details stay the same.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange,  WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 23 March 2017
Where: St Michael’s, George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DG

We’re delighted to be bringing Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor back – this time to St Michael’s!

Alexis-Taylor-St-Michaels-Manchester

Alexis Taylor announces Listen With(out) Piano, a companion album to his 2016 record Piano. Released 3 March via Moshi Moshi, Listen With(out) Piano features new versions by artists including Papa M (David Pajo), Green Gartside (Scritti Politti), Spring Heel Jack, Beatrice Dillon and Brian DeGraw (Gang Gang Dance), which can be played on their own, or at the same time as the songs on Piano, to create a brand new listening experience.

The album features the work of eleven of Alexis’s favourite musicians, handpicked to create new tracks designed to work in response to the songs on Piano, the third solo album by the Hot Chip frontman. Though the record can be synched with the original Piano recordings by playing both albums on two devices simultaneously, the tracks on Listen With(out) Piano can be also be enjoyed as original songs on their own merits.

‘My brief was both very wide open and very specific, and part of the pleasure for me, and now hopefully for the listeners, is to see how everyone responded so differently to the task,’ Alexis explains. ‘The results are truly amazing, and here you have a new album that works both as a kind of electro-acoustic ambient companion piece to Piano, and as a series of musical clothes to be put onto the deliberately bare record I released.’

Piano, recorded at Hackney Road Studios by Shuta Shinoda, was released in June 2016 by Moshi Moshi. An intimate collection of songs comprised entirely of Alexis’s vocal and piano, the record was captured live to preserve each intricacy.

Since 2000, Hot Chip have released six studio albums, as well as a wealth EPs, stand-alone singles, compilation exclusives, remixes and covers. Including Piano, Alexis has released three albums and an EP under his own name, as well as three further albums of material performed with the semi-improvisational About Group. Additionally, Alexis has crafted side projects such as Booji Boy High and collaborated with the likes of Wiley, Peter Gabriel, Will Oldham, Fimber Bravo, Bernard Sumner, Robert Wyatt, Justus Köhncke, The Memory Band, James Yorkston and David Byrne among many others.

This will be one of the first public concerts in St Michael’s since its recent re-opening, having been closed since 2004. The Roman Catholic church was founded in 1859 and became the heart of the Little Italy Community in Ancoats.

AGE RESTRICTION: This show is 14+. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
Designed by ikram_zidane

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