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Upcoming shows: Sam Outlaw Band... Wedding + Irma Vep... Hannah Nicholson... Adam Torres... Parker Millsap... Laura Gibson... GospelbeacH... Jens Lekman... The Surfing Magazines... 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... Frankie Rose... The Weather Station... The Lovely Eggs... The Proper Ornaments... Wesley Gonzalez... CC Smugglers... Julie Byrne... The Burning Hell... Son of Dave... Daniel Romano... Will Varley... Aldous Harding... William the Conqueror... Skinny Lister + Beans on Toast... Leif Vollebekk... Lowly... Jesca Hoop...

When: 7.30pm on Monday 1 August 2016
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to presenting a rare headline show with Irma Vep – plus guests dbh and Secret Admirer!


Irma Vep is a loner, a joker, a roamer, a ribald construct riddled with both earnest anxiety and mercurial songwriting talent birthed by a young Edwin Stevens in Llanfairfechan, North Wales. Having since fully grown into Irma Vep and now residing in Manchester, Stevens’ discography has expanded to document every aspect of his music, from ecstatically free group experiments to bare, sparse songwriting that cuts to the quick, shorn of ornament or pretence.

Much Irma Vep feels like what ‘classic’ music should feel like if it weren’t so Classic. Each record, each song and each performance exists as an evolving drama. Instant classic The Jerk (Great Pop Supplement) is a case in point. Heightened by Velvets-style violin scrapings and Stevens’ silky guitar improvisations, the song’s real power is the towering insecurity turned into an thrilling, hypnotic storyline. Irma Vep’s latest LP Disappointment (Golden Lab) contains both Stevens’ most wild excursions into avant-guitar landscaping and his most ‘accomplished’ songwriting. The title track flirts with Richard Thompson-esque guitar and rhythms, with Stevens’ cracked vocal recalling a more introspective Bill Callahan, but Irma Vep’s delivery, off-the-cuff and vibrant, is all his own. At other times the listener is taken deep into a wormhole of tranced-out rock music on the fringes of chaos.

Having bedded down into Manchester’s bourgeoning DIY scene, Stevens moonlights in several other groups (Sex Hands, Klaus Kinski, Desmadrados…), bringing with him a instantly recognisable guitar language. However it’s in Irma Vep that his most life-affirming, troubling and thrilling music is made.

– Michael Kasparis, 2015

Main support comes from dbh. Awesome composer and man-of-many-bands, this understated virtuoso can also boil it all down to just one guitar. He released the marvellous Time Flies LP on Crowfoot Records, and, recently, the possibly even more marvellous Mood, on Thread Recordings.

Opening the show is Secret Admirer, the new solo-project from Nick Ainsworth of Former Bullies and Dinner Party fame. He has recently released a 20-song self-titled tape via Belfast’s CF Records.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

Read our monthly gig guides on Creativetourist.com.