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: Nat Johnson... Los Trasgos Muertos... Honeyfeet... Whyte Horses... Jane Weaver... Last Harbour... Lydia Ainsworth... The Wave Pictures... Steelism... H. Hawkline... Ólafur Arnalds... Vikesh Kapoor... Flowers... Lucy & the Caterpillar... The Unthanks... Kiran Leonard... North Atlantic Oscillation... Abdominal & The Obliques... The Handsome Family... The Lovely Eggs... Jessica Pratt... Thomas Truax... SLUG... Ryley Walker... Skinny Lister... Public Service Broadcasting... Ryan Boldt (The Deep Dark Woods)... Nizlopi... Steve Gunn... The Burning Hell... Waxahatchee...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 29 January 2015
Where: Takk Coffee House, 6 Tariff Street, Manchester, M1 2FF

We’re excited to be working with Sheffield’s Nat Johnson for the first time!

Nat-Johnson-Takk-Manchester

Accompanied by her band on flute, fiddle, harmonies, horn and lapsteel, acclaimed singer-songwriter Nat Johnson will be playing songs from her new album, Neighbour of the Year, along with songs from her former outfits, Monkey Swallows the Universe (‘Sheffield’s loveliest band’ – the Guardian) and Nat Johnson and the Figureheads (‘Like a cross-pollination of Yo La Tengo and the ‘nu-folk’ of Laura Marling’ – Subba Cultcha).

‘Witty, poignant, classy and heartfelt… an acoustic leading light’ – Our Favourite Places

‘Genuine and irresistible’ – Now Then Magazine

Support comes from Hey! Manchester favourite Christopher Eatough. Christopher Eatough writes and plays songs. He has been playing in venues across the UK since 2010, sharing stages with Rae Morris, Turin Brakes, Brother & Bones, Courtney Marie Andrews, and many others. He has been featured on BBC Introducing and headlined Manchester’s In The City festival. He released his first album, A Creak in the Cold, in 2010, and an EP titled Gone Dark in 2013.

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

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 6 February 2015
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re excited to be helping Los Trasgos Muertos launch their self-titled EP.

Lost-Trasgos-Muertos-Castle-Manchester

From Manchester, Los Trasgos Muertos are Captain Reed (bass/vocals/organ), Von Beek (guitar/vocals) and El Fliesh (drums).

Prior to forming the band, all three members spent time honing their musicianship and songwriting skills with other bands on the vibrant Manchester music scene. As a result they have known each other for years, sharing similar passions and frustrations, influences and experiences. Writing came easily and before the trio knew it, they had an album’s worth of material ready to record at Eve Studios in Bredbury, one of Manchester’s best kept secrets.

Los Trasgos Muertos are influenced by a range of musicians from Billy Childish and Deep Purple to Ty Segall, The Beatles and Prince. This eclecticism inspired them to find their own sense of individuality; they strive to produce records with a strong melody and hook, substance over style, but it’s important to them that each track captures their sense of fun too.

Captain Reed (Bass/Vox/Organ) describes their sound as ‘loud music for bodies in small hot sweaty rooms – this is physical music’.

Support comes from Barbados Slim and H!M regular Elle Mary and The Bad Men.

A limited number of early bird tickets are available – book 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 Saturday 7 February 2015
Where: First Chop Brewing Arm, Unit 3 Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN

We’re delighted to be returning to First Chop Brewing Arm with Honeyfeet!

Honeyfeet-First-Chop-Salford-2015

Following the release of their album It’s A Good Job I Love You to a sold out Band On The Wall at the end of 2013, Honeyfeet have been tirelessly gigging. In the meantime the band has expanded, and secured a publishing deal.

They have also began recording the next album at Manchester’s Airtight Studios. Still, with much mixing, mastering, pressing and artwork to finalise, this gig will help Honeyfeet get the funds to complete the process! Your help will be invaluable!

Still at the core of the sound are songs about cannibalism, mariticide and various other dark themes, and yet Manchester’s finest ethio-trad, folk-hop & barrelhouse-pop exponents have the skill, charm and (frankly) tunes to pull it all together into a joyful, foot-banging sound.

Evoking the afro-funk of Mulatu Atstake, the exuberant folk of Flook, and the blues of Junior Wells without ever sounding contrived or unoriginal, Honeyfeet have in Ríoghnach Connolly one of the most striking front-women on the scene at the moment.

‘Seldom has conspicuous greatness been more accessible’ – City Life

‘One Jools Holland appearance away from runaway success’ – Manchester Music Review

Support comes from Alabaster. Alabaster’s cross-disciplinary projects have appeared on Radio 3’s Freakzone and been described as ‘quite unlike anything you’ll have heard before’ by the Bristol Post. He is a performer, writer and musician who tours internationally and delivers theatrical spoken-word to music audiences, and vice-versa. He involves a range of musicians from across the country, such as John Ellis, Paddy Steer and Rioghnach Connolly in creating his instrumentals, songs and theatrical performances. Two full-length LPs are available – Copernicus (2012) and The Jester (2013) – on Debt Records.

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.

A small number of early bird tickets are available – book now. Advance tickets are also available from Common (no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Billetto.co.uk, 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 Saturday 7 February 2015
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be promoting a one-off hometown show for Whyte Horses.

Whyte-Horses-Soup-Kitchen-Manchester

In the summer of 2013, after reading of the nomadic travels of cult folk artist Mark Fry, close friends Dom and Julie took refuge from the drudgery of Manchester and rented a dilapidated cottage in the Italian countryside. Over the course of three months they set about trying to make the kind of record that was missing from record collection.

With limited resources they assembled a makeshift studio and began to make scratchy instrumentals inspired by the picturesque natural habitat, exploring themes of the human condition and daydreams of fantasy. The one piece of decoration they brought with them, a poster of their favourite band Os Mutantes, loomed large on the wall, offering some company and direction during this time of solitude.

The results: a heady colour-sound of psychedelic dream pop, tempered by fluid sun drenched instrumentals, fearless and tender at the same time; the triumphant sound of Whyte Horses is like everything and nothing you have heard before.

See the most carelessly whispered band of the year play a one off homecoming gig in Manchester at Soup Kitchen on Saturday 7 February.

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 13 February 2015
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

When: 7.30pm on Saturday 21 March 2015
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, we have added a new show at the Deaf Institute!

We’re delighted to helping Jane Weaver celebrate topping Piccadilly Records’ albums of the year chart!

Jane-Weaver-First-Chop-Salford-2

Working as an omnipresent pop figure in her genuinely independent micro-industry for over 20 years, Jane Weaver is a rare example of a passionate and resilient northern female artist who re-creates, re-invents and refreshes where many others come and go. Her synth-pop psych and conceptual pop LPs have earned her a faithful fan base which has extended to a long discography of collaborations often released through her own musical ‘Woman’s Institute’ imprint Bird Records, which she runs with Finders Keepers Records in Manchester.

Late 2014 saw the release of her new self-produced synth-driven LP The Silver Globe, made with a wide cast of global collaborators such as soundtrack composer David Holmes, Andy Votel with extra music from Australian prog legends Cybotron, Hawkwind and sound effects from electronic pioneer Suzanne Ciani. Wearing her penchants for French wave, cosmic Deutsch rock and European fantasy films on both of her sequinned sleeves, Jane’s sixth studio album follows the highest critical acclaim for her previous self-funded album, The Fallen By Watchbird, and a campaign that bought together the unlikely coupling of artists like Wendy & Bonnie, Demdike Stare and The Focus Group.

This year Jane’s new brand of motorik cold-funk and technicolor domestic synth flourishes unite 10 new conceptual pop songs about power-plant fun-fairs, sci-fi education centres and post-apocalyptic love affairs while her characteristic gossamer vocals cross octaves to theatrical deft effect.

The Silver Globe has been voted as Piccadilly Records’ number one album of 2014! To mark the occasion, you can save £2 off the ticket price for this show when you purchase the album at Piccadilly Records – just ask at the counter.

‘The Silver Globe is arguably her most sonically adventurous work to date’ – The Quietus

‘She is amongst todays most striking sonic auteurs’ – Mojo

‘Mesmerising and inspiring, Weaver is one of this country’s hidden treasures’ – Q

GULLIVERS: Support comes from Tender Prey. Laura Bryon is Tender Prey, a Cardiff-based musician who mixes garage rock, blues and ghostly girl group clangs to shake you, soothe you and see you through the night. Tender Prey has previously made music as Le B and in noise­pop outfit King Alexander. Laura will be releasing her debut album on Bird Records – and performing here with her band.

This show has now sold out!

THE DEAF INSTITUTE: Support comes from highly rated Manchester quartet Horsebeach. Piccadilly Records placed their self-titled debut album at number 3 in its 2014 end-of-year chart, describing it as ‘a gorgeous journey through Northern, jangly, dreamy guitar pop. From as far back as The Wake, through the now de rigeur C86, this is bedroom introspection gone widescreen’.

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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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 14 February 2015
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be helping Last Harbour launch their new album, Caul!

Last-Harbour-Soup-Kitchen-Manchester

Based in the northern English city of Manchester, Last Harbour play honest, heartfelt music that has a dark, gothic heart yet a sound that is always beautiful and transcendent.

After working with producer Richard Formby (Wild Beasts, Spacemen 3, Ghostpoet) on two previous albums, the band took time out after touring to build their own studio in 2013. Caul, the band’s new album out on 9 February 2015 via a new home at Gizeh Records, was recorded in that self-created space over a year between 2013 and 2014, and bears testament to a patient and detailed recording process that allowed time for experimentation and careful arrangement.

The record contains all of the band’s trademark cinematic laments and doom-filled rock, but there is also an added layer of raw, bleak experimentation that marries ideally and simultaneously with brighter, almost joyous moments. The progression on Caul, from that of its predecessor Your Heart, It Carries the Sound, is clear. There is a new focus, a need to explore, a quest to push further into the void.

‘This album sounds magnificent. A collection of songs that should appeal to anyone enamoured of Tindersticks and Mark Lanegan’ – Sunday Times

‘Melancholic and cinematic, like Scott Walker re-ordering Bowie’s Heroes’ – Uncut

‘A spacious and hypnotic affair, reminiscent of Iggy Pop’s ‘Preliminaries’ with a nod to Timber Timbre’ – Artrocker

Support comes from Warm Widow. Warm Widow are from Manchester and are as unaligned an island as the city has to offer. They thrash out ardently wrought, fraught rock music. Their debut album, WIDOWER, was released to a flutter of acclaim in 2010 on White Box Recordings, and the second one, CHILDLESS, was released on Filthy Home Recordings in March 2014. Norman Records said of them: ‘Like a backstreet Manchester take on Sonic Youth with John McGeoch on guitar. Fans of PIL, Women, Sonic Youth, Wire, Guided By Voices take note.’

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 Thursday 19 February 2015
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re excited to be working with Lydia Ainsworth for the first time.

Lydia-Ainsworth-Gullivers-Manchester

Composer, producer and singer Lydia Ainsworth has been secretly writing and recording songs over the past three years from bedrooms and basements between Toronto and Brooklyn. What began as pass-time sketches between composing music for film and multimedia projects has over time revealed an enchanting collection of experimental pop songs with a life of their own.

Blurring the boundaries between indie music, filmic orchestration, and electronic music, Lydia’s debut Right From Real thrives on haunting melodies and draws inspiration from a wide range of musical sources – Verdi’s Requiem, Ace of Base, Bulgarian choirs, Bernard Herrmann, Tones on Tail, Art of Noise to name just a few. This sense of unexpected marriages of influence flows throughout much of Lydia’s previous work which features use of voice sampling and string arrangements woven into a unique minimalist fabric.

Lydia says: ‘As I listen to the finished album I am reminded of the immense comfort I felt in the obscurity of its destination. I became entranced by the evolving process that took shape within those invisible tactile walls of tradition. Whether I was sampling instruments, writing lyrics, incorporating lyrics by my pen pal Matthew, recording multiple arrangements for each song – stripping them down – building them back up – I was guided only by a relentless instinctive urge to express what I could not in waking life. The songs approach dreams, thoughts, and inspirations that demand a search for the unknown, a search for something beyond what the five senses can offer.’

‘Like a fever–dream of Julia Holter merging with Grimes, Ainsworth’s future visions weave neoclassical flourishes and enchanted melody-mangles into cool 80s sound–beds, and it sounds fantastic’ – Dazed

This show is a co-promotion with Now Wave.

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 20 February 2015
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be welcoming the Wave Pictures back to the Deaf Institute – this time with their new album!

The-Wave-Pictures-Deaf-Manchester

Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon is the new album from English national treasures the Wave Pictures, due for release on Moshi Moshi in February 2015. The album was co-written and produced by one of their all-time heroes, Billy Childish, and every note tingles with excitement at the collaboration. Bursting with energy and ignited with a garage-rock spark, the album rings loud and bold, showcasing Dave Tattersall’s searing guitar solos and sharp lyrical wit. Tattersall describes the experience of working with Billy Childish like this:

‘We first met Billy in his painting studio in Chatham. It’s daunting to meet your heroes, but he was great – just chatting away in his overalls and beret. Everything from that point on seemed so easy and so exciting. Billy is inspired. He knows exactly what he’s doing.’

The Wave Pictures trio – Jonny Helm, Dave Tattersall and Franic Rozycki – love a good collaboration and over the years have worked as backing band to musicians such as Daniel Johnston, Stanley Brinks and Darren Hayman. Having formed when Dave and Franic were teenagers in 1998, they have always been incredibly prolific, with Dave writing so many songs that the band have made at least one album every year since they moved to London in 2006. Their varied discography captures a range of styles and influences, from garage rock to afro-pop to country punk, all recorded live with few overdubs. They never use keyboards or guitar effects pedals yet they have all they need to create the perfect rock and roll record.

Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon really lays its influences bare. Those who might not usually look past Tattersall’s distinctive vocal stylings might miss hearing touches of The Who in the title track or The Troggs in All The Birds Lined Up Dot Dot Dot. Tattersall swears that the song I Could Hear The Telephone (3 Floors Above Me) is ‘The Wave Pictures in a nutshell: The Modern Lovers with Rory Gallagher on lead guitar’. It was while recording the song Frogs Sing Loudly In The Ditches that Billy commented that the band sounded like ‘a weird Cream‘ and proceeded to put the heaviest, bassiest feedback under it. He also suggested doing two Creedence Clearwater Revival songs back-to-back, as Dave reminisces: ‘He said “that way people will know you’ve really got an issue!” and burst out laughing.’

Billy Childish helped to bring out a different side to The Wave Pictures and inject a renewed enthusiasm to the recording process. Tattersall said that he ‘was a joy to work with and we love the record. It was the most fun we’ve ever had making a record and to us it’s the most exciting sounding thing we’ve ever done.’

Support comes from False Nines. Formed over a mutual love of lo-fi yet ambitious indie-rock, Manchester’s own False Nines have already caught the ear of BBC 6 Music’s Marc Riley with their debut demo recordings. Recently playing their first gigs across Manchester, they are soon to head into the studio with the plan of releasing a single some time in 2015.

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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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Sunday 22 February 2015
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

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

Steelism-Castle-Manchester

It’s a short drive from Nashville, TN, to Muscle Shoals, AL: 125 miles, or about two hours if your foot’s on the leaden side, and you’ve left one musical Mecca for another. Thanks to Nashville instrumental duo Steelism, though, that gap is bridged in the time it takes to listen to a track. Comprised of guitarist Jeremy Fetzer and pedal steel player Spencer Cullum – and backed by some of Nashville’s finest young musicians – Steelism blend an eclectic array of vintage and modern influences to create instrumental music that truly sounds like nothing else.

Though Steelism are new to the music scene, Cullum and Fetzer are not, having backed artists like Wanda Jackson, Johnny Fritz, Rayland Baxter and Andrew Combs. The two met while touring the UK with Nashville songstress Caitlin Rose, quickly bonding over their shared love for classic movie soundtrack composers like Ennio Morricone and 1960s instrumental acts like Booker T and the MGs, The Ventures and Pete Drake. Writing together between soundchecks, the duo realised it was time for the sidemen to become frontmen, and Steelism was born.

Though the two grew up on different continents (Cullum hails from Essex, England; Fetzer from Canton, OH), Cullum and Fetzer were cut from the same musical cloth, as becomes immediately evident whenever they take the stage. Their debut EP, The Intoxicating Sounds of Pedal Steel and Guitar, was met with critical acclaim, with American Songwriter’s Sean Maloney calling Steelism ‘instantly recognisable – surf, country, blues, all steeped in soul and heavy on the grooves – but astoundingly outside the contemporary vernacular’.

The duo’s full-length debut, 615 to FAME, was released in the US via Single Lock Records (founded by Ben Tanner of the Alabama Shakes, John Paul White of The Civil Wars and Will Trapp) and will be released in the UK by Names Records on 9 February 2015. Half recorded at Muscle Shoals’ historic FAME Studios, where Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding all tracked hits, 615 to FAME was produced by Fetzer and Cullum with co-production from Ben Tanner, and contributions from long-time Nashville-based collaborators Jon Radford (drums) and Michael Rinne (bass). Featuring 10 original instrumentals and one cover, 615 to FAME announces Steelism as one of Nashville’s most exciting new acts.

Steelism’s compositions don’t need lyrics to tell stories. Marfa Lights is a krautrock-inspired instrumental influenced by German bands like Neu! and Can, with its title taken from the paranormal lights of the Marfa, TX sky. Cat’s Eye Ring is fit for a Spaghetti Western, named for a ring belonging to a mother protecting her children during the Battle of the Alamo. The album’s only cover track is the swirling, psychedelic Pete Drake number The Spook, which showcases Cullum’s faithful but updated homage to the late Nashville pedal steel legend and Fetzer’s heavier take on the track’s opening refrain.

Book 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 Tuesday 24 February 2015
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with H. Hawkline for the first time!

H-Hawkline-Gullivers-Manchester

In The Pink Of ConditionH. Hawkline’s first record for the irrepressibly brilliant Heavenly Recordings – is a transportational record. Through twelve tracks, it folds the space between a pinched grey seaside town in North Wales and the bleached-out wide-open spaces of the City of Angels. In doing so, it creates a glorious hybrid environment – one where a rundown, rough and tumble branch of Pontins could occupy the space once reserved for the Disney castle and where ‘spooky dogs’ wait for you around corners, their ‘two eyes set in a lick of fog’.

Shot through with the blues, the reds and the golds, the greens and the wispy white clouds that hang lazy over the rolling Pacific, In The Pink Of Condition truly marks Huw Hawkline’s arrival. His first album proper for Heavenly Recordings, it blossoms with all the charm, beauty, wit and wonder that’s been hinted at over the last few years across the artist’s limited run releases, singles and EPs and adds a brilliantly clear-eyed focus.

A few words of background. Huw Hawkline was born in Cardiff and raised in sunny Prestatyn, a seaside town famous for the aforementioned Pontins holiday camp and the first ever branch of Kwik Save. Formerly co-presenter of S4C’s flagship music show Bandit (alongside BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens), 29-year-old Huw recorded three albums in his native country (2010’s A Cup Of Salt, 2011’s The Strange Uses Of Ox Gall and the 2014 collection Salt Gall Box Ghouls) before taking flight for a life in LA late in 2013. (Well, you would if you could, wouldn’t you?)

The effect of the relocation on Hawkline’s music is total. Recorded in Seahorse Sound Studios just off Skid Row and produced by long-time cohort, fellow Welsh émigré and musical maven/genius Cate le Bon, In The Pink Of Condition is ‘strange pop’ (words borrowed from Huw): a controlled explosion of lazer-guided guitar melody (think a careering Television set or the Pavement outside the original site of Spillers) and whip smart bi-lingual wordplay. From the scratchy proto-disco Everybody’s On The Line to the haunted saloon bar rattle of In Love and the demented strut of Moddion (Welsh for medicine), it’s a record that clearly feels the benefits of good weather.

That said, Wales is in there too – how could it not be? Viewed in backwards glances across countries, it’s there through weather smudged-windows of Rainy Summer (‘Head full of crashing waves on dog mouth dunes’) and Concrete Coloured Clothes (which paints a picture of a place ‘where slate grows slow’). If Wales is Hawkline’s brooding foundation stone; California is the optimistic extension constructed atop it.

Although reluctant to cite a shopping list’s worth of influences, Huw nods to two permanent inspirations – the maverick U.S. author Richard Brautigan (the Hawkline name appropriated from Brautigan’s 1974 ‘gothic western’ The Hawkline Monster) and a just-turned-solo Paul McCartney (Huw namechecks Ram, an album coincidentally recorded when the once-and-future Beatle was also 29 years old). From the former, a wistful ways with words – songs constructed as slices of life, surrealist observations on the everyday. From the latter – what else would one ask for other than a just smidgeon of Macca’s six sense for abundant, tumbling melody?

So, Brautigan, Macca and a union between one wild west coast and another; forks in the road on the journey of one of the most unique musical talents to emerge from Wales – or anywhere – in the last ten years. Worth sticking around to see where he’s heading next.

Main support comes from Douga, a band based in Manchester. They 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. The group have built their debut album, 2014’s The Silent Well, on the foundations of their love of kosmische music, through rhythmic repetition and psychedelic drones.

Opening the show is Irma Vep. Llanfairfechan-born, Manchester-based musician/dancer Edwin R. Stevens records and performs his solo guff under the nom de bum ‘Irma Vep’. Some say he’s a sex junky of the most sordid kind with an insatiable hunger for interpretive dance; others say he’s the best darn support act they’ve ever seen and will stop at nothing to get a slither of that hot ‘Hot Cheddar’.

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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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 8.30pm on Thursday 26 February 2015
Where: Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9RD

We’re delighted to be bringing Ólafur Arnalds back to Manchester.

Olafur-RNCM-Concert-Hall-Manchester

Born in 1986, Icelandic composer/performer Ólafur Arnalds has always enjoyed pushing boundaries with both his studio work and live shows. Since the release of his debut album Eulogy for Evolution in 2007 he has built up a dedicated international following and is well established for his genre-crossing compositions blending classical, pop and ambient/electronica influences to a unique musical language.

Starting out as drummer for a metal band, Ólafur was asked to write instrumental intros and outros for German metal band Heaven Shall Burn. This led to more work in the field of neo-classical strings and piano based music, and ultimately to the release of Eulogy for Evolution.

In 2009 he started a week-long project of composing one track by day, making it immediately available online to his fans. The collection was later officially released under the title Found Songs. He repeated the same experiment in 2011 under the title Living Room Songs. Also in 2009 the ballet Dyad 1909 premiered with a score composed by Ólafur. In April 2010 Ólafur released his second full-length album entitled …And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness, which was backed up with an extensive world tour.

His third album, For Now I Am Winter, is released in February 2013. Expanding on his previous work the new album features a full orchestra and – for the first time – introduce vocals to his soundworld. Icelandic singer Arnór Dan is heard on four tracks of the album.

More recently Ólafur has been venturing into the world of films, writing Hollywood film scores to Another Happy Day (starring Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore) and Gimme Shelter (starring Vanessa Hudgens and Brendan Fraser). He also had music in the hit films Hunger Games and 300 – Rise Of An Empire, and has been featured several times on popular american television show So You Think You Can Dance.

For 2013 his scores include the music to ITV thriller series Broadchurch, which won a few BAFTA awards, including a personal one for him for Best Music. In October 2014 he released the debut album of his critically acclaimed techno side project KIASMOS. Further on he has recorded a collaboration album with Japanese pianist Alice Sara Ott (to be released in May 2015). Currently he is finishing the score for Broadchurch, season two. It will be televised in January on ITV again and accompanied by soundtrack release on Mercury Classics, followed by a selected number of headline shows through out England, Scotland and Ireland.

This show, which is part of FutureEverything 2015, will take place in the RNCM’s newly refurbished Concert Hall. Please note doors open at 8.30pm, and Olafur will play from 9pm.

Tickets are available from RNCM.ac.uk, Seetickets.com and Ticketline.co.uk. You can also buy in person at the RNCM’s box office or by phone on 0161 907 5200.

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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 3 March 2015
Where: Takk Coffee House, 6 Tariff Street, Manchester, M1 2FF

We’re happy to welcome back Vikesh Kapoor – last in town with the Handsome Family!

Vikesh-Kapoor-Takk-Manchester

Following a spur-of-the-moment cross-country trip with a pair of fiery European girls, Vikesh Kapoor left school for a brief yet inspiring stint as a mason’s apprentice. The America he had previously known resided narrowly between his childhood home in rural Pennsylvania and the New England university he left home for. Alongside his parents’ own immigrant struggles, these experiences quickly witnessed Kapoor to the scope of the American dream.

A few years later, Kapoor performed at Howard Zinn’s memorial service in Boston, in front of Zinn’s family and colleagues (including Noam Chomsky). Roused by Zinn’s lifelong battle against class and race injustice, Kapoor spent the next two years in Portland, Oregon working on his full-length debut record. The Ballad Of Willy Robbins, 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. It’s a worker’s tale, less specific to the blue-collar life as it is about anyone struggling to make something of themselves.

The Ballad Of Willy Robbins, out last April on Loose Music, was co-produced by Adam Selzer (M. Ward) and features Nate Query (Decemberists, Black Prairie), Jeff Ratner (Langhorne Slim) and Birger Olsen (Denver).

‘A series of sharply etched portraits of struggling Americans that points back along a road of socially conscious songs. Woody Guthrie is standing at the head of that road’ – The New Yorker

‘Kapoor’s cameos of blue-collar life are poignant and universal: wrecked home towns, insecure employment, busted dreams. An impressive debut’ – The Observer, 4/5

Tour support comes from Cork City’s John Blek. John Blek takes inspiration from range of musical styles such as the outlaw country of Willy Nelson, the protest ballads of Woody Guthrie, the 100-mile-an-hour lyricism of Jack Kerouac and the melancholic country rock of Neil Young.

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

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 6 March 2015
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re excited to be working with Fortuna Pop!’s Flowers for the first time!

Flowers-Castle-Hotel-Manchester

London trio Flowers released their debut album Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do in September 2014 via Fortuna POP! (UK/EU) and Kanine Records (USA). Produced by Bernard Butler, the album captures the intensity of being young in fourteen deceptively simple pop songs that take their power from their brevity, elevated by Rachel Kenedy’s extraordinary voice.

Flowers are Sam Ayres (guitar/synths), Rachel Kenedy (vocals/bass/synths) and Jordan Hockley (drums), brought together by Sam’s advert for a singer to make music like ‘Madonna through a broken tape machine’. The three of them immediately moved in together and spent the following weeks writing pop songs, practicing daily in their living room and recording through the night, barely sleeping with the excitement of it all and amassing a huge collection of over a hundred songs in demo form.

When they posted the results of their feverish recording online, word quickly spread and within weeks they were touring Europe with The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, despite never having played live before. More shows followed, including a support for Young Marble Giants in London at the behest of another fan who had discovered them via the internet, Young Marble Giants guitarist and songwriter Stuart Moxham. Appropriate first supports, as Flowers’ live performances draw a line between the joyous fuzzpop of The Pains and the minimalist brilliance of Young Marble Giants. The reception at the shows was nothing less than rapturous, with audiences blown away by their intensity and compelled by their sparse beauty: Jordan a physical yet inventive presence behind the drum kit, Sam a constant blur of kinetic energy on guitar and Rachel utterly still. The shows would often end with the stark and mesmeric Stuck, with Rachel alone, accompanying herself a one-string bass guitar, soul laid bare.

It was clear that Flowers needed a producer to help them capture the emotion and simplicity of their live show and that search led them to the door of Bernard Butler, whose track record and love of the Cocteau Twins marked him out to be the perfect choice. That and his love of the Gibson ES-355 guitar that Sam also plays. And so it was that Flowers’ very first foray into a proper recording studio was at Butler’s 355 Studio – a daunting prospect for a young band, softened by Butler’s sensitive production and access to his collection of beautiful analogue synths and Vox organ. Band and producer worked in harmony to produce a set of songs much cleaner and clearer sounding than anything they had recorded before, dispensing with the ‘wall of sound’ that characterised their home recordings and providing the clarity to allow the songs to breathe.

‘A little Jesus And Mary Chain, a lot of Black Tambourine, and one hell of a voice’ – DoNYC

Book 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 Sunday 8 March 2015
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re excited to be helping Lucy & the Caterpillar launch her new EP!

Lucy-Caterpillar-Castle-Manchester

Lucy & the Caterpillar is a name you might be familiar with, having been a regular around the north’s music scene a few years ago, earning herself much mainstream press in the process and playing alongside the likes of Adele, Florence and Laura Marling among others.

After taking a brief hiatus, spending time opening her own vintage boutique shop in Hebden Bridge – which is also named ‘Lucy & the Caterpillar’ – and launching her own clothing label Lucille, Lucy is now back with new music, and better than ever.

The first tracks included on the forthcoming Coming Back Home EP demonstrate a refined vocal and Lucy’s most intimate lyrics to-date.

An impressive return.

This show marks the launch of her new EP, with both Xfm and BBC Introducing having already shown renewed support.

Book 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 Wednesday 11 March 2015
Where: The Ritz, Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5NQ

We’re delighted to be welcoming back The Unthanks – their first Manchester show in three years.

Nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and the only British folk representation in the Guardian and Uncut’s best albums of last decade, The Unthanks have an army of notable fans – Martin Freeman, Elvis Costello, Colin Firth, Robert Wyatt, Ben Folds, Ryan Adams, Rosanne Cash, Dawn French, Paul Morley, Ewan McGregor and Nick Hornby, to name but a few.

The Unthanks is a family affair for Tyneside sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, with Rachel married to pianist, producer, arranger and composer Adrian McNally. Using the traditional music of the North East of England as a starting point, the influence of Steve Reich, Miles Davis, Sufjan Stevens, Robert Wyatt, Antony & The Johnsons, King Crimson and Tom Waits can be heard in the band’s seven albums to date.

Since releasing three project albums in one year back in 2012, The Unthanks have been hiding away in Northumberland, quietly working away on an ambitious follow-up to 2011’s Last. Who knows how rich, imaginative and groundbreaking their new album will be, released to coincide with this tour, and to be brought to life on stage with a talented 10-piece band.

It’s anyone’s guess. Those project albums – the orchestral ambition of a brass band collaboration, a reimagining of the work of Robert Wyatt and Antony Hegarty, and a soundtrack to a film about the shipbuilding industry – give little clue, while work since then with Orbital, Sting, Adrian Utley (Portishead), Martin Green (Lau), Martin Hayes, The Voice Squad, Charles Hazlewood, The Moulettes and German composer Werner Cee is so disparate that making predictions is impossible.

Definable only by their restless, peerless eccentricity, The Unthanks see folk music less as a style of music and more as a oral history that offers perspective on our own time. Their unique approach to storytelling straddles the complex relationship between modernism and learning from the past. Staunch traditionalism and sonic adventure may seem like polar opposites, yet they are easy bedfellows in the gentle hands of The Unthanks.

‘The Unthanks seem to regard folk music the same way Miles Davis regarded jazz: as a launch pad for exploring the wider possibilities’ – Uncut

‘There really is no better folk band in the land’ – Q Magazine

Buy tickets now. Tickets are also available from Seetickets.com, Wegottickets.com and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 17 March 2015
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

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

Kiran Leonard is a mercurially talented 19-year-old musician from Oldham, Greater Manchester. His debut double album, Bowler Hat Soup, was released in late 2013 as an original limited run of 300 vinyl copies, and his music has won acclaim from publications as diverse as the Guardian, NME, Pitchfork, The Line Of Best Fit, The Quietus and Mojo.

Three singles from the album were playlisted by BBC Radio 6 Music, who also featured it as an Album Of The Day, and Kiran was invited to perform on both the Marc Riley and Lauren Laverne shows. Kiran was also invited to co-present a special edition of the Freak Zone with Stuart Maconie, made a guest appearance on Steve Lamacq’s Round Table, and has performed live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row programme

Kiran Leonard has announced a new tour for spring, with five March headline shows including a date at Manchester’s Gullivers. Kiran will be ably backed by his permanent band which made their debut almost a year ago at the BBC Radio 6 Music festival, and will be performing songs from his forthcoming new LP Grapefriuit (release anticipated later this year).

Kiran has also shared a brand new EP Terreiro do Paço, available from his Bandcamp page now. In addition to new songs, it features a cover of Washington Phillips‘ Mother’s Last Words To Her Son (1927) and an guitar electric guitar rendering of A Purpose, which first appeared on his debut double album Bowler Hat Soup.

‘Geraldo’s Farm offers skittering lo-fi electro weirdness with more going on than bigger bands manage over an entire album’ – Mojo

Main support comes Jonnie Common. Jonnie Common makes some of the strangest noises ever to be combined into such catchy, digestible pop songs. His first album, Master of None, came out on Manchester-based imprint Red Deer Club in 2011 and its combination of pathos, humour and charm made it a firm favourite, particularly amongst the Scottish underground music scene. New album Trapped In Amber, released on Edinburgh’s Song, By Toad Records, showcases an evolution in production and perhaps in perspective. A little less naive but no less eloquent, the album deals with a wide range of topics from roman history to cancer to lawn maintenance.

Opening the show are Manchester trio Hot Shorts, who released their debut EP, Web Design, last year.

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: 7.30pm on Tuesday 17 March 2015
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re excited to be working with Scottish band North Atlantic Oscillation for the first time.

Edinburgh trio North Atlantic Oscillation have released their new album, The Third Day, via Kscope – and the band will embark on a UK tour to support it.

NAO have an organic and unique take on rock electronica, which is clear to see from their new track. August flows seamlessly offering a glimpse of what to expect from the forthcoming album. It’s an effortless listen from a group with an incredibly pure sound.

With their new album, North Atlantic Oscillation have created a flow of energy deserving of their meteorological namesake. At a time when music is increasingly cut down into single segments for easy digestion, the record – the first they’ve produced entirely themselves – is woven together as a whole, beautiful body of work, the tracks entwined around each other with no dead space in between.

The band – featuring Sam Healy (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Ben Martin (drums, programming) and Chris Howard (bass) – formed in 2005, and quickly became known for their intricate, progressive take on rock and electronica, their 2010 debut Grappling Hooks and follow-up Fog Electric gaining them critical praise and plenty of fans with a taste for delicately intelligent music. And while The Third Day is not a concept album like its predecessor, that continuous flow is something Healy intended. He compares it to a shortwave radio sweeping from one station to the next.

NAO’s power is in their uniqueness – they genuinely sound like no one else. And yet the sound is organic and natural. Their position outside of musical cliques is one they’re more than happy with.

‘Stunning. Sigur Ros-meets-Flaming Lips’ – Sunday Times

‘Bright, friendly electronics and lush Brian Wilson harmonies’ – Metro

Support comes from Kolo Tamam. Kolo Tamam, which means ‘everything’s cool’ in Arabic, are a Manchester six-piece founded in October 2013 by Iain North and Philip K Marzouk. Taking a range of influences from Nick Drake to Wild Beasts to Snarky Puppy, they’ve developed a sound that most often draws comparisons to Alt-J and Everything Everything.

PLEASE NOTE: This show was originally due to take place in October 2014. Original tickets for that date are still valid. 

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: 7.30pm on Thursday 19 March 2015
Where: The Roadhouse, 8 Newton Street, Manchester M1 2AN

We’re delighted to be working with Canada’s Abdominal & the Obliques for the first time.

Abdominal-Obliques-Roadhouse-Manchester

Having made his debut on the UK music scene as the long time collaborative partner of DJ Format, quirky and lovable Canadian rapper Abdominal (aka Andy Bernstein) returns from across the Atlantic for a UK headline tour with his three-piece band in March.

Joined by his trusty live band, dubbed The Obliques, Abdominal’s music has been busy maturing from the seminal days of noughties hip hop that saw him and DJ Format criss-cross the UK, playing everywhere from dive raves in Exeter to sold out nights at Brixton Academy and multiple standout appearances at Glastonbury Festival.

Since his debut solo album Escape From the Pigeon Hole in 2007, Abdominal has been inevitably getting older and so his music has evolved to better reflect his advancing years and more wizened outlook on life. As well as adding The Obliques for 2012’s full-band album Sitting Music (Pinwheel Music), one notable change is the lyrical content, with less focus on the typical rap themes of braggadocio and material consumption, already done to death by many a younger MC. Instead, Abs chose to look inward, beginning to tackle themes of pain, vulnerability, courage and resilience.

Sitting Music was a critical and press success in the band’s home country of Canada, where numerous songs have been in high rotation on national radio and a successful East Coast tour and hometown shows in Toronto cemented Abdominal’s reputation one of Canada’s most unique live acts.

Through all of this much appreciated local love however, by far the majority of album sales have been to Brits! Mainly to loyal fans who have been with Abs since the DJ Format days. Given that fact (plus the constant ‘when will you next be hitting the UK?’ queries on his Facebook and Twitter walls), Abs realised a return to the UK, new band in tow, was long overdue!

‘Sitting Music is one of the most sparsely confessional and raw records of the year’ – CBS Music

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 21 March 2015
Where: The Martin Harris Centre, Bridgeford Street, off Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

We’re delighted to be welcoming back the Handsome Family – for our first show at the Martin Harris Centre!

Handsome-Family-Martin-Harris-Centre-Manchester

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 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 such as Jeff Tweedy, Cerys Matthews, Christy Moore and Andrew Bird. In a career that spans twenty 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 Daniel Knox. Knox is a songwriter and composer living in Chicago. His recent projects include Black & Whites, created in collaboration with photographer John Atwood while in residence at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, and 14 15 111, a two-act piece for synths, drums, cello, violin, two tubas, projection and a choir. Songs from each will feature on his next release, Daniel Knox, out via Carrot Top Records in early 2015 and featuring guest contributions from Brett Sparks and Thor Harris (Swans). Knox has scored for film and theater and has performed with artists such as Jarvis Cocker, the Handsome Family, Richard Buckner, Swans, Rasputina, Josephine Foster, Jon Langford, Nina Nastasia, Rufus Wainwright and Andrew Bird.

This show will take place in the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall at the Martin Harris Centre – just behind Manchester Museum on the University of Manchester’s Oxford Road campus.

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 28 March 2015
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with The Lovely Eggs for the first time!

The-Lovely-Eggs-Soup-Kitchen-Manchester

The Lovely Eggs are an underground punk rock duo from northern England. They have a fierce punk rock ethos that music should have no rules. For Holly and David being in a band is a way of life. True to this, they live the way they play. Fiercely, constantly in search of the good times. With observational and often surreal lyrics about life The Lovely Eggs have a powerful stripped-down sound: one vintage guitar amp, one Big Muff distortion pedal, a guitar and a drum kit.

With releases in the UK, Europe, USA and Japan, The Lovely Eggs have played hundreds of gigs around the UK, USA and Europe supporting the likes of Half Japanese, Shonen Knife, The Slits, The Television Personalities and Art Brut as well as a two-month tour of America and a string of dates at SxSW in Austin, Texas.

The Lovely Eggs have recorded sessions for BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and XFM as well as being played by a host of UK DJs including Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and Rob da Bank and 6 Music’s Marc Riley, Steve Lamacq, Tom Robinson, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins, Tom Ravenscroft and XFM’s John Kennedy.

Holly (guitar/vocs) and David (drums/vocs) have also worked with comedian Graham Fellows (aka John Shuttleworth) as well as Jad Fair from the seminal Texas band Half Japanese. Their songs appear in Canadian film Molly Maxwell and have been sampled by Zane Lowe for Scroobius Pip. The pair also feature on a Radio 4 Richard Brautigan documentary, presented and in discussion with Jarvis Cocker contemplating the influence of the American surreal author on their music.

They have produced three albums. The first, If You Were Fruit (Cherryade Records, 2009), ranked in the top 40 records of the year by Artrocker Magazine and was nominated for XFM’s Debut Album of the Year. The second, Cob Dominos (Cherryade Records, 2011), has gained widespread critical acclaim, with Don’t Look At Me (I Don’t Like It) – featuring a video with guest appearance from John Shuttleworth – fast becoming an internet hit. Their third album, Wildlife (Egg Records, 2012), featured the Gruff Rhys-produced single Allergies, originally released on 7″ on the Too Pure Singles Club label.

This year sees The Lovely Eggs return with their fourth self-produced and self-recorded album, This is Our Nowhere; a title that sums up their celebration and love of a scene which doesn’t exist in the eyes of the manufactured mainstream. Lead single Magic Onion (made in collaboration with artist and video director Casey Raymond) is to be released on the Cardiff-based D.I.Y. Flower of Phong label. Accompanied by a handmade book of psychedelic/nightmarish proportions, the limited edition 7” includes a B-side of the song with Sweet Baboo, who joins them in an acoustic and decidedly pickled duet.

‘You won’t hear another band like this anywhere between now and the the end of the millenium. The Lovely Eggs are just brilliant’ – Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1

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 Tuesday 7 April 2015
Where: Night & Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN

We’re delighted to be bringing Jessica Pratt back to Manchester.

Jessica-Pratt-Night-Day-Manchester

We all want the world to be beautiful. We want scribes and songbirds to tell us so – and sometimes they do and then it is. They point their pens and focus their lens where they will and surprise us to our soul. Jessica Pratt‘s new album On Your Own Love Again is a record that does it to us, with songs from a spine-thrilling new place and a gifted young singer with her own musical logic.

What makes On Your Own Love Again new? Everything, and yet everything woven so subtly into the presentation leaves you unaware that you have been modulated upon. On On Your Own Love Again Jessica is fully alive in a space all her own; with isolation in the breeze, the sound resonant in the natural light and a gauze of clouds in the sky, under which she can relax and let herself be.

‘Pratt is a young songwriter with a decidedly old soul and a voice that balances spry sweetness with husky grit… those with a more patient ear will find her a worthy and quietly distinct heir of Baier, Bunyan, and Dalton’s homespun sound’ – Pitchfork

‘Meet Jessica Pratt, 2015’s folk singer-songwriter to watch’ – New York Times

This show is a co-promotion with Now Wave and 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 Thursday 9 April 2015
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Thomas Truax – his first Manchester headline show in three years.

Thomas-Truax-Gullivers-Manchester

One of the most imaginative characters on the pop music fringe, Thomas Truax (pronounced ‘troo-aks’) travels the world performing with his ‘band’ of bizarre self-made Harry Partch-esque instruments including a motorised drum machine made of bike wheels called ‘Mother Superior’ and a pimped-up Dr Seuss-ian Gramophone called ‘The Hornicator’, as well as his venerable resonator guitar ‘Hank’.

More than just an inventor and entertainer, Truax crafts rich, poetically evocative songs about insects, trees, technology and various reasons ‘Why Dogs Howl at The Moon’, the title of his 2007 album. Notable supporters and collaborators include Jarvis Cocker, Duke Special, Richard Hawley, David Lynch, Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione (of the Dresden Dolls/Violent Femmes) who plays drums on Thomas’s newest album Jetstream Sunset, set for release this Spring.

‘Truax is shaping up nicely as one of the great rock eccentrics’ – Uncut

‘When he performs, it is a spectacle – the originality and seeming impossibility of what he does is much of the appeal’ – The Guardian

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 Thursday 16 April 2015
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working SLUG again!

Slug-Castle-Manchester

SLUG is the brand new musical venture from the mind of Ian Black, a merrily disruptive influence on the North East music for more than a decade. His debut album RIPE will be released on Memphis Industries on 13 April 2015.

With SLUG, Black wanted to get away from the tinnitus inducing noise rock of his formative bands, letting the idea dictate the song’s form and sonic palette. Black says of the album: ‘”What ifs” play a massive part in RIPE. What if we use a stoner metal riff and use it like a dub bass part or what if we combined the drumming style of John Bonham with James Brown beat and the squelch bass of Claudio Simonetti and Fabio Pignatelli.

Taking inspiration from film soundtracks (Enter the Dragon, Suspiria) and 20th Century abstract and minimalist music – but also the rock and funk chops of Led Zeppelin, Prince and Funkadelic – the resulting album is concise, unselfconscious, idiosyncratic and exquisitely executed. Animators Brothers Quay, Phil Mulloy and Jan Svankmajer‘s oblique approaches to subject matter also rubbed off on Black and lend the SLUG album an air of the hypnagogic.

RIPE opener Grimacing Mask tackles how to break the cycle of personal and work related problems. Cockeyed Rabbit Wrapped in Plastic focuses on the rocky foundations of apparently immutable institutions of power. Greasy Mind is the most pop moment on the album that sees Zeppelin matched with 1980s Madonna and screaming guitar solos. Running To Get Past Your Heart rides a wave of simplicity with a three note distorted bass riff, a one line chorus purely based on the phonetics, bongos and drums recorded with two vocal mics. Kill Your Darlings is a straight to video horror film soundtrack dealing with how, as an artist, you have to avoid treating each creation like one of your kids.

The album was recorded at Field Music’s Roker studio with Peter and David Brewis on production duties. The Field Music brothers also return the favour for Black who toured extensively with their band as bassist. They play on the album and in the surreally fun yet precision-engineered live band where they’re joined by Andrew Lowther on bass and Rhys Patterson. It was playing with Field Music that gave Ian the impetus to start SLUG: ‘You cannot be on the road for a year with the guys and not feel inspired. Sometimes that helps create a sense of self belief that you can create your own thing… however delusional that maybe.’

Support comes from Trojan Horse. The band say about themselves: ‘Imagine the royal variety performance, except this time we guillotine the royal fuckers a la 1789 (the French Revolution, for anyone to lazy to look up the date/history), live on stage, to a soundtrack of YES, King Crimson, Black Sabbath, Black Flag, QOTSA, Blur, Supergrass, XTC, Futureheads, Converge and Mastodon. Very weird, very noisy and vewy vewy quwiet.’

‘The quartet unleash and unholy collision of prog and punk…Utterly bonkers and completely unpredictably brilliant. More please’ – Classic Rock

Book 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 Sunday 19 April 2015
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Ryley Walker – last in town with Angel Olsen!

Ryley-Walker-Castle-Manchester

Ryley Walker is a 24-year-old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Chicago. Having kicked around Chicago’s experimental free and noise music scene for several years, Ryley recently turned to a folk-rock sound inspired by some of his heroes, among them Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley and Bert Jansch.

The result is All Kinds of You, a poised and accomplished debut album, recorded in Chicago by Cooper Crain (guitarist/keyboardist in Cave). The album was released by Tompkins Square (James Blackshaw, Hiss Golden Messenger, Michael Chapman, William Tyler) in April 2014.

Ryley’s second long-player is due for release on Dead Oceans (Bowerbird, Califone, Phosphorescent) this March. Primrose Green begins near where All Kinds of You leaves off but quickly pushes far afield. The title sounds pastoral and quaint, but the titular green has dark hallucinogenic qualities, as does much of the LP.

‘With the charming swagger of jazz-folk troubadour Tim Buckley and the resonant, full picking style of Bert Jansch, The West Wind comes from Walker’s first widely available release, a three-song 12”. With acoustic guitar in hand and a voice like browned butter, Walker swings and sways in a lush string-and-piano arrangement right out of Buckley’s Starsailor; it slowly picks up to a swirling gallop without bucking the rhythm’ – NPR Music

‘Because he plays guitar so damn well, it’s tempting to lump Ryley Walker in with the growing number of pickers and strummers like William Tyler and Steve Gunn. That comparison isn’t too far off either, especially if you want to use a phrase like “post-American Primitive.” But Walker counts himself a Chicagoan, so it’s equally apt to align him with local post-rock outfits like Tortoise and the Sea & Cake‘ – Pitchfork

Book 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 Tuesday 28 April 2015
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be promoting Skinny Lister’s biggest Manchester show to date!

Skinny-Lister-Deaf-Institute-Manchester

They’ve held gigs in Land Rovers. They’ve sung while wing-walking. They’ve toured in a narrow boat. They’ve stomped and jigged on restaurant tables, in hotel elevators and in record label car parks. And wherever they play their lusty shanties, punk-folk roar-alongs and crazed whirls of love, fighting and hardcore drinking – you’ll find them out dancing with the crowd, passing around their flagon of rum or crowd-surfing to the bar to neck shots mid-song. Make no bones – Skinny Lister are the wildest party band you’ll ever get drunk with. And you will get drunk with them.

From day one, Skinny Lister set out to cause chaos and make friends, travelling to the four corners of the globe plying their infectious and unique rum-soaked blend of English folk and punk rock anarchy. From Japan’s Fuji Rock festival to the desert stage of California’s prestigious Coachella, via the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury and many a festival across Europe and beyond, Skinny Lister are an experience never to be forgotten.

April 2015 sees them back with their second long-player entitled Down on Deptford Broadway. It will be released on the very cool Xtra Mile Recordings label, home to Frank Turner, Against Me, and many others. Talking about the new album, Max said: ‘We’re trying to push forward the sound we had on the first album (Forge & Flagon). We don’t want to be a static band, we want to move with whatever influences are going on around us all the time.’ The first single to feature from the album is Trouble on Oxford Street, which will be released in January 2015. Skinny Lister are THE must-see band of 2015.

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 Wednesday 29 April 2015
Where: The Ritz, Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5NQ

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Public Service Broadcasting – this time, at the Ritz.

Public-Service-Broadcasting-Ritz-Manchester

Following the release of a tantalising and atmospheric trailer earlier this month, which quoted John F Kennedy’s famous Rice Stadium address of 1962, Public Service Broadcasting are now excited to reveal full details of The Race For Space LP (out 23 February 2015 via Test Card Recordings) – as well as their biggest UK tour to date.

Tickets for the duo’s return at two unique album launch shows at The National Space Centre sold out in under 24 hours, and the band now have their sights set on their biggest tour yet as they jet around the UK and Ireland in April and May 2015. At Public Service Broadcasting’s uniquely spell-binding live AV ‘Transmissions’, the audience will witness the band weave samples from archive footage around live drums, guitar, banjo and electronics as they teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future – beaming our past back at us through vintage TV sets and state of the art modern video projection devices. Granted unique access to historically important films from the BFI, PSB will go back in time and explore the period when the USA and USSR fought to gain the upper hand in a new frontier – space.

Public Service Broadcasting have quickly developed a reputation as one of the most exciting live acts in the country, wowing audiences over the past two festival seasons with major appearances at Glastonbury, Bestival, Green Man and a whole host of others. Support slots with The Rolling Stones and Arcade Fire at Hyde Park plus touring with the Manic Street Preachers across Europe and an upcoming arena tour with the Kaiser Chiefs scheduled for early next year point to a band at the top of their game.

The Race For Space follows Inform – Educate – Entertain, Public Service Broadcasting’s debut album, which reached #21 in the UK album charts and was nominated for Best Independent Album at the AIM Awards 2013, as well as being the Guardian’s Album of the Week and one of BBC 6 Music’s Top 10 albums of 2013.

We’re excited to announce that Hey! Manchester favourites Smoke Fairies will support!

Tickets are available from Musicglue.com, Seetickets.com and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 30 April 2015
Where: Takk Coffee House, 6 Tariff Street, Manchester, M1 2FF

We’re excited to be doing an intimate show with The Deep Dark Woods’ Ryan Boldt

Ryan-Boldt-Takk-Manchester

A lot of modern music is like bad plumbing; the more they overthink it, make it more complex than it needs to be, the easier it is to plug up the drain. Good music should thrust a fist into the core of who you are and pull out handfuls of simple, messy truth. This idea of getting to the heart of simplicity in a song, in melody and in meaning, in order to move the heart of a person, has been Ryan Boldt’s legacy thus far.

Boldt is the lead singer and songwriter in The Deep Dark Woods, crafting beautiful, intimate songs that are steeped in traditions found in places like English folk music, country blues and 60s R&B. He was born on the vast prairie, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but moved to Chemainus, BC when he was 19, where he started writing songs. It’s worth noting that the name Chemainus comes from the native shaman and prophet Tsa-meeun-is, which means ‘broken chest’. The legend says that the prophet survived a massive wound in his chest to become a powerful chief. And while people often equate the music of The Deep Dark Woods with a prairie sound, it was in Chemainus that Boldt truly cracked open his chest to bleed out his first songs. Then, in the summer of 2005, Boldt moved back to Saskatoon to form The Deep Dark Woods.

It’s been almost ten years since the band formed, and it wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that The Deep Dark Woods are one of the most successful bands to have risen from the dust of the middle of nowhere on the prairie. After five albums and extensive tours across Canada, the US and Europe, accolades for the band have piled up. They’ve been nominated for a Juno as well for songwriter of the year at the Western Canadian Music Awards. They won two Canadian Folk Music Awards and two WCMAs for Group of the Year. They were nominated for Best New Group alongside Alabama Shakes and Dawes at the 2012 Americana Music Awards, and played the award show at the Ryman Auditorium (formerly The Grand Ole Opry House).

Boldt’s living in Victoria these days, having just completed a new solo project called Broadside Ballads, which finds him continuing to dig through the past to create spellbinding music for the present. He’s driven by influences like Shirley Collins, Ian and Sylvia Tyson, Bob Dylan and The Stanley Brothers, but even as he mines the past, he’s not trying to contemporise these sounds. He just happens to be making newly recorded music in the same vein – the way they used to make it, before the world got so fast and cluttered. Warm. Intimate. Haunting. Like a punch to the gut. With a stunning, heart-stopping simplicity that cuts to the core of a person.

Tour support comes from Kacy & Clayton. The Saskatchewan duo’s newest album was produced by Ryan Boldt, and features original works and obscure arrangements of traditional ballads and blues classics.

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

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 15 May 2015
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Nizlopi – this time to the Deaf Institute!

Nizlopi-Deaf-Institute-Manchester

Nizlopi are John Parker (double bass/beat box) and Luke Concannon (vocals/guitar), a duo who sound like a four piece, folk hip-hop band. They are most widely known, for being the underground, independent act that topped the UK and Irish charts with The JCB song in 2005. They have a fierce reputation for inspiring, moving, live shows often taking the show into the heart of the audience.

Having been doing their own things for the past four years, they have come back together, performing new material, songs from their two previous albums and material for Luke’s new solo album Give It All. ‘We immediately started writing new material in the rehearsals,’ says Luke. ‘The fire is as hot as ever.’

John Martyn and Danny Thompson meets The Roots and Ani Di Franco, Nizlopi play joyful, honest, atavistic, heavenly folk stories. And when Nizlopi perform live, they are a positive force like no other.

‘Everything I know about live performance I learned from them’ – Ed Sheeran (ex-roadie to Nizlopi)

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: 7.30pm on Wednesday 20 May 2015
Where: The Roadhouse, 8 Newton Street, Manchester M1 2AN

We’re delighted to be bringing Steve Gunn to Manchester.

Steve-Gunn-Roadhouse-Manchester

‘Our heads are blown. How did this NY guitarist become a cosmic-psych visionary?’ Mojo wondered back in September as we awaited the release of Steve Gunn‘s latest full-length release, Way Out Weather.

With a career spanning nearly 15 years, Steve has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo and ensemble recordings. His astounding solo albums, as well as his work with GHQ and longtime collaborating drummer John Truscinski, represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven, forward music. A voracious schedule of international performances has cultivated a fervent fanbase for Gunn’s music throughout the world. These days you can find him playing with his band as well as sometimes serving as guitarist in fellow Philadelphia-bred troubadour Kurt Vile’s band the Violators.

2014 was something of a landmark year, however: European tours opening for close friends and collaborators The War On Drugs and Kurt Vile & The Violators, combined with his strongest solo record to date, has helped Steve find a new audience. Huge praise across the board for Way Out Weather followed – the records featured predominantly in Uncut, Mojo, Pitchfork, The Wire, Rough Trade and Magnet’s end of year round-ups, with Leeds record store Jumbo suggesting it was the pick of the year: ‘Hazily psychedelic songs that recall Tim Buckley, Spiritualized and JJ Cale alongside American folk roots, and especially country-rock tendencies. Highly recommended.’

Mining the catalogs of Basho, Bull, Chapman and Sharrock, among other titans of stringed-things and record-session royalty, Steve has steadily processed these inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Friendships and collaborations with Jack Rose, Tom Carter, Meg Baird, Mike Cooper and Michael Chapman coloured the disciplined evolution of the discursive, deconstructed blues sound, at once transcendent and methodical, that is now Gunn’s signature. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, ecstatic free jazz, and psych, as well as Gnawa and Carnatic music, on the continually unfolding compositions.

Steve has been highly prolific over recent years, gaining confidence as a singer as well as displaying immense guitar prowess. Collaborative records with Mike Cooper and Hiss Golden Messenger preceded 2013’s Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors), his first album as leader of a trio including longtime friends John Truscinski on drums and Justin Tripp on bass, and a record on which Steve’s compelling singing features more prominently than ever before. The follow-up, Way Out Weather, has just been released to rave reviews. A heady and elliptical travelogue, Way Out Weather demonstrates a radical widescreen evolution, featuring a larger band and lighting out for lusher, more expansive, and impressionistic territories than Time Off. This is the virtuosic guitarist and songwriter’s career-defining statement to date, a self-assured masterpiece.

‘Former Kurt Vile compadre completes full transformation into majestic American singer-songwriter’ – Mojo, 5/5

Tour support comes from Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler. Mary is a harpist who has played and recorded with Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore, Sharon Van Etten, Meg Baird, Jarvis Cocker, Wrekmeister Harmonies and Steve Gunn, while Jeff is a multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer for the likes of like The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile and Purling Hiss. They have just released their new record Slant of Light on Thrill Jockey.

This show is a co-promotion with Please Please You.

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 Thursday 11 June 2015
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We’re delighted to be welcoming Canada’s The Burning Hell back to Manchester – this time, to the Eagle Inn!

The Burning Hell is the alter-ego of songwriter and ukulele-slinger Mathias Kom. Loosely based in St John’s, Newfoundland, The Burning Hell have toured back and forth across Canada and Europe since 2007, playing everywhere from festivals to bars to living rooms – and once even a mental asylum in rural France. The band has garnered acclaim for their hyperactive live shows and their caustic yet sincere lyrics, believing as they do that songs about the inevitability of death can also be fun to dance to.

In 2012, The Burning Hell both made AND broke a record: the band recorded their newest album, People, in Berlin, and later in the summer, they set a new world record: playing ten shows in ten countries in less than 24 hours. But the band aren’t tired yet, and April will see The Burning Hell begin a three-month tour in support of People, co-released by Headless Owl, (weewerk) and BB Island, throughout Canada and Europe. Onward!

‘Will appeal to fans of Jonathan Richman… and They Might Be Giants’ – Q, 4*

The Eagle Inn is an excellent traditional pub from the team behind the Castle Hotel, the Parlour and Gullivers. It’s just off Trinity Way, an eight-minute walk from Manchester Cathedral on Deansgate.

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 12 June 2015
Where: The Ruby Lounge, 28-34 High Street, Manchester M4 1QB

We’re delighted to be bringing Waxahatchee back to Manchester.

Waxahatchee-Ruby-Lounge-Manchester

Katie Crutchfield’s southern roots are undeniable. The name of her solo musical project, Waxahatchee, comes from a creek not far from her childhood home in Alabama and seems to represent both where she came from and where she’s going. Since leaving home, Crutchfield has drifted between New York and Philadelphia but chose to return to Alabama to write her first two albums: American Weekend, her debut filled with powerful lo-fi acoustic tracks full of lament, and Cerulean Salt, a more developed and solid narrative about growing up. Both are representations of a youthful struggle with unresolved issues and unrequited feelings.

Waxhatchee’s latest record, Ivy Tripp, drifts confidently from these previous albums and brings forth a more informed and powerful recognition of where Crutchfield has currently found herself. The lament and grieving for her youth seem to have been replaced with control and sheer self-honesty. ‘My life has changed a lot in the last two years, and it’s been hard for me to process my feelings other than by writing songs,’ says Crutchfield. ‘I think a running theme [of Ivy Tripp] is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming, or just being cognisant in moments of deep confusion or sadness, and learning to really feel emotions and to grow from that.’

Recorded and engineered by Kyle Gilbride of Wherever Audio at Crutchfield’s home on New York’s Long Island—with drums recorded in the gym of a local elementary school—Ivy Tripp presents a more developed and aged version of Waxahatchee. ‘The title Ivy Tripp is really just a term I made up for directionless-ness, specifically of the 20-something, 30-something, 40-something of today, lacking regard for the complaisant life path of our parents and grandparents,’ she says. ‘I have thought of it like this: Cerulean Salt is a solid and Ivy Tripp is a gas.’

Crutchfield is accompanied by both Gilbride and Keith Spencer on Ivy Tripp, and the record was produced by all three of them. With the addition of more guitar work, piano, drum machines and Crutchfield’s vocals in full bloom, we are given a record that feels more emphatic and pronounced.

This show is a co-promotion with Now Wave.

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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Hey! Manchester is supported by First Chop Brewing Arm.
Read our monthly gig guides on Creativetourist.com.