When: 3pm until late on Sunday 6 May 2012
Where: St Philip’s Church, Encombe Place, Salford, Lancashire, M3 6FJ
Hey! Manchester has been invited to curate a stage at this year’s Sounds From The Other City! SFTOC is a one-day music festival that celebrates the diversity of Greater Manchester’s ‘other city’. The 12-hour event places many of the city’s favourite promoters – including Mind on Fire, Underachievers, Comfortable on A Tightrope, Trash-O-Rama, Now Wave – into several of our favourite venues and drinking establishments: the Kings Arms, Islington Mill, the Crescent and the Pint Pot’s two-tiered venue. Hey! Manchester is excited to be returning to a very special venue in 2012: St Philip’s Church.
We’re currently hand-picking a line-up to rival our three previous SFTOC outings, which have featured the likes of Willy Mason, Darren Hayman, Damon & Naomi, Jesca Hoop and David Thomas Broughton.
Multi-instrumentalist and home-recording phenom Emil Svanängen lives in Sweden, making records and playing shows under the somewhat inscrutable name of Loney Dear. In either his tiny Stockholm studio apartment or the basement of his parents’ house, and with a dedication bordering upon manic, Emil discreetly builds Loney Dear songs using a modest home studio set-up. In this way he has recorded and then released himself on CD-R four albums in the last two or three years. He has managed to sell several thousand of these, pretty much on his own. The music of Loney Dear has been aptly described as, ‘soulful indie folk with a powerful mini orchestra’. Layer upon layer, adding instrumentation and vocals, these songs seem to bloom like time-lapse photography, depicting glimpsed scenes of modern disaffection and timeless yearning. When performing live, Loney Dear becomes the band Emil conjures alone in his home studio, and mutates into a duo. Following his Polyvinyl debut, Dear John, Loney Dear has returned with his sixth album, Hall Music.
Paul Thomas Saunders is a rarity. His voice is both powerfully emotive and heartbreakingly delicate. Evoking Elvis Perkin’s on his biographical debut album, there’s a depth and introspective feel to the lyrics coupled with a distinguished, breathtaking vocal. The reverb-soaked guitars and softly stroked drums a perfect backdrop to Paul Thomas Saunders shy, elusive stage presence, both of which create an ambience that’s captivating during and a long time afterwards. It explains the wave of excitement and subsequent flurry of reviews across blogs and music press after seeing Paul Thomas Saunders and The Fever Dreams various small support slots – Blue Roses, Low, Villagers, Joan As Police Woman, Patrick Watson and Forest Fire – and the interest in his self-released debut EP Four Songs in Twilight, which culminated in tracks being included on the compilation releases of influential indie labels Dance to the Radio and Dead Young Records. Read our Q&A with Paul here.
Laura J Martin, armed with a flute ready for wrangling, mandolin and a loop station, sings over her loops and beats, with songs inspired by subject matter as disparate as Japanese folklore and real-life sentiments and characters. She has supported the likes of Scout Niblett, Bonobo, Little Dragon, Singing Adams, Hannah Peel and The Simonsound, and has just finished an improvised album with Euros Childs and Sweet Baboo under the moniker ‘Short and Curlies’.
Humbling Tides is the second album in the unique kora/guitar/vocal songwriting idiom explored by Yann Tambour, now known as Stranded Horse (formerly Thee, Stranded Horse and Encre). Written largely during a spell living in Bristol and recorded in the serene coastal environs of Normandy in north west France, Humbling Tides continues along the path embarked upon with Churning Strides (released as Thee, Stranded Horse in 2006), effecting subtle but significant changes to a musical formula that finds Tambour melting disparate musical modes and cultures – shades of the mandinka tradition of West Africa, medieval folksong, Fahey-esque fingerpicking, French chanson and more can be discerned – into one bold, fluid and graceful new form.
Fence Collective’s enfant terrible Withered Hand is the stage name for the musical output of Edinburgh-based songwriter Dan Willson. He has garnered endorsements from the likes of Malcolm Middleton, King Creosote, Jarvis Cocker, The Dodos and Frightened Rabbit, leading to festival invitations, a successful 2010 solo European tour and regular sold out shows in London and Scotland. In October 2011, Withered Hand was tagged ‘Artist to Watch’ by Rolling Stone magazine.
Our other early confirmation is a band who blew us away at the Brudenell in Leeds in December. Dancing Years (formerly Joseph & David) comprise best friends David Henshaw and Joseph Lawrenson, who have been writing music together for two years now, dividing their time between Cardiff and their Leeds hometown. When performing live, they are joined by a host of friends who provide additional piano, guitar, vocals, accordion, drums and violin to reconstruct the full, powerful sounds of their records. Their live performances have seen the band gather an increasing amount of plaudits as a result of a full UK tour in support of Benjamin Francis Leftwich as well as gigs supporting the likes of James Vincent McMorrow, Dry The River, Peggy Sue, Foy Vance and Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell. Fans of Bon Iver will admire David’s stunning vocals as he drifts from sweet, delicate hushed whisperings to roaring intensity, while fans of Beirut and Devandra Banhart are likely to be enticed by the rich, varied depth of the instrumentation throughout.
From jazz beginnings to DJ culture, Stuart McCallum’s music is ‘alternative jazz’ – a distillation of influences, creating a sound that is concentrated and distinctive. He has a wealth of experience in many different musical environments and genres. After being invited to join the Cinematic Orchestra in 2004, Stuart has performed on and contributed to the band’s critically acclaimed albums, Ma Fleur and ‘Live At The Royal Albert Hall. In addition he has contributed to the award-winning Disney nature documentary soundtrack, The Crimson Wing, and the remix of Radiohead‘s Exit Music For A Film for their remix album. Memorable live performances include the Royal Albert Hall with the Heritage Orchestra and the London Metropolitan Orchestra, headlining the Big Chill and playing at Montreal Jazz and Coachella festivals.
Tickets, priced £18 and giving access to all stages, are available from Islington Mill, Piccadilly Records, the Gaslamp, Skiddle.com and QuayTickets.com. A small number of early bird tickets are available exclusively from the Gaslamp at £14.