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: Joan Shelley... Honeyfeet... Francis Lung... The Lovely Eggs... Dana Gavanski... Mr Ben & The Bens... Alice Boman... The Handsome Family... Gwenifer Raymond... Tokyo Police Club... Jesse Malin... Adrian Crowley... A.A. Williams... Anna B Savage... The Besnard Lakes... Chloe Foy... Erland Cooper... Scott Matthews... Francis of Delirium... King Hannah... bdrmm... The Burning Hell... Tré Burt... Joep Beving... Willy Mason... Lindsay Munroe... Seatbelts... Moulettes... Skinny Lister... Lauren Housley... Rachel Sermanni... The Dears... Peggy Sue... Admiral Fallow... BC Camplight... We Were Promised Jetpacks... Aoife O’Donovan... Josh Rouse + Vetiver... Smoke Fairies... Douglas Dare... Roddy Woomble... Brendan Benson... Sam Amidon... Robyn Hitchcock... The Beths... Pictish Trail... Andy Shauf... The Lovely Eggs...

When: 7.30pm on Sunday 23 May 2021
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been moved from May 2020, via August 2020, to May 2021, and now takes place at the Deaf Institute. All other details are the same, and original tickets remain valid. Additional tickets have been released – see below for links.

We’re delighted to be welcome Joan Shelley back!

Joan Shelley is a songwriter and singer who lives near Louisville, Kentucky, not far from where she grew up. Like the River Loves the Sea is her fifth album. She draws inspiration from traditional and traditionally-­minded performers from her native Kentucky, as well as those from Ireland, Scotland, and England, but she’s not a folksinger. Her disposition aligns more closely with that of, say, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, or her fellow Kentuckian Tom T. Hall, who once explained – simply, succinctly, in a song – ‘I Witness Life’.

She’s not so much a confessional songwriter, although Like the River… gets closest to such subjectively emotional impressions as perhaps any album to date, and she sings less of her life and more of her place: of landscapes and watercourses; of flora and fauna; of seasons changing and years departing and the ineluctable attempt of humans to make some small sense of all – or, at best, some – of it. Her perspective and performances both have been described, apparently positively, as ‘pure,’ but there’s no trace of the Pollyanna and there’s little of the pastoral, either: her work instead wrestles with the possibility of reconciling, if only for a moment, the perceived ‘natural’ world with its reflection – sometimes, relatively speaking, clear; other times hopelessly distorted – in the human heart, mind, and footprint.

Since the 2015 release of her album Over and Even, Shelley has crossed the US and Europe several times as a headlining artist, sharing shows with the likes of Jake Xerxes Fussell, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Doug Paisley, Daniel Martin Moore, the Other Years and Michael Hurley. She has opened for Wilco, Chris Smither, Andrew Bird and Richard Thompson. Jeff Tweedy produced her previous record at The Loft in Chicago, and her current record Like the River Loves the Sea was recorded at Greenhaus Studios in Iceland.

Tour support comes from James Elkington. Chicago songwriter and guitarist James Elkington – who has collaborated with everyone from Richard Thompson to Jeff Tweedy to Tortoise – has announced his new album, Ever-Roving Eye, out 3 April on Paradise of Bachelors. He recorded his sophomore album at Wilco’s Loft, expanding upon his ‘beautiful, complex, and assured’ (Pitchfork) 2017 debut Wintres Woma, as well as his recent production and arrangement work for the likes of Steve Gunn, Nap Eyes (he produced their upcoming Snapshot of a Beginner) and Joan Shelley. Casting glances back to British folk traditions as well as toward avant-garde horizons, these brilliant new songs, as accessible as they are arcane, buttress Elkington’s brisk guitar figures and baritone poesy with strings, woodwinds, and backing vocals by Tamara Lindeman of the Weather Station.

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

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from 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: 5pm on Thursday 27 May 2021
Where: Albert Hall, 27 Peter Street, Manchester M2 5QR

We’re delighted to be presenting a seated, socially distanced Evening with Honeyfeet at Albert Hall!

Someone once called it Folk-Hop and Barrelhouse-pop, and that’s just vague enough to make sense. Honeyfeet have spent the past nine years tearing around festival stages and theatres, clubs and fields melting down blues and pop, jazz and disco, pushing air molecules around with instruments and making friends in the process. It’s all very lovely. It helps that they are fronted by Ríoghnach Connolly – ‘a remarkable singer and flautist who… can ease from Irish traditional influences to soul’ (the Guardian).

This festival season has seen Honeyfeet perform main stages at Shambala, Beautiful Days, and Belgium’s Copacobana Festival, along with wowing audiences at Glastonbury, Boomtown, Wilderness, Secret Garden Party, Kendal Calling and Bimble Bandada.

Honeyfeet’s most recent album, Orange Whip, came out on Wah Wah 45s in March 2018. It was BBC 6 Music’s Album of the Day in April 2018. The band have also recently performed a live session for Craig Charles’ Funk & Soul Show on 6 Music.

‘A righteous blast of working class energy’ — Clash Music

Albert Hall has greatly enhanced its drink range to reflect the new intimate nature of this show. It will be serving a wide range of biers, wines and cocktails (in glasses no less!). On the night food will be provided by Rudy’s Pizza. All food & drinks can be ordered via the Albert Hall Digital Bar and will be delivered direct to your table… no need to move!

Tickets MUST be purchased in ‘tables’ of 2, 4 or 6 persons. Visit alberthallmanchester.com/event/honeyfeet for full booking information.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Wednesday 21 April via alberthallmanchester.com

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Friday 2 July 2021
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be helping Francis Lung launch his new album!

Francis Lung is a singer/songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist from Manchester. He began writing and stockpiling music after the demise of his former band WU LYF in 2012. The unique brand of power pop featured on his recorded output spans genres as diverse as disco, soft rock and alt-country whilst gliding seamlessly between them.

New album Miracle is due to be released on 18 June 2021 on Memphis Industries. Despite its serious subject matter, Miracle is far from austere in sound, marrying the cinematic, dreamlike quality of Francis’ earlier music with the pared-back charm of great singer-songwriters like Judee Sill, Jeff Tweedy and Elliott Smith.

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

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Dice.fm, 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 Friday 23 July 2021
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been moved to July 2021. All other details are the same, and original tickets remain valid. It’s still sold out – but if any tickets are returned, we’ll post updates on social media. Here’s a message from the band:

2020: The Year of the Moron.
There is so much uncertainty about the months ahead that we’ve decided to push our “I am Moron” February tour dates onto Summer 2021. We really want a party with our Eggheads and feel that in current circumstances the summer will give us the best chance of doing that.

As well as a load of dates in July, we’ve also announced a batch of brand new UK dates in May and June. Whatever happens we won’t let our Eggheads down. We all need live music in our lives. And this can’t last forever. We won’t give up! See you next year cockers! Love Holly and David XX

We’re delighted to be welcoming The Lovely Eggs back to Gorilla!

The Lovely Eggs are back on the road in 2021 as they announce a string of tour dates around the UK!

With observational and often surreal lyrics about life The Lovely Eggs have a powerful raw sound that creates the sonic illusion of a band twice their size. The result is a mix of heavy psych, pop and strangeness and they have become known for their ferocious yet joyous live performances.

Their new single This Decision is out on 10 January, followed by their new album I am Moron – produced by Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, MGMT, Tame Impala, Mogwai) – in the Spring.

With much support from BBC 6 Music and Radio 1, the band continues to sell out gigs across the UK without the help of management, booking agent or record label support. They are selling out bigger and bigger venues and more eggheads are joining them in their crusade against bullsh*t.

Catch them live in February 2021 for the “I am Moron” UK album tour.

Main support comes Thick Richard. Thick Richard has been pedalling his potty-mouthed poems at festivals and clubs up and down the land since 1999. His cynical, lyrical, jet-black humour, intelligent wordplay, well-crafted verse, and occasionally acerbic, well-targeted comic attacks have earned him much respect from artists and audiences from Edinburgh to Glastonbury. He has supported acts including; Kate Tempest, The Fall, The Courteeners, Jerry Sadowitz, John Hegley, Arthur Smith and Frank Sidebottom. Thick Richard has been heard a number of times on BBC radio, including presenting and writing BBC 6 Music’s Beat of the Day and performed live on the channel for National Poetry Day. He is a regular headliner of Hammer and Tongue nationwide poetry tours and is usually to be found performing a wide variety of live music and cabaret venues. He has also had a sell-out tour of his solo show Swear School.

Opening the show is Dog Daisies. Dog Daisies is a widescreen lo-fi indie-pop project based around the home-studio adventures of Lancastrian songwriter Stephen Hudson. Inspired by motorways, midnight walks, 1980s films and the Lancashire coast, Dog Daisies released the debut LP Eagletism at the end of 2019 to glowing press reviews and repeated airplay on BBC 6 Music. Described as ‘Stand by Me put to music and set on a motorway’, it is a record brimming with imagination and melody; it touches on themes of time-travel and the great outdoors whilst inviting comparisons to bands like Grandaddy, Guided by Voices and Mercury Rev.

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

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been moved to July 2021. All other details are the same, and original tickets remain valid. It’s still sold out – but if any tickets are returned, we’ll post updates on social media.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Thursday 26 August 2021
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been postponed until August 2021. Original tickets are valid and all other details remain the same. Here’s a message from Dana’s team:

‘Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, health and safety conditions, travel uncertainty and related issues for touring, Dana Gavanski needs to move the Spring tour to early Autumn 2021. Existing tickets remain valid.’

We’re excited to be welcoming Dana Gavanski back to Manchester!

Dana Gavanski has announced details of her debut album Yesterday Is Gone, out via Full Time Hobby on 27 March 2020. To mark the announce, and following on from her BBC 6 Music A-listed single Catch, Dana is sharing her new single Good Instead of Bad. The album is available to pre-order on limited edition orange vinyl and CD.

Speaking about the meaning of the song, Dana explains ‘it’s about reflecting on the end of a relationship and how quickly things change. The desire to make up for everything that wasn’t done or wasn’t done right. The muddiness of breaking up, and not knowing if it’s the right decision. Not saying the right things, not being able to express the complexity of what we’re feeling. Things change and that’s that – not being able to turn back and undo a bad move. It’s an attempt to see from the other’s perspective and understand how hard it is for them as well. Reflecting on the intractability of certain decisions.’

Yesterday Is Gone is a co-production between Dana, Toronto-based musician Sam Gleason and Mike Lindsay of Tunng and LUMP. On the title track, Dana Gavanski sings ‘I’m learning how to say goodbye / to let you go and face the tide / to wrap my feelings in a song’. To wrap her feelings in a song: this is the task Dana has dedicated herself to with this record. By turns break-up album, project of curiosity and, as Dana puts it, ‘a reckoning with myself’, Yesterday Is Gone is her attempt to ‘learn to say what I feel and feel what I say’ – an album of longing and devotion to longing, and of the uncertainty that arises from learning about oneself, of pushing boundaries, falling hard and getting back up.

Born in Vancouver to a Serbian family, Dana has always harboured a desire to sing. In her final year of university in Montreal, she picked up the guitar left by her ex-partner and decided to re-learn. But with a father in film and a painter mother, other art-forms clamoured for her attention. She spent a summer as her producer father’s assistant in the Laurentians, in a derelict hotel-turned-office reminiscent of The Shining. The long days behind a computer cemented her desire to make music, ‘because it was so impossible to play that I needed to, in order to feel like it was real’. The income she saved that summer funded a year of writing religiously, leading to EP Spring Demos in September 2017, which Dana describes as ‘whatever was coming out of me. A flood.’

Following Spring Demos, Yesterday Is Gone reflects Dana’s aim ‘to make something bigger, more thought through’. Steeped in determination and uncertainty in equal measure – the album took shape after she returned from a writing residency in Banff, Alberta. She’d begun to learn the art of empty time, of being alone with her emotions, losing herself in a landscape. She thought of Vashti Bunyan, riding in a horse and cart for hours and writing, writing, writing. She considered how she might use writing to make sense of her life after the tumults of a break-up and a new city. Adrift in Toronto, Dana struggled to feel at home and connected to people, but the solitude also allowed her to ground herself in writing. She kept office-style hours at her bedroom desk every day until she started to understand the writing process, to see that ‘transforming a burning desire into something clear and tangible is a vulnerable and delicate act. You have to be able to let things happen, to accept losing control.’

Commenting on her collaboration with Sam Gleason and Mike Lindsay – Dana says Sam helped her bring out the tunes, while Mike’s input marked ‘the beginning of developing a sound that was closer to what I had in my head’. The album shape-shifted as it passed through the hands of Dana, Sam and Mike, taking on different tastes, feelings and visions. When Dana performed the songs with a band, they found new form again. She was intrigued by performers like David Bowie and Aldous Harding, who inhabit different personalities on stage, physically tuning themselves to their music. ‘Watching these kinds of performances,’ Dana says, ‘I feel my body longing to express myself in exaggerations… to leave behind self-consciousness and become this energy.’

But a three-month trip to Serbia in autumn 2018 really pushed performance to the forefront of Dana’s mind. She took singing lessons to learn how to sing with the resonance that defines traditional Serbian song. Stirred by the bombast of fifties, sixties, and seventies music, including the high-energy kafana, or café music, as rooted in expressive pouts as it is vocal resonance, the trip incited a yearning to completely inhabit herself on stage.

Stood on a crowded train last spring, Dana sang the Macedonian song Jano Mome to an audience of cheery Scottish ladies. The moment, brief but beautiful, lays bare Dana’s craving for live spontaneity. But it also reflects her injection of stylish drama and vivid emotion into the folk landscape that inspires her, from contemporary singers H Hawkline and Julia Holter, to stalwarts Fairport Convention, Anne Briggs, Connie Converse and Judee Sill. Expressive urges run all through Yesterday Is Gone. Moments of beguilement splinter a backdrop of tenderly picked guitar, bass, synths and poppier elements, which commune to produce her own kind of wall of sound. Each component is meticulously placed, yielding a deeply sincere response to the chaos of human emotion.
‘Often we have to go a little far in one direction to learn something about ourselves,’ Dana says. The months of solitary writing and self-doubt testify to this, but they’ve led to Yesterday Is Gone: an optimistic, steely-eyed gaze into the future.

‘Stately and wistful there’s a touch of class to Gavanski’s songwriting, the spindling hooks and her fantastic and dulcet vocal tones are framed with twinkling notes in the mid distance’ – God Is In The TV

Tour support comes from Margot. Margot is a South London five-piece who make a nuanced blend of dream-pop, neo-psychedelia and jangle- guitar. A melting pot of the different influences of all five members, their hazy indie-rock sound pulls from contemporary American guitar bands such as Real Estate, The War on Drugs and Beach House, as well as recalling past British greats such as The Smiths.

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

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 1 September 2021
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been postponed until September 2021. Original tickets are valid and all other details remain the same.

We’re delighted to be welcoming Mr Ben & The Bens back to Manchester!

After the celestial adventures of Mr Ben & The Bens’ previous issue, band-leader Ben Hall finds all the magic he needs on earth with his new album. On 2019’s Who Knows Jenny Jones?, Hall plotted the story of a young, shy Pitsmoor woman who returned from an alien encounter newly armed with serious disco-dancing know-how. Released through Bella Union on 10 July 2020, Life Drawing looks closer to home – Sheffield and thereabouts – for 12 brightly plaintive, character-driven vignettes, set to warm, acoustic, indie-folk-pop backdrops after its predecessor’s close encounters of the synth-driven kind.

A ‘cloudy thread of narrative’ is present, Hall explains, but this time it’s left open for listeners to map routes through it. ‘The idea with the title is that the songs are character sketches, and their stories coalesce in a place that has a bit of all the towns in the North of England I’ve lived in. Bits of myself in the stories came out unintentionally, so I’d like it if the listener could find those semi-truths from the songs and place them into their own experiences.’

Vibrant invitation to start exploring arrives with album opener On the Beach, where Hall’s tender vocal and dreamy organ provide simpatico companions to a wistful tale of a visit to a beach charged with memories – one of many evocative locales on the album. How Do You Do? brings to mind Belle and Sebastian at their dreamiest, while seeding enviro-metaphors – suns and moons, storms and tides, rain and snow, Whatever the weather may do – that figure strongly throughout the album’s every-day rhapsodies.

While these motifs provide consistency, a tremendous sense of DIY musical dynamism is at work elsewhere on Life Drawing, colouring in the fringes and shading the edges. ‘I spent a lot longer on this album, in fact the longest I’ve spent on any project in my life,’ he says. ‘Hopefully that gravity comes across! I have the curious ability to make and move on way too quickly when making music and art, so hopefully this record’s got a bit more staying power.’

Plenty of melodic sticking power propels the urgent Danny, where beaches and seas provide backdrops for a character study about someone reaching out for connection. At the opposite extreme, the gorgeous Astral Plane is a sweetly psychedelic lament, images of waves and shores lapping gently against the tale of a ‘barely functioning’ character. Faithful Hound is a country-sad ballad, Minor Keys a retro doo-wop-ish reverie about a character blithely ‘at sea’ and wasting the day away, all set to a waltzing-Wurlitzer melody.

Elsewhere, Metronomy-esque outsider-pop laments (Beast in the House), jaunty pop miniatures (Walking to an Open Sky) and pin-drop-delicate folk-pop lullabies (Irish Rain) emerge with range and empathy, attuned to the earthy hopes, dreams, sorrows and pleasures of their subjects. Closing Time sets a writer’s (‘“In the town, that you write into life on to pages so white’) to a reverberant piano, before Watering Can closes the album on notes of brassy uplift. ‘I go,’ sings Hall, drawing forward momentum from the stories he digs up.

For Hall, Life Drawing is a rich, rewarding step forward in a still-young career.

‘Upbeat, psychedelia-tinged pop’ – Secret Meeting

‘An intoxicating mix of perfectly fitting melodies and vocal strafes’ – Clash Magazine

Main support comes from Manchester’s own Ivan Campo. Ivan Campo’s story began in 2000 when the band met whilst studying Contemporary Music at UCLAN. After graduating, they put together their first EP, Clippings 2, which was self-released in 2004. Since then they have performed at a variety of venues and festivals throughout the UK and have played three tours around Spain. Their collection of laid back songs tell tales; inspired by life, love and literature. Having been on hiatus throughout 2019, the band have been busy writing material for their 10th album which will start to be showcased to audiences from February 2020.

Opening the show are Family Selection Box – a northern roasted blend of DIY indie.

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been postponed until April 2021. Original tickets are valid and all other details remain the same.

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 Thursday 2 September 2021
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been postponed until September 2021. Original tickets remain valid and all other details are the same.

We’re excited to be working with Alice Boman for the first time!

‘It’s a powerful feeling when you’re in that world and you lose track of time,’ says Alice Boman of the deeply hypnotic state she entered when making her mesmerising and long-awaited debut album, Dream On. This transfixed state is one that she also seamlessly plunges her listeners into. Her deeply textural, atmospheric and immersive sounds – coupled with her fragile yet engulfing and ethereal vocals – create something of a vortex that listeners are sucked in by. A world where ambient, dream pop and folk merge into a unique new form.

The profound sense of quietness that can be heard in her music stems from its simple roots. Initially a project that started at home when she was a teenager, the songs she was making were just ‘sketches’. Yet as soon as other people heard them, it was clear that there was so much more to her talents than simple home tinkering. Two EPs followed, 2013’s Skisser and 2014’s EP II, as did a wave of critical acclaim and an array of TV placements for her music on shows such as Transparent, Wanderlust and 13 Reasons Why. With her new reach, the Swedish songwriter captivated listeners one-by-one.

A period of reflection and concentration on songwriting followed, as did a run of stirring one-off singles made with producer Fabian Prynn: Heartbeat, Dreams and End of Time. Boman now finds herself in a place far away from the artist she started out as. ‘It’s like two different worlds,’ she says. ‘I didn’t even realise that this was something I could do for a living. Things feel a bit more certain now and it’s nice to be able to dive into it fully.’

Despite her debut album feeling fuller and richer, as well as being her most accomplished work to date, Boman’s intimacy remains intact. ‘I didn’t want to lose the nerve of intimacy,’ she says. ‘That’s an important thing for me.’ The songwriting for the album initially began in a similarly isolated and autonomous way. ‘I took instruments and recording equipment to a house in the countryside of Sweden for a few weeks to get away from everything,’ Boman says. ‘To just focus on writing and playing. No distractions. Sometimes you need that distance to get into a flow.’

Local support comes from Matthew Fortunati. Influenced by the music of Elliott Smith, Sufjan Stevens, Pedro The Lion, Bright Eyes and many more, Matthew Fortunati is an Italian American songwriter and composer based between Manchester (UK) and San Gemini (Italy). He first went on stage in March of 2015, supporting anti-folk Canadian artist Oldseed during part of his Italian tour. In May of the same year, he won the Indiepolitana music contest on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in Fano, a town in the Marche region of Italy. The award of the contest consisted in five shows through the country, which gave him visibility and the chance to book further gigs the same year.

In the summer of 2015, he released his first EP, The Best You Can Is Good Enough, with three independent labels: Astio Collettivo, Periferica Produzioni and Waves for the Masses. The fifteen-minute extended play reached the channels of Rolling Stones Italy and Rockit. In August of 2018, with the help of diNotte Records and General Soreness, he releases Super Taller, an eight-track album inspired by the life of his grandfather. In the summer of 2019, shortly after graduating from the University of Salford in creative music technologies, he was commissioned by New Creatives North and Arts Council England to produce a composition for BBC Arts, where he experimented with binaural field recordings, classical ensembles and electronics.

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 15 September 2021
Where: The Stoller Hall, Hunts Bank, Manchester M3 1DA

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been moved to September 2021, and now takes place at Stoller Hall. Original tickets remain valid, and your ticket outlet will be touch to confirm these new details.

We’re delighted to be working with the Handsome Family again – this time, at Stoller Hall!

The Handsome Family have written some of the most haunting and beautiful songs in American music. During a 30-year career, Brett and Rennie Sparks have created songs that transform the mundane landscape of modern life into a place of mysterious portent.

Handsome Family songs take place in parking lots and big box stores, under overpasses and in airports. They sing about Custer’s last stand and automatic lawn sprinklers in the same song. Rennie’s lyrics often focus on the myriad creatures that live at the edges of the man-made world: the sparrows, rats, cockroaches and crows that share our cities.

Many great songwriters have covered their work, among them Jeff Tweedy, Jason Lytle and Andrew Bird as well Christy Moore. David Bowie wrote the words, ‘The Handsome Family’ in a notebook right before his death. Who knows what could have been?

Handsome Family shows are famously relaxed. Their songs can be dark, but there’s always laughter on stage. Rennie sings as well as plays Autoharp, banjo and uke bass. She often introduces songs with seemingly unrelated stories. Brett, with his stentorian voice, is a powerful presence at centre of the stage.

There are a lot of new faces at shows these days, lured by Far From Any Road, which became a global hit after it was used as the theme to season one of True Detective. Both Bruce Springsteen and Guns ’N Roses and have used Far From Any Road as walk-in music.

In 2020 Loose Music will release their first two records, Odessa (1995) and Milk & Scissors (1996), on vinyl LP. This will be the first time these records have been released in Europe. A tour of Europe in spring of 2021 is planned.

About the making of their first records, Brett says:

‘I tried to form a band when we first moved to Chicago in 1992. After rehearsing with a string of mullet-headed yacht-rockers, I gave up and decided to make a band with my wife Rennie playing bass and my friend Mike Werner on drums.

‘Rennie and Mike were new to their instruments and my guitar playing was very limited. But that was back in the post-punk days and you could do what you wanted, it didn’t matter if you were technically good, as long as you had songs and ideas.

‘We were influenced by early country and DIY indie rock, and played both kinds of songs in the same chaotic, distorted style. We played every no-pay gig on Chicago’s Division Street we could book.

‘At one of these shows we were all wearing sailor outfits and drinking heavily. My glasses fell off my face and when I stomped on a distortion pedal I broke them in half— that was the night Patrick Monaghan of Carrot Top Records asked if we wanted to put out a record on his new label. That same night Dave Trumfio offered to record a free, professional “demo tape” for us.

‘We were astounded that anyone was paying attention to our songs given our chaotic stage presence.’

For Handsome Family fans these records are a must. Odessa reveals the early style of the band and Milk & Scissors illustrates how their songwriting transformed after Rennie began writing lyrics. On their spring 2020 tour they plan to play selected gems from these new/old records.

Tour support comes from Daniel Knox. With a baritone as dynamic as it is indestructible, Daniel Knox narrates compositions with a perverse and sometimes comical wit, guiding the listener through sprawling worlds that exist just out of frame. His work has inspired a diverse cast of collaborators that lie inside and outside his realm of alternative Americana, such as Jarvis Cocker, Thor Harris (Swans, Freakwater) and The Handsome Family with recent performances that include the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird and Swans.

One year on from his critically acclaimed grand, holistic album Chasescene – an album which confirmed his posItion as both a ‘rare talent’ (Loud and Quiet) and as a ‘master storyteller’ (The Observer) – Daniel Knox has announced a new mini-album, I Had A Wonderful Time. The mini-album will be released on 13 December via Knox’s own label H.P Johnson Presents, alongside the reissue of his 2015 self-titled album – an incredible work of world-building and song-craft, under-appreciated at the time but now reissued on blue vinyl. Knox lives and works in Chicago.

The Stoller Hall is a new, high-spec concert hall situated within Chetham’s School of Music in the centre of Manchester. It opened in April 2017.

This is an all ages show. Under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Stollerhall.com, Dice.fm, 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 18 September 2021
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with Gwenifer Raymond for the first time.

Gwenifer Raymond began playing guitar at the age of eight shortly after having been first exposed to punk and grunge. After years of playing around the Welsh valleys in various punk outfits she began listening more to pre-war blues musicians as well as Appalachian folk players, eventually leading into the guitar players of the American Primitive genre.

She released her sophomore LP Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain at the end of 2020 to rapturous response. Her debut You Never Were Much Of A Dancer emerged on Tompkins Square to the same response in 2018. She has found herself equally embraced by fans of old-west and equally, by left-field/experimental audiences.

Appearances throughout the UK and the EU as well as the US marks her out as one to watch.

‘Just about anybody with an interest in the new school of American primitive will tell you that Welsh guitarist Gwenifer Raymond is one of its most promising proponents’ – Stereogum

‘On an album richly influenced by her birth country, she tries to invent a new style: Welsh primitive, she calls it, infused with folk horror, conjuring up coal trains steaming along the foot of her garden and tall, eerie trees, black against the grey sky’ – the Guardian

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Dice.fm, WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
Designed by ikram_zidane

When: 7pm on Sunday 19 September 2021
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been postponed until September 2021. Original tickets are valid and all other details remain the same.

We’re delighted to be working with Tokyo Police Club for the first time!

After more than five years away, Tokyo Police Club are making their eagerly anticipated return to the UK and EU.

‘Sorry,’ says keyboardist/guitarist Graham Wright of the lapse. ‘We kept meaning to “come back next year”, but the whole operation sort of fell victim to the big black hole of uncertainty that was swallowing everything for a minute there.’

He’s referring to the period of indecision that befell the group after they finished touring their twin 2016 EPs, Melon Collie and the Infinite Radness Parts 1 and 2. By that point it had been more than ten years since the band, then not even in their 20s, burst onto the scene. Their debut EP, A Lesson In Crime, was only 17 minutes long, but it launched them on a stratospheric ascent that saw them tour the world many times over and grace the stages of festivals from Coachella to Glastonbury.

The band’s star continued to burn bright over the ensuing years, but as the first decade of their career came to a close they found themselves unsure of their position in the ever shifting music industry, and indeed of whether or not they wanted to continue. All of them, that is, but singer and bassist Dave Monks, who implored his bandmates to not just walk away, telling them ‘Fuck no. We at least gotta go make Abbey Road first, and go out with a bang.’

The others listened, and after a series of fruitful writing sessions in a decommissioned rural church, they decamped for Los Angeles to work with producer Rob Schnapf. Schnapf, famous for his work with Beck, Elliott Smith and The Vines, had previously worked with the band on their 2010 fan favourite Champ – an LP which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. That ‘bang’ eventually coalesced into the band’s latest long player, the semi self-titled TPC. But a funny thing happened somewhere along the way: suddenly, they didn’t feel like ‘going out’ at all.

‘The feeling that we were so close to breaking up gave us the freedom to enjoy each other more, to enjoy making music together,’ says drummer Greg Alsop. ‘If we’re not doing it for the sake of being a successful band, but just trying to make an album we’re happy with, it takes the pressure off. The expectation was just that we’d do something that would make us happy.’ And, by all accounts, it did.

Rather than serving as a victory lap, the TPC tour saw a rejuvenated and re-energised Tokyo Police Club playing a setlist packed with old favourites and new hits to sold out venues across Canada and the United States. And now, at long last, they’re bringing the show back across the Atlantic.

‘I’m still annoyed that we took so long,’ says Wright. ‘But it does feel right that we’re coming back now. We toured there a lot when we were a new band, and in a way we kind of feel like a new band again.’

This show is a co-promotion with Tokyo Industries.

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

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from Dice.fm, Ticketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
Designed by ikram_zidane

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