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: Tiny Ruins + Julie Byrne... Jeffrey Lewis & The Jrams... Vena Portae (ft. Emily Barker)... Gymnast... Steven James Adams... Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards... The Burning Hell... Kevin Morby... David Thomas Broughton & Juice Vocal Ensemble... Ezra Furman... Angel Olsen... Lust For Youth... RM Hubbert... Ólöf Arnalds... The Travelling Band... Jesca Hoop... Future of the Left... Sara Lowes... Clint Mansell... Left Lane Cruiser... Peter Broderick... North Atlantic Oscillation... Liam Frost... The Wave Pictures... Haley Bonar... White Lung... Allo Darlin’... Tokolosh... The Rural Alberta Advantage... Beans on Toast... Sweet Baboo & The Pictish Trail... The Unthanks...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 21 August 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re pleased to be working with Tiny Ruins for the first time – plus special guest Julie Byrne!

Tiny Ruins released Brightly Painted One, their second album and first since signing to Bella Union, this May. Formed as a solo project in 2009 by songwriter Hollie Fullbrook, the band now includes bassist Cass Basil and drummer Alexander Freer. While continuing to be based in their native New Zealand, Tiny Ruins has spent much of the past three years touring throughout Australia, Europe and the US, opening for artists such as Beach House, Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, The Handsome Family and Calexico.

Lyrically ambiguous and poignant, the songs roughly follow in the traditions of folk and blues that Fullbrook has drawn on in the past, engaging moods both hopeful and world-weary. Yet there is more of an expansive approach to this album – where debut Some Were Meant For Sea presented a host of characterful vignettes, Brightly Painted One follows a journey, cyclical and whole, with tones falling between dream pop and folk-blues.

While still retaining a minimalist approach, this sophomore release is layered and shaped with an array of brass, percussion and strings. The arrangements are lush and fully realised, with the warm fuzz of hammond and rhodes keyboards, subtle string parts and electric guitar jangles and thrums. The writing of these songs spans roughly three years, growing out of Fullbrook’s varied life of touring, working when home, relationships and everyday observation. From the mountain walks of She’ll Be Coming ‘Round , the roof-tops of White Sheet Lightning and the street corners of Reasonable Man, the songs document the stasis and the movement of life; of persevering its humour and mystery.

Julie Byrne, who recently moved to Seattle from Chicago, crafts elegant, deliberately wrought songs that chronicle memory, hope, and loss using finely crafted lyrics and complex fingerpicked guitar run through delay. The sombre, dreamlike quality of her songs is similar to a stripped-down Grouper, with restraint and measure in her deep, unusual vocal timbre.

Julie’s first recording for Orindal was a 7″ called Faster Or Greener Than Now. It was produced by Owen Ashworth (Casiotone For The Painfully Alone/Advance Base) and was released in December 2012. Her debut album, Rooms With Walls and Windows, collects twelve tracks from two limited-edition cassette releases, recorded between 2011 and 2012 by Jake Acosta in Chicago. Each song was recorded live, with Julie accompanying herself on fingerpicked acoustic guitar. Rooms With Walls & Windows was released on vinyl, CD and digital formats in early 2014 by Orindal.

Opening the show are Memory Drawings. Memory Drawings are an Anglo-American collective featuring members of Hood (Domino Records) and Lanterns on the Lake (Bella Union). Led by the hammered dulcimer of Minneapolis-based Joel Hanson, the group’s debut album, Music For Another Loss (Second Language, 2012), featured collaborations with members of Rachel’s and Piano Magic. Their new album, There is No Perfect Place, is due for release on Hibernate Records in August and showcases Talk Talk-like atmospherics, ethnic-tinged pop, Angelo Badalamenti-influenced instrumentals and ethereal William Basinski-style piano pieces.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main support comes from Onions. Simply put, Onions are Manchester based trio and are named Martin, Jim and Chris. Weaving mutual influences such as Talking Heads, Hefner, Sparks and 60s girl groups together to create a sound described as ‘muscular twee’. Typically, the songs are a cynical and/or self-deprecating take on sex, history or whatever rhymes at the given moment (but mostly about sex). After gigging extensively and an unprecedented amount of airplay, debut album Pleasure Blast sold out in its first week. Onions will be returning fresh as daisies from a windowless studio after a six month hiatus with the release of the Here Comes the Rage EP in August and a second album scheduled for later in the year.

Opening the show is Seth Faergolzia (formerly of Dufus). His new album, Doubting Won’t Do, includes solo acoustic songs and new loop material, both personal and complex in production, and includes artwork by friend and collaborator Adam Green of the Moldy Peaches.

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 Saturday 30 August 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re pleased to be helping Emily Barker’s Vena Portae celebrate the release of their debut album.

Vena Portae are an Anglo-Swedish alt-folk band, comprised of BAFTA award-winning singer songwriter Emily Barker, songwriter and performer Dom Coyote, and Swedish producer and multi-instrumentalist Ruben Engzell.

Vena Portae’s eponymous debut album draws the listener into an epic journey of love, loss, memory and longing. From the heady alt-pop highs of Flames and Fury, and Summer Kills, to the dark, atmospheric depths of Turning Key and Transatlantic, this is an album that is atmospheric, moving and irresistible. The album is due for release on 18 August and features stunning lead single Summer Kills, which is remixed by Swedish indie legend Peter Morén (lead singer of Peter, Bjorn and John). As the band puts it, Summer Kills is ‘A song about longing, about a broken past and an uncertain future. A song about regret and vain hopes. A song about love.’

‘Vena Portae’ means ‘vein portal’ in Latin; it’s a short vein that carries blood to the liver. The band were inspired by ideas of roads, rivers, veins, portals, creative openings, connections between people, places and life force.

In the winter of 2012, Vena Portae found themselves in the tiny, snowed-in Swedish town of Mölnbo just outside Stockholm. They built a make shift studio, full to the rafters with analogue equipment, spring reverbs, electric guitars, banjos, pianos and an array of weird and wonderful instruments. Over the space of a month, they recorded a treasure trove of songs, inspired by heartbreak, passion, and intrigue, which together make up the album Vena Portae.

Emily Barker is the BAFTA award-winning writer and performer of the theme to BBC TV crime drama Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. With her band The Red Clay Halo, she also provided the atmospheric theme to highly acclaimed noir thriller The Shadow Line. Emily Barker and The Red Clay Halo have released four critically acclaimed albums, toured extensively over the world, performed alongside friend and collaborator Frank Turner at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and recently released their album Dear River in the UK on Linn Records to critical acclaim, with four- and five-star reviews across the board.

British songwriter-theatre maker Dom Coyote is an associate artist with the world renowned Kneehigh Theatre and has performed in sold out shows with them throughout the UK, South America and the US. He has performed and composed for acclaimed companies such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, Art Angel and the National Theatre as well as creating his own brand of gig-theatre, mixing alt-folk, rock, world music and multimedia.

Ruben Engzell is a shining light in the Swedish music scene. Working with Christian Kjellvander, Peter Morén and EP’s Trailer Park to name a few, Ruben worked on ground-breaking London projects such as Future Cinema and Sona Soul before returning to his home country to set up his own studio in SoFo, the creative heart of Stockholm.

Jesper Jonsson, who joins the band onstage as a live drummer/percussionist, grew up on the remote Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic sea, before moving to Stockholm where he headed up the rhythm sections for highly regarded artists such as EP’s Trailer Park, Lisa Lindal and Laakso.

Support comes from York’s Helen Chambers, who has previously played for us supporting Laura Stevenson.

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 5 September 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

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

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

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

Gymnast release debut album Wild Fleet with a special free launch show at the Castle Hotel on Friday 5 September.

‘Under the influence of Wild Beasts and following hot-on-the-heels of new Secretly Canadian signing Woman‘s Hour come Gymnast with their own brand of refined and sultry modernism’ – DIY

Support comes from Hannah Ashcroft of Trip of Hares.

Entry is free – just turn up on the night!

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 10 September 2014
Where: Takk Coffee House, 6 Tariff Street, Manchester, M1 2FF

We’re excited to be bring Steven Adams back to Manchester – this time for an intimate solo show.

Steven James Adams has announced details of the release of his debut solo album. House Music will be released through The State 51 Conspiracy on Monday 1 September. Recorded primarily at Steven’s house in Walthamstow, with further sessions taking place at co-producer Neil Rogers’ Cambridge studio and elsewhere, House Music draws on a wealth of influences without ever sounding second-hand.

House Music was originally conceived as a stripped-back home recording, but soon grew into something more textured and far-reaching, showcasing both Adams’s songwriting prowess and his perceptive lyrics. The cover features an original work by acclaimed artist Dan Hillier.

With musical contributions from Vancouver ‘s JUNO Award-winning Dan Mangan, rising stars John Smith and Emily Barker, Justin Young of The Vaccines and Scottish musical luminaries Martin Green (from three-time BBC Folk Award winners Lau) and Inge Thomson, and more, the resulting record is ambitious, beautifully conceived and graceful.

House Music is Steven’s first ‘solo’ album. He started out in 2001 as frontman and principal songwriter in the much-lauded Broken Family Band - who released seven albums over the course of eight years – and more recently released two albums with his band Singing Adams.

Steven plays this intimate solo show in support of this debut solo album.

Support comes from fellow Hey! Manchester favourite Jo Rose, who will be releasing his debut album later this year.

Takk is an excellent new 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 Thursday 11 September 2014
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re excited to be welcoming back Dan Michaelson, who we last put on in 2011.

Dan Michaelson, the former frontman of alt-country rockers Absentee, returns with new album Distance this month. Having released three albums under his former moniker between 2005 and 2009, Dan then started work on a solo album with Icelandic producer Valgier Sigurdsson (bjork, bonnie”prince”billy, Sigur Ros). This quickly led to the formation the Coastguards, a beautiful collection of men willing to keep the creaking ship Michaelson afloat. Among those appearing on that first recording were: Henry (from the band Fields), Arnulf (KT Tunstall), Tom&Henry (Rumblestrips), Romeo (Magic Numbers), Steven (Broken Family Band/Singing Adams), Laurie (Absentee) and Valgier himself playing various parts of the piano. The culmination of these efforts was called Saltwater, released on the Memphis Industries label in March 2009.

The Coastguards took to touring for the rest of 2009, combining headline tours with support duties for Magic Numbers, The Dodos, Duke Special, The Leisure Society and The Broken Family Band among others. Produced by Dan and released on his own short run, screen printed release label Editions, nine songs were recorded in the first half of 2010 to make up the second album, Shakes. Inspired in equal parts by the soul and country classic songwriters, the now-familiar territory of his subject matter, and the people who helped make the record, Shakes was met with widespread acclaim and even managed to spawn a 6 Music single of the week in the shape of Love Lends A Hand.

In 2011 change beckoned and Dan found himself settling for a time in the small town of Marfa, Texas – a community of artists, writers and musicians drawn to the town made famous by the Minimalist artist and architect Donald Judd. The time here inspired Dan’s third album Sudden Fiction (2012), focusing on ‘doing the most possible with the smallest amount’. The result was a bare-bones collection of songs as sparse and atmospheric as the Texan desert itself. Sudden Fiction featured in both the Rough Trade and Mojo Albums of the Year polls.

Having taken this Minimalist theme to a conclusion, 2013 release Blindspot reunited the Coastguards on a record that included sweeping cellos and French horns among the trademark vocals and acoustic guitar. The single Sheets managed to find its way to the airwaves despite not being particularly radio friendly, eventually reaching Pitchfork, where it received dizzying praise. Dan has since admitted that it really is too late to give up and retrain, and with this in mind a new record, Distance, is expected in August 2014.

‘One of the finest contemporary chroniclers of the highs, lows and all points in between of emotional engagement’ – The Quietus

‘Michaelson gets as close to a prodigy of Leonard Cohen as is tastefully possible. I’m spellbound’ – Plan B

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

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 Wednesday 17 September 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be bringing Canada’s The Burning Hell back to Manchester – this time as a full band!

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*

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 19 September 2014
Where: Kraak, off Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB

We’re excited to be bringing Kevin Morby to Manchester.

Harlem River marks the solo debut of songwriter Kevin Morby. Known for his work as the singer and guitarist for the Brooklyn band The Babies and bassist for Woods, the Kansas City native and new Los Angeles resident calls the record ‘an homage to New York City’, his adopted home for the past five years.

Harlem River features eight interweaving tales of tragedy and misfortune; a series of desperate characters playing out their dramas with the city as backdrop. A departure from some of the signature sounds of his better known projects, Morby’s songs glisten with a haunting intimacy and while he maintains that the songs are stories about other people, it’s hard not to feel a piece of him in each one; a half-imagined, half-painfully personal world of lost love, addiction, violence and prayers for the departed.

The album was recorded in Los Angeles in February and March 2013 with producer Rob Barbato who recorded The Babies’ second album, Our House On The Hill, and whose guitar and bass work figure prominently on Harlem River. The album also features drummer Justin Sullivan (The Babies) as well as contributions from Will Canzoneri, Tim Presley (White Fence), Dan Lead and Cate Le Bon.

Kraak is a performance and exhibition space in the Northern Quarter. It’s down a cobbled street, just behind Fit To Dance off Stevenson Square.

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

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

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Sunday 21 September 2014
Where: Manchester Climbing Centre, St Benedicts Church, Bennett Street, Manchester M12 5ND

We’re excited to be presenting David Thomas Broughton and the Juice Vocal Ensemble in a truly unique Manchester venue.

After meeting at SXSW in 2011, David Thomas Broughton and vocal trio Juice kept in contact about possibly working together. But getting together at the same time is difficult for artists who are busy with their own projects – particularly if one is based in the Far East. Finally in 2013, during a couple of short trips back, David gathered the group in his home town of Otley to spend a few hours recording.

The resultant album, Sliding The Same Way, spans the hymnal to human beatbox, discord to angelic harmony, with lyrical themes displaying the weaknesses of men, via rural imagery and sombre love songs, to the decline of northern industry and pub brawls. After some short discussion and a little practise, the part-improvised tracks were recorded. All parts were recorded live in one take and kept sparse, underpinned by David’s gentle and often imprecise guitar playing as the accompaniment to four voices.

David Thomas Broughton occupies a contentious position, divides opinion, unsettles, is self-consciously clumsy, hilarious, beautiful but above all memorable. Walls of noise and layers of beauty interweave and delight at every turn. Many people use loops these days; Broughton includes the glitches, mistakes, and the resulting comedy in his act, works with what he has, and moves on. Broughton writes songs of beauty, with classic themes of love, pain, hurt, suicide, depression, teenage angst etc. It’s just they come out with a comedic twist and are rarely reproduced in a live setting as they are heard on record.

‘Straddling the line between music hall turn and avant-garde performance artist, Broughton’s live show is not to be missed’ – Mojo

Juice are an experimental vocal trio who explore new a cappella music that defies genre. They’ll do anything from ethereal, stratospheric classical sounds to spooky bluegrass, beatboxing to hollering. They have performed fiendish avant-garde pieces by the likes of John Zorn, Meredith Monk and Morton Feldman, but also turn their hand to inventive covers of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Kraftwerk and Rihanna. The trio have commissioned and performed work by composers including Gavin Bryars, Shlomo, Mica Levi (aka Micachu from Micachu and The Shapes), Anna Meredith and award-winning folk artist Jim Moray.

‘The range of this new young vocal trio is immense, their a cappella journeys on this debut album taking in everything from traditional folk to Berio-esque deconstructions, delivered with perfect pitch and an ear for the most apt harmony’ – The Independent

Manchester Climbing Centre is housed in St Benedict’s, a stunning Grade 2 listed Victorian church in West Gorton – just a five-minute drive from Piccadilly Station. Built in 1878, St Benedict’s was declared ‘redundant’ in 2002 and closed its doors, with the building remaining shut for a further three years. Thankfully, in 2005 it re-opened as Manchester Climbing Centre, replacing pews with rock faces and placing a cave where once an alter stood, proving that architectural heritage can be retained and reinvented for the 21st Century. To further this reinvention, we will be hosting this very rare, one-off concert in the church.

This show will be fully seated, and there will be a bar available. We’re happy to organise large taxis from/to Piccadilly Station for those attending – to register your interest, email us at info at heymanchester dot com in advance.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Monday 22 September 2014
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Ezra Furman – who sold out Soup Kitchen with us earlier in the year.

Day of the Dog saw Ezra Furman progress from the dark chamber-pop and gorgeous balladry of his solo debut and emerging as a stylish, technicolor, pulse-quickening rock provocateur conjuring an intriguing selection of iconic vintage styles. With early singles My Zero and Tell ‘em All to go to Hell all being playlisted on BBC 6 Music, and with a five-star Guardian review under his belt, Furman returns to the UK off the back of a sold-out tour to play a string of festivals over the summer including Dot to Dot, End of the Road and Bestival. After selling out Soup Kitchen earlier in the year, Ezra returns to Manchester – this time to play Band on the Wall.

Day of the Dog was recorded with the members of his regular touring band The Boy-Friends: Sam Durkes – drums, percussion; Ben Joseph – piano, miscellaneous; Jorgen Jorgensen – bass, miscellaneous; Tim Sandusky – saxophone. Furman supplied vocals, guitar, miscellaneous. Throughout the album, there is a sense of bold ambition and grand artistry in the tradition of songwriting giants of the past, but set apart by an undercurrent of deranged, ragged glory.

Songs like My Zero and Been So Strange take the broad-stroke tunefulness 1980s heartland rock, strip off the gloss, deconstruct it, and reassemble it along unsettling and far more potent lines. Tell ‘Em All to Go to Hell, Anything Can Happen and And Maybe God is a Train, affect a lurid 1970s glam stance – jittery drumming driving glitter-and-dirt smeared guitar, strategically gilded with leering sax lines. Meanwhile, the title track evokes the shock therapy of John Lennon’s initial harrowing post-Beatles albums – stark piano chords reverberating over massive but minimalist drums. Through it all, Ezra sings in a uniquely stylised yet powerful voice that alternates between odd, tremulous beauty and startling, guttural viscerality.

He formed his first band, Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, in 2006 while attending Tufts University. His lead singing and songwriting connected with listeners like a left hook to the jaw, a mix of stinging garage-rock and stripped-down acoustic numbers. He would write and record a total of four albums with this combo: Banging Down the Doors (2007), Inside the Human Body (2008), Moon Face (2009) and Mysterious Power (2011). Furman and the band toured extensively during this period, winning a cult of hardcore fans across the US as well as in Europe.

Ultimately, Ezra parted ways with that band, returned home to Chicago, holed up in an attic recording studio and wrote and recorded the cycle of ten songs, each assigned to particular months of the year, he titled The Year Of No Returning. His aim was the self-professed ‘lofty goal of real protest’. Initially self-released, The Year Of No Returning was picked up by Bar/None and released for the first time on CD in the Summer of 2013.

For Day of the Dog it’s all about the rock ‘n’ roll with some punk panache thrown in. Ezra once again has re-invented himself , this time as an angry young man ready to throw himself on the pyre in search of the redemption that will follow.

‘This Chicago-based singer-songwriter offers a bratty, ragged take on New York Dolls, Spector-era Ramones and E Street Band carnival rock, revealing a gift for crafting freeway-cruisin’ tunes served with an extra helping of roadkill. Like Mac DeMarco, probably his closest peer, Furman draws from well-worn ’50s rock’n’roll tropes and coats them in fuzz’ – NME

‘Please take the five stars not as a statement that this is the best record of 2013, but as a delighted endorsement of a genre classic. Clever, funny, sharp and tuneful – a great rock’n’roll record’ – The Guardian

Support comes from POST. Formed in Glasgow and re-constituted in Manchester, POST released the mini album Cavalcade in 2013, gaining the 3- to 7-piece (depends on the gig) recognition at 6 Music, the NME and blogs the whole hyperreal world over. Now they’re back, opening Glasgow collective We Can Still Picnic’s forthcoming 12? compilation and with a brand new album ready to coincide with the imminent dismantling of this once great nation. Come walk the borderline with POST.

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

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

When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 23 September 2014
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, the Manchester show has been upgraded to Gorilla, the Deaf Institute’s sister venue on Whitworth Street West. All original tickets remain valid, and all other show details remain the same.

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

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

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

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

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

Main support in Manchester and Leeds comes from Rodrigo Amarante. Amarante is a songwriter and multi-intrumentalist who has made an international name with his band Little Joy (alongside The Strokes’ drummer Fab Moretti and Binki Shapiro), and by recording and playing with Devendra Banhart on his last three albums. What you might not know is that Amarante is an inescapable figure in Brazilian music and has influenced a whole generation in his homeland. He is one of the masterminds of the band Los Hermanos and a founding member of samba supergroup Orquestra Imperial alongside Seu Jorge and Moreno Veloso. He has recorded and performed with Brazilian icons such as Tom Zé, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso and was elected one of the 100 best musicians in Brazilian history by Rolling Stone Magazine. After the last five years of voluntary exile in the US, he has now made his first solo album entitled Cavalo, which was released in May.

Opening in Manchester is Ryley Walker, a 24 year-old singer/songwriter and guitarist from Chicago. Walker recently turned to his folk-rock sound, inspired by some of his heroes Bert Jansch, Tim Buckley and Tim Hardin. After kicking around Chicago’s experimental free/noise music scene and touring extensively, he grew into his current laid-back and folk-driven approach to tunes, resulting in several cassettes, singles - and a highly acclaimed EP The West Wind. His poised and accomplished debut LP, All Kinds Of You, was released in April on the seminal Tompkins Square label.

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

MANCHESTER: Due to exceptional demand, the Manchester show has been upgraded to Gorilla, the Deaf Institute’s sister venue on Whitworth Street West. All original tickets remain valid, and all other show details remain the same.

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 27 September 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with Denmark’s Lust For Youth!

To put it bluntly, Lust For Youth’s International is unrecognisable as a Lust For Youth record on first listen. Hannes Norrvide’s previous solo albums under the moniker have been described as ‘dark, cold, atonal, tormented, lonely and lower than lo-fi’. The approach on International has shifted dramatically. Writing as a three-piece now, with longtime live collaborator Loke Rahbek and new band member Malthe Fischer, who produces and plays guitar, LFY have entered a completely new territory. The result is stunning. International is a buoyant synth masterpiece in the vein of early Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and New Order. Norrvide’s work has always had pop sensibilities buried deep in the reverb, but the hooks are front and centre on International, and there is nothing lo-fi about it.

That is not to say the record is without substance. There are still some deeply introspective moments as well, notably the instrumental passages Ultras and Basorexia, which evoke the morning-after loneliness that a lot of earlier LFY work has explored. According to Rahbek, ‘the record sort of happened by chance. Hannes and I had talked about recording some stuff together for the fun of it, and Malthe offered to help us record. Initially, we were just going to do a song or two for the fun of it, but within a few weeks it was obvious that it was a combination that worked. Malthe went from recording to joining within the first few days and we made the whole thing over the last half-year, drinking gin and tonics everyday in the studio. The period was strange, terrible things happened in everyone’s life outside of the studio, so as a result many hours were spent in the studio, like a safe zone.’

‘As the title indicates,’ Rahbek adds, ‘the record deals with the rootless, sometimes almost inhuman, nature of traveling and touring. Hotel rooms and strangers beds, drugs and clubs, and the impossibility of living a regular life.’ It may be an irregular life, but nothing could suit them better; International is Norrvide’s magnum opus, and with Fischer’s production and Rahbek’s co-writing skills, the potential this band has always shown has been fully realised.

Support comes from Horsebeach. Horsebeach released their self-titled debut LP this summer, gaining fans and plaudits from a diverse cultural mix of industry hard hitters, indie kids and Balearic heads. The first pressing of the LP sold out a few weeks after its release as clued-up networkers sought it out and fell in love with it. Horsebeach’s shimmering songs of love and longing drift gently into your subconscious. If you can imagine the meandering jangles of Real Estate and brooding melodies of Felt, given a Manchester makeover as chiming guitars and reverb-drenched leads soak the cities streets, then you’re almost there.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 1 October 2014
Where: Cornerhouse Annexe, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH

We’re delighted to working with Scottish musician RM Hubbert again.

RM Hubbert is a guitarist and songwriter from Glasgow. With a canny timing, he’s also quite the comedian/raconteur. But the issues he deals with can be anything but funny. How often do you see grown men weep at shows?

Hubby, as he’s also known, has released two albums to date, the first of which was First & Last (Chemikal Underground, 2011), which comprises nine solo instrumental guitar pieces. Heavily influenced by flamenco rhythms and techniques, First & Last was written to help Hubby deal with the death of his parents and return of chronic depression. It’s not as depressing as that last sentence may suggest.

His second album, Thirteen Lost & Found, was conceived as a way for Hubby to reconnect with old friends after losing touch over ten years. It features collaborations with many talented Scottish musicians such as Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap), Emma Pollock (The Delgados) Alasdair Roberts, Luke Sutherland (Long Fin Killie, Mogwai) and Hanna Tuulikki (Nalle, Two Wings). The album was produced by Alex Kapranos (Franz Ferdinand), a long-time collaborator and friend. Thirteen Lost & Found won Scottish Album of the Year for Hubby.

A prolific live artist, Hubby has toured extensively over the last three years, both as headline and in support to artists such as Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Twilight Sad, Franz Ferdinand, Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat, King Creosote and many others.

Breaks and Bone, Hubby’s third album, has again received critical acclaim following its release on Chemikal Underground.

Support comes from David O’Dowda. Formally the front man for alt-folk band Table, and keyboard player with indie band Sizer Barker, O’Dowda now spends much of his time writing songs for Los Angeles-based production music library Extreme Music, curated by music supervisor Liz Gallacher. He now releases his debut EP as a solo artist.

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

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

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 2 October 2014
Where: Cornerhouse Annexe, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH

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

Ólöf Arnalds returns with a brand new album, Palme – her fourth – released via One Little Indian on 29 September.

Palme represents Ólöf’s most collaborative effort to date, and also perhaps her most profoundly sensual and affecting. Musically, it offers up an astonishing wellspring of fresh ideas and playful experimentation that move the sound on from the acoustic approach that predominantly defined her first three records, Við og Við (2007), Innundir Skinni (2009) and Sudden Elevation (2013).

On Palme Ólöf is sensitively backed by two trusted collaborators and friends: Gunnar Orn Tynes (founder of electro-folk collective, múm) and once again, long-term musical foil, Skúli Sverrisson (who has also worked with luminaries Laurie Anderson, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Blonde Redhead).

Lead single Patience, written by Skúli (who also shares writing credits for Palme and Soft Living) boasts an almost Polynesian vocal sway while Defining Gender’s gentle bossa nova and swelling strings conspire to make it so tender it threatens to burst at any moment. Elsewhere subtle electronics guide Hypnose’s gentle propulsion and Half Steady’s strange, robotic cacophony. Some songs, such as Turtledove, are brand new, while others are old friends – Half Steady was written by Ólöf while still in her teens.

Gunnar Orn Tynes significant presence on the record is felt through its programmed electronics and the digital manipulation of some of the instrumental parts – new elements that pushed Ólöf out of her comfort zone; for the first time she was writing, performing and recording simultaneously, musical ideas intuitively pieced together or picked apart as they went along.

The constant here, of course, is Ólöf’s effortlessly distinctive vocal. A voice ‘that can silence a room, such is its sweetness’ once opined a bowled over Time Out New York – and here on Palme it has never been so poignant nor powerfully intoxicating.

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 later this year on Bird Records.

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

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

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When: 7pm on Saturday 4 October 2014
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

We’re delighted to once again be working with Hey! Manchester favourites The Travelling Band.

Travelling-Band-Gorilla-Manchester

Manchester’s finest folk­-rock superhumans The Travelling Band have won hearts and minds wherever they’ve found themselves, combining the strut of refried Southern country with the One Foot On The Monitor mayhem of the E­ Street Band. With smatterings of McCartney (the beard years) and Crosby Still & Nash million­-part harmonies, TTB have become firm favourites for people with ears and good hearts.

Fans include 6 Music’s Marc Riley (who loves their ‘shimmering blend of cosmic­country­pop’) and Michael Eavis (who was taken back to his ‘musical roots’ with ‘marvellous music to savour’), who have lapped up the band’s heady­nufolk. On the back of LPs like 2008’s Under the Pavement and 2011’s Screaming is Something, it isn’t at all surprising. Whether they’re burrowing away in a recording den on the Isle of Mull, packing out rapturous shows, or kicking off impromptu jam sessions in the middle of a field, The Travelling Band aren’t messing around – music is what makes their blood move.

Now, readying their latest offering, The Big Defreeze – produced by Iestyn Polson (Patti Smith, David Bowie and more) at the world famous Church Studios in Crouch End, TTB find themselves with their paws firmly on their roots, but growing upwards and outwards too. Never ones to sit still, 2014 could well be the year that sees The Travelling Band really cement their place as the true champions of blissful cosmic­pop. Great on record and outstanding on­stage, if you haven’t got down with The Travelling Band yet, now is the time, before they disappear onto much larger stages.

Fans of Calexico, Iron & Wine, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Frightened Rabbit and Elbow should apply here, for The Travelling Band are the kings of North Country & Western music.

‘It all here, passionate yet delicate vocals, deep forceful drumming, jangly guitar, fluctuating stings, everything you could ask for from a song that oozes summer’ - The 405

‘The Travelling Band blur the folk/rock boundaries, delicately intertwining sensitive lyrics with accomplished folk vocals and jangly instrumental accompaniments to form a tapestry of glittering whimsy’ – The Sun

Special guests for this show are Rook and The Ravens. Having converged in Manchester in 2007, Rook and The Ravens have been making astute alternative rock music with pop sensibilities ever since. Informed by Radiohead, Teenage Fanclub and The Smiths as much as Crosby Stills and Nash, Tom Petty and Neil Young, they set about finding an identity amongst the lyrical complexity they loved and the power pop, harmony led delivery they craved. Fresh from a lengthy, triumphant, 28-date initial tour of the USA, Rook and The Ravens are looking to keep up momentum throughout Autumn 2014 and beyond.

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 4 October 2014
Where: First Chop Brewing Arm, Unit 3 Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN

We’re delighted to be working with Hey! Manchester favourite Jesca Hoop once again.

Jesca-Hoop-First-Chop-Manchester

Jesca Hoop‘s latest stark and eloquent effort, titled Undress, offers up salt-of-the-earth duets with much-loved artists including Guy Garvey, Iron and Wine, Willy Mason and Erika Wennerstrom. These four duets stand as cornerstones for what is a reaffirmation of Hoop’s incomparable abilities as a singer and songwriter.

Having won exceptional reviews for her last studio album, The House That Jack Built, in 2012, Hoop kicks off 2014 with Undress, a live and intimate rendering of her sophomore album Hunting My Dress.

Jesca’s vision for the album was to capture her original compositions ‘in their raw and live state, much like you would see in a live show – keeping things simple and sublime’.

Undress sees Jesca take the original songs from Hunting My Dress back to basics with a live recording and collaborations with some of her favourite artists. Her collaborators were in some ways determined by Jesca’s course of travel. She hooked up with Willy Mason in LA, Iron and Wine in Atlanta (Jesca was touring with Sam and they recorded on her last night of the tour), Erika Wennerstrom in Austin, Texas and Guy Garvey in Manchester.

The title track Hunting My Dress is re-imagined as a duet with Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam – ‘this version couldn’t be more different to the original and captures a charmed moment between two songwriters’, says Jesca.

Long time fan and champion Guy Garvey joins on Murder Of Birds. The duo recorded the original version long distance, sending files back and forth.  Their recording for Undress was a far more intimate affair, recorded in Jesca’s living room in Manchester – ‘two dear friends singing a familiar tune’.

Willy Mason takes lead vocal on Whispering Light with Jesca playing the supporting role.

Erika Wennerstrom from Heartless Bastards ‘brings an unexpected dimension’ to two songs, Tulip and Feast Of The Heart, says Jesca, ‘as our voices couldn’t be more different’. The remaining songs are solely Jesca, recorded with her band in her current hometown of Manchester.

Support comes from Zoey Kyoti, who’s regularly found singing backing vocals with Jesca.

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

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Sunday 5 October 2014
Where: The Roadhouse, 8 Newton Street, Manchester M1 2AN

We’re delighted to be working with Future of the Left for the first time.

To celebrate nothing more than a love of playing loud rock music, October (the most geometrically sound month) and a new video for the song French Lessons, Future of the Left will be ‘unleashing’ a tour across/down/inside the UK. If you attend you are guaranteed rock music and a better class of sweating room-mate. If you don’t then loneliness will surely be your pillow.

French Lessons is a song (and it is a song) about love and marriage, principally concerned with the idea that both are a trap where both sexes are forced to fill predetermined roles that limit then crush their human spirt and joy. This, of course, is absolute horseshit. If you make it dull, contemptible or lifeless then that’s on you.

This show is a co-promotion with Wotgodforgot.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 October 2014
Where: Kraak, off Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB

We’re excited to be working with Sara Lowes once again.

Sara Lowes at the Castle, Manchester

Some artists are singers; others add songwriter to their resume. Others, like Sara Lowes, are something far beyond either simple category: aural visionaries – who are as much about scoring, production and arranging as they are about singing their own tunes.

She’s always been a woman in demand; however these days, Manchester-based songwriter and musician Sara Lowes is dictating that adoration on her own sweet terms. A long-established session musician, Sara’s talents have crossed many a musical path playing for bands and artists such as The Earlies, King Creosote, Daniel Johnston and Marina And The Diamonds, to name but a few.

Garnering comparisons to the sass of Debbie Harry and the airy vocals of Alison Goldfrapp, Lowes’ songs bubble with everything from the primordial soup of Technicolor pop to acoustic folk, through jazz, and kaleidoscopic prog. Lowes is an artist plying her craft for the long-haul, clearly harbouring ambitions of a different kind.

‘I’ve alway seen myself as a musician rather than a solo artists of any kind,’ says Lowes. ‘It leaves the door open for anything to happen – therefore my ambition grows naturally and I trust the choices I make.’

A favourite among BBC 6 Music DJs such as Marc Riley and Stuart Maconie, Lowes’ solo releases to date have received rave reviews from the press, noting her skill for fusing classic influences through thoroughly modern composition and production, emerging as a true genre-defying talent and one to watch.

‘With a voice somewhere between Alison Goldfrapp and Joni Mitchell, and songs that veer between folk, Brill Building pop and Dexys Midnight Runners-esque soul, Sara Lowes is a curious proposition’ – Q, 4*

Kraak is a performance and exhibition space in the Northern Quarter. It’s down a cobbled street, just behind Fit To Dance off Stevenson Square.

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

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

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

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

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

This show is a co-promotion with DHP.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 14 October 2014
Where: Night & Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN

We’re delighted to be working with Left Lane Cruiser for the first time!

Left-Lane-Cruiser-Night-Day-Manchester-2

This whiskey-fuelled three-man frenzy of blues-driven rock’n’roll noise straight from Fort Wayne, Indiana promise to hit you like a shock wave and show you a foot-stompin’ good time. Left Lane Cruiser feature Joe Evans on slide guitar and vocals with Brenn Beck on one big-ass bass drum, harmonica and a toolbox full of percussive gear.

Honing their craft while playing to house parties and on street corners of their home town, plus rehearsing in a heatless garage, they have developed their personal high voltage take on the North Mississippi Hill Country sound.

‘Left Lane Cruiser takes the collected knowledge that human kind has accumulated on blues, garage rock, punky garage and bluesy garage and compresses it into a dark matter that they then double barrel shotgun blast into your head’ - Green Bay Scene

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 18 October 2014
Where: The Roadhouse, 8 Newton Street, Manchester M1 2AN

We’re delighted to be bringing Peter Broderick to Manchester.

Peter Broderick‘s name has become synonymous with the thriving independent music scene over the past decade, having released ground-breaking albums on prestigious record labels such as Erased Tapes, Bella Union and Type Records. 2014 has already been a busy year for the ever-prolific musician, releasing the collaborative project with British composer Greg Haines under the guise of Greg Gives Peter Space (where the duo share their fascination with dub music), and collaborating on the latest full-length from The Album Leaf (Never Held A Baby).

Peter Broderick is an American-born multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. In his later teenage years he became entwined in the Portland, Oregon indie folk scene, recording for the likes of M. Ward, Laura Gibson, Horse Feathers and Dolorean. 2007 saw him moving across the ocean to Denmark, where he began a long collaboration with the Danish band Efterklang, touring around the world with them for the next five years (and prominently featured on the recordings Performing Parades (2009), Magic Chairs (2010) and Piramida (2012).

Meanwhile he recorded several albums of solo material, ranging from sparse classical compositions (Float) to homemade folk music (Home), constantly experimenting with different musical genres (2012′s These Walls Of Mine fuses country, folk, neo-classical, ambient and hip-hop), and also being commissioned to write music for several films and contemporary dance works (Music For Falling From Trees, Music For Contemporary Dance). He then lived in Berlin for several years where he met and collaborated with Nils Frahm, Dustin O’Halloran, Machinefabriek, Lubomyr Melnyk and several others.

‘A precociously talented multi-instrumentalist’ – The Independent

Tour support comes from Loch Lomond. After a string of head-turning, critically acclaimed releases on Hush Records, Portland’s Loch Lomond have brought their unique brand of raw symphonic chamber pop to locally based record label Tender Loving Empire. Loch Lomond released their much-anticipated second full lengther, Little Me Will Start A Storm, in 2011, and are currently recording new material. The album was mixed by Adam Selzer (who has recorded all of M. Ward’s records), Tucker Martine (Laura Veirs, The Decemberists), Kevin Robinson (of Viva Voce) and Jeff Stuart Saltzman.

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 23 October 2014
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 announced details of their new album, The Third Day. The album is due on 6 October via Kscope – and the band will embark on a UK tour in late October to coincide with 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

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 24 October 2014
Where: First Chop Brewing Arm, Unit 3 Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN

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

Liam-Frost-First-Chop-Salford

Described by Elbow’s Guy Garvey as ‘the UK’s answer to Bright Eyes‘ and heralded in some quarters of the British music press as a Mancunian Bruce Springsteen, singer-songwriter Liam Frost has developed, across two critically acclaimed solo albums, into a well-cherished artist whose distinctive voice, songwriting and sincerity really set him apart.

Following his recent Tokolosh collaboration with members of The Earlies and The Whip, Liam returns for these special performances showcasing songs from The Wild Places EP and his as yet untitled third album.

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

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

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 25 October 2014
Where: First Chop Brewing Arm, Unit 3 Trinity Row, Trinity Way, Salford M3 5EN

We’re delighted to be bringing Hey! Manchester favourites The Wave Pictures to First Chop Brewing Arm.

As big fans of Daniel Johnston, The Wave Pictures are happy to announce that they have recorded a tour-only album, The Wave Pictures Play Artistic Vice By Daniel Johnston, and will be playing songs from this release during a UK tour in October.

In 2009 The Wave Pictures acted as Daniel Johnston’s backing band on a UK tour, during which time they played songs from throughout his career. And more recently in 2013 they played two songs at a tribute night at which Daniel Johnston headlined himself.

‘… full of big sky riffs and lyrics about an America only a stranger can see… a postcard from another time and place: you’ll wish you were there’ – The Big Issue

‘… starts brilliantly with the ragged Nick Cave-ness of All My Friends… Red Cloud Road (Part Two) would fit in well on Paul Simon’s Graceland’ – NME

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

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

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 30 October 2014
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be presenting Haley Bonar’s Manchester debut.

Haley Bonar releases her debut UK album Last War on 29 September via Memphis Industries – a nine-track collection as relentlessly catchy on the surface as it is alluringly complex underneath. Haley Bonar was first discovered by Low’s Alan Sparhawk who spotted her at a local open mic club in Duluth, Minnesota and was so impressed he immediately invited her to join them on tour. Which is how, a week later, 19-year-old Haley Bonar was transformed from college student to ambitious dropout, crammed into a Honda Civic with a guitar and a drummer for company, touring the US opening for Low.

But there is more to this story. In the decade since Haley has released a succession of recordings, each of which have garnered more praise the last, and has seen her collaborate with the likes of Andrew Bird (with whom Haley occasionally plays live) and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon (who features on the new album). That’s not to mention the company she keeps in a rotating cast of premium band members including Jeremy Hanson (Tapes ‘n’ Tapes), Luke Anderson (Rogue Valley), Jeremy Ylvisaker (Andrew Bird, Alpha Consumer) and Mike Lewis (Bon Iver, Alpha Consumer). Now, with her new album Last War, Haley looks set to find a wider audience.

Much of the joy of Bonar’s songwriting is in the tension between her sparkling melodic sensibility and her deeply ambivalent lyrics. Album opener Kill the Fun positively crackles with traces of the Bangles and the Cure at their most pop, as Bonar chronicles her travels with a lover, taking some moments to reveal the nature of the relationship: ‘You’ll be here till morning / You will get back on the plane / Go back to work / where you never knew my name.’ On No Sensitive Man (which features the most Clem Burke drums outside of a Blondie record), she claims ‘I don’t want no sensitive man / I don’t want to talk.’ While on the captivating Heaven’s Made For Two Bonar’s daydreaming vocal drifts ethereally as the instrumentation builds from stripped-back beginnings into a country-meets-shoegaze wall of sound crescendo.

On Last War, the complexities hit as hard as the hooks, a smart, careful balance achieved through equal doses of mystery and charm.

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.

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 5 November 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

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

Resilient and hard hitting rock ‘n’ roll outfit White Lung release their third album, Deep Fantasy, via Domino this summer. The band is every bit as confrontational as before, but they’ve managed to open their sound up just enough to draw listeners in before kicking them in the face (in a good way).

After a year plus of near constant touring behind Sorry – which won raves from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and Interview – White Lung slimmed to a trio in the studio: vocalist Mish Way, drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou and guitarist Kenneth William. Deep Fantasy was made primarily in Vancouver with producer Jesse Gander (who did both Sorry and their 2010 debut It’s The Evil) in just two ten-day-long sessions at the end of last year and the start of this one. William handled bass duties on Fantasy while Wax Idols’ Hether Fortune will take up bass and backing vocal duties on tour for the foreseeable future.

Way is more provocative and melodic than ever on Fantasy, lyrically surveying addiction (Drown With the Monster), body dysmorphia (Snake Jaw) and sexual dynamics (Down It Goes), among other dinner table topics. Kenneth, a devotee of Johnny Marr, ‘plays with the speed of an 80s hardcore dude’ whirled in Vassiliou’s relentless and seemingly effortless approach to drumming.

‘Deep Fantasy is definitely savvy, ensuring its staunch ideals are delivered by a riveting, relatable frontwoman and 22 minutes of vicious, compact musicianship and addictive melody. It’s an uncompromising feminist punk record that can be grasped by anyone who finds themselves compelled by kickass rock music and basic human decency’ – Pitchfork

This show is a co-promotion with Wotgodforgot.

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.

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 20 November 2014
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to welcome Allo Darlin’ back to the Deaf Institute!

Allo Darlin’ are a fan’s band, with a DIY ethos. They are close friends who found each other and the music they make in London. Elizabeth and Bill are from Australia, Mike and Paul are from Kent.

Their self-titled debut was released on Fortuna Pop in June 2010 to widespread critical acclaim. Their second album, Europe, was Rough Trade’s best-selling record of 2012 and was highly placed in many best of the year polls, including Rolling Stone, Emusic and Rough Trade.

The band’s third album, We Come From The Same Place, will be released by Fortuna Pop and Slumberland in autumn 2014.

‘Staggeringly intelligent and breathtakingly emotive, it’s pop music at its finest, contained not by genre or demographic boundaries. Morris has joined the likes of Jens Lekman, Stephin Merritt and Jonathan Richman in alternative pop music’s great storytellers that deserve better than the constraints of the indie-pop tag’ – Music OMH

Support comes from Oslo’s Making Marks.

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.

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 22 November 2014
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We’re delighted to be helping Tokolosh launch their debut album, Stay Strong.

A product of Manchester’s collaborative music scene, Tokolosh are a five-piece collective featuring members of The Whip and The Earlies alongside solo artist Liam Frost.

Named after a mischievous Zulu water sprite, the band blend aggressive drumming with darkly sexual lyrics, creating a unique and addictive sound that is complemented by artwork from Vaughan Oliver and Marc Atkins, known for their work with the 4AD label.

Featured in The Guardian and Clash Music, and championed by 6 Music’s Marc Riley and Gideon Coe, plus XFM’s John Kennedy, the album promises to cause a ripple in their native north west of England.

Tokolosh have supported the likes of I am Kloot and will be announcing some tour dates later in the summer when they return from various projects, and re-unite once more in Manchester to play their debut album in full – including this launch show at the Eagle Inn. Stay Strong will be released on Monday 4 August on Jack to Phono Records. It features the singles Bloodlines, Shapeshifter and A Great Wave.

‘Laced with Liam’s distinctive vocals and evocative lyricism, the band’s darkly magical sound combines soul, R&B and tribal rhythms underscored by Nathan’s driving bass’ – Skiddle

Support comes from Liverpool five-piece Veyu.

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.

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 25 November 2014
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with The Rural Alberta Advantage for the first time!

In 2006 singer-songwriter Nils Edenloff, percussionist Paul Banwatt and multi-instrumentalist Amy Cole came together to release their debut self-titled EP as The Rural Alberta Advantage. The ensuing years have brought two full-length albums (2008’s Hometowns and 2011’s Departing), widespread critical praise, two Juno Award nominations (Best New Group, Video of the Year), a Long List Nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, and a hard earned reputation as one of the most impressive live bands you’ll ever see. It was through all of this that The RAA’s latest album, Mended With Gold, took shape.

The twelve songs found on the album have been filtered through these experiences and achievements, pushing them to heights previously unreached by the band. While maintaining the heartfelt lyrics, fetching melodies, and explosive percussion that won the band a loyal following worldwide and one the highest-selling eMusic selects album to date with their debut, Mended With Gold makes it clear that The RAA have reached the next level. From the first moments of album opener Our Love, it becomes unmistakable that these collective experiences has helped the band compose the most fully-realised work of their career.

Two key elements that led to this leap was the band’s road warrior status and the chance to take full advantage of their time in the studio this time around. The trio spent months shaping the songs, sometimes first on keyboard, then guitar (and vice versa), and taking others on the road to workshop live.

The RAA’s long-time live sound engineer, Matt Lederman (Hayden, !!!, Besnard Lakes) was brought into the studio this time around as a key piece towards capturing the live energy of the band for these songs – something the group was intent on reflecting on this album. Teaming up with co-producer Leon Taheny (Owen Pallett, Austra, F*cked Up), the two settled into Candle Recording in Toronto to record the album.

The ideas and moods created in these songs tie back to the album title Mended With Gold, embracing the idea that the breakage and repair of an object becomes part of its unique history and ultimately makes it more valuable instead of a blemish to disguise. The Rural Alberta Advantage have taken all of their successes, losses, adventures, and heartbreaks over the past few years, and forged them together into an unforgettably powerful work of beauty.

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.

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 27 November 2014
Where: The Ruby Lounge, 28-34 High Street, Manchester M4 1QB

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Beans on Toast.

Drunk folk singer, barefoot troubadour and cult legend Beans on Toast has been around the block more times than he cares to remember. Thankfully though, with his unique blend of simple songs and no holds barred quick wit, he is an act that is anything but tired.

With a fresh spring in his step after an incredible start to the year, which saw him conquer his first American headline tour, play a series of shows with Flogging Molly in the US and perform to over 100,000 people in just one week whilst opening Frank Turner’s UK stadium tour in February, Beans On Toast will be heading back onto the UK live circuit for 16 dates across the country ending with his biggest headline show to date at Electric Ballroom.

Marking the release of his sixth studio album with Xtra Mile Recordings, as is tradition on his 1 December birthday, The Next Album Tour 2014 will be an unforgettable experience as the singer, storyteller and guitar player’s self-deprecating nature goes a long way to break down the barriers between musician and audience, creating a real sense of equality.

With digital single Keep You added to the XFM Evening Playlist at the start of the year, a Best of Toast Pressed on Vinyl flying off the shelves for Independent Record Store Day and his busiest upcoming festival season yet, anything is now possible for this unmissable performer.

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.

Attend on: Last.fm


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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 11 December 2014
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re excited to be promoting the Manchester leg of Sweet Baboo and The Pictish Trail’s joint headline tour.

Two sonic stallions from the Moshi Moshi stable canter around the counties, for a seasonal co-headline tour.

Lyrical singer-songshapers Stephen Black and Johnny Lynch (Sweet Baboo and The Pictish Trail, respectively) both know the power of collaboration.

Something of a fixture within the burgeoning Welsh psyche-pop scene, you’ll recognise Black not only from his prolific solo output, but as a frequent musical cohort to Euros Childs, Cate Le Bon and Gruff Rhys among many, many others. Across four albums, and even more EPs, Sweet Baboo’s dry wit and melodic flair have seen him become a firm favourite with BBC’s Marc Riley (who has had him in session more than any other artist), and deservedly recognised as one of the country’s finest performers.

Meanwhile, from a static caravan up on the remote isle of Eigg, tucked away within the inner Hebrides of Scotland, Lynch runs DIY label and collective Lost Map (formerly Fence Records). As well as producing countless mini-albums, EPs and assorted LPs of self-professed ‘wonky-pop’ material under his Pictish Trail moniker, he’s collaborated with a plethora of the greatest songsmiths across these fair lands, including James Yorkston, Malcolm Middleton, King Creosote, KT Tunstall and Adem.  With the latter, he formed electro-pop powerhouse Silver Columns, proving his chops both as a versatile song-writer and as a wet-spandex leotard model.

Lynch invited Black up to the island to help him record his latest Pictish opus, Secret Soundz Vol.2 - which was very recently given a full nationwide release, alongside Vol.1, by London taste-makers Moshi Moshi. For this special advent tour, the pair are reunited for a fortnight of song-swapping, thigh-slapping and local-ale gargling; expect folk-tinged winter hymns, lo-fi audio wizardry and sweet Eigg-nog kisses under the casio.

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.

Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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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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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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Hey! Manchester is supported by First Chop Brewing Arm.