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: Ólafur Arnalds... Kristin Hersh... Tiny Ruins... Mano McLaughlin... CC Smugglers... Dan Mangan... Skinny Lister... Steve Gunn... John Fairhurst... Holy Moly & The Crackers... Irma Vep... William the Conqueror... Vera Sola... Weyes Blood... C Duncan... Otoboke Beaver... The Coathangers... BC Camplight... Simone Felice... Rozi Plain... Lowly... Josh Rouse + Grant-Lee Phillips... The Unthanks... Kiran Leonard... The Essex Green... Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton... James Yorkston... The Beths... Hayes Carll... Robert Forster & Band... Siobhan Wilson... Jason Lytle... Spencer Krug... The Sheepdogs... Lawrence Arabia... Gratis #1: Gaygirl... The Burning Hell... The Stroppies... Mark Mulcahy... The Album Leaf... The Delines...

When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 20 March 2019
Where: Victoria Hall, Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD

We’re excited to be promoting Ólafur Arnalds’ return to Leeds – at the Town Hall!

BAFTA winning artist, composer, musician and producer Ólafur Arnalds has expanded his current worldwide tour, his first in over three years.

After extensive touring in Europe, USA and Australia in 2018 that included sold out shows in the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London and Sydney Opera House, Ólafur and his team of fellow craftsmen and musicians are back on the road with an all-new live show. Ólafur’s new album, re:member, was released in August 2018 via Mercury KX and has been praised by fans and critics alike.

The tour features a uniquely wired string quartet, a live drummer/percussionist and Ólafur’s playground of pianos and synthesisers.

The centrepiece of the show are two semi-generative, self-playing pianos that Ólafur and his team have spent over two years developing. They are simultaneously a compositional tool and an integral part to the live performance due to their generative nature. Each time they are played is a little different, making every performance unique.

Special guest is Lisa Morgenstern. Morgenstern is a German/Bulgarian pianist, singer and composer. Released in late 2018, Chameleon finds her taking dramatic strides to expand her range, matching her far-sighted approach to both synths and piano with her background in classical music. Recorded in collaboration with Berlin-based Argentinian producer and cellist Sebastian Plano, Chameleon’s nine ambitious tracks showcase her extraordinary, multi-octave-spanning voice on a collection that combines glacial elegance (Atlas), baroque synth-pop (My Boat), poignantly atmospheric electronica (Levitation) and expressive piano instrumentals (Codex).

The daughter of two orchestral musicians, Morgenstern– who can also be found singing in Berlin’s leading Bulgarian Women’s Choir – was exposed to music from a very young age and displayed a natural affinity towards the piano. She also trained while a teenager as a professional ballet dancer, something that’s lent her music a unique elegance and poise. In 2013, she released her debut full length, Amphibian, whose atmospheric production and dark subject matter earned plaudits for its dark romanticism, and she’s since established a reputation for her intensely emotional performance style.

Book tickets now. Tickets are also available from Seetickets.com 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 22 March 2019
Where: St Philip’s Church, Encombe Place, Salford, M3 6FJ

We’re delighted to be welcoming back Kristin Hersh – this time, with her Electric Trio, to St Philip’s Church!

Kristin Hersh will be touring the UK in Spring 2019 with Rob Ahlers (50 Foot Wave) on drums and Fred Abong (Throwing Muses, Belly) on bass.

‘Sometimes the most subversive thing I can do musically is adhere to standard song structure, sometimes the creepiest chords are the ones we’ve heard before, twisted into different shapes, and sometimes a story is lived a thousand times before we can ride it like a roller coaster. Nothing wholly unfamiliar is gonna make you look twice. When you can describe a record as being “deceptively” anything, you’re hinting at the sociopathic nature of music. Something I love. Imagine truly buying your own sunshine and charm, but also your darkness and violence; the two sides of your psychology showing each other off in relief. Songs can do that…we can’t, really. Darkness we’ve seen. Dark sunshine? Still cool.

‘I usually play all the instruments on my solo records – essentially the sound of having no friends – but sociopaths can’t realise their potential without people to work out their grievances on and this record is a freakin’ sociopath. So I invited my friends to the party I wanted to hear. Not a live record but an alive record.

‘Because a lot of live records don’t sound live, just poorly recorded. And self-conscious musicians can’t let fly. I wanted to recreate the impact of a show. Unpretentious, with a muscular song body running through the room. This entailed seriously messing with both extremes of the sonic spectrum: the fundamentals (basics, rhythm section, roots) but also with the detail (percussion, high end, effects). These two strata asked to sound eccentric: atonal and arhythmic. So when the song body runs through the room, it’s not wholly unfamiliar, just dressed oddly enough to make you look twice. Dark sunshine, still cool. Hopefully, anyway.

‘My friends helped me make a nice party noise, a goofy sociopath. Everyone who stopped by the studio was asked to make some noise and they pretty much did. A party that lasted for a few years, it’s only now dying down. A friend called this morning asking when the bus was leaving. A rickety, squealy, squeaky bus…none of us want to miss it.’

Kristin Hersh, July 2018

Throwing Muses’ lynchpin Kristin Hersh’s prolific career has seen her heralded queen of the alternative release. Her tenth studio album, Possible Dust Clouds is a highly personalised sociopathic gem delivered as a futuristic rewriting of how music works, a melodious breeze with a tail wind of venomous din.

Enveloping the juxtaposition of the concept of ‘dark sunshine’, a brooding solo record created with friends to expand her off-kilter sonic vision; a squally, squeaky mix of discordant beauty. Feedback and phasing gyrate from simply strummed normality – imagine Dinosaur Jr and My Bloody Valentine cranking up a Dylan couplet. Possible Dust Clouds is a glorious return to form for one of alternative rock’s true innovators.

‘She’s still as powerful a presence as she ever was’ – Pitchfork

‘The prodigious output and commitment to quality is pretty staggering, but then Kristin Hersh is a very, very special musician’ – The Quietus

We’re excited to be returning to a very special venue for this show: St Philip’s Church. The building is one of Greater Manchester’s finest Georgian buildings, dating back to 1825, and its Greek style is unique in Salford.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 28 March 2019
Where: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN

We’re delighted to be welcoming Tiny Ruins back – this time, to the Kings Arms.

Tiny Ruins will release their new album Olympic Girls on 1 February 2019. In celebration, the official video of their new single and album’s title track has been released through Marathon Artists (UK/EU) and Milk! Records (AU).

Directed by Charlotte Evans, the video follows the first acoustic guitar flourish of Olympic Girls ushering the potent words of Tiny Ruins’ Hollie Fullbrook – ‘Stirring, shaken, all of us waking’. The track is buoyant with a rolling energy. ‘Another day bolder / A love spell rushes you by.’ Cascading electric guitars counterpoint with a razor-sharp post-punk edge as the drums and bass stampede along, Fullbrook urging an exhilarating shake-up of the status quo – as the chorus dictates, ‘We were only inches away / still have a long, long way to go.’

Album three, Olympic Girls, was produced by bandmate Tom Healy and was patiently built in the same underground lair (Paquin Studios at The Lab in hometown Auckland) as their previous record Brightly Painted One. But whereas that was recorded in three short weeks, the new album was made over a drawn-out period of spontaneity and experimentation spanning a year, stridently reaching beyond Fullbrook’s formerly minimalist domain.

Tour support comes from Kitt Philippa. Who is Kitt Philippa? They are human, they are searching and in music they find hope. Although raised on classical, the songs are strangely urban and often conveyed with digital sleight. An organ scholar and an experimentalist, KP plays piano, guitar, clarinet, prayer bowl and bicycle wheel. The 2018 emergence of Kitt Philippa with new single Human and follow-up single Grace has been championed by Mary Anne Hobbs (BBC 6 Music), Tom Robinson, Phil Taggart (BBC Radio 1), Huw Stephens, RTE 2FM, Today FM, Hotpress, The Line of Best Fit and Nialler 9.

Throughout 2018 KP showcased their new material to audiences across Ireland and the UK at HWCH, Latitude, Stendhal, Other Voices including support slots with SOAK, Villagers, Lisa Hannigan, Hilary Woods and Wye Oak. Kitt Philippa closed out 2018 by winning Single of the Year at the Northern Ireland Music Prize for Human.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Friday 5 April 2019
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be helping Mano McLaughlin launch his new album!

Mano McLaughlin is one of the most authentic and unique songwriters in the country. Revered and cherished by his peers but without sharing their acclaim, he is the UK’s best-kept musical secret. His songs are timeless and weave bitter-sweet pop and folk melodies with lush harmonies. His idiosyncratic lyrics tell stories, jokes, and poke sticks into wasps’ nests. Mano’s distinctive voice can deliver punches, one-liners and arrows to the heart, with a wry, distinctly northern warmth.

Previously published by BMG, Mano has been writing and releasing records for almost thirty years with bands Robinson, Babel Tree, Meadow and latterly as a solo artist. His first solo album, the critically acclaimed Peach Got Bones saw Mano tour the UK and Europe, including supports for Steve Mason and Guy Garvey’s Meltdown Festival. Mano has also been a featured artist on BBC 6 Music.

Using intimate home recordings as a foundation for his second solo album Then Lightning, Mano is joined by drummer and producer Tim Thomas, bass player Gary Hadfield and Billy Marsden on clarinet to add lush harmonies alongside banjo, clarinet, harmonica, omnichord and mellotron. This is an album full of warmth, wit, and humanity, produced with unassuming subtlety and charm.

‘One of Britain’s best songwriters’ – Guy Garvey, Elbow

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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When: 7pm on Friday 5 April 2019
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be bringing CC Smugglers back to Manchester – this time, with their debut album!

CC Smugglers‘ long awaited debut album is finally announced. How High, released on 29 March 2019, is available to pre-order through the band’s pledge store, website and all major outlets.

The band, who started out as young street performers and went on to tour the world, are known for their high-energy and engaging live performances. The dedicated fan base have been waiting for years for this album but the time is finally here and the first two singles – Baker St. 205 and Grumpy – have given those fans a taste of what’s to follow.

Baker St 205 is a killer blues original that playfully touches on their experiences playing on street corners growing up. Recorded live, using the same techniques and approach as Muddy Waters records, this track shows off the watertight live performance experience that CC Smugglers have become known for.

Grumpy was voted on to the album by the fans. Richie explains: ‘This track is a ripping original old-timey fiddle tune that goes back to our roots as guerrilla buskers. Originally written for a beloved resident of the care home that we used to work at it quickly became a staple in our live show and has now finally been recorded, capturing the live feel and authentic processes and techniques in the studio.’

He continues; ‘The pledger support on this album has been humbling, to be able to make an album that represents our entire journey is the dream. Through pledge music so many of the fans that have supported us over the years have been able to be a wonderful and crucial part of this albums story, this makes me proud.’

Known for their unique approach in everything they do the band are releasing a seven-part documentary titled ‘Then and Now’ in tandem with each single. The documentary explores the bands colourful and unique creation story and compares it to the ongoing challenges facing innovative young musicians in today’s music industry. Featuring Seasick Steve and Old Crow Medicine Show, the documentary highlights CC Smugglers’ unique approach to build a following, which they coined ‘guerrilla busking’.

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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When: 7pm on Saturday 6 April 2019
Where: YES (Basement), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

We’re delighted to be working with Dan Mangan for the first time – plus special guest Steven Adams!

Over the course of 10 years, Dan Mangan has gone from a bearded 20-something troubadour playing coffee shop open mics to earning top ten radio hits, scoring Hollywood films, and winning multiple JUNO Awards. Today, the acclaimed songwriter returns to the rich, earnest, sentimental songwriting that he started with as a bright-eyed singer/songwriter in Vancouver.

More or Less is about witnessing birth, and in some ways rebirth.

‘It’s about feeling disconnected from a popular identity and becoming acclimated to a new one. It’s about raising kids in a turbulent world. It’s about unanswerable questions and kindness and friendship and fear.

‘This is my fifth album. I worked with some incredible people who have made many of my favourite albums. It was an important lesson in minimalism, and while their consolidated stamp on the album is vast, it’s a credit to their creative generosity that the result feels more like ‘me’ than ever.

‘More sparse. Less meticulous. More kids. Less time. More direct. Less metaphor. More discovery. Less youth. More warmth. Less chaos.

‘In between recording sessions, I’d listen to Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and Nick Drake’s Pink Moon. I’d think about how sometimes, what seems unfinished at genesis can feel more final when given a moment to settle.

‘In my twenties, I boxed my way from the corners of every noisy bar that would let me bring in my guitar. I was stubbornly optimistic.

‘When things began to click, it felt like I had the benefit of the doubt from every direction.

‘I signed with my dream label. I even won some JUNO Awards and was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize a couple of times. I performed for Will and Kate.

‘My girlfriend Kirsten somehow tolerated these years of relentless touring and we got married in 2012. I remember having a lengthy and heated long distance call about our wedding guest-list while laying on an airport floor in Croatia.

‘I’d been touring non-stop for six consecutive years and the phone just kept ringing, but I felt my mind and body start to fail. When we learned that we were going to have a baby, I told my manager that I wanted to take a year away from touring. I felt I’d earned it. That “one year” away from the grind sort of slowly became six.

‘We had another kid. We nested. I swept the floor ten thousand times. I scored a film, and then some television shows.

‘As the fog of domestic obligations shifted, I began to regain a sense of myself as an artist. But things were different. I wasn’t a part of the new generation anymore. I knew how to keep racoons from tearing up my lawn, but not so much about youth culture (and the music industry is, uhhhh… all tied up in youth culture).

‘Moreover, politics were different. Dystopic forebodings I’d previously written about seemed to be coming true. Had I manifested them? I was re-entering the world but the rules had changed, and I was a different person.

‘So I wrote about warmth. I wrote about the feeling of building something when I was young, and the fear of losing it as an adult. I wrote about feeling overwhelmed. I wrote about being in love with someone with whom I spend a lot of time figuring out who is more deserving of a nap.

‘I wrote about the power of what goes unsaid. More or less, I wrote about myself.

‘The recording process was piecemeal over several years and full of eye-opening experiences. Paul McCartney even wandered into the studio as we were listening back to a take of Lay Low.

‘We ended up scrapping what he heard, but… well… he heard something I wrote. Let that be an omen.

‘Drew Brown was a collaborator and mentor, forever changing my understanding of studio recording. His impact on this work is vital. He brought Joey Waronker, Jason Falkner and Darrell Thorp into the fold, whose collective creativity and instincts helped discover nuances in the songs I could never have dreamed of.

‘Two songs were recorded with Simone Felice who introduced me to Ryan Hewitt and Matt Johnson. Along with my longtime pals Gordon Grdina and John Walsh, this team found a vibrant subtlety that helped me rethink my identity as a singer. I cannot thank them enough.

‘Everyone who touched this album did so with wholehearted dedication and love.

‘I am grateful that they would trust this work and approach it with such care and ownership.

‘I am ready to share these songs.

‘I don’t know where the gig is. I don’t know if it’s cool. But I still get lost in it, and I’ve got more to lose.’

– Dan Mangan, August 2018

Special guest is Steven Adams. Steven Adams is a ‘national musical treasure’ (The Guardian) who fronted country pranksters The Broken Family Band throughout the 2000s before calling time on that band at the height of their success. He’s been ploughing his own furrow ever since, with multiple name changes (Singing Adams, The Singing Adams, Steven James Adams, Steven Adams & The French Drops), and a series of albums ranging from DIY indie rock, intimate folk and – with 2018’s Virtue Signals – experiments in krautrock and politically-charged widescreen pop.

Originally from South Wales, Adams now lives in East London. 2019 sees him return to his country/folk roots, with the debut album from new band Portland Brothers due in the summer. He also claims to be working on an ‘acid rock’ record with The French Drops. Steven Adams and Dan Mangan have been friends since they met in 2007, with Mangan playing and singing on Adams’ solo debut House Music. Expect a fair bit of excruciating ‘I love you man’ stuff.

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

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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 6 April 2019
Where: Club Academy, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PR

We’re delighted to be welcoming Skinny Lister back to Manchester!

As music fans we’re only ever given fragments of lives well lived, and we scrabble vicariously through them. Skinny Lister, though, have really given us as much as they can since 2009, passing the growing flagon of their experiences with every album and tour. They’ve led an endless parade gathering fans old and new, from the respected folk circuit to the riotous Download Festival, igniting pogoing mosh-pits at each. Over the past ten years they’ve travelled from rain-soaked London to the vast arteries of the USA, upgrading from narrow boat to Salty Dog Cruise, played huge tours across Europe and North America with Frank Turner, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly as well as headlining themselves across festivals, sweatboxes and ever-larger venues.

After three albums taking confident steps into an ever larger world, their fourth offering, The Story Is… (produced and mixed by Barny Barnicott – Arctic Monkeys, The Enemy, The Temper Trap) takes the tales of the everyday, the minutiae of our lives, and turns them into potent pop that rings oh so true.

‘The stories have been getting more and more personal as the albums have gone on,’ says Daniel Heptinstall (vocals, guitar, lead songwriter). ‘It always helps when you sing a song for it to have some truth. They’re the words that get sung back to us the loudest.’ This sentiment is running through the latest album like diesel. Lorna sings on the hyped-up My Life, My Architecture that ‘all this is my achievement, all cracks have life in between them, I live this adventure’. Dan even sings about ‘turning blood into diamonds’, crafting his own happenings into the last few years of classic Skinny Lister songs on Any Resemblance To Actual Persons, Living Or Dead, Is Purely Coincidental. Using storytelling truths, Skinny Lister’s anthology of experiences is being told and retold every night, with every spin of a record or stream of a song. Their world expands as their songs are shared.

The Story Is… finds fables in vastly contrasting true stories. Of an arsonist setting fire to the flat below Dan’s (Artist Arsonist), of the sheer annoyance felt when accidentally filling a diesel van with unleaded (Diesel Vehicle) – both songs laced with insight into everyone’s feelings. Even when the songs are outside of the band’s personal experience, they are still inspired by close connections. 38 Minutes came from a friend’s Facebook post about receiving the Hawaiian ballistic missile alert in early 2018, while Stop & Breathe is a plea to everyone to take time out when they can, based on a good friend talking after a friend sadly departed due to suicide.

Musically, the band has also scoured volumes of texture and tone. Though songs like Rattle & Roar and Sometimes So It Goes will be familiar to anyone who’s loved the band’s three previous albums, Forge & Flagon, Down on Deptford Broadway and The Devil, the Heart & the Fight, the band has explored a lexicon of their tastes. The Shining takes on Blondie’s new wave disco, giving Lorna Thomas (vocals) the spotlight. Lorna takes the reins on two of the most energising songs – My Life, My Architecture and My Distraction – and brings her unmistakable vitality to the album. 38 Minutes spins like a top with the urgency of an impending doom, backing ‘ooohs’ like sirens, and an electric pace as if they’re outrunning the clock. They’ve turned every melodic instinct up and, along with the hooks and lyrical reality Dan has drawn, it’s a deep dip into the encyclopaedic sound of which the band are capable.

‘The first album was very rooted in the folk tradition,’ says Dan. ‘But when we wrote Down on Deptford Broadway, we were doing songs like Trouble on Oxford Street and Cathy and we felt at the time we were straying too far from our folk roots. Now at a show they’re some of the highlights of a set.’ In that vein, the new songs move even further away from their folk origins while crossing into new territory for the band. But you will be bouncing to the spring loaded My Distraction, clapping along with the Jam-like Cause for Chorus or skanking to the ska-jangle of Second Amendment by the next time you see them – they are potent bursts of melodic adrenaline.

And so the torrent of touring continues for Skinny Lister in 2019, leading cross-continental parties of willing devotees, audiences getting larger as people from all walks of life and several generations – young and old, children and parents – sing, dance and cheer. These songs, stories and passionate live performances, charm and thrill a huge spectrum of gig-goers from the folk aficionado and the indie experts to the riff-addled metal fans and the furious punk kids.

The Story Is… this time, that Skinny Lister are opening their lives up more than ever before, allowing us all in and giving everyone a space to express sheer joy, relate hard to the lines that strike a chord in us, and throw ourselves into living with abandon and hope, with happiness and excitement, with stories enough to fill several lifetimes.

‘A kaleidoscope of high-octane folk punk via Dexy’s and The Pogues‘ – Louder Than War

Main support comes from The Wood Burning Savages. The Wood Burning Savages are a fast-paced punk rock band from Derry City, Northern Ireland. Proudly wearing the rebel spirit of their hometown on their sleeves, with pulsating riffs and a sharp political edge, they are often compared to Manic Street Preachers, Future of The Left and Queens of the Stone Age.

Opening the show is Trapper Schoepp. Produced in Milwaukee by Patrick Sansone (Wilco, Robyn Hitchcock), Primetime Illusion sees Trapper Schoepp reaching for his own place in the canon with a truly remarkable collection of character-driven songs and stories, a carefully etched series of sonic snapshots in which people we all know struggle to fulfil their own American dream.

Tickets are available from Seetickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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When: 7.30pm on Monday 8 April 2019
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be welcoming Steve Gunn back to Manchester – this time, to the Deaf Institute!

For over a decade, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gunn has been one the American music’s most pivotal figures – conjuring immersive and psychedelic sonic landscapes both live and on record, releasing revered solo albums ranking high on in-the-know end of year lists, alongside exploratory collaborations with artists as diverse as Mike Cooper, Kurt Vile and Michael Chapman (whose most recent studio album he produced). Gunn is known for telling other people’s stories, but on his breakthrough fourth album, The Unseen In Between, he explores his own emotional landscapes with his most complex, fully realised songs to date. The lyrics evoke voyages, tempests (actual and emotional), and a rich cast of characters met along the way – the work of an artist finding a place of calm in the midst of a storm. Produced by frequent collaborator James Elkington and engineered by Daniel Schlett, the immaculately recorded Unseen forces a reassessment of Gunn’s standing in the pantheon of the era’s great songwriters.

Getting to The Unseen In Between itself was not easy for Gunn. In the summer of 2016, Gunn released Eyes On The Lines, his winning and elliptical debut for Matador. It should have been a triumphant moment, but exactly two weeks later, Gunn’s father and namesake died following a two-year struggle with cancer. During his sickness, he and his son had connected as never before, listening to one another’s experiences and understanding one another’s perspectives; they became not father and son but real friends.

This experience yielded the emotional centrepiece of the album. Stonehurst Cowboy is a duet for Gunn’s raw acoustic guitar and spare basslines by Bob Dylan’s musical director Tony Garnier, who features throughout the album. The song distills the lessons Gunn learned from his father and it is a solemn but tender remembrance, a tribute to his father’s reputation as a tough, wise, and witty guy from far west Philadelphia.

A sense of musical renewal and emotional complexity fits the new songs perfectly; Luciano seems to be about the chemistry between a bodega owner and his cat, an unspoken romance of gentle obedience and quiet gestures. But Gunn peers below the relationship’s surface and wonders about the owner’s lonely future once the cat is gone, a devastating meditation wrapped in soft strings. And then there’s Vagabond, Gunn’s graceful attempt to humanise a rich cast of characters whose lives have gone astray, wanderers who live outside of society’s modern safety net, who pursue ‘a crooked dream’ in spite of what the world expects. Supported by the perfect harmonies of Meg Baird, Gunn finds something lovely in the unloved.

Inspired by contemporary artist Walter De Maria’s Dia Art Foundation-affiliated installation of 400 stainless steel poles atop the high desert of New Mexico, Lightning Field considers what we get out of art when it doesn’t work, when lightning does not light up the night for visitors. Opener New Moon may begin in the mode of a deep track from Astral Weeks or Fred Neil, with its upright bass and sparse tremolo guitar. But during the song’s final minutes, strings double the melody, and then the guitar rushes headlong, pulling ahead in a wave of ecstatic deliverance. It is a brief but liberating solo, an instant release of tension from the fraught scene Gunn has built, complemented by one of his most arresting vocal performances.

In a final contrast, Morning is Mended is an acoustic beauty so resplendent it ranks alongside Sandy Denny or Jackson C. Frank. Buoyed by a melody that sparkles like sunlight on still water, Gunn acknowledges the hardships around him, the feeling of being a ‘nothing sky’, and then moves forward into the world, walking tall into the fresh morning. The song is an apt encapsulation of The Unseen In Between, a gorgeously empathetic record that attempts to recognise the worries of the world and offer some timely assurance. It is a revelatory and redemptive set, offering the balm of understanding at a time when that seems in very short supply.

This is a 14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. This is a co-promotion with Please Please You and the Brudenell.

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: 7pm on Wednesday 10 April 2019
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with John Fairhurst for the first time!

London-based John Fairhurst makes heavy blues for heavy times. In equal parts revealing, vulgar, cathartic and thrilling, the virtuoso guitarist is channelling the discontent felt in the world to pay tribute to – and to update – the very idea of rock n roll as protest music. ‘Personal greed has far outstripped the need to support the health of society. British politics is a farce. The government are liars,’ states Fairhurst. Powerful statements require powerful music. And it is with ragged glory that The Divided Kingdom articulates its point of view.

‘I feel that as an artist, I myself am duty bound to comment upon the times in which we live. Rather than avoid the topics of the day, I have decided to face them head on,’ comments Fairhurst. ‘I think a lot of people are unhappy with the current state of affairs in this country and the world over. I hope to comment on that through the lens of my own life and the lives of the people around me and the people I meet on my travels.’

Created with his partner in crime, Bristolian drummer Toby Murray, The Divided Kingdom evangelises the power of rock ‘n’ roll through sheer bloody performance. Drawing from the same sonic well that brought us Black Sabbath, Tom Waits, Rage Against the Machine and Captain Beefheart, tracks like Blood & Fire, Fear and Lies and a .45 prowl with a fury rarely heard in a two-piece, grabbing reality as it sees it and lays it bare for all to see, warts and all, over a heady 37 minutes.

Fairhurst – hailed by Acoustic Guitar Magazine USA as one of the Top 3 Resonator guitar players worldwide – and Murray recorded The Divided Kingdom in part in their own studio, That Sound Studio, which was built in 2018 by the pair, their friend Pawel Lach and a multinational group of friends. This freedom to create at their own pace empowered Fairhurst and Murray to dig deeply into themselves and soon a theme for the album started to emerge. Outside of the socio-political theme evoked by the lyrics, the key challenge was finally achieving the duo’s vision as a compact two-piece. Setting out a musical palette on record that sounded in control, huge, powerful and exciting.

‘The proof of the pudding is in the drum sound. That is the key. The Engine. The room was literally festooned with mics, capturing everything from the front, the rear, overhead the kit, plus the room itself and interesting and useful frequencies captured in nooks, crannies and corners. As luck, experience, lots of messing around and persistence would have it, the kit sound is awesome.’

‘As gripping as it is totally different. Trembling chords rise slowly out of the speakers like dark mist on a bayou, while Fairhurst’s Bangkok blues hang in the background, sliding in and out with steely precision’ – Bearded Magazine

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 13 April 2019
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

We’re delighted to be working with Holy Moly & The Crackers again – this time, at Band on the Wall!

Newcastle’s Holy Moly & The Crackers are one of the country’s hardest working bands.

You might call that a cliche, but how many others can you name that have covered the thousands of miles and played the amount of shows that HM&TC have, in just two years? Oh, and they’ve managed to write, record and release a critically-acclaimed album and start their own record label in that time too.

Lead singers Conrad Bird and Ruth Patterson met when they were teenagers in 2008 and Ruth was in the midst of adapting to a diagnosis of chronic arthritis. Ruth, at one stage cited for an orchestral career on the violin, had not played for two years. But, encouraged by their mutual passion for music, she battled through the new limitations to relearn her instrument and discovered a love and skill for singing.

Not long after the couple met costume designer and accordion player Rosie Bristow they started to perform Irish, American and Balkan folk songs together at open mics and dive bars. They were cutting their teeth, learning the ropes.

By 2015 the trio had moved to Newcastle and met jazz/funk bass player, Jamie Shields, and Tommy Evans – who would give Keith Moon a run for his money – on drums. The gang began to blend their love of the folk tradition with a contemporary rock sound, influenced by a wide range of artists – from Cold War Kids to Gogol Bordello and Jack White.

Since then the bombastic folk rockers have been on what seems like a never-ending tour,; playing over 300 shows, 60 festivals (including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, Boomtown and Bestival) and tearing through trips around Italy, the Netherlands, France, Portugal and Germany. Wowing their raucous and ever-expanding fan-base with instrument-swapping, squeezebox-growling, fiddle-shredding, brass-howling hoe-downs, the group have been able to hone a sound that is organic and invigorating – forged in the sweat and heat of the live show.

In 2017 Holy Moly & The Crackers stepped up a gear. They signed a deal with Wipe Out Music Publishing and, working with producer Matt Terry at the legendary rock studio VADA, recorded and released Salem – a record that’s been described as “a new kind of sonic madness” by music magazine and long time supporters, Narc.

The album has taken them to new heights, and has seen the band’s idiosyncratic blend of folk and contemporary rock playlisted across Spotify, clocking up close to a million streams in the process*, as well as receiving rotation on BBC Radio and RadioX. The album’s hooky rabble-rousing lead single ‘Cold Comfort Lane’ has been featured internationally on adverts and TV shows, including E4’s ‘Tattoo Artist Of The Year’.

Now it is 2018. 22-year-old Nick Tyler has joined on guitar. Classically trained but influenced by psychedelic and DIY punk in equal measure, he is the final piece of the multifarious puzzle that is Holy Moly & The Crackers – the final Cracker, as it were.

This year HM&TC will release two stand-alone singles, recorded by Matt Terry and mixed by Dan Austin (Pixies), and back the songs up with with major international festival appearances, including a main-stage appearance at Beautiful Days and Colours Of Ostravia in the Czech Republic, before embarking on their biggest UK headline tour to date in November.

They will also head back into the studio to record their next album and continue their relationship with Matt and Dan, both of whom use dynamic formulas combining tight, pop sensibility with the naturalism of garage rock and folk/roots.

The last two years have been a whirlwind and you might think that it’s time to take a breather. But HM&TC are not that kind of band. The road is their home and they’ve got their foot to the floor.

‘This is one of the most original sounding albums doing the rounds at the moment’ – God Is In The TV Zine

This is a 10+ 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 Band on the Wall’s box office (no booking fee), Vinyl Exchange, Ticketline.co.uk, Wegottickets.com and on 0871 220 0260.

Attend on: Facebook


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

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