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: Diane Cluck... Laura Stevenson... Withered Hand... Gymnast... Liz Green... Matthew and The Atlas... Sounds From The Other City 2014... Folly & The Hunter... The Handsome Family... Cavan Moran... The Montgolfier Brothers... Hauschka... S. Carey... Hiss Golden Messenger... Hurray For The Riff Raff... Venetian Snares... Smoke Fairies... Two Wings... Shield Patterns... Douga... Jane Weaver... Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams... Angel Olsen... Clint Mansell...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 17 April 2014
Where: Takk Coffee House, 6 Tariff Street, Manchester, M1 2FF

We’re excited to be welcoming Diane Cluck to Manchester.

Diane Cluck is a Virginia-based singer-songwriter. Her ecstatic vocal style has been noted for its uniquely clipped, glottal beauty. She accompanies herself on instruments ranging from guitar to piano, harmonium, zither, percussion, and toy accordion, and often plays alongside cellist Isabel Castellvi.

Diane releases her seventh album, Boneset, through Important Records in March 2014—a mobius strip seeded with birds, death, wealth and poverty, boldness and heart. ‘Cluck’s sparse compositions seem to float defiantly from some fortress the conscious self had long left behind,’ a reviewer from The Providence Phoenix recently wrote.

Fellow folk musician Devendra Banhart championed her early, referring to her as ‘my favorite singer-songwriter in all of New York City’, and choosing one of her songs for his Golden Apples of the Sun compilation. Other supporters and collaborators include CocoRosie, who invited Cluck to open shows in the US and Europe and released her Countless Times album through their personal label imprint. Sharon Van Etten, Florence Welch (of Florence And The Machine) and Laura Marling have all cited Diane’s work as influential.

Prior to developing a loyal underground fanbase, Cluck was a standout performer in New York’s Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn music scenes. She recorded and self-produced six albums that went on to receive international distribution and acclaim. Songs from her album Oh Vanille / ova nil appeared in Noah Baumbach’s film Margot at The Wedding and the UK television series Skins.

In 2012 Diane launched Song-of-the-Week, a fan-funded, subscription-based project through her website, in which she writes, records and delivers new songs to subscribers. The process helped her develop many of the songs that appear on Boneset, and continues to generate new material for her live shows and future albums.

‘Diane Cluck is a virtuosic talent with an emotionality that feels at once ancient and alien. Her mastery of her voice as an ecstatic instrument is so compelling’ – Antony Hegarty (of Antony & The Johnsons)

‘An unlikely mix of Aaron Neville, the Baka people, and Joni Mitchell, Cluck’s singing is unaffected yet unusual’ – NPR

Support comes from London-based Iñigo Ugarteburu.

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

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

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

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 18 April 2014
Where: Cornerhouse Annexe, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH

We’re delighted to be bringing Laura Stevenson back to Manchester – her first visit since 2011!

Some day in the not too distant future, America will dip its corners deeper into the ocean, the waves ever grinding at its shores as tectonic plates shift and sink. The effect of melting icecaps on the beaches of her native Long Island is one of the triggers for Laura Stevenson’s worrying mind, as she struggles with the overwhelming notions of an infinite universe and the imminence of her own death. Obsessive musings on these subjects has led her to describe herself as an “unfunny Woody Allen,” though friends and fans might disagree, finding plenty of humour in her introspective and self-deprecating nature. The repetition of these existential questions is the driving force behind Wheel, an album brimming with life and death in the desperate search for what keeps us turning in the face of doubt, an exercise in coming to terms with the overwhelming beauty that can be found in the lack of an answer.

Laura Stevenson was born and raised on Long Island into a family of mariners and music makers. She spent many of her younger days on the sugar barges of NY harbour with her father and uncles, who all made their living on the water, at one time running one of the largest fleets on the Hudson. Meanwhile, her mother’s parents were successful musicians; Harry Simeone, the composer and choral arranger responsible for such works as The Little Drummer Boy and Do You Hear What I Hear? and Margaret McCravy (stage name McCrae), a singer from South Carolina who got her start accompanying her elder siblings The McCravy Brothers, a harmonious gospel folk duo, before continuing on her own to record and tour with bandleader Benny Goodman. Armed with her grandfather’s love for modernist dissonance, a genetic predisposition for harmony, and with her sea legs firmly planted in the traditions of American folk singing, Stevenson began creating melodies at a very young age.

Though Stevenson began writing classically on piano early on, it wasn’t until her late teens that she taught herself how to fingerpick the guitar, aspiring to have the quickness and intricacy of her ‘guitar god’, Dolly Parton. The new instrument opened up a window of creativity and Stevenson soon began writing songs heavily influenced by the writers her father had raised her on, such as Neil Young, Gram Parsons and Carole King, while also drawing inspiration from music that she discovered on her own like Leonard Cohen and Jeff Mangum. In 2010, she released her bare-bones full-length debut simply entitled A Record, which she quickly followed the year after with Sit Resist, the first solid document of her work playing with a full band. Those two albums and a healthy amount of touring brought Stevenson a dedicated fan base, drawn to her voice, her words, and her relatable down-to-earth persona.

While writing the 13 songs that make-up her newest record, Wheel, Stevenson sought to understand her place within the frame of time, nature, and among those that she loves. With her words, a careful twine of prose and humour, Stevenson manages to expose the nagging contradictions that make life so terrifying but also so worth living, how it is possible to simultaneously feel both fear and joy, the bitter aftertaste of something so beautiful it makes you sick. Themes of passage, the cycle of the moon, the seasons, and love’s ever-shifting states of dependence, are all interwoven throughout Wheel as songs ebb and flow from her band’s crashing walls of distortion and pounding drums, to sweet string-led overtures, to moments where it is just Stevenson and a guitar.

Support comes from Rachel Hillary. Describing her music as ‘poetry set to song’, Rachel Hillary has much in common with other nu-folk artists and her live performance sees her surrounded by any combination of ukuleles, mandolins, djembe drums and banjos. She relies on spontaneity as a source of inspiration, much like the Beat poets; all kinds of great things can happen by accident. Fans of Feist, Birdy, Melanie Safka and Bob Dylan will find Rachel Hillary a complimentary addition to their (already impeccable) music catalogue.

This show takes place in the Annexe of Cornerhouse, Manchester’s main cultural hub, situated on Oxford Road.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are also available from Cornerhouse’s box office, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Cornerhouse.orgSeetickets.comWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 8pm on Saturday 19 April 2014
Where: Night & Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN

We’re delighted to welcome back Edinburgh’s Withered Hand!

Over the past few years Withered Hand – aka Edinburgh DIY folk-rock troubadour Dan Willson – has released an outstanding debut album, Good News, become a much-loved member of King Creosote’s Fence Collective, seen his songs picked up on MTV and cult series Skins, and gained an unlikely legion of fans including Jarvis Cocker and Rolling Stone magazine (who decreed him Artist to Watch).

He also struck up a friendship with indie statesman Darren Hayman (of Hefner), which led to a recording session in Hayman’s London home studio in late 2011. Some of the fruits of their labour were released in the UK by Fence Records on the raucous Heart Heart EP and the remainder unveiled on the more reflective Inbetweens EP, available outside the UK on Icelandic label Kimi Records from the end of 2012.

More recent Withered Hand shows have included collaborations with Pam Berry of seminal 90s US noise-pop band Black Tambourine and a rotating cast of musical friends embellishing Dan’s exuberant and original songwriting alongside trademark fragile and uplifting solo performances.

A long-awaited second full album, New Gods, will be released in early 2014 via Fortuna Pop!. Featuring guest appearances from Pam Berry, King Creosote, Eugene Kelly of The Vaselines and members of Belle & Sebastian and Frightened Rabbit, the album will be preceded by the single Horseshoe.

‘He records like Billy Childish and mixes like the Blue Nile’ – Darren Hayman (Hefner)

‘The UK’s best lyricist’ – King Creosote

Support comes from Mathew Gray, a songwriter from Burnley who is now based in Manchester. Influenced by the most lyrical of songwriters (Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Jake Thackray), he writes intelligent, comic and emotive songs. Now joined by The Awful Truth - featuring accomplished percussion, melodeon and double bass players – they create a traditional, yet distinct sound to deliver a wonderful show. Having released two EPs in 2013, which sold out and received good radio play, a debut album is due to follow in Spring 2014.

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

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When: 8pm on Saturday 19 April 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be helping Gymnast launch their new single, Geneva, with a free show!

Gymnast are Manchester-based duo Cathy Wilcock and Chris Lyon. Their music sits somewhere between alt-pop, trip-hop and electronica, resulting in a sound that moves both heart and feet. They also make a habit of playing live in unusual places: the top of a skyscraper in Manchester; a mediaeval chapel in Cambridge; inside the ‘shark’s mouth’ in the Olympic Park.

Their self-released debut EP was much praised by Tom Robinson (6 Music), and Simon Raymonde (Bella Union) made the opening song his Track of the Week on Amazing Radio. The EP led to some high profile support slots with, among others, San Fermin, Breton, Woman’s Hour and Torres. It also caught the ear of Gizeh Records – and now the first fruits of that relationship are unveiled in the form of their debut single for the label.

Geneva is a perfect introduction for those new to Gymnast. With its atmospheric synths, bold, motivic beats, and dual vocal work, it features a number of the band’s signature elements. It also typifies a songwriting style that is part melodic pop, part careful literary craft, the lyrics reimagining the first throes of Percy and Mary Shelley’s ambivalent romance.

‘If you imagine a world where the Wild Beasts frontman were born a woman, it may sound something like this – but the electro duo are successfully making their own unique sound’ – Thank Folk For That

Support comes from Veí. Veí is the alias of multi-instrumentalist, producer and former Kin keyboardist Jonn Dean. Having shifted his focus from improvised electronic performances to a more structured laptop-based setup, Veí has since released a self-titled EP with new not-for-profit Manchester label Baptists & Bootleggers.

Entry is completely free and the first 25 people arriving at the show will receive a Gizeh Records bag full of music (being Record Store Day and all that!)

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 26 April 2014
Where: First Chop Brewing Arm, Unit 3 Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN

We’re delighted to be helping Liz Green launch her album Haul Away!

Ahead of the release of her wonderful new album Haul Away!, Liz Green has revealed the video for Rybka (Little Fish in Polish), a track that, alongside the previously revealed Where The River Don’t Flow, will make up a limited edition white 7-inch double A-side single, due out 17 March. A gently swaying track inhabited by sparse flutters of wood wind and Liz’s distinctly expressive voice, the song’s video was conceived and created by contemporary theatre company Grist To The Mill, who designed and constructed the puppet and other props involved.

It is said that no (wo)man is an island, entire of itself, but if Liz Green’s highly acclaimed debut album O, Devotion! said anything it’s that she exists in a certain kind of isolation, as a uniquely exceptional, ‘eccentric and rather magical’ artist, (to borrow words from the Guardian). One does not just stumble across her music to be left unmarked. She gives too much for that. Her first musical missives in 2007, set afloat like so many bottled messages, saw her win Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition before finding land in 2011′s full length, and now its emboldened follow up Haul Away! is due out via Play It Again Sam on 14 April 2014.

‘Haul Away! is about Communication. Language. The Insufficiency of Words. Home. How to Fit in. Escape. Sea. Elemental Forces. The Edge of Something. Travel. The End of Something. Mythology. Love Lost. And Death,’ says Green. And ‘Obviously, I like to throw some death in there. I don’t want anyone to think I’ve changed too much. Actually, I think only one person dies on the album. The rest is open for debate. I’ve certainly shown them the way out. If they can’t find it, it’s their own fault!’ Green jokes.

Her second album continues to speak to her unique character (as droll as it is dark) while it also finds her becoming a piece of the continent, a part of the main by realising that these ‘lonely little songs need some company’. Luckily they have it in the form of a band of friends, who accompany her voice – a wonderfully warm melange of styles – and newly grounded piano compositions, surrounding them in bass, saxophone, drums, tuba, trombone, cello and flute.

Support comes from Honeyfeet’s Ríoghnach Connolly, performing songs from her Black Lung album.

First Chop Brewing Arm is an industrial brewing unit situated in a railway arch off Trinity Way, a 10-minute walk from Deansgate. The brewery is fully licensed and will be offering a selection of its own ales on the night, as well as other refreshments. Read more about our partnership with First Chop here.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 26 April 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with Matthew and The Atlas for the first time.

Matthew and The Atlas, the moniker of British musician Matt Hegarty, is pleased to announce details of his debut album. Other Rivers will be released on 14 April through Communion Records, and is produced by Story Books’ Kristofer Harris and Bear’s Den/Communion’s own Kev Jones. The album was recorded at Squarehead Studios in Kent in late 2013.

The 10 track record marks a fresh perspective for Hegarty’s songwriting since his first EP releases through the fledgling Communion label back in 2011. Building on those primarily acoustic early outings, the new sound is enriched with the buzz and hum of both electronic and live beats. The album also features a number of guests from the extended Communion family, including the production pair on multiple instruments, and the vocal of Australian Matt Corby on Another Way.

It’s a benignly British record, but has a texture more in common with the learned likes of US contemporaries Bill Callahan, Justin Vernon and Will Oldham.

The recent Nowness.com-featured, and Zane Lowe-approved single Pale Sun Rose is an oak-smoked introduction to Hegarty, but the track’s overall atmosphere and drama is replicated throughout the whole record.

Having gently introduced themselves at the start of 2013 with their debut single Anahita – seven-plus minutes of expansive ‘dream folk’ – and the beautiful Dusk before it, New York‘s Wilsen will self-release their mini-album Sirens on 26 August in the UK. Last May the quartet were invited to support Daughter on their North American tour, opening for the trio on a string of sold-out shows. A high-point of each night’s set was their reinterpretation of Grimes’ Oblivion, which has since been added to the band’s Soundcloud page and has racked up 100,000 streams.

This show is in association with Communion.

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

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When: 3pm on Sunday 4 May 2014
Where: First Chop Brewing Arm, Unit 3 Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN

We’re excited to be hosting a stage at the tenth outing of Salford’s Sounds From The Other City Festival.

This year, we’re working with ‘Salford’s celebration of new art and music’ at First Chop Brewing Arm, an industrial brewing unit situated in a railway arch off Trinity Way, a four-minute walk from Islington Mill. The brewery is fully licensed and will be offering a selection of its own and guest ales, as well as other refreshments.

Here’s our line-up for the day…

Championed by the likes of Marc Riley and the Eavis family even before putting out their debut LP, The Travelling Band have long been a favourite of Manchester gig-goers. Living up to their name, they’re responsible for some of the tightest, most enthralling performances around (a result of over 400 shows together) – but this performance will be truly unique. Having long admired the Neil Young album On The Beach, The Travelling Band will be playing their own twist on the classic, which has accompanied and influenced them throughout their career.

Thomas Truax is an American songwriter, performer, and inventor of experimental musical instruments. He first came to prominence as a solo performer in the 1990s in New York as one of a group of musicians and songwriters (including Jeffrey Lewis, Curtis Eller and Beck) who made up the antifolk movement based around the Sidewalk Cafe on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. From these fertile beginnings Truax has developed a long and winding career that has seen him graduate into one of the most unique and individual performers around. We’re delighted to be welcoming him along to SFTOC for the first time.

Yellow Ostrich is the sonic creation of singer/guitarist Alex Schaaf and drummer/percussionist Michael Tapper. The follow-up to their 2012 EP, new record Cosmos was inspired an intensive period of study of astronomers such as Carl Sagan and Frank Drake. While the album thus embodies a sense of both wonder and isolation it also manages to capture a powerful dynamic of raw guitar riffs, lush atmospherics, brain-bending electro effects and and earnest but unsettling lyrics.

Long known as one of the most exciting acts on the Canadian underground scene, Montreal’s Solids are finally breaking out and getting the recognition that they deserve. Signed to seminal indie label Fat Possum (Youth Lagoon, Band of Horses, Bob Log III), 17 February will see the release of their debut LP, Blame Confusion, and this will be among the first set of shows on European shores. Expect to be blown away.

Happyness are a three-piece from South London consisting of Jonny Allan, Benji Compston and Ashley Cooper. Having self-produced their debut EP in Jelly Boy Studios, their loft, the band released a self-titled EP in early January 2014. In the lead up to this lo-fi four-track offering, mixed by Ed Harcourt and mastered by Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Daniel Johnston, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), Happyness have gathered friends and fans on both sides of the Atlantic. Influences are diverse and broad but bands such as Sparklehorse, Yo La Tengo and Wilco have clearly inspired. Dreamy, hook laden, with a song writing prowess far beyond their tender years – Happyness are the real deal.

From Toronto, the almost ungoogleable Gay have earned recognition for more than their name. Since the release of their debut album – the wonderfully titled Dance Mix 95 – the band have been working on a transition from the C86-tinged jangle-pop of their salad days towards a self-style ‘concert hall prog pop’ sound. Adding strings and horns to their ensemble, the band are currently working with Slim Twig, which will act as a calling card for their new direction.

Babe were formed in the summer of 2010 by ex-Findo Gask members Gerard Black (currently with Francois And The Atlas Mountains) and Michael Marshall, along with Thomas Ogden and Amaury Ranger, Babe have been making music across the channel from their native homes in Glasgow and Bordeaux. Their debut album Volery Flighty – conceived and produced entirely by Gerard and the band, and featuring friends from Glasgow’s indomitable music scene (including Chvches‘ Lauren Mayberry on backing vocals and Ricky Egan from Tangles) – couples the group’s international outlook through Gerard’s chamber pop sensibilities to foster something at times pensive and oblique, at others direct, fun and buoyant. An off-kilter humour and sideways glance at life runs throughout Volery Flighty.

A festival wristband, which includes access to all stages, is available to buy online from Skiddle.

First Chop Brewing Arm photos © Drew Forsyth

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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 7 May 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be welcoming Montreal’s Folly & The Hunter to Manchester.

Folly & The Hunter’s deep connection to the natural landscape is the foundation for the stories and songs they create. The major tenet of their most recent record, Tragic Care, is about weaving personal experience in romance, death, loss and beauty through analogous animal behaviour. Through organic instrumentation and reverberated vocals, Folly & The Hunter are Montreal’s contribution to a thriving pool of folk musicians aching to engage again with the trees, the creatures and the dirt and to find depth in timeless, yet everyday, simplicity.

Main support comes from Butcher The Bar. Signed to Morr Music (Múm, Amiina, Telekinesis) they make subtle pop songs reminiscent of label-mates Seabear, but also of indie-pop greats such as The Lucksmiths. The band recently toured with Death Cab For Cutie, and last played for us with Allo Darlin’ and Mark Eitzel.

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

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When: 7pm on Friday 9 May 2014
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, this show has been upgraded to Gorilla, the Deaf Institute’s sister venue on Whitworth Street. All original tickets remain valid – but please note the new slightly earlier start time of 7pm.

We’re happy to welcome back The Handsome Family

Wild animals, tall tales, and folk-lore from American history populate Wilderness, the ninth studio album from New Mexico’s Handsome Family. Recorded at home in Albuquerque and at the Wilco Loft in Chicago, it’s a record that finds husband and wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks blending Appalachian holler, psych-rock and Tin Pan Alley-inspired melodies to conjure up a world where David Attenborough meets David Lynch in a honky-tonk bar at midnight.

The album explores the little-known enigmas of the natural world: immortal jellyfish, woodpecker tongues, dancing octopi, fly royalty, the secret language of crows, and mysterious ant spirals. Elsewhere we discover why the Sparks never take seaside vacations and learn all about compulsive window-smasher Mary Sweeney. It’s classic Handsome Family territory: twisted tales of the unexpected that may raise a smile but will also, thanks to Rennie’s knack for spinning a good yarn, leave you ever so slightly unsettled. But it’s not only the narrative that draws you deep into this zoological wonderland. From the opening bars of Flies to the album’s closer Wildebeest – a parlour-piano led hymn that somehow successfully manages to bring together Stephen Foster, hungry crocodiles and the unity of the wildebeest herd – Brett Sparks lays bear a succession of deceptively simple melodies and dexterous instrumentation that combine with his wife’s lyrics to a startlingly haunting effect and are delivered with a voice that glides between a Cash-like timbre and a southern high and lonesome plea.

And what songs they are. They have been feted by the likes of Ringo Starr and covered by artists including Jeff Tweedy, Cerys Matthews, Christy Moore and Andrew Bird. In a career that spans 20 years they’ve toured the world in their own charmingly DIY fashion – one car, one hotel room, one stage…. night after night after night – and in that time they’ve performed as a duo, with a band and have had onstage collaborations with such folk-royalty as Eliza Carthy, country legend Charlie Louvin and indie-kings like Nick Cave and Jarvis Cocker. In each and every instance they’ve more than held their own, thanks in the main to their songs – a series of unique and wondrous compositions that, as Jeff Tweedy once said, are the ‘product of two beautiful brains’.

‘Their new recording brought to mind a focus and refinement to the weirdness and the weirder they get the more I like ‘um’ – Kurt Wagner (Lambchop)

Tour support comes from Vikesh Kapoor. His full-length debut record, The Ballad Of Willy Robbins, is a concept album loosely based on a newspaper article, chronicles the brutal but hopeful story of a working class man who slowly loses everything: ambitions, health, family and shelter. Co-produced by Adam Selzer (M Ward) and features Nate Query (Decemberists, Black Prairie), Jeff Ratner (Langhorne Slim) and Birger Olsen (Denver), The Ballad Of Willy Robbins is out on Loose Music on 14 April.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, this show has been upgraded to Gorilla, the Deaf Institute’s sister venue on Whitworth Street. All original tickets remain valid – but please note the new slightly earlier start time of 7pm.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 9 May 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be helping Cavan Moran launch his new single!

For Manchester’s Cavan Moran the term ‘troubadour’ is clearly more a way of life than just a convenient Facebook description. The former frontman of Manchester folkies These Eyes Are Cameras, Moran quit that band in order to fulfil a sort of spiritual odyssey across Europe then returning to Manchester to assume his mantle as the city’s next great acoustic cipher. To his credit, though, that finely-wrought back story is neatly reflected in his music, a sort of John Bramwell meets Fionn Regan confection full of romantic yearning, pretty melodies and late night, smoky dive-bar ambience.

Thankfully all this heavy-hearted emoting does not come at the expense of the finer musical details. Listeners have already been struck with the beauty and the subtlety of his arrangements on debut EP Five Simple Crimes, the judicious sprinklings of harmonica, cello and female backing vocals all adding to the heart string-tugging effect. Cavan releases his double A-sided follow-up – Lonely Rival b/w Pricked To A Pattern on seven inch vinyl on Monday 12 May. The single enhances this even further and places the album, that will inevitably follow, into the category marked ‘hugely anticipated’.

‘Cavan Moran: a man rewriting the troubadour rulebook with stunning results’ – Manchester Evening News

‘Lonely Rival is an anthem that could be heard in a living room or a large stadium. A universal sound that speaks volumes and if more industry folks had a clue, they would embellish artists like Cavan Moran more often’ – Hit Makers Music

Main support comes from Elle Mary & The Bad Men. Drawn to the communicative and bonding qualities of ‘folk’ but explorative beyond its stylistic connotations; enough of a pack member to want a band yet also keen to imbue a sense of solitude through her music, Elle Mary is an artist who operates best when balancing conflicting instincts. It’s what lies beneath the subtle tension that slightly tugs at the heart of her and The Bad Men’s acoustically-webbed slowcore minimalism.

Opening the show is Dave Hulston.

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

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When: 6.30pm on Thursday 15 May 2014
Where: Central Library, St Peters Square, M2 5PD

We’re delighted to be presenting a rare concert in the Central Library’s reading room.

As part of Manchester’s Museums at Night programme on Thursday 15 May, we’re presenting a rare musical performance in the recently re-opened Central Library. Featuring film footage from the library’s local archive plus a set from Manchester-based trio the Montgolfier Brothers, this early evening event promises to offer a unique experience of this Neoclassical building – taking in both its brand new performance space and the magnificent, historical reading room.

The Montgolfier Brothers recorded their first album, Seventeen Stars, in 1998, and released it in spring 1999 on Vespertine Records. Seventeen Stars was re-released on Alan McGee’s post-Creation label Poptones in 2000. Gigs in the UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Japan followed, featuring Otto Smart as an extra guitarist. A second album, The World is Flat, was recorded in 2001, and released via Poptones in 2002.

The band’s third album, All My Bad Thoughts, was released towards the end of 2005 – preceded by the Journey’s End EP. Gigs and tours followed including an extensive tour of Spain, as well as appearances on Spanish radio and television, and dates in Denmark and Sweden. Gigs have continued sporadically ever since, and the band were invited to play the Moscow International Book Festival in June 2009, for which they performed as a 4-piece with Sophia Lockwood on cello.

As well as working together in the Montgolfier Brothers, Roger and Mark both have solo projects. Roger initially released records as Quigley, before adopting the name At Swim Two Birds. The most recent At Swim Two Birds album, Before You Left, was released on Vespertine & Son in September 2009, featuring contributions by Sophia and Otto alongside Roger.

Mark used to record as gnac, and has released several albums under this name. In 2010 Mark went to Rome to record a new album with Italian classical pianist, Alessandra Celletti. The album, Mark Tranmer & Alessandra Celletti: The Red Pages, is now available in a variety of formats, including a double CD with follow-up album How Scarlet The Leaves (2012).

Otto Smart has recorded as The Otto Show, and has released albums on Vespertine & son and Annika Records of Spain. He also performs as part of Ears In Excellent Condition.

‘Sometimes the best bands feel like a well-kept secret’ – Alan McGee on the Montgolfier Brothers

The first part of the event features footage from the library’s local archive, chosen in collaboration with the Montgolfier Brothers, and will be followed by the band’s performance in the reading room. The event is due to end at 8pm, and a paid bar will be available.

This event is free to attend – but limited capacity means advance booking is highly recommended. Book now via Billetto.co.uk to secure your place.

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 16 May 2014
Where: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY

We’re delighted to welcome back Hauschka – his first Manchester show in two years.

Düsseldorf-based pianist and composer Volker Bertelmann, aka Hauschka, announces tour dates to coincide with the release of his new Abandoned City album, released on City Slang this Spring. Inspired by innovators from John Cage to Aphex Twin, Hauschka is known for his compelling live shows that reimagine the textural and timbral possibilities of his instrument by carrying out an array of imaginative ‘preparations’ on its internal mechanisms.

Recorded in his home studio in a ten day burst of creative energy following the birth of his first son, Abandoned City evokes the ghostly romance of the ruin via his trademark piano preparations and – for the first time – extensive electronic processing. An array of delays, reverbs and pitch-shifting effects bend to his will to create a shimmering world of layers and timbres that eminate from the piano.

From perfectly formed miniatures to longer suites and freeform improvisations, Hauschka has an awareness of light and shade, combined with a melodic charm and innate curiosity that makes listening to his music an engrossing sensory experience. The live show will be a chance to experience the imaginary landscapes and spontaneous lyricism of a unique composer first hand, and share in his ongoing romance with the piano.

‘Satie feather-drops, gorgeous string plucks, transfixing rattles. Stillness is the move’ – Rolling Stone

‘The sounds that Volker Bertelmann creates with(in) a piano are nothing short of astonishing… a triumph’ – Mojo

Opening the show is Elizabeth Preston. Originally from Blackpool, Elizabeth takes a ‘beguiling, artistic approach’ to folk, creating loops of cello and vocals to sing and play to. Her music has been described as ‘a hypnotic eruption of stabbing cello, haunting melody and exuberant yelps… folk but not as you’ve ever heard it’.

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.

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

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When: 8pm on Saturday 17 May 2014
Where: Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD

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

S. Carey’s chosen musical expression is a hugely beatific, restorative panorama of beauty – perfect given how landscape and the wonder of nature inspire much of Carey’s imagery. His new album, Range of Light – the follow-up to his 2010 debut All We Grow – takes its title from the name that 19th Century naturalist John Muir – Carey’s hero – gave to California’s Sierra Nevada, and follows suit with a dazzling array of musical light and shade, drawn from Carey’s love of jazz, modern classical and Americana. Like a weathered mountain range changing shadow form and colour, or the ebb and flow of a river’s current, his music is simultaneously restful and rhythmic, complex and simple, and always evolving.

While he studied classical percussion and piano at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire, Carey imbibed rhythmic minimalists such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Immediately after graduating in 2007, he caught wind that Eau Claire resident Justin Vernon was forming a band to take his For Emma, Forever Ago opus on the road. Carey learnt the drum and vocal parts for the album, rehearsed with Vernon, and has been a mainstay of the Bon Iver live band ever since.

While on tour with Bon Iver, Carey developed his own song writing ambitions, and after many less than frequent recording sessions between tours, released All We Grow in 2010. Those nine songs sat between a folk/modern classical hybrid and rarefied jazz climes. Carey’s warm melodic nuances, reflected in the lush folds of his singing, added to the mutable percussive syncopations of his instrumentation.

Range of Light incorporates elements of his previous work, but also amplifies Carey’s percussive proclivities, and is altogether more developed than its predecessors, with more input on the performance and even composition side from the band of musicians and best friends he assembled originally to bring All We Grow to life in the live setting.

Tour support comes from Nottingham’s Rue Royale – aka. Brookln and Ruth Dekker.

This show is a co-promotion with DHP.

Tickets are available from the RNCM box office (no booking fee), RNCM.ac.uk, Seetickets.com, Ticketline.co.uk and on 0161 907 5555.

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

We’re delighted to be working with American artist Hiss Golden Messenger for the first time.

Hiss Golden Messenger is Durham, North Carolina-based songwriter M.C. Taylor and multi-instrumentalist and recordist Scott Hirsch, who lives in Brooklyn, New York. The pair has been making music together for twenty years in various incarnations, including six records with the San Francisco band the Court and Spark.

Since 2009, Taylor and Hirsch – in collaboration with longtime drummer Terry Lonergan, Nashville guitarist William Tyler, and members of Megafaun, the Black Twig Pickers, Pelt, D. Charles Speer & the Helix, Brightblack Morning Light – have released a string of universally acclaimed albums as Hiss Golden Messenger: Country Hai East Cotton (2009), Root Work (2010), Bad Debt (2010, soon to be reissued by Paradise of Bachelors), Poor Moon (2011), Hiss Golden Messenger Plays Elephant Micah Plays Hiss Golden Messenger (2012), Lord I Love the Rain (2012) and Haw (2013).

Drawing from the deep well of traditional and vernacular Southern song that Taylor has explored and documented as a practicing folklorist, as well as the more alchemical strains of 1970’s country-rock, dub music, and kosmische music, ‘like Van Morrison circa Astral Weeks, Hiss Golden Messenger confounds traditional-music genre expectations’ (according to The Huffington Post.) Distinguished by their fascinatingly ambiguous conjuring of spiritual – and often specifically Biblical – concerns and characters, as well as a taut lyricism informed by writers as disparate as Ronnie Lane, Lew Welch, and Wendell Berry, Taylor’s unabashedly ardent songs rank among the most exquisitely crafted and eloquent of his generation.

Their 2011 LP Poor Moon has been hailed as a masterful and moving country-soul statement on faith and family by Pitchfork, Uncut, Salon and many others, leading to profiles of Taylor by NPR, The Oxford American and Interview Magazine. Last year Paradise of Bachelors released HGM’s full-length follow up to Poor Moon, the remarkable, and darker, Haw, which earned glowing reviews from the New York Times, MOJO, The Times, the Washington Post and beyond, becoming one of the year’s most critically lauded recordings.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 May 2014
Where: Night & Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN

We’re delighted to be working with Hurray For The Riff Raff for the first time.

Hurray For The Riff Raff is Alynda Lee Segarra, but in many ways it’s much more than that: it’s a young woman leaving her indelible stamp on the American folk tradition. If you’re listening to her new album, Small Town Heroes, odds are you’re part of the riff raff, and these songs are for you. ‘It’s grown into this bigger idea of feeling like we really associate with the underdog,’ says Segarra, who came to international attention in 2012 with Look Out Mama. The album earned her raves from NPR and the New York Times to Mojo and Paste, along with a breakout performance at the 2013 Newport Folk Festival, which left American Songwriter ‘awestruck’ and solidified her place at the forefront of a new generation of young musicians celebrating and reimagining American roots music.

Segarra, a 26-year-old of Puerto Rican descent whose slight frame belies her commanding voice, grew up in the Bronx, where she developed an early appreciation for doo-wop and Motown from the neighbourhood’s longtime residents. It was downtown, though, that she first felt like she found her people, travelling to the Lower East side every Saturday for punk matinees at ABC No Rio. The Lower East Side also introduced her to travellers, and their stories of life on the road inspired her to strike out on her own at 17, first hitching her way to the west coast, then roaming the south before ultimately settling in New Orleans. There, she fell in with a band of fellow travellers, playing washboard and singing before eventually learning to play a banjo she’d been given in North Carolina.

Many of the songs on Small Town Heroes reflect that decision and her special reverence for the city. She bears witness to a wave of violence that struck the St. Roch neighbourhood in the soulful St. Roch Blues; yearns for a night at BJ’s Bar in the Bywater in Crash on the Highway; and sings of her home in the Lower Ninth Ward on End of the Line.

The scope of the album is much grander than just New Orleans, though, as Segarra mines the deep legacies and contemporises the rich variety of musical forms of the American South for the age of Trayvon Martin and Wendy Davis. ‘Delia”s gone but I’m settling the score,’ she sings with resolute menace on The Body Electric, a feminist reimagining of the traditional murder ballad form that calls on everything from Stagger Lee to Walt Whitman. She juxtaposes pure country pop with the dreams and nightmares that come with settling down with just one person in I Know It’s Wrong (But That’s Alright), while album opener Blue Ridge Mountain is an Appalachian nod to Maybelle Carter.

Tour support comes from Sam Doores. Doores is a New Orleans-based musician who plays in The Deslondes and Hurray for the Riff Raff, and also performs as a solo singer-songwriter.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 8pm on Sunday 25 May 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be bringing Venetian Snares, the godfather of IDM, back to Manchester.

Aaron Funk (aka Venetian Snares) hails from Winnipeg in Canada. Since his debut 12? in 1999 on a small Minneapolis label he has risen out of the drill’n’bass/breakcore mire to become one of the most astonishing (and popular) musicians working in the experimental electronic sphere (alongside Squarepusher, Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada).

Each new album from Aaron brings with it a new sound, a new atmosphere, a whole new world – he never repeats what’s gone before. Chocolate Wheelchair, his 10th commercially available album, is his most hook-laden opus yet – five out of the ten tracks include a vocal performance (of some description). It could be described as a mutant post-punk ragga-jungle pop music for an alternative reality. Aaron just calls his music surrealism.

For those who enjoyed Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits 1972-2006, this is the stylistic follow-up. Full-on punk-rave jungle breakz with lots and lots of pop sampling attitude in 7/8 (and 5/4). As well as the classic single Einstein-Rosen Bridge, with its funk guitar, sci-fi vocals and salsa trumpets, the album is also choc-full (ho) of other poptastic delights. Such as the shouty post-punk vocal hooks of Abomination Street whose melody is based on the TV theme of a well known and long-running Manchester soap opera; or Too Young – a glitch-hop reworking of the Motley Crue hit. Hand Throw – in which a gruff (Belgian) MC shouts out to ‘Antwerp massive’… or Epidermis in which another more tremulous post-punk chanteuse pairs up with spooky drexciyan chords, titanium breaks and a buzzing reese bass. The album concludes with Aaron’s most daring de-construction of the amen break yet: Herbie Goes Ballistic, with a guest performance from the little VW beetle who cared.

‘Venetian Snares is to Music what Satan is to Christianity: a profoundly malevolent force who looks great, intimidates a lot of boring people and is, despite everything, insanely popular… It’s like experiencing The Empire Strikes Back on 3D IMAX on LSD’ – NME

‘Funk’s second LP this year, this is his fullest and finest work to date… these endlessly inventive acts of musical vandalism balance pleasure, pain and stoopid-fresh wit. Genius’ – NME

‘Both inspirational and infuriating… relentlessly inventive (in his) approach to structure’ – The Wire

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 27 May 2014
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

We’re excited to be welcoming back Smoke Fairies – this time at Band on the Wall.

Smoke Fairies’ outstanding new album, the eponymously titled Smoke Fairies, shows the band in top form, combining their classic approach while exploring new forms of musical expression – but it is an album that they nearly didn’t make.

There was a moment after the release of Smoke Fairies’ last album (Blood Speaks, 2012) when Jessica Davies turned to musical partner Katherine Blamire and told her she was no longer sure whether Smoke Fairies should continue. For Smoke Fairies the suggestion of not playing music together would potentially impact more than just their band – theirs was a friendship forged by music, by a shared ambition that had carried them from their schooldays and on to songwriting and performing together.

‘We started considering what would we do if we didn’t do music,’ recalls Davies, ‘and it was just a massive void.’ Deciding that giving up on the band was ‘not an option,’ Davies wrote a musical apology to Blamire that would become the stunning opening track of their new album. ‘I just wanted to say sorry to her – sorry I scared you like that.’

In the six years since Smoke Fairies first entered a recording studio, they have made two critically acclaimed albums, toured with Bryan Ferry, Richard Hawley and Laura Marling, and had a single released on Jack White’s Third Man Records; but for all the perceived glamour of a musical career, they were still sharing a house in Peckham and waiting for something to happen while they worked temp jobs around London.

But with the question now raised, Smoke Fairies were able to really take stock and reassess what the band truly meant to them. ‘We realised that this is our life,’ says Davies. ‘And we just have to see it as this wonderful thing, every gig we get to play and every record we get to make – we’re just incredibly grateful for that.’

This show is a co-promotion with Wotgodforgot.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 29 May 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Two Wings – this time to the Castle Hotel.

Trailing their second album, A Wake, released by Tin Angel Records in 2014, Glasgow-based quintet Two Wings release the single Peace-Fear.

Based around the song-writing partnership of vocalist Hanna Tuulikki and guitarist Ben Reynolds, Two Wings are a glorious hybrid of sounds ancient and modern. On Peace-Fear, Reynolds’ psych-rock guitar is married to the keening whoosh of Tuulikki’s words on a song about love, loss and moving on – but carefully – that has the decidedly grown-up commercial sass of Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac yet retains the edge of Neil Young. Gift-wrapped in a lush arrangement fleshed out by the accompanying vocals of Lucy Duncombe, the bass of Kenneth Wilson and the drums of Owen Curtis Williams, Peace-Fear is as mercurial as its subject and as soaked with wisdom and experience as all its musical influences that combine to make a four-minute epic of redemption that soars.

Two Wings were formed in 2009 when singer/multi-instrumentalist/visual artist Hanna Tuulikki and guitarist/singer Ben Reynolds finally sat down and wrote a song together after years of crossing paths in Glasgow’s ever-fecund left-field music scene(s). Tuulikki’s experimental song-based project Nalle was described by Wire Magazine as ‘easily some of the most convincing free-folk the UK has ever produced’. Tuulikki was also a member of free form jazz folk ensemble Scatter and the Family Elan. Reynolds’ numerous releases as a solo artist include the 2009 solo guitar album How Day Earnt Its Night, released by New York’s Tompkins Square Records. Reynolds was also a guitarist in critically acclaimed psych-folk band Trembling Bells, and has collaborated with Alasdair Roberts and Baby Dee.

As something clicked between Reynolds and Tuulikki, more songs followed, and Two Wings took flight with a glorious hybrid of Ceilidh band stomp, deep-fried Acid-Country twang, 1970s Me Generation Soft Rock harmonies, Memphis soul, Olde English mediaeval-isms and the noise and smoky breath of basement bar folk dives when the ‘F’ word still meant something magical. All this was channelled into Two Wings’ world even more as they expanded to incorporate fellow travellers Duncombe, Wilson and Williams.

Two Wings became a roaring, raucous beast of a band, and most of the fruits of Reynolds and Tuulikki’s song-writing partnership appeared on their debut album Love’s Spring, released on Tin Angel Records in 2012. Now, with Peace-Fear presaging A Wake, Two Wings look set to soar once more.

Support comes from Little Sparrow. Singer-songwriter Katie Ware adopted the name Little Sparrow about three years ago as she felt it characteristic of the sound she was beginning to create and the direction in which she wished to travel. Drawing upon influences as diverse as Kate Bush, All About Eve and PJ Harvey she creates songs that are filled with a blend of styles, woven into the colourful tapestry of her music, often with a mysterious fairy tale quality. Listeners are taken on a journey that touches upon every emotion, from heart-breaking sadness to uplifting joy. Last year was a significant year for Little Sparrow, as she gathered new admirers through acclaimed live appearances. The highly-anticipated debut album is released in May 2014 and the year promises to be her most exciting to date.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 4 June 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be helping Shield Patterns launch their debut album!

The newly formed project of Claire Brentnall and Richard Knox, Shield Patterns has always shown a sophistication beyond its age, with first single The Rule (Gizeh) gathering attention for it’s blend of minimalism, fragility and warmth.

After retiring to the wilderness and isolation of the North Wales countryside to record their debut album, the duo return with a new single and UK Tour in March 2014. Its teaser video implying a much darker, richer soundworld… like falling – slowly, gracefully, and not without hope, but still falling; a white shape in the darkness tumbling downwards.

Shield Patterns started life in late 2012 with Brentnall working alone on a bunch of home recorded demos. A chance meeting with Knox at her first ever solo show was enough to form an interest in working together in some capacity. Just a few months later and the duo were performing live together while also working on the beginnings of new material that would finally form the debut album.

There’s a resolutely unique sound to the music Shield Patterns make. For the most part the melodies are infectious but there’s an undertone of detail that can only be discovered on repeated listens. The duo have painstakingly layered and arranged vocals, beats and various other sounds throughout the songs – something new to hear at each encounter.

In September 2013 debut single The Rule was released on Knox’s own Gizeh label – backed by remixes from Thom alt-J and Thinnen. New single Dust Hung Heavy was released on February 24th with the debut album set to drop later in June.

This show is a co-promotion with Grey Lantern.

A limited number of early bird tickets, priced just £3, are available from Seetickets.com. Tickets are also 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 Friday 6 June 2014
Where: First Chop Brewing Arm, Unit 3 Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN

We’re delighted to be helping Douga launch their album The Silent Well!

Douga is a band based in Manchester, formed by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Johnny Winbolt-Lewis. Named after a childhood nickname given to Johnny by his parents, Douga have grown from wide-eyed, exploratory experimentalists to become a BBC 6 Music-featured act, who have now created a record gripped with a gentle but firm sense of cohesion and clarity. Johnny and John Waddington share instrument duties on The Silent Well, with contributions from DBH (violin) and additional guitar and engineering work from Raúl Carreño. The group have built their album on the foundations of Johnny’s love of kosmische music, through rhythmic repetition and psychedelic drones.

‘The Silent Well sort of refers to this idea of a quiet, reflective person with countless thoughts and feelings about things,’ explains Johnny, ‘in contrast to being loud and attention seeking, in some respects. I respect songwriters who communicate their observations, in terms of what’s going on around outside and inside their zone.’

Winbolt-Lewis cites artists like Broadcast, Yo La Tengo and Grizzly Bear for their uses of more leftfield textures set against orthodox melodies, and there is something to that in Douga’s music; but, as Johnny says, ‘it’s about perfecting a sound that can only be identified as your own through the disparate influences you pick up along the way – acting as a magpie to what you consume.’ So consume Douga’s music and make some time for it among frenetic reality – it’s the very least it deserves.

Main support comes from Daniel Land, who has released six albums and a series of EPs and singles across his various bands and projects. His first album under the name Daniel Land & The Modern Painters, 2009′s Love Songs For The Chemical Generation, won plaudits from Mark Radcliffe at BBC Radio 2 and Elbow’s Guy Garvey, and was called ‘one of the finest records of its time’ by Drowned In Sound. Daniel is also a member of the dreampop supergroup Engineers, whose track Home was used as the theme for HBO’s series Big Love, and who released their third album, In Praise of More, in 2010. Daniel will release a solo record, his third album of songs, in early June.

Opening the show is Juffage - aka Jeff T. Smith, a solo sound artist and multi-instrumentalist from Leeds UK, via Chicago, Illinois. Through relentless touring in the US, UK, and Europe, performing over 350 shows, Jeff has established a reputation for his sonically powerful and physically captivating live shows. His debut album, Semicircle, was released to widespread critical acclaim from the NME, Loud & Quiet, Drowned in Sound, Bearded Magazine and others. After an extended period away writing, Jeff is returning to gigs with bags full of new material in 2014.

First Chop Brewing Arm is an industrial brewing unit situated in a railway arch off Trinity Way, a 10-minute walk from Deansgate. The brewery is fully licensed and will be offering a selection of its own ales on the night, as well as other refreshments. Read more about our partnership with First Chop here.

This show is a co-promotion with Grey Lantern.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Friday 25 July 2014
Where: First Chop Brewing Arm, Unit 3 Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN

We’re delighted to be helping Jane Weaver launch her new album at First Chop Brewing Arm.

Jane Weaver unveils her new album The Silver Globe, released on her own femme freak imprint Bird through Manchester label Finders Keepers Records.

The album features production and contributions from David Holmes and Andy Votel plus special guest musicians. It was recorded mostly in an old vicarage near the Peak District and the famous Vox Recording Studios in Los Angeles, with both studios housing unique analogue experimental equipment.

The Silver Globe hears Weaver deploy a wide range of instruments: vintage Goblinised Roland string synths, detuned pianos, guitar synths, harpsichords and ex-Radiophonic Workshop custom equipment as accompaniment to vocals recorded with space echo, sonic room reverbs and bespoke experimental tape delays.

The Silver Globe is Jane’s fifth solo album, and her live show will feature her performing with a full band plus light projections from Manchester filmmakers Kluncklick.

Members of Bird Records and Finders Keepers will also be DJing throughout the evening.

First Chop Brewing Arm is an industrial brewing unit situated in a railway arch off Trinity Way, a 10-minute walk from Deansgate. The brewery is fully licensed and will be offering a selection of its own ales on the night, as well as other refreshments. Read more about our partnership with First Chop here.

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

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When: 7pm on Saturday 23 August 2014
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This show is a co-promotion with DHP.

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

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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