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... Vinny Peculiar... 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: 7.30pm on Wednesday 23 November 2016
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re excited to be working with Weyes Blood for the first time!

Weyes-Blood-Castle-Manchester

The first thing you notice about Weyes Blood’s new album, Front Row Seat to Earth, is its closeness. The music is immediate and warm with intimate feeling. This disarming nearness draws out emotion from the album’s sound in evocative, bold colour. The lyrics serve not to obscure and mystify, but to perform, reveal, and take the listener inside. This is the folk music of the near future.

Natalie Mering, the being behind Weyes Blood, sings sublimely on Front Row. These are her words and she means them. Between the subtle pulses of her breath, we feel the textures of her voice. Her delivery is a trained low gloss, polished with the charm of speech. Mering embeds her song in a harmonic gauze of arpeggiated piano, acoustic guitar, druggy horns, and outer space electronics. Propulsive, spare drums carry us across the album’s course.

There is a faded California beauty to Front Row. A gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the 1970s. The hue hangs in the sweet-spooky harmonies, the pulsing sway of the vibrato, and the ecstatic chord resolves. It is the joyful release of energy as the song delicately unfolds from intro to extrospection.

But this beauty is scratched with shadow; with dark foreboding, alienation, and acceptance of change. Love and loss balance together in suspended alchemy, as the earthiness of the singer-songwriter tradition wears digital sounds like feathers in its hair. Mering, together with co-producer Chris Cohen and some special guests, contrasts live band intimacy with the post-modern electric sheen of AM radio atmospherics. The experimental flourishes sparkle amid the succinct, thoughtful arrangements.

The closeness of this record – how personal, alone, and frank it feels – conceals its aspirations to the outside, to the ‘Earth’ of its title. Mering wants to lead us through the microcosm of the personal to the macrocosm of the transpersonal. Her witness harbours devastating weight (‘… and now you can’t stay, please baby don’t go away’) while universalising the strange ways of identity and relationships.

These are not typical love songs or protest songs; they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love. Mering affirms the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world. She illuminates and mythologises it, projecting it back over the whole of Earth. The inner ecology leads outward, bridging ‘us’ with our obscure inheritance of nature.

Active in underground music since 2006, Natalie Mering has collaborated with Jackie-O Motherfucker and Ariel Pink, and released four records as Weyes Blood. Front Row Seat to Earth is her third record for Mexican Summer.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

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