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: Laura Gibson... GospelbeacH... Jens Lekman... The Surfing Magazines... Dutch Uncles + Jesca Hoop... H.Hawkline... Peter Broderick + David Allred... James Yuill... John Murry... Jack Cooper... Danny & The Champions Of The World... Slim Cessna’s Auto Club... Avec Sans... Kiran Leonard... Michael Nau... Good Morning... Jen Cloher... Dotan... Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton... Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts... The Dears... Thomas Truax... Frankie Rose... The Weather Station... The Breath... The Lovely Eggs... The Proper Ornaments... BA Johnston... Wesley Gonzalez... CC Smugglers... Weyes Blood... Julie Byrne... The Burning Hell... Left Lane Cruiser... Son of Dave... Daniel Romano... The Travelling Band... Aldous Harding... William the Conqueror... Wolf Parade... Skinny Lister + Beans on Toast... Lost Horizons... Leif Vollebekk... Lowly... Jesca Hoop... Karl Blau... Will Varley...

When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 23 August 2017
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re excited to be working with City Slang’s Laura Gibson, creator of one of the best albums of 2016, once again! This time, for a solo show at Gullivers.

Laura-Gibson-Soup-Kitchen-Manchester

In late summer of 2014, following the release of her highly praised 2012 album La Grande, Laura Gibson packed her things and moved from Portland to New York to study Creative Writing and have some time away from music. For the first part of that journey she took the ‘Empire Builder’, a legendary train that connects the Pacific North West with Chicago.

Just as she’d begun to feel settled, on March 26, 2015, her apartment building in the Lower East Side blew up from a gas explosion, killing two and injuring many. Laura was unharmed, but lost almost all that she owned and had been working on. All identification, musical instruments, stacks of notebooks, and every word she had written in the past several years was reduced to a pile of rubble.

She spent the next few months rebuilding her life, bouncing between friends’ couches and guest rooms, and finishing her second semester, and all the while rewriting the lyrics she had lost, a recovery made possible by the help and support from hundreds of friends, fans and strangers.

Now, she presents her new album, aptly titled Empire Builder, and released in April 2016 through City Slang. Equally raw and focused, Empire Builder captures a life blown open: an individual mid-transformation. Gibson’s most personal record to date, it marks a huge leap forward as a songwriter, composer and producer.

She gathered a stellar band of dear old friends: guitarist/bassist Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie, Menomena), drummer/percussionist Dan Hunt (Neko Case) and composer/violinist Peter Broderick. Other contributors include Nate Query of The Decemberists and vocalist Alela Diane. Gibson co-produced the record with John Askew (Neko Case, The Dodos), spending her school breaks in his home studio, and in Broderick’s studio on the Oregon coast. With Askew’s encouragement, Gibson returned to the recordings soon after the explosion. Having lost her guitar, which she had played on every record and show since the beginning, they decided to keep many of the scratch tracks from the original demos, building around them to create the final album.

Within her fiction studies in grad school, Gibson is finding her legs as a storyteller. Amid trauma, loss and recovery, she rediscovered songwriting as a means of understanding her own life and choices. Empire Builder grapples with independence, womanhood, solitude, connection and aloneness. If Gibson has a thesis, it’s perhaps within the final words of the title track: ‘Hurry up and lose me / Hurry up and find me again.’ With clear-eyed honesty, urgency and warmth, Empire Builder succeeds in capturing the moment between loss and rediscovery.

‘There isn’t a song here that isn’t a low-key delight’ – Q Magazine

Main support comes from Nat Johnson, a singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Sheffield. Nat’s work has earned her national press acclaim, songwriting commissions, several live sessions for BBC 6 Music and support from various BBC DJs including Gideon Coe, Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, Tom Ravenscroft, Marc Riley, Tom Robinson and Janice Long.

Nat’s first outfit Monkey Swallows the Universe (2003-2008) drew praise from everyone from the Guardian to the Sun with attention focused on Nat’s songwriting, lyricism and ‘golden’ vocals. Highlights for MSTU included performing on Radio 4’s Loose Ends and for both Marc Riley and Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Music, touring with Richard Hawley, Camera Obscura and the Long Blondes, appearances at Green Man, End of the Road, Latitude and other festivals and inclusion on Rough Trade’s Counter Culture 06 compilation. After MSTU split in 2008, Nat released a solo single Dirty Rotten Soul (Steve Lamacq’s Single of the Week on its release) and then formed Nat Johnson & the Figureheads; releasing albums on Damaged Goods / Thee SPC and recording sessions for 6 Music’s Marc Riley and Tom Robinson and XFM’s John Kennedy.

In late 2014 Nat released a solo album, Neighbour of the Year, on her own label, Straw & Hay Records. Lauren Laverne called it ‘a very beautiful record indeed’, and Subba Cultcha hailed it as ‘a treat for fans of PJ Harvey and Alela Diane’. Two singles were also released from the album: Not Now, Horse and DOG; the latter making an impact on YouTube with its animated video receiving 50k+ views in its first week.

Opening the show is Manchester’s own Jo Rose, who has been touring with his first release, Spurs, for the past year. The songs from this record, bearing the influence of acts such as Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, Songs: Ohia and Smog have been played extensively around Europe at shows supporting Jesca Hoop, Jessica Pratt, Aldous Harding, Tom Brosseau, Thea Gilmore and First Aid Kit.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Sunday 27 August 2017
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

PLEASE NOTE: This show is completely sold out! Join our mailing list, above, for details of future Manchester shows.

We’re delighted to be working with GospelbeacH plus Miranda Lee Richards.

Brent Rademaker of further, Beachwood Sparks and The Tyde brings his new band GospelbeacH over the UK for the first time this summer. The touring band also features ex-Slowdive and Mojave 3 drummer Ian McCutcheon. GospelbeacH play dreamy American roots music, with their new album Another Summer Of Love is released 16 June on Alive Naturalsound.

On Another Summer Of Love, like Gram Parsons, Rademaker has drawn nourishment from the openness of Southern California and the sunny, hopeful feeling that epitomises his work is in full effect here. From the kick-off In The Desert, which slyly references The Jam to the jaunty swing of You’re Already Home, which pays a subtle tribute to Rademaker’s hero Chris Hillman’s Girl With No Name, this is what Americana is supposed to be and sometimes is not. Smart, informed, soulful, well-executed and avoiding the slick assembly-line of 2017 Nashville, this is the kind of record that true fans of well-crafted tuneful rock live for.

Tour support comes from Miranda Lee Richards and her band. Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Miranda Lee Richards started her musical career when she became friends with Kirk Hammet from Metallica, who taught her to play guitar. Early demos of her songs reached the ears of Anton Newcombe, and she joined his band The Brian Jonestown Massacre. She sang on their albums Give It Back, Bringing It All Back Home Again and Stung Out In Heaven, and appeared with them in the seminal documentary DIG!.

Her music a mix of folk, psychedelia, country and indie pop, with her new album Existential Beast released 16 June on Invisible Hands Music.

Opening the show is Nick Mitchell. Currently a member of One-Eleven Heavy with members of Royal Trux, Wooden Wand and Ryley Walker Band, Manchester guitarist Nick Mitchell forges simple, spontaneously composed arrangements over which he plays delicate and roaring solos recalling Hiiragi Fukuda and Jerry Garcia in equal measure.

This show is a co-promotion with Please Please You and Bad Paintings.

PLEASE NOTE: This show is completely sold out! Join our mailing list, above, for details of future Manchester shows.

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When: 7pm on Monday 28 August 2017
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 31 August 2017
Where: Trades Club, Holme Street, Hebden Bridge, HX7 8EE

We’re delighted to be working with Jens Lekman again – for his rescheduled, sold out Manchester date, plus an intimate visit to Hebden Bridge!

Jens Lekman recently wrapped up a sold out solo tour of the US where he played new material live for the first time ever.

Life Will See You Now, his first album since 2012’s I Know What Love Isn’t, was released on Secretly Canadian in February 2017. Produced by Ewan Pearson and featuring guest vocals from Tracey Thorn, it has gone on to gain critical praise – with The Observer acclaiming it as ‘a gospel worth spreading’.

Following a March tour that took in Leeds, Jens returns to the UK in August, with this intimate date in Hebden Bridge – plus a re-arranged Manchester show.

Support at both shows comes from New York’s Mega Bog. Mega Bog’s second album Happy Together was released February 2017 via Nicey. Ben Levinson of Tiny Mix Tapes describes it as ‘a labyrinthian DIY-pop exploration of violence, social spaces, and lived experiences’.

MANCHESTER: This date is a rescheduled show, following the March postponement. Original tickets remain valid – otherwise, this show is completely sold out.

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HEBDEN BRIDGE: Book tickets now. Tickets are also available from the bar (no booking fee), Wegottickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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

We’re delighted to be working with The Surfing Magazines!

The Surfing Magazines are a garage rock supergroup. The band contains one half of Slow Club and two thirds of The Wave Pictures. Dominic Brider, who has played with many local bands and is an extremely groovy dude, completes the line-up on drums.

The principle influences of the band are Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground and all the great surf guitar music of the 1960s. The Surfing Magazines intend to rock out and blow your mind, and then to mellow out and soothe your mind, and then to rock out again. Listening to their music is like riding a rock and roll rollercoaster. They are at war with today’s pretentious prog-indie-rock millionaires and bongo pop demigods.

The Surfing Magazines are the real deal. The Surfing Magazines have got soul. They hope that their music will get you to dance.

The band’s self-titled album is out on 1 September via Moshi Moshi.

‘Laced with deadly charm, it wraps itself around your ear-lobes and refuses to let go. Tune in now’ – Clash

Local support comes from Fruit Tones. Fresh from a US tour and SxSW spot promoting new 7-inch, Ripe and Ready, out on Greenway Records (Abjects/Dead Coast) are Fruit Tones, a Manchester trio who have played alongside King Khan, The Gories, Flamin Groovies, Shannon and the Clams, Paul Collins (the Nerves) and Apple Daddy. The boys have released on Fuzzkill, Stolen Body and Fluffer. Playing a tight groove with a RnR urgency, Fruit tones songs range from sweetly melodic crafted 60s pop pastiche to scrappy garage punk songs about Tesco.

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

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When: 7.30pm-8.30pm on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 September 2017
Where: Selfridges, intu Trafford Centre, 60 Regent Crescent, Stretford M17 8DA

We’re delighted to be presenting intimate performances by Dutch Uncles and Jesca Hoop as part of Selfridges’ Music Matters programme.

Tickets for each event cost £10, with drinks including and the full ticket price redeemable against a purchase on the night.

Book Dutch Uncles on Thursday 7 September and Jesca Hoop on Friday 8 September now.

Music Matters features performances from the likes of Unkle, Vessels, Joe Goddard, Shura and Pixx, plus Q&As with Cerys Matthews and Bernard Butler and more. Find out more at selfridges.com/musicmatters.

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When: 7.30pm on Sunday 10 September 2017
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with H.Hawkline again!

H.Hawkline (Huw Evans), who releases his new album I Romanticize on Heavenly Recordings on 2 June 2017, has announced details of a UK headline tour in September.

Having previously played with the likes of Foxygen, Gwenno and long-time cohort Cate le Bon, he also recently announced a run of shows with Devendra Banhart, Aldous Harding and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, as well as a number of festival appearances over the summer.

Tour support comes from Younghusband. Younghusband are a four-piece band based in London, comprising of Euan Hinshelwood (vocals/guitars/keys), Adam Beach (guitars/keys), Joe Chilton (bass/guitars), Pete Baker (drums/percussion/keys). Their psych-infused indie and krautrock grooves have been championed by BBC 6 Music and NME. Starting out as Hinshelwood’s lo-fi bedroom project, the band formed properly in 2011 and released singles, EPs and debut album Dromes on labels including Too Pure and Sonic Cathedral. Their second LP Dissolver was released on ATP Recordings; recorded in Bristol at Geoff Barrow’s Invada Studios and produced by Robert Hampson (LOOP).

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

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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 12 September 2017
Where: Low Four, Old Granada Studios, Security Lodge Entrance, Quay Street, Manchester M3 4PR

We’re delighted to be working with Peter Broderick once again – this time, with David Allred, for our first show at Low Four Studio!

Peter Broderick returns with Allred & Broderick – a duo project between him and his musical partner David Allred – and their debut album, Find The Ways, out on 7 April 2017.

Armed with nothing but their voices, a violin and an upright bass, Allred & Broderick began their journey to create an album as minimal as possible. Recorded in Peter’s studio The Sparkle on the Oregon coast, the pair used this solitude to focus on creating something as raw and honest as possible, particularly in what some might deem unattainable during a time where complexity is sought most.

In a world full of noise and the anxieties of every day life, Find The Ways brings us together and reminds us to appreciate and confront the simple and fundamental facts of life, and that we as individuals will eventually find our way.

Words from Peter and David, January 2017:

‘I sensed a truly unique character in David’s own music that is wonderfully heartfelt and sincere. With this recording David and I set out to make something raw which is an honest document of what we are capable of doing together at once, with just two acoustic instruments and our voices. The entire album was recorded live, with no overdubs and no edits. Just two guys playing together in a room. I have always dreamed of doing a project in which I only use my violin and my voice, and to do this alongside David’s upright bass and voice feels like the perfect fit. It is a truly 50/50 collaboration.’ – Peter Broderick

‘It is such a pleasure to work with Peter. I feel that we’re on the same page in more ways than one, both musically and non-musically. The making of this album was an incredibly fun challenge; writing music to be performed and recorded live with only violin, upright bass, and voices. It still amazes me that we managed to make a whole record with only those three elements. Over the years, I have felt a very strong connection to Peter’s music and friendship, and I feel that this collaboration comes from a really good place. I hope this music gives the listeners a feeling of comfort, confusion and understanding.’ – David Allred

Artist and long time collaborator of Erased Tapes Peter Liversidge was commissioned to paint the cover art as per his ‘Sign Painting’ project. Liversidge also painted the fragmented lyric signs featured in the official music video for The Ways, directed by label founder Robert Raths.

For this intimate show, both musicians will perform a solo set of their own material, as well as songs from their duo project together.

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

Completed in 1962, Low Four was built as part of the original Granada Studio. The live-room was originally connected to a control room above and was where The Beatles rehearsed for their first ever TV appearance. In its heyday, it was used to record theme tunes and soundtracks for classic ITV dramas such as Jewel in the Crown, Brideshead Revisited and Sherlock Holmes, often by sections of the Halle Orchestra.

Nowadays, it is used as a professional recording studio, and also streams one-off live performances by the likes of Jane Weaver, Mew, Jesca Hoop, Dutch Uncles, Polica, Alexis Taylor and Everything Everything.

This is a 14+ age restriction show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 13 September 2017
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

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

James Yuill is pleased to announce his fourth studio album A Change In State, due out on 28 July. Four years in the making, A Change In State is the much-anticipated follow up to 2013’s These Spirits. James has also announced a string of UK dates in September.

Having toured around the world alongside the likes of Phoenix, Hot Chip, Royksopp and M83, to name a few, James has become renowned for his incredible one-man, electro-folk shows. The Hackney-based musician’s music has been featured on Gray’s Anatomy, Scrubs, One Tree Hill, The Inbetweeners and Pretty Little Liars. He also wrote the music and starred in his own Guinness Christmas advert.

He has received support from Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens and Rob Da Bank, along with BBC 6 Music’s Radcliffe and Maconie and Steve Lamacq.

James Yuill will release A Change In State on 28 July on The Happy Biscuit Club.

‘Minimalist beauty’ – The Sunday Times

‘Winning union of synths and folk, James Yuill performs a skilful balancing act as he reconciles influences as diametrically opposed as Nick Drake and The Chemical Brothers’ – Q

‘Gorgeous and gargantuan at the same time’ – Clash

Local support comes from Falling Ghost. Falling Ghost is the solo project of Manchester based multi-instrumentalist and producer Daniel Sweeney; formerly singer-songwriter with the band Sylvia. With Sylvia Daniel recorded two albums, toured both the UK and Europe and achieved national radio play (BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music). Their music was described as ‘daring and original’ by Ivor Novello-winning producer Jon Cotton and as ‘absolutely amazing’ by Janice Long of BBC Radio 2. Since leaving Sylvia Daniel spent all of 2016 writing, recording and producing his first solo album. The album Pure O is set to be released later this year on Regent Street Records. It inhabits a sound world similar to the XX, London Grammar, James Blake, Burial and Radiohead, mixing electronic drums with atmospheric textures, mesmeric production and heart rending melodies. It was mastered by John Davies (The XX, Lana Del Rey, Gorillaz). Falling Ghost is due to begin touring Pure O later this year to coincide with the release of his first single.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 15 September 2017
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with John Murry again – this time, at the Castle Hotel!

John Murry was adopted at birth into the family of William Faulkner. Some have speculated that the Faulkner blood might also run in his veins, but that should be left for a Southern Gothic novel yet to be written (or perhaps re-written). Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, in the shadow of Elvis, his undiagnosed autism led to troubles at an early age, which led to prescribed medication, which led to unprescribed medication, which led to being institutionalised for addiction and mental health issues at a too young age. Eventually, discarded onto the streets of Memphis, he found music, which became the one constant positive force in his life. Memphis led to San Francisco and San Francisco led to heroin and heroin led to a near fatal overdose on the corner of 16th and Mission, so harrowingly memorialised in his song Little Colored Balloons.

Music again came to his rescue and led him to Tim Mooney (American Music Club) and the group of musicians that helped create his 2012 masterpiece The Graceless Age. The album was hailed by MOJO magazine and received a 5 out of 5 rating, UNCUT called it a ‘masterpiece’, both magazines included it in their Top 10 albums of the year; American Songwriter put it in their Top 5 of the year and the Guardian included it in their best of the year as well. The accolades rolled in and John toured the world. He entranced and devastated audiences with his raw, unfiltered live performances, and it looked like his trajectory was set, that music had won and would have the final word. And then Tim Mooney, John’s mentor, his beacon, his bedrock, died suddenly and unexpectedly… and John’s world fell back in to chaos.

Over the next few years, John would lose the footing that he had struggled so hard to establish. He would lose his wife, his daughter, temporarily his freedom and ultimately his country.

Somewhere along this journey, John crossed paths with Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. John had opened for the band at a show in Glasgow and Michael watched side-stage transfixed by John’s performance. Over the next few years the two of them kept in touch, they talked about the music business, politics, books, but most of all they talked about music. And they talked about making an album together. Michael wanted to capture the rawness of John’s songs, capture the vibe that he experienced that night in Glasgow and was even more convinced of this approach when John came through Toronto opening for Chuck Prophet and did a solo set at The Horseshoe Tavern, which was as disarming and emotional as the set of music that he had experienced in Glasgow a couple of years earlier. ‘On The Graceless Age you can hear John’s affinity to artists such as Mark Linkous and Mark Lanegan, but seeing him on stage, with just his guitar and his songs reminded me of Townes (Van Zandt), that raw-boned, exquisite beauty, so real that it borders on the uncomfortable, you feel you should look away, but it’s just too compelling to do so. The pain, the intensity, the honesty just draws you deeper.’

Eventually John completed his descent and landed in Kilkenny, Ireland where he found some solid ground as part of a welcoming arts community. Michael then convinced him to travel to his Toronto studio where Michael put a band together consisting of brother Peter Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) on drums and Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers, Gord Downie, Lee Harvey Osmond) on bass. John brought along Cait O’Riordan (The Pogues, Elvis Costello) whom he had met in Ireland and who wanted to be a part of John’s journey. The five of them put aside five days to record all bedtracks and overdubs, with the brief that they would let the songs dictate where the journey took them, spontanaity was the order of the week. Michael Timmins describes the sessions, ‘I felt that it was important that John got out of his own way and that we set up a situation where he would just play and sing and the rest of us would just react, no second guessing, just react and capture the moment. It was a very inspired and inspiring week of playing and recording. Very intense. And I think we captured the raw essence of John’s writing and playing”’

A Short History Of Decay is an intensely personal document of an artist’s fall from grace. It contains all the tragic elements of that unwritten Southern Gothic novel: the revelations of a man coming to terms with the personal shortcomings, the flaws and the perverse twists of fate that led him to the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

Special guest is Nadine Khouri. Nadine Khouri is a musician and songwriter currently based in London. Influenced by dream-pop, film soundtracks and spoken-word, Khouri’s sound has been described as a ‘music born of perennial outsider status’. Noted by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Giant Sand) for her voice, Khouri was invited to sing on a track on his Screenplay LP and subsequently to record her album The Salted Air with the producer in his hometown of Bristol. Sparse and minimal in its arrangement, the record is a haunting collection of poetic and atmospheric meditations on loss and transformation, reminiscent of the dreamy alt-folk of Mazzy Star and Sparklehorse.

‘Meditative, spectral dreamscapes… extraordinary voice: a fragile, sensuous instrument’ – MOJO

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

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 15 September 2017
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We’re delighted to be working with Ultimate Painting’s Jack Cooper, who is touring his debut solo album!

Sandgrown – Jack Cooper of Ultimate Painting’s first solo record – is nine concisely beautiful songs inspired by his hometown of Blackpool and his upbringing on England’s Fylde Coast. Evoking the delicate but often widescreen musicality of Bill Fay and the abstract lyricism of the late 60s Scott Walker records, as well as the more experimental sounds of John Cale and Robert Wyatt, Sandgrown’s tranquil ballads evoke feelings of nostalgia and re-evaluation about where you come from, wherever that may be. Its lead track is North Of Anywhere.

Jack says of the song: ‘I think one good thing about the EU referendum that happened last year is that everyone seems more engaged with politics in the aftermath. I’m quite open with my opinions and I enjoy discussing things, but my opinions change from week to week and like most people my world view changes when I’m presented with a compelling argument. There’s a huge pressure on people and especially young people to think a certain way, especially online. If you don’t subscribe 100% to a particular ideology, then you’re out the club. I think it can be incredibly intimidating nowadays to voice an opinion… If you’re young, maybe people will say “you don’t know what you’re talking about” or if you’re Northern and you voted to leave the EU, you’re immediately a racist.’

‘Everyone’s from somewhere,’ continues Jack. ‘I don’t think it’s particularly important people know this album is about Blackpool, but I think everyone can empathise with the themes on the record.’

Jack spent the first 13 years of his life living in the rural village of Poulton-le-Fylde, about five miles outside Blackpool. On moving into town, he spent his summers as a deckchair attendant, soaking up the community of people who lived and worked around the seafront – lifeguards, carnival workers, donkey owners, skateboarders, transients and hippies. ‘There were just a lot of interesting people around all the time… weirdos who were drawn to the seaside in the summer. Winter would come and you had this huge community of people who didn’t really know what to do.’

By the time Jack was 15, Blackpool’s role as a holiday destination was dwindling due to the introduction of cheap air travel to Europe. Stacks of deckchairs were increasingly left unused, and in the winter months it became a place of drugs, seedy bars and people struggling to get by without the tourist trade. As the Blackpool he knew slipped away, 20-year-old Jack moved to Manchester where he soon began playing in bands and recording.

Sandgrown is about those formative years and the creation of it: ‘I’ve been trying to do this record since I was about 18… I bought my first four-track with the proceeds of a summer working on the promenade and I guess I got sidetracked along the way. I’ve been listening to Terry Allen’s Lubbock (On Everything) a lot and I wanted to make something that painted a picture of a place as vividly as that. I love how Frank Sinatra’s Watertown feels so cinematic.’

Uninhibited by band members for the first time was a freeing experience for Cooper. ‘Recording on my own liberated me to sing more like I actually sing. I think I’ve spent a long time in loud bands singing in a way that can be heard through music,’ Jack says. ‘The songs that I wrote for Sandgrown suit my voice more than anything I’ve done before.’

Working within the confines of a four-track cassette machine, Jack has produced his most satisfying work to date: ‘I love the physicality of working on tape. I’ve always had a four-track but I sought out a particular machine. I’m not a huge Bruce Springsteen fan but I love the sound of Nebraska… I needed that specific machine.’

Sandgrown by Jack Cooper is released 25 August via Trouble In Mind Records.

Tour support comes from Cian Nugent. Night Fiction (January, 2016) is Cian Nugent’s third album but his first taking on the role of singer-songwriter. Where his previous two albums: 2013’s Born With The Caul and 2011’s Doubles saw him exploring extended guitar based instrumentals with his band, The Cosmos, here he has reigned things in and focused his songwriting skills. Guitar fans, do not fear, there is still plenty of soloing and fingerpicking here. With seven songs both solo and with his band, this album amalgamates everything Cian has done up to this point and reveals a more broad palate of influences, including The Velvet Underground, Richard Thompson, Television, Neil Young, John Lennon, Fred Neil, etc.

This show is a co-promotion with Comfortable On A Tightrope.

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

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