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: Ultimate Painting... Meilyr Jones... Skinny Lister... Freakwater... Angel Olsen... Simone Felice... Stephen Steinbrink... Jenny Hval... Tom Brosseau... Public Service Broadcasting... Peter Broderick... Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker... Amber Arcades... Haley Bonar... Emanuel and The Fear... Merchandise... The Wave Pictures... Alabaster DePlume... The Lovely Eggs... Will Varley... Avec Sans... Kristin Hersh... Ryley Walker... BC Camplight... Robert Ellis... Steve Gunn... Man & The Echo... Weyes Blood... Jesca Hoop... Beans on Toast... Whyte Horses... The Burning Hell... The Handsome Family...

When: 7pm on Friday 9 May 2014
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, this show has been upgraded to Gorilla, the Deaf Institute’s sister venue on Whitworth Street. All original tickets remain valid – but please note the new slightly earlier start time of 7pm.

We’re happy to welcome back The Handsome Family

Wild animals, tall tales, and folk-lore from American history populate Wilderness, the ninth studio album from New Mexico’s Handsome Family. Recorded at home in Albuquerque and at the Wilco Loft in Chicago, it’s a record that finds husband and wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks blending Appalachian holler, psych-rock and Tin Pan Alley-inspired melodies to conjure up a world where David Attenborough meets David Lynch in a honky-tonk bar at midnight.

The album explores the little-known enigmas of the natural world: immortal jellyfish, woodpecker tongues, dancing octopi, fly royalty, the secret language of crows, and mysterious ant spirals. Elsewhere we discover why the Sparks never take seaside vacations and learn all about compulsive window-smasher Mary Sweeney. It’s classic Handsome Family territory: twisted tales of the unexpected that may raise a smile but will also, thanks to Rennie’s knack for spinning a good yarn, leave you ever so slightly unsettled. But it’s not only the narrative that draws you deep into this zoological wonderland. From the opening bars of Flies to the album’s closer Wildebeest – a parlour-piano led hymn that somehow successfully manages to bring together Stephen Foster, hungry crocodiles and the unity of the wildebeest herd – Brett Sparks lays bear a succession of deceptively simple melodies and dexterous instrumentation that combine with his wife’s lyrics to a startlingly haunting effect and are delivered with a voice that glides between a Cash-like timbre and a southern high and lonesome plea.

And what songs they are. They have been feted by the likes of Ringo Starr and covered by artists including Jeff Tweedy, Cerys Matthews, Christy Moore and Andrew Bird. In a career that spans 20 years they’ve toured the world in their own charmingly DIY fashion – one car, one hotel room, one stage…. night after night after night – and in that time they’ve performed as a duo, with a band and have had onstage collaborations with such folk-royalty as Eliza Carthy, country legend Charlie Louvin and indie-kings like Nick Cave and Jarvis Cocker. In each and every instance they’ve more than held their own, thanks in the main to their songs – a series of unique and wondrous compositions that, as Jeff Tweedy once said, are the ‘product of two beautiful brains’.

‘Their new recording brought to mind a focus and refinement to the weirdness and the weirder they get the more I like ‘um’ – Kurt Wagner (Lambchop)

Tour support comes from Vikesh Kapoor. His full-length debut record, The Ballad Of Willy Robbins, is a concept album loosely based on a newspaper article, chronicles the brutal but hopeful story of a working class man who slowly loses everything: ambitions, health, family and shelter. Co-produced by Adam Selzer (M Ward) and features Nate Query (Decemberists, Black Prairie), Jeff Ratner (Langhorne Slim) and Birger Olsen (Denver), The Ballad Of Willy Robbins is out on Loose Music on 14 April.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, this show has been upgraded to Gorilla, the Deaf Institute’s sister venue on Whitworth Street. All original tickets remain valid – but please note the new slightly earlier start time of 7pm.

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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