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: Hannah Ashcroft... Gratis: Common Holly... John Craigie... Kate Davis... Kiwi Jr... Penelope Isles... Rachael Dadd... Smoke Fairies... Twen... Shards... Angel Olsen... Beans on Toast... Lady Lamb... Later Youth... Robin Richards... Alice Boman... Polly Paulusma & Annie Dressner... Heather Woods Broderick... Robbie Cavanagh... Jesse Malin... Alberta Cross... Spinning Coin... Wolf Parade... Andy Shauf... Peggy Sue... Pictish Trail... Gratis: Seazoo... Dana Gavanski... The Dears... The Lovely Eggs... The Handsome Family... Joan Shelley... glowe...

When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 18 December 2019
Where: YES (Basement), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

We’re delighted to be helping Hannah Ashcroft launch her new single!

Hannah Ashcroft is set to release her new single, Landfire, on 22 November. The release is the first from a body of new material, marking a shift from her acoustic roots and a phase of experimentation.

Hannah Ashcroft is an inimitable indie, alt-folk musician hailing from Manchester. With vivid imagery and arresting vocals she explores themes of humanity, mythology and superstition. Striking guitar tones and a unique fingerpicking style reflect a range of diverse influences from John Martyn to Radiohead.

After touring and busking her way across the UK, Europe and Australia, she released her Melbourne-made EP The Quiet Kind in 2016, earning support from Tom Robinson on BBC 6 Music and receiving praise from Folk Radio UK.

Fast gaining attention, she has been featured by Mary Anne Hobbs on BBC 6 Music Recommends and this year, was selected to work with Mercury-nominated artist Beth Orton as part of Brighter Sound’s Both Sides Now initiative.

She has since made debut appearances at Walton Folk Festival, Manchester International Festival and Dot to Dot Festival, and is currently working on her debut album.

‘If I were to stumble across a siren and they sang this to me, I’d follow them into the cold ocean depths without hesitation’ – Sarah Gosling (BBC Introducing)

‘Underpinning all the songs is Hannah’s assured finger-picking guitar style with sympathetic accompaniment, and some fine melodies’ – Folk Radio UK

Support comes from Nino’s Blue Saloon. Nino’s Blue Saloon are a Lancaster band whose music is deeply rooted in the various strands of Americana. Their music can be bright and engaging like a new-age take on 60s and 70s rock ’n’ roll, or it can sound dusky and mysterious like something you might hear in a saloon or driving down a dusty old highway in the middle of the night.

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 18 January 2020
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We continue our series of free entry shows at the Eagle Inn – with Common Holly!

Holding fast to the emotional honesty of Playing House (2017), Common Holly’s sophomore record, When I say to you Black Lightning is a look outward; an exploration of the ways in which we all experience pain, fear and self-delusion, and how we can learn to confront those feelings with boldness. A swift change of course, WISTYBL couples a submergence into the dark and dissonant with its consolation in harmony, and a dose of dry humour.

The record is more experimental than Brigitte Naggar’s debut. It is rougher, looser, louder and more atonal. It feels edgy, but still kind. WISTYBL ditches fear without losing vulnerability, and trades in sadness for the healing powers of anger, and the strength of observing, recognising and confronting. Through its nine labyrinthian yet catchy tracks, shaped sonically by the seriously unique visions of Devon Bate, Hamish Mitchell, and Naggar herself, the album observes the complexities of mental health, the precarity of life, and the challenges of finding strength in the face of grave misunderstanding.

On its own, When I Say to you Black Lightning is a phrase which holds authority – it does not apologise for itself, it stands boldly where it is, and yet it also laughs at itself for daring to take up that space. The title phrase is directive – it suggests a thought without completing it, engaging you to contemplate what comes next and pointing the finger away from itself to somewhere undefined. If Playing House was about personal turmoil, WISTYBL is about humanity’s emotional challenges and how we each approach them as individuals. The former centred around one person and one heartbreak, while the latter circles different characters that Naggar has observed or interacted with  – romantically or otherwise, whose stories cumulate in a whimsically entertaining tale of struggle, and the resulting emotional growth.

‘This record isn’t one singular statement, it documents a period of growth. The songs were written mainly over two years and they all reflect potent moments from that time. While it’s obviously personal and based off of my own experience, I want this album to feel familiar – life gets complicated as we grow, people form relationships to each other, they lose things, they discover pain, fear, self-delusion; sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s weird, often it sucks – and we have to navigate our way through all of that.’

WISTBYL feels like Naggar’s conversation with herself, meticulously penned to work through challenges as they unfold. It’s cool, and more than that, it feels important. It’s about finding the seeds of strength to navigate adult life, and about the ways in which we all find ourselves in that place of struggle when life starts to show you its cards and you begin to understand, in the artist’s words, ‘just how real shit can get’.

This is a free show – but we strongly advise booking your place in advance via Ticketweb.co.uk

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 23 January 2020
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re excited to be working with John Craigie for the first time.

Renowned for his eloquent Americana style, engaging live shows, and off-the-cuff clever observations, John Craigie carries on the legacy of classic singer-songwriters, while blazing a trail of his own. Recently, that trail twisted and turned into new territory for the Portland, OR performer who The Stranger appropriately dubbed ‘the lovechild of John Prine and Mitch Hedberg‘. His music speaks loud to both audiences and fellow artists. Todd Snider notably hand-delivered a gift on-stage, and Chuck Norris has sent fan mail. His fifth full-length album, No Rain, No Rose boasted two collaborations with Gregory Alan Isakov, namely Highway Blood and I Am California. Both quickly cracked one million Spotify streams and counting as his knack for a captivating narrative and rustic aural palettes powered the 13-track offering together.

As No Rain, No Rose landed, he caught the attention of none other than Jack Johnson. Soon after, Craigie found himself onstage for 12 shows during Johnson’s 2017 summer tour including performances at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA and The Gorge in Washington. Along the way, he earned acclaim from SF Weekly, Seattle Times, AXS, and more. Festival appearances also include Oregon Country Fair, Kate Wolf Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Burning Man, and many others.

When Craigie plays, it’s one of those special shows that can make you laugh and cry in the same song. It’s a musical journey that can’t be denied.

‘Craigie’s latest, I Am California, is haunting, poetic, and just how a longing for California should sound. Draped in nostalgia and covered in memories, Craigie paints a beautiful homage to the Golden State, with the assistance of singer Gregory Alan Isakov’ – Impose Magazine

‘The record opens with the shanty-like Dylan-meets-Prine number Virgin Guitar, which displays Craigie’s talent for understated singing coupled with poetic lyrics.’ – The Portland Tribune

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 Monday 27 January 2020
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re excited to be working with Kate Davis for the first time!

Kate Davis picked up a violin at age five, a bass at age thirteen. She entered the Portland Youth Philharmonic before puberty, the Grammy Jazz Ensemble before adolescence. By the time she graduated high school, Kate won the Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award and a full ride to the Manhattan School of Music. By the time she graduated college, ASCAP’s Robert Allen Award and slots at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. As a young adult, the virtuoso claimed enthusiastic endorsements from NPR, MTV, PBS and BBC as well as coveted invitations to the stage from Herbie Hancock, Ben Folds, Alison Krauss, Jeff Goldblum and the like. Most recently, she co-wrote Sharon Van Etten’s hit single Seventeen and contributed to the soundtrack for blockbuster Five Feet Apart.

Yet, Kate Davis considers her debut indie rock album her hardest-earned accolade to date.

Kate grew up as a jazz darling, but she grew into something significantly more dynamic. Days spent practicing and performing became nights spent writing — cathartic indie rock — music simultaneously informed by and rebutting of her training. Forbidden chord progressions emerged like diary entries, documents of an internal reaction to routine. Time intended for technique slipped into secret listening sessions of Beach House, Elliot Smith and TV On The Radio. In the same bright, arresting croon that ignited her youthful stardom, Davis created confessionals.

Now 28 and audibly matured, Kate is prepared to properly share the artefacts from her late night craft, a full length reaction to ritual required of perfection, an outburst from the pedestal. Throughout twelve tumultuous tracks, she poetically reflects upon the intricacies of what it is to live, ruminating on topics too close to her heart — identity, self-worth, loss. Trophy will be released November 8, 2019 on Solitaire Recordings.

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 January 2020
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re excited to be working with Kiwi Jr for the first time!

Labelled ‘delightful as $#!@’ by NOW Magazine and ‘naive enough to be charming’ by Exclaim, Toronto’s Kiwi Jr deliver an exciting 12-string guitar attack and book smart lyrics.

Happy customers of Kiwi Jr also enjoyed: Modern Lovers, Pavement and the Kinks.

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 30 January 2020
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re excited to be welcoming Penelope Isles back to Manchester – for Independent Venue Week!

Hailing from the Isle of Man via Brighton, Penelope Isles is the collaboration of brother and sister Jack and Lily Wolter.

The band mix waves of ambient delays and fuzz guitar noise, sonic dynamics and melodic pop hooks entwined with girl-boy harmonies. Their self-produced home recordings portray an honest lo-fi approach when capturing their own music. Their live set is hypnotic, captivating and moving, smeared with glistening psych, dreamlike chimes, and potency that will transfix and satisfy.

After self-producing/releasing their debut EP Comfortably Swell in 2015, Penelope Isles have consistently toured the UK/Europe off their own backs, working with some of the best promoters in the UK. As well as selling out shows both in Brighton and London, the band has opened for The Magic Numbers, Lost Horizons, Walter TV, Airwaves and British Sea Power.

Nostalgic, but undeniably new, Penelope Isles’ debut LP Until The Tide Creeps In was released in March 2019 via Bella Union Records. For the lovers of early Arcade Fire, Grandaddy and Mogwai.

Special guest is Francis Lung. Manchester’s own Francis Lung, the nom de plume of former Wu Lyf member Tom McClung, releases his new single I Wanna Live In My Dreams. his debut release for Memphis Industries, where he joins the likes of the Go! Team, Poliça, Field Music, it comes with a gorgeously intricate self-produced video.

Following on from the home-recorded Volumes 1 + 2 EPs, which contained titbits written during his time in Wu Lyf, I Wanna Live In My Dreams sees Francis Lung return with a bigger, more expansive sound. Recorded at Low Four Studios with Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, Go Go Penguin) on production duties, it’s a baroque pop rocket that signals Francis Lung’s new-found ambitions.

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 31 January 2020
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re excited to be welcoming Rachael Dadd to Gullivers!

Living half her time as a travelling musician in Japan, witnessing how other people create things, connecting with other cultures and landscapes; all this is a furnace for Rachael Dadd‘s innovative songwriting. With a string of releases in the UK, EU and Japan including her highly acclaimed previous album We Resonate, contemporary folk multi-instrumentalist Rachael is making her sixth album. It’s her first full band studio album and sees her collaborating with Jim Barr of Portishead, Marcus Hamblett (James Holden/ Laura Marling/ Bears Den), Emma Gatrill (Matthew and the Atlas, Sons of Noel and Adrian) and drummer Rob Pemberton (Low Chimes, Emily Barker).

Rachael’s live show takes on multiple forms. In 2016 to 2017 her solo ‘Piano and Projection’ show received an Emerging Excellence Award and toured venues and festivals in the UK and Japan. She has just completed her first full band tour in Japan, attended by many renowned Japanese musicians with talk of the band being ‘currently one of the best in Japan’.

Rachael has performed at countless festivals in the UK, Europe, Japan and Australia. She has played numerous headline tours in the UK, Europe, and Japan and has toured with This Is The Kit, David Thomas Broughton, Francois & The Atlas Mountains, Rozi Plain and Alessi?s Ark. An experienced solo musician and in equal measure a keen collaborator, Rachael has previously formed various bands with such as Kate Stables of This is the Kit and Francois of Francois and the Atlas Mountains, and has written songs for some top names in the industry in Japan such as UA and Gontiti. She co-curated The Local?s SHHH festival in Bristol and organised group exhibition ‘DIY is all you need’ with fellow musicians and artists.

‘Contender for best of the year lists….you never know what she’s going to do next’ – Lauren Laverne

‘Rachael Dadd is one of the most talented wise prolific and important women of our times’ – Kate Stables of This is the Kit

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: 7pm on Saturday 1 February 2020
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with Smoke Fairies once again!

Smoke Fairies have announced the release their first album for four years. Darkness Brings The Wonders Home will be released on 31 January, coupled with new tour dates for the band. The first single to be taken from the album, Disconnect, has also been released on all streaming platforms.

Jessica and Katherine travelled to Seattle to record Darkness Brings The Wonders Home with producer Phil Ek (The Black Angels, Fleet Foxes, The Shins) and, over the course of a rigorous month-long session in Seattle, adopted a purposely intimate approach to achieving a singular sonic tone.

In the making of Darkness Brings The Wonders Home, Smoke Fairies drew inspiration from mysteries both real and imagined: sea monsters, flocks of crows taking flight in extravagant formation, strange creatures dwelling in the mud near their new South London abode.

‘Times of darkness are when people are often the most imaginative,’ says Jessica Davies in reflecting on the album’s title. ‘It helps you to see all the wonders of the world you hadn’t noticed before – the things you’ve been blind to because you’ve been on autopilot for so long.’

To celebrate the album’s release Smoke Fairies have announced a tour starting in Manchester on 1 February. The band dropped new track Out Of The Woods in August and follow it with first single, Disconnect.

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 11 February 2020
Where: YES (Basement), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

We’re delighted to be welcoming Twen back to Manchester – this time, headlining at YES!

What’s a touring band without a record? For the past two years, Twen has been re-defining what a touring band looks like in an age of homogeneous pop crafted for streaming consumption. Born in the Boston DIY scene and then quickly shoving off to Nashville, the psych inspired indie-rock four-piece has not stopped touring since their formation, representing a refreshing antidote in an increasingly digital world. Led by vocalist Jane Fitzsimmons and guitarist Ian Jones, the band have racked up a touring schedule that few groups could muster without the aid of a debut album.

Disregarding music industry order-of-operations, Twen defied the mold through their ‘Twen Live’ cassette release in 2017. Recorded from their first performance (ever) in a Boston basement, the five-song EP is their only recorded music prior to their upcoming release. Awestruck, their debut album (out via Frenchkiss Records), is a time capsule of their music on and off the road, two years in the making. Recorded at different times and locations, each song builds upon the next, starting with the title track, the first song ever written between the two; bookended with Horseblood, the slow burning haunt with a vocal maturity and complexity only harnessed through experience. Often referencing time itself, like the top-heavy rock anthem Long Time, time stretches throughout the record, and leaves you wanting more.

Though unabashedly indie rock, their songs genre-bend from shoe-gaze-sized walls of sound to Beatle-esque call-and-response vocal harmonies. While on Baptism, Jones’ delicate finger-picking patterns ring through fuzz and distortion, combining folk roots with in-your-face rock; Fitzsimmons’ voice weaves through guitar lines with Cocteau Twin’s inspired flair, giving breath of ethereal mysticism across the album. In Honey Smacks, the often fragmented and stream-of-consciousness lyrics are intensified by countless infectious melodies that are as timeless as they are simple.

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 Wednesday 12 February 2020
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with Erased Tapes’ Shards for the first time!

Shards is the vocal-led project of singer, composer and producer Kieran Brunt. Having recently signed to Erased Tapes, Shards formed in 2016 when the Barbican were looking for a choir to collaborate with Nils Frahm for their Possibly Colliding festival. Building on the success of the performances, Nils Frahm invited Shards to perform on his breakthrough album All Melody. They have since appeared on records by Michael Price, Masayoshi Fujita, Luke Howard and more.

Since forming Shards, Brunt has been keen to present voices in a non-traditional way. Rather than aiming for seamless blends or absolute precision, he is interested in highlighting the differences between voices, exploring and celebrating their unique textures.

Shards’ debut full length will be a collection of short, sonic paintings, where each burst of colour adds to an overall picture of the emotional confusion of early adulthood: the uncertainty, the excitement, the terror and the relief. These pieces are about looking above, below and inside oneself, and about questioning our place in a world which is becoming more and more perplexing to comprehend.

Shards is Kieran Brunt, Lucy Cronin, Sarah Latto, Bethany Horak-Hallett, Kate Huggett, Chris Huggon, Jack Lawrence-Jones, Rose Martin, Augustus Perkins Ray, Oli Martin-Smith, Josephine Stephenson and Héloïse Werner.

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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