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: Girls Names... Wedding... Darren Hayman... BC Camplight Secret Show... Jean-Michel Blais... The Burning Hell... Sam Outlaw... The Weather Station... Tiny Ruins... A Bingo Records Showcase... La Luz... Michael Nau... Horse Feathers... Haiku Salut... Wolfgang Flür... Mull Historical Society... Field Division... Ólafur Arnalds... The Sonics... BC Camplight... Terry Riley & Gyan Riley... Milky Wimpshake... Dawn Landes... Halo Maud... Jo Passed... Eleanor Friedberger... The Lovely Eggs... HALEY... The Breath... Holy Moly & The Crackers... Ryley Walker... Saint Sister...

When: 7pm on Friday 22 June 2018
Where: Night People, 105-107 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD

We’re delighted to be bringing Girls Names back – this time, to Night People!

It stands to reason that many vital albums come critically close to never being made. The eight-track upshot of doubt, upheaval and financial strain, Stains on Silence by Girls Names is one such release.

Following 2015’s blitzing Arms Around a Vision, and the parting of drummer Gib Cassidy just over a year later, the Belfast band suddenly found themselves facing down a looming void. ‘There was a finished – and then aborted – mix of the album, which was shelved for six months,’ reveals Girls Names frontman Cathal Cully. ‘We then took a break from all music and went back to full-time work. We chilled out from the stress of rushing the record and not being happy with it, as well as being skint with no impending touring on the cards and constantly having to worry about rent.’

The stumbling blocks that proved a strain became the album’s defining breakthrough. Recorded in various locations including Belfast’s Start Together Studio with Ben McAuley, Cully’s home and the band’s practice space, spontaneous creation, cut-up techniques and self-editing took centre-stage for the first time. ‘We started tearing the material apart and rebuilding, re-editing and re-recording different parts in my home in early Autumn last year,’ says Cully. ‘When we got them to a place we were happier with we went back into Start Together Studio with Ben McAuley to finalise the mixes to what they are now.’

Where AAAV proved a brazen statement of intent, Stains on Silence bounds forth as its feature-length comedown. What could have seen the band buckle became an opportunity for approaching things tabula rasa. During its two-year transmutation, Cully, bassist Claire Miskimmin and guitarist Philip Quinn had a single aim for their fourth album: to make an old-fashioned record clocking in around 30 to 35 minutes in length that made the listener reach straight for repeat. From the Bang Bang bar-summoning swoon of opener 25 and the submerged disco doom of Haus Proud to the rapt, dub-leaning Fragments of a Portrait, Girls Names have excelled in their goal by forging an LP of synchronous nuance and defiance.

Marked by the presence of drum machines and programming throughout, these eight masterfully woven tales are once again commandeered by founder Cully, whose words, understated yet defiant, mine purpose and meaning from the mire (‘I want to bathe again, I want to swim again / In a pool of twisting bodies, blackened gold’ — 25). But while Stains on Silence came critically close to never being made, having lived with it, reconfigured it, and guided its metamorphosis from flickers of inspiration and half-formed schemes, it’s both a statement of pure perseverance, and a head-on confrontation with ambivalence that couldn’t be more assured.

Local support is Secret Admirer, the solo project from Nick Ainsworth of Former Bullies and Dinner Party fame. In 2016 he released a 20-song self-titled tape via Belfast’s CF Records. He will be joined here by his live band.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from 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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When: 7.30pm on Friday 29 June 2018
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to working with H!M favourites Wedding once again!

Wedding is a five-piece pop family from Manchester. Their new AA-side single Hands In The Till/A Little Love has just been released on DIY stalwarts Art Is Hard Records.

Lauded by DIY and So Young Magazine, the release sees Wedding take on a distinctly fuller, driven new sound – still layered with the ear-worm balladry the Manchester group has become known for.

Main support comes from Wyoming. Wyoming is a synth pop outfit originating from Manchester/Cologne that conceptualises catchy synthesiser landscapes and complex yet moving rhythms. It glimmers at every turn guided by androgynous pop vocal lines. There are songs so delicate, they are as if resting upon a floating cloud. There are songs so splitting and tremulous, they are as if charged with electricity and then placed under water.Wyoming has proven time and time again, being their successful concert at the Melt!–Festival, or as supporting act on tour with ChkChkChk as well as for Glass Animals, that this magnificent journey that they take us on not only succeeds on vinyl but also on stage.

Opening the show is bdrmm. Bubbling away under the radar for a couple years already, bdrmm have all but blown up over recent weeks with the release of their recent singles Kare and The Way I Want and a slew of new admirers. Number 1 on Hype Machine and Number 5 on MTV.com’s top stories provide example A and B!

‘bdrmm make gleefully noisy pop with an electronic bent, matching the humane to the digital with effortless ease’ – Clash Magazine

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

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 6 July 2018
Where: Leaf on Portland Street, 113–115 Portland St, Manchester M1 6DW

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, this show now takes place at Leaf on Portland Street. All other details remain the same, and original tickets remain valid.

We’re delighted to present a solo show with Darren Hayman, performing Hefner’s Breaking God’s Heart!

Darren Hayman is a thoughtful, concise and detailed songwriter. He eschews the big, the bright and the loud for the small, twisted and lost. For 15 years, and over 14 albums, Hayman has taken a singular and erratic route through England’s tired and heartbroken underbelly.

Hayman was influenced by punk through his art college years, but throughout the ’90s he was inspired by American lo-fi indie-rock. A chance meeting with John Peel favourites New Bad Things and shows with them in London and Portland taught Darren the DIY ethic and soon he was self-releasing records by his first band, Hefner.

Hefner’s first records attracted the attention of cult indie label Too Pure and the broadcasting legend John Peel. The band’s first album, Breaking God’s Heart (1998), mixed raw, sexual words with religious imagery and earned the band a loyal, intelligent following in the UK, Europe and the USA. He’ll be performing this seminal album solo and in full on its 20th anniversary.

Local support comes from Manchester’s own Songs For Walter – aka Laurie Hulme. He lists The Magnetic Fields, Bill Callahan and Destroyer among his influences, and has been described by Tom Ravenscroft as ‘one of my favourite discoveries of recent years’.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to exceptional demand, this show now takes place at Leaf on Portland Street. All other details remain the same, and original tickets remain valid.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange,  WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 13 July 2018
Where: A Northern Quarter location to be announced

BC Camplight will be performing the forthcoming album Deportation Blues at a undisclosed intimate Northern Quarter venue on Friday 13 July. Book tickets below and you will be notified of the location on the day itself – or get complimentary guestlist by pre-ordering the album. Full details below.

BC Camplight returns this summer with Deportation Blues, his second album for Bella Union, available from 24 August.

‘You shouldn’t have a tough time finding the angle to Deportation Blues,’ claims Brian ‘BC Camplight’ Christinzio. ‘The past few years have been a fucking nightmare.’

But what a f*cking great record he’s made off the back of his nightmare… Deportation Blues is an exhilarating, dynamic document of calamity and stress, relayed through richly melodic and bold arrangements spanning singer-songwriter classicism, gnarly synth-pop, 1950s rock’n’roll and various junctures between, mirroring their maverick creator’s jarred emotions and fractured mindset.

Back in early 2015, after years battling battling addiction and mental illness, and having relocated from the US to Manchester, BC Camplight released the album How To Die In The North to rave reviews and the future was looking bright. So imagine his mood when he immediately fell foul of UK immigration: ‘I’d had such high hopes for the album, and I was told I was being deported two days after it came out, and banned from the UK. The next thing I know, I’m playing Pac Man in my parents’ basement in New Jersey, thinking, this is my life now.’

Occasional gigs in Europe, where his Manchester-based band could meet him, broke up the monotony, but it was still like ‘living in a constant panic attack’.

But then the cavalry arrived! Courtesy of his grandparents, Christinzio secured Italian citizenship. It cost time, money and a portion of his sanity, ‘but after a year and a half I could finally shove my Italian papers in their faces at the airport and return to sunny Manchester. The thing is, despite being American, I feel Mancunian, and I couldn’t think about making another record, until I got back.’

To add insult to injury, ‘Brexit happened, like a day after I got back. Can I get a f*cking break here, please?’

Once the dust had settled, Christinzio realised, ‘I didn’t feel any better, I had so much anger, I felt destroyed. The demons were back and had lost me friends, I’d drunk too much, and I felt nothing but dread and disease. I thought, I can’t wait to hear what this next album is going to sound like.’

Recording in Liverpool’s Whitewood studios, Christinzio locked himself in the windowless studio and recorded almost exclusively in the dark. ‘The thoughts and sounds that began to flow out of me were pretty scary. I’m pretty sure the engineer started carrying a shiv in his pocket after about the second day. Nothing playful sounding came out. If the last album had elements of whimsy, the thought of any on this album made me want to vomit.’

Christinzio recorded the album mostly on his own, plus drummer Adam Dawson, vocalist Ali Bell aka pal, occasional guitar by Robbie Rush, and a couple of session horn players. Future single I’m Desperate is ‘an ominous synth burner,’ says Christinzio, with a Suicide-style throb and Bell’s haunting counterpoint that underlines the album’s manic, careering edge, fantastic hooks and instrumental verve.

The album’s title-track opener is similarly uncompromising. Bookended by metallic power chords, cascading synths and a gorgeous downbeat mood lead into slower doo-wop complete with howling falsetto. ‘It’s instantly a different, darker record than How To Die In The North,’ Christinzio notes.

Deportation Blues is also noticeably more electronic than its predecessor. ‘I was feeling cold so every time something sounded pretty, I replaced it with something that sounded like an ice pick. The apocalyptic nuclear feel really appealed.’

Though Christinzio points out ‘this is no redemption I-saw-the-light story,’ he is allowing himself a little bit of hope for once: ‘I’ve never been as pleased with where I am artistically as I am right now.’

Buy tickets nowOr pre-order a vinyl or CD copy of Deportation Blues via Bella Union to get on the guestlist for this show. Simply place your order here and then forward your receipt email to bccamplight@gmail.com.

We will be in touch on the day of the show to reveal the venue for this show.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Friday 20 July 2018
Where: St Michael’s, 36-38 George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DG

We’re delighted to be working with Canadian pianist and composer Jean-Michel Blais for the first time.

Dans ma main, the sophomore release by pianist and composer Jean-Michel Blais, is an expansive album of post-classical piano with strands of electronic detail. Blending his conservatory skill and precise pop sensibility with synthetic accompaniment, Blais creates unique environments where the piano’s intimacy can be subtly disrupted at any time.

Blais sets the stage with gentle, consonant album opener forteresse, a reversed cascade of high tones and accidental ambience. As he describes it, ‘The fortress is our pillow, our bed, our house, our city where we safely rest at night, allowing our mind to ramble, floating between consciousness and id, darkness and lucid dream.’

Largely composed in one week of open exploration, Blais comes closer to the improvisational source of his writing, painting impressionistic stories within the fluid, indefinite outlines of dreams. Dans ma main rolls like clouds of nostalgic fog blown away on a clear wind, at once recalling and signifying the end of Il, his critically acclaimed 2016 debut album.

By contrast, Il was written and recorded by Blais over two years, culled from rolls of accumulated experimentation into an enchanting, unignorable arrival. Il unearthed an unknown musical imagination, with overwhelmingly intimate compositions cloaked in the romantic din of Montreal city noise. The debut album would go on to amass 50 million streams worldwide, reaching #1 on Billboard’s Classical chart in Canada 14 times, and transforming audiences globally.

On Dans ma main, tempted by a tangent first explored on Cascades, his 2017 collaborative EP with Grammy-nominated electronic producer CFCF – born from a featured performance at 2016’s Red Bull Music Academy – Blais steps out with an artistic statement that both reaffirms and refutes his post-classical stature. The disparate universes within Dans ma main are so seamlessly entwined that they appear borderless.

Dans ma main weaves together expressive piano with austere synths in a double-helix of acoustic and electronic arpeggiation, tethering techno, industrial, ambient, and new age music to Blais’ solo piano essence.

The first single, roses, is a binary journey, softly oscillating between despair and hope. Oblique turns meet familiar resolve, as warm chords reference Radiohead’s Pyramid Song, and Eric Carmen / Celine Dion’s All By Myself, in sharp counterpoint to Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 2 – an unexpected, but intentional cross-hatching of high- and low-art. Its emotional arc – optimistic and funereal – closes soundly with the glint of cinematic strings.

Growing up in rural Quebec, Blais began writing original compositions by age 11, and by 17 was invited to the Trois-Rivières Music Conservatory. However, the constraints of formal training drew Blais off this musical course, putting aside his piano until years later, settling in Montreal, he rediscovered his love.

The result, as Blais’ body of work unfurls, is the creation of a new musical forum where freshly sounded notes bounce back instantly with the magic and wisdom of shared space. Dans ma main captures but one moment of this infinite lineage, but with it comes the reminder of all the energy we hold in our own hands, in this moment.

This will be one of the first public concerts in St Michael’s since its recent re-opening, having been closed since 2004. The Roman Catholic church was founded in 1859 and became the heart of the Little Italy Community in Ancoats.

AGE RESTRICTION: This show is 14+. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from 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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When: 7pm on Thursday 2 August 2018
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be welcoming The Burning Hell back – this time, to Soup Kitchen!

The Burning Hell is the alter-ego of Canadian songwriter Mathias Kom, and the band has been on the road in one form or another since 2007, playing everywhere from the chaos of Glastonbury to the loneliness of the Arctic Circle, popping up in bars, festival tents, living rooms, abandoned bunkers, and a mental asylum in rural France along the way. In its current formation, The Burning Hell has Mathias Kom joined by longtime collaborators Ariel Sharratt (bass clarinet, drums) and Darren Browne (bass guitar, bouzouki).

In the autumn of 2017, The Burning Hell released their eighth full-length album, Revival Beach, and embarked on a tour that took them from the Rocky Mountains to the Mountains of Mourne, across the Tyrrhenian and the Norwegian Seas, and many other places in between. Always restless, The Burning Hell looks forward to a year of new sounds, new songs, and new people to share them with.

They return this summer for a short run of UK dates, including this show at Soup Kitchen.

Opening the show is Helgi Clayton McClure. Helgi has been writing songs for ten years, always trying to flout traditional lyrical themes but sticking loyally to guitar-based instrumentation. Described variously as ‘the new Jake Thackray’ and ‘like a brownstone step – warm but with a hard edge’, his aim is always to entertain first and self-indulge later. Helgi has made close to 500 public appearances both in his own right and as a bass player and guitarist with various bands; these have included support slots with acts as diverse as Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Neville Staple and cellist Anne Müller. His finest hour came early, when in 2009 he was described live on BBC Radio 1 as ‘a bit of a music mogul – the ladies love it’.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar (no booking fee), 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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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 8 August 2018
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be bringing Sam Outlaw and his band back – this time, to the Deaf Institute!

Sam Outlaw – one of Los Angeles’s only modern country artists – has been riding high on the success of 2017’s sophomore LP, Tenderheart, his follow-up to the Ry Cooder-produced debut Angeleno, which raised the bar for West Coast country music.

Outlaw offers an extraordinary refinement of the artistic identity laid out on Angeleno. Sonically, the album elaborates on his ‘SoCal Country’ sound: a sun-bleached, Baja-influenced twang that deftly points to country’s neo-traditionalists and LA’s legendary singer-songwriters. Thematically, Tenderheart is a thesis on self-discovery and the power of love – from the cinematic mariachi-laced climax on opener Everyone’s Looking For Home, to the determined swagger on side-A highlight Trouble, to torch song showstopper Diamond Ring – Outlaw meditates on his own conflicted quest for peace amidst the chaos of his chosen path.

The 13-track collection of originals was recorded in the San Fernando Valley and co-produced by Outlaw alongside Martin Pradler. Outlaw enlisted many of the same musicians that made his first album, 2015’s Angeleno, an undisputed breakthrough and one of the best-reviewed debuts of that year: harmony singer Molly Jenson, pedal steel pro Jeremy Long and guitarist Danny Garcia, along with Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) and Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket). In addition, Tenderheart features local mariachi group Erwin Vasquez and Mariachi Teocuitatlan.

Sam Outlaw has previously landed tours with Kacey Musgraves and Dwight Yoakam, performed on CBS Saturday Morning and last year won Americana Music Association’s prize for International Song Of The Year.

‘Angeleno made him a legitimate contender to be the biggest country star L.A. has produced since Dwight Yoakam’ – LA Weekly

‘An instant classic’ – NPR Music

Tour support coms from Molly Parden. Georgia may lay claim to Molly Parden, but her music carries us somewhere farther away – and closer to ourselves. Her 2011 release, Time Is Medicine, reveals beautifully crafted melodies and angelic refrains, enough to ensure the admiration of her Nashville peers and collaborators. Performing alongside her fellow crooners and fans, like Matthew Perryman Jones, her songwriting illuminates the intimacy and honesty of an artist who is beginning to define her stars and follow them even further than the reins of the Cumberland Plateau.

This is a 14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

This show is a co-promotion with Please Please You.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from 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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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 25 August 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with The Weather Station once again!

The Weather Station is the fourth – and most forthright – album by The Weather Station, the project of Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman. Her most fully realised statement to date, it is a work of profound urgency, artistic generosity and joy. Self-titled and self-produced, the album unearths a vital new energy from Lindeman’s acclaimed songwriting practice, marrying it to a bold new sense of confidence.

‘I wanted to make a rock and roll record,’ Lindeman explains, ‘but one that sounded how I wanted it to sound, which of course is nothing like rock and roll.’ The result is a spirited, frequently topical tour de force that declares its understated feminist politics, and its ambitious new sonic directions, from its first moments. On past records, Lindeman has been a master of economy. Here her precisely detailed prose-poem narratives remain as exquisitely wrought as ever, but they inhabit an idiosyncratic, sometimes disorderly, and often daring album that feels, and reads, like a collection of obliquely gut-punching short stories.

Her previous album Loyalty was recorded at La Frette Studios in France in the winter of 2014 with Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas) and Robbie Lackritz (Feist). Nominated for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, it earned praise from the Guardian, Pitchfork, NPR Music, Uncut and MOJO, among many others, who celebrated its delicate, carefully worded verse, filled with double meanings, ambiguities, complex metaphors and rich details of the everyday.

Lindeman and her band have toured extensively in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan, both as a headliner and as support for artists such as The War on Drugs, The Mountain Goats, Damien Jurado, Bahamas and Basia Bulat.

‘Timeless… Measured, perceptive storytelling. A singer with an unmistakable & communicative voice, able to convey hope & hurt with equal clarity’ – Pitchfork

‘She writes literate songs with unusual precision & sings them in an understated, open-hearted way that lends good poetry the directness of conversation’ – Uncut

This show is a co-promotion with Now Wave.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar (no booking fee), 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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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 28 August 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with Tiny Ruins again!

Tiny Ruins are a band based in Auckland, New Zealand. Conceived in 2009 by songwriter Hollie Fullbrook to describe her solo output, the group now includes Cass Basil on bass, Alex Freer on drums and Tom Healy on electric guitar. Traversing early influences of folk and blues, Tiny Ruins’ sound draws on ethereal and grungy soundscapes alike. Sometimes likened to Nick Drake, Mazzy Star or Nico, Fullbrook’s voice and guitar work evades cliché, making use of alternate tunings by way of her own self-styled fingerpicking. Lyrically one of a kind, stories are laced with a dark humour that is at times disarmingly confessional,  at others, cryptic and philosophical.

Fullbrook was born in Bristol, England, before moving to New Zealand with her family at the age of ten and settling in West Auckland. She learnt the cello from a young age, picking the guitar up and writing songs from her early teenage years. Asked to support Alasdair Roberts in Sydney, May 2010, she was soon signed to Australian indie label Spunk Records on the strength of some demos. Tiny Ruins’ debut Some Were Meant for Sea was released in 2011 and saw critical praise for its minimalist approach and lyrical flair. Recorded by Fullbrook and producer Greg ‘J’ Walker (Machine Translations) in a small hall in South Gippsland, the album was voted 2011’s Album of the Year by BBC World Service arts and culture programme ‘World of Music’ and was a finalist for New Zealand’s Taite Prize in 2012. Tours of New Zealand, Australia and Europe followed, with Fullbrook performing solo, and later as a duo with Cass Basil on upright bass, supporting The Handsome Family throughout the UK.

Joining forces with drummer Alex Freer, Tiny Ruins evolved into a three-piece, recording a bluesy EP, Haunts, together in the Waipu bush, before working with Tom Healy at The Lab in Auckland on their second album, Brightly Painted One. Championed by the New York Times, NPR and David Lynch, it won Best Alternative Album at the New Zealand Music Awards in 2014, and saw a joint release by labels Bella Union, Spunk Records and Flying Nun.

Tiny Ruins have undertaken several international headlining tours, both in a solo capacity and as a band, opening for Calexico on their 2013 Australasian tour, Sharon Van Etten across the USA in 2014, and an eclectic array of opening slots, from Beach House, Joanna Newsom and Father John Misty to Neil Finn, Ryan Adams and Leon Bridges.

Most recently, Fullbrook has collaborated with drummer Hamish Kilgour of The Clean. An EP recorded in Brooklyn with producer Gary Olson, Hurtling Through, was released in November 2015, featuring two poems by W.B.Yeats set to music. The band are currently working on their third album.

‘Haunting melodies and deeply involved lyricism [mark] Tiny Ruins as one of the best acts to harness the power of dark folk…Expansive, experimental and exciting’ – Hhhhappy

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar (no booking fee), 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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When: 7.30pm on Friday 14 September 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

After having an extremely fun time at the sell out Manchester showcase at the Castle Hotel in March, Bingo Records is bringing its roster back, this time in a bigger venue.

The Bingo Records tour sees all four acts from Lancaster independent label Bingo playing around the UK. It is an introduction to the label, the bands and the little weird world that those at the label have created instead of doing something proper with their time.

The self-described ‘ham-fisted folk pop’ of Mr Ben & the Bens caught immediate attention with ‘The Bluest Blues’, which saw the band playing their first ever live performance on BBC 6 Music and being named in Marc Riley’s best of 2017 list. Speaking of his music, Mr Ben said: ‘This project was born in a barn in northern Lancashire in 2012. I’m creating lo-fi experimental folk-pop with an emphasis on melody and lyricism. My work as an artist, designer and potter constantly influences into my songwriting.

‘I’ve written about everything from catching fish to imaginary nightclubs. It’s often surreal in theme, but I always place an emphasis on having a hooky pop sensibility. I’m not a great musician technically speaking. I play the guitar upside down and the keyboard with two fingers! But I guess being naive means you can write a different kind of music and approach it from an original perspective.’

Ben has spent most of this year touring with The Lovely Eggs, and his next EP – Happy Shopper – has been played a great deal on 6 music. It comes out in July.

Sun Drift is the project of Lancaster based songwriter and producer Zac Barfoot. It combines his love of layered production techniques with his meandering guitar playing and laid-back mind set. Sun Drift’s offerings on the split EP with Mr Ben & the Bens see Lancaster’s most productive DIY producer expand on the more brooding aspects of his dreamy sound, building up to a full LP due out later this year.

His debut album, ‘Dumbo’ is due for release this summer and sees Sun Drift at their most expansive and experimental.

Dog Daisies is a lush new indie-country-garage-pop band from Lancaster. Inspired by midnight walks, 90’s movies, motorways and the Lancashire coast. Formerly known as Stephen Hudson & the Fiat Pandas, Abraham Heights is the new group’s first recording since the Pandas’ Used to be Fun (2016).

As Stephen explains: ‘Some of our favourite films or songs feel like a dream you’ve just had; they make perfect sense when you’re in it but if you try to work it out, everything unravels. It seemed fun to start turning images in my head into a sonic language and just scatter the words over the top. It was enjoyable singing about hating your job selling cups, or fantasising about burying your best friend’s mum under a hill because she gave you a hard time… but with this new band I wanted to write less autobiographically and let our imaginations wander even further.’

Family Selection Box are a three piece art-pop outfit from Lancaster. Formed in 2016, Tom Diffenthal asked illustrators Lauren Dowling and Alanna Rusch to form a band to make a new recording project a reality. Both learned their instruments (bass and drums respectively) from scratch, and played their first gig (in Lauren’s mum’s front room) just weeks after forming.

The project soon turned to collaboration as the rhythm section contributed creatively. Tom’s kitchen sink lyrics combine with Lauren’s melodic sensibility and Alanna’s rhythmic intuition to create an instantly recognisable soundtrack to their refusal to take themselves too seriously, and their gloriously DIY approach to everything they do. Family Selection Box released the new album Confetti on Bingo Records in March.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar (no booking fee), 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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