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: Sweet Baboo... Gun Outfit... Will Varley... Girls Names... C Duncan... Dan Stuart... The Wave Pictures... Flowers... Grandbrothers... Rocky Votolato... Joan Shelley... James and the Ultrasounds... Steven James Adams... Joe Gideon ft. Jim Sclavunos... Anna Meredith... Momus... Kiran Leonard... Eliza Shaddad + De Montevert... The Besnard Lakes... The Sheepdogs... Aldous Harding... Liima... BC Camplight... Laura Gibson... Hayes Carll... Moulettes... Cale Tyson... The Burning Hell... Bleached... Son of Dave... Robert Forster... Aidan Knight...

When: 7pm on Friday 5 February 2016
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be bringing Sweet Baboo back – to play Soup Kitchen for the first time!

Sweet-Baboo-Deaf-Manchester

Halfway through Sweet Baboo’s fifth album comes I Just Want To Be Good, in which the North Wales singer appears to describe himself in glowing terms. ‘I’m a lovely little man,’ sings Stephen Black who, as Sweet Baboo, has written and performed songs of sweet sentiment and charming melody since 2003 but never with such accomplishment as on The Boombox Ballads. Black isn’t celebrating his own loveliness, however. I Just Want To Be Good is by fellow Welsh singer Cate Le Bon, a close friend for whom Black plays bass, and she wrote the song about him. It’s the only cover on an album of otherwise personal love songs that combine kitchen sink detail with universal appeal, and it shows a new side to Sweet Baboo: as the Harry Nilsson of Snowdonia, a gifted songwriter not above lending his dulcet tones to the words of others.

By his own admission, The Boombox Ballads is Sweet Baboo’s naked attempt to emulate his heroes, Harry Nilsson and Dennis Wilson among them. But being a 33-year-old father of one from Trefriw, on the edge of Snowdonia, rather than a drug-addled lunatic from Los Angeles, on the edge of sanity, it is driven by his characters, not those of his heroes. Rich with string-laden arrangements, with lyrics culled from personal experience and resonating with domesticity but imagination and wit too, The Boombox Ballads is Sweet Baboo’s sophisticated pop album: celebratory, a little melancholic, free of cynicism.

You Got Me Time Keeping is Black’s attempt to write a song like Scott Walker’s The Electrician, although Walker’s mordant personality and Black’s essentially sunny one meant that it was never going to come out as he hoped and it’s all the better for it. ‘I really did try to rip off the middle section to The Electrician,’ says Black, seemingly unconcerned about a Blurred Lines-style million-dollar legal case coming his way.

With The Boombox Ballads, Sweet Baboo wanted to explore more what it was to be a singer as opposed to a ‘singer-songwriter’, a term that to him at least seems to have picked up negative connotations. Black worked with an arranger, Paul Jones, for the first time, with Jones helping him paint the most vivid accompaniments possible. This process leaves Sweet Baboo with nothing but his voice to guide him to the emotional centre of the song.

All of this fed into a simple but ambitious goal: to make the perfect album. Originally, Black wanted to make The Boombox Ballads on his own, but then reality set in. Recorded in a Cardiff studio with producer Charlie Francis, and a whole host of musicians including: Avvon Chambers and Daniel Ward on drums; Rob Jones and Huw Evans on bass; a string quartet; arranger Paul Jones; guest singers Zervas & Pepper on Got To Hang Onto You; and Laura Byron of Tender Prey on You Got Me Time Keeping, the result is a vibrant, endearing pop classic.

The Boombox Ballads follows Black’s Motorhome Songs EP, his 2013’s acclaimed Ships and 2010’s I’m A Dancer / Songs About Sleeping – both nominated for the Welsh Music Prize.

Support comes form Boat to Row. Since forming in 2010, Boat to Row have released three EPs and two singles, paving the way for this highly acclaimed band to deliver their stunning debut album, I Found You Here. Released in late 2015 on their own label, Nocturne Records, it was fan-funded through a successful crowdfunding campaign. The band have toured extensively, playing with the likes of Slow Club, Johnny Flynn, Dry The River, Sweet Baboo, Willy Mason and Ryley Walker.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 13 February 2016
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

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

Gun-Outfit-Gullivers-Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Gullivers’ bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 13 February 2016
Where: Night & Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN

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

Will-Varley-Night-Day-Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

‘Powerful, political and pertinent’ – The Independent

‘Excellent… blew me away’ – Q Magazine

Tour support comes from Xylaroo. Xylaroo are Holly and Coco Chant: two sisters, two peas in a pod, two harmonious voices cut only from the same cloth as each other. Similar to many bands, the pair (Holly aged 25, Coco 23) are a product of their own environment. What makes them totally at odds with everyone else, however, is that their environment has been constantly shifting since day one.

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

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

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

Girls-Names-Soup-Kitchen-Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tour support comes from Gross Net, the project of Philip Quinn (also of Girls Names). Following on from a limited cassette release through Art For Blind, Gross Net’s debut album will be released in spring 2016 via Touch Sensitive Records (David Holmes, Cherrystones).

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

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 20 February 2016
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re excited to be bringing Mercury Prize nominee C Duncan back to Manchester!

C-Duncan-Eagle-Inn-Salford

Glasgow’s prodigious young talent C Duncan returns following the release of his acclaimed Architect LP with a special limited edition 7”. The new single comprises a brand new re-write of his debut single For (featured on Architect) and a French language re-recording of previous single Here to There, now titled Ici à Là.

Support for C Duncan has crossed the board of major platforms. Lauren Laverne, Shaun Keaveny, Huw Stephens, Radcliffe and Maconie, and Steve Lamacq are firm fans, and The Guardian, NME, The Sunday Times, The Line of Best Fit, The Quietus, DIY Magazine, Stereogum, Les Inrockuptibles (among plenty of others) have all featured Christopher’s music. Previous single Garden earned a place on BBC 6 Music’s A-list, and with his live band Christopher has performed sessions for Lauren Laverne, Vic Galloway, Ricky Ross, John Kennedy at XFM, Clive Anderson’s Loose Ends and several more. Belle & Sebastian invited Christopher to open at their Somerset House show on the album’s release date.

A graduate of music composition from Glasgow’s Royal Conservatoire, this new arrangement of For evidences Christopher’s considerable abilities not only as pop songwriter but also as a gifted academic musician. Effortlessly, the track is adapted from a winsome and pretty shanty into an irresistible choral collage of Beach Boys expanse, its rhythms shifted to accent a driving 4/4 and its ended lifted in glorious vocal harmonies. On the b-side, Ici à Là unexpectedly takes on a Serge Gainsbourg quality, an entirely different personality from the original track.

Christopher is the son of two classical musicians, but was drawn so persuasively to indie and alternative music and playing in school bands as a teen that he added guitar, bass guitar and drums to his existing repertoire of viola and piano, studying all five instruments at the same time.

Christopher wrote and recorded his album alone in his Glasgow flat on a bedroom studio setup, gradually adding each layer and each instrument one at a time, building up the breadth of the pieces. Though time-consuming, the process allowed for Christopher to lovingly assemble the intricacies and subtleties for this astonishingly intricate and subtle collection of music.

The cover art for the new arrangement of For, a detailed and stylised aerial view of Glasgow, was created by Christopher himself. A skilled and accomplished artist, his work has been exhibited at galleries around Scotland.

‘Hauntingly pretty, intricately arranged… Will blow you away with its awed atmosphere and reverential sense of rapture… Exquisite and unearthly’ – The Guardian (Band of the Week)

Tour support comes from Tom Low, who will release his debut EP in January via Deltasonic.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 23 February 2016
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with Green on Red’s Dan Stuart for the first time!

Dan-Stuart-Gullivers-Manchester-2

What business does an ageing post-punk has-been have making a kick-ass rock record with Twin Tones, one of Mexico’s hottest young bands? Last anyone heard Green on Red’s Dan Stuart had moved to Oaxaca from NYC to escape reality. Sure, after a decade and a half hiding out, he had released both the LP and book, The Deliverance of Marlowe Billings, in 2012 on Cadiz Music in London and toured Europe twice – but he wasn’t satisfied which is where chapter II comes in: the revenge of Stuart, aka Marlowe Billilngs.

Marlowe’s Revenge started in a concrete bunker in Oaxaca, where Daniel Sanchez Jimenez was more used to recording Oaxacan banda than weirdo gringos. Stuart wandered in one day with a dozen songs written on an opened tuned cracked Martin that mirrored Stuart’s psyche perfectly. The result was promising, simple chord changes but in interesting voicings with a strange propulsion not always in time but always somehow right. The songs were about love and loss, murder and despair: Stuart’s usual laments but with a spark, like a fire had been lit somewhere deep in his distended belly. Pleased with the results, Stuart became curious and wondered if he could find a band to play some of these songs, a Mexican band that wasn’t a caricature of Mexico herself. So he did what anyone would do, search Youtube and he found them…

There name was Twin Tones. They came from Mexico City and played instrumental music with some of the same Ital-Mex influences as the last band Stuart had recorded with, Sacri Cuori from Italy. But they were younger and rawer, and spoke a little English with a rock n roll accent. Stuart dropped by the lads’ studio in gritty Ecatepec and started the second half of Marlowe’s Revenge. The first song they recorded together was Soy Un Hombre, and indeed Stuart had become a man again, stiff boner and all. It was immediately clear they had a garagey sound but one in England somewhere and rented from gypsies. Pleased, Stuart sent Twin Tones’ leader and now his producer Gabriel Lopez some of the Oaxacan tapes and told him to overdub what he wanted, make yourself a nice margarita. The results blew Stuart away and so the whole enchilada was smuggled up north to JD Foster to mix. So there you have it and now time for the Revenge to start.

Dan’s new album has a worldwide release for the end of January and he will be touring Europe in April as a duo with Tom Heyman – who will himself be touring the UK for the first time in ten years.

Tom Heyman will be main support. The worlds of indie rock iconoclast John Vanderslice and alt-country godfather Alejandro Escovedo rarely intersect, but in Tom Heyman, they most certainly do. The San Francisco-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has toured and recorded with artists of most every stripe, from Chuck Prophet and John Doe to cult favorites Girls and a whole lot more in between.

Opening the show is Fernando. Portland, Oregon troubadour Fernando Viciconte has 20 years of local and national acclaim under his belt. His voice has caused countless zines (Billboard, Magnet, Paste, The Oregonian, No Depression, etc) and fellow musicians (Peter Buck, Don Dixon, Steve Wynn) to rave about the feeling it evokes when Fernando sings his songs of dark despair and faint hope. Three years in the making, Leave The Radio On features a virtual who’s who of Portland’s finest musicians, including Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey as well as members of M.Ward, Elliott Smith, Richmond Fontaine and The Delines. This is a new chapter in Viciconte’s ever-evolving musical trajectory – a career marked by creative integrity and an almost painful honesty which attracts fans from high and low that still believe in the redemptive power of rock and roll.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Gullivers’ bar, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.ukWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 25 February 2016
Where: Night & Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN

We’re delighted to be welcoming the Wave Pictures back to Night & Day Cafe!

The-Wave-Pictures-Night-Day-Manchester-2016

The Wave Pictures return with a brand new, vinyl-only album called A Season in Hull, due out on 12 February on their own label Wymeswold Records. The album was recorded on acoustic guitars in one room, with a bunch of their friends, live in to one microphone on singer Dave Tattersall’s birthday, 28 January, 2015. The songs were written as quickly as possible and the recording captures that specific moment in all its spontaneous, thrilling and immediate glory. As Tattersall elaborates: ‘That’s what this is – a one-microphone happy birthday recording.’

The band reveal the video for the first single Slick Black River From the Rain From the Rain. Dave Tattersall says this about the song: ‘I am crazy about E Minor, specifically on the guitar. There are three main ways that you can play it on an electric guitar: open, barred on the 7th fret, or barred on the 12th fret. (On an acoustic guitar you usually just have the first two options). The 7th fret version is just the right colour for me. I write more songs in this key, and in this position, than in all the other keys put together. The reason is that it is my favourite! The 7th fret, guitar version of the E Minor chord has such a strong, evocative, pull to it. But if you play E Minor on a piano, it’s nothing special at all, just another minor chord. All the chords are equal on a piano, but a guitar contains magic chords. On a guitar some chord positions are much better than others. These are magic chords!’

Earlier in the year The Wave Pictures (Jonny Helm, Dave Tattersall and Franic Rozycki) released Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon, their critically acclaimed collaboration with Billy Childish. They cemented their reputation as one of Britain’s most beloved and exciting live bands around with a sold out gig at London’s legendary 100 Club, their biggest headline show to date at The Tufnell Park Dome and an astonishingly heartwarming performance headlining the Garden Stage at The Green Man Festival.

Special guests are Toronto four-piece The Elwins. Their most recent long-player, Play For Keeps, incorporates 60s-inspired pop, 70s garage swagger and 80s synth sounds – and has led to recent festival appearances alongside the likes of The National and St Vincent.

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

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When: 8pm on Thursday 25 February 2016
Where: Fallow Cafe, 2A Landcross Rd, Manchester M14 6NA

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Flowers – this time to Fallow Cafe.

Flowers-Fallow-Cafe-Manchester

There’s something great about a three-piece — think Cocteau Twins, The Clean, Galaxie 500 — and the way that irreducible nucleus takes its strength from its limitations, making a virtue of its purity. And so it is with London trio Flowers, returning with their second album Everybody’s Dying To Meet You in February 2016 via Fortuna Pop! (EU) and Kanine (US). Over the course of ten intensely thrilling pop songs, singer Rachel Kenedy’s ethereal vocals and Sam Ayres textured guitar is backed by the powerful, metronomic beat of drummer Jordan Hockley.

The inception of Flowers started with Ayres searching for a singer for over a year when he posted one last fateful advert, stating he wanted to make pop songs like ‘early Madonna through a broken tape machine’. This led him to Kenedy, and peculiarly, the forming of Flowers. Right away the two fell into a deeply creative and romantic partnership. Currently sharing a flat in East London with their adorable dog Batman, they restore vintage musical equipment and feverishly create demos.

The first batch, polished up by none other than Bernard Butler, turned into debut Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do released in 2013. Created during a period of illness for Ayres, the result is an album that whilst receiving great critical acclaim, was necessarily subdued.

For Everybody’s Dying to Meet You the band retreated to Bark Studios in Walthamstow to work with producer Brian O’Shaughnessey (The Clientele, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine), a return home for Ayres, who was born and spent most of his life in the area. It proved to be the perfect fit for Flowers, the sessions enabling them to capture the essence of both their dynamic live sound and their distortion-laden home demos. Effortlessly blending pop songs with noise while leaving space for more stripped back elements, the recordings strike a perfect balance between the sweetness of Kenedy’s voice and Ayres’ abrasive guitar stylings. Their musical inspiration from shoegaze, C86 and New Zealand’s Flying Nun label is now evident.

“A little Jesus And Mary Chain, a lot of Black Tambourine, and one hell of a voice.” doNYC

Support comes from another London-based trio, Long Teeth, who are releasing their latest single, Famous Girls, on 18 February.

This show is a co-promotion with Fallow Cafe.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 27 February 2016
Where: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY

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

Grandbrothers-Burgess-Manchester-2

Following the release of their acclaimed debut album Dilation earlier this year, Grandbrothers are set to hit the road in February 2016, for their first major headlining tour.

Grandbrothers are Erol Sarp and Lukas Vogel. Together, they combine classical composition with modern, experimental production and sound design. Their debut album Dilation was recorded using a grand piano and a series of self-built electromechanical hammers, which were triggered to ‘play’ the piano, creating new and previously undiscovered sounds. Surprisingly, there are no synthesisers on Dilation: everything comes from the grand piano.

Grandbrothers’ one-of-a-kind live show replicates the process by which the duo made Dilation. Their unconventional live setup lends itself to spontaneity: it’s like witnessing open-heart surgery on the grand piano, where no two performances are the same. Meanwhile, the influence of techno and club music on their sound becomes amplified during performance, with exhilarating and often unpredictable results.

Dilation was released in March via FILM Recordings. Inspired by Steve Reich, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, the album is cinematic but rhythmic, and it received praise both online and in print across the UK, Europe, and the US.

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.

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

Buy tickets now. 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 4 March 2016
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with Rocky Votolato for the first time!

Rocky-Votolato-Castle-Manchester

Seattle’s Rocky Votolato has been relentlessly on tour over the last two decades, as a compelling singer-songwriter or with his former cult-punk band Waxwing. Ten years after Makers and its evergreen White Daisy Passing, Rocky Votolato returns on tour throughout Europe presenting the new EP Sawdust and Shavings.

A follow up to his latest, eighth album Hospital Handshakes, produced by Chris Walla (ex-Death Cab for Cutie) and released on Glitterhouse Records in 2015, the new effort showcases stripped-down, intimate versions of songs from his last full-length, including its title track featuring Emily Kokal of Warpaint along with Shortcuts and several other previously unreleased tracks.

The new video for the dark and hauntingly beautiful Sawdust and Shavings has been made by the filmmaker and Wim Wenders’ director-assistant Luca Lucchesi.

‘With each aching and comforting record, he’s fused folk and country aesthetics with a carried-over hardcore ethos from his youth in post-punk bands like Waxwing’ – Consequence of Sound

‘Hospital Handshakes is a milestone in Votolato’s career and one that would do well to serve as a springboard for all his efforts going forward’ – PopMatters

Tour support comes from Chantal Acda.

Chantal-Acda-Castle-Manchester

Chantal Acda has been a well-kept secret, hiding out in various formations like Isbells, Sleepingdog and Distance, Light & Sky. It wasn’t until the 2013 release of her first album Let Your Hands Be My Guide and backed by musical soulmates Nils Frahm, Peter Broderick and Shahzad Ismaily, that she fully blossomed in her own right – ‘vulnerable and soft as fresh snow’, as Mojo put it.

Armed with an even better sophomore album The Sparkle In Our Flaws, released on Glitterhouse Records just last September, Chantal Acda has set out for European touring throughout 2016 with a brand new live band. Expect to get stirred, hypnotised and deeply moved.

‘An album of warm textures and mystic atmospheres’ – 4*, Mojo

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

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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