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: The Deslondes... Liima... Willy Vlautin... Irma Vep... Will Varley... Jen Cloher... The Lovely Eggs... Loney dear... Gun Outfit... Douga... Spinning Coin... The Handsome Family... The BellRays... Karl Blau... Mt. Wolf... Sweet Baboo... Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker... Brooke Sharkey... Lilly Hiatt... Josh Rouse... Honeyfeet... Pinkshinyultrablast... Chad Valley... I’m With Her... The Breath...

When: 7.30pm on Friday 19 January 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with The Deslondes again – with guest Robbie Cavanagh!

The Deslondes will promoting their critically acclaimed new album Hurry Home on this January tour of the UK, which included an appearance at the Celtic Connections festival.

The Deslondes follow up their impressive debut album with the equally fine Hurry Home. Less country-inclined than its predecessor the album finds the band roaming through a variety of styles – swampy southern roots, 1950s rockabilly, and classic rhythm & blues that, with several members of the band singing lead on various songs, gives the album a truly dynamic feel.

Hurry Home represents a sonic shift from the country-folk of their debut to a psychedelic, electrified soul sound, with a stronger emphasis on organ and electric guitar. The band split up songwriting and lead vocal duties among its five members, Sam Doores, Riley Downing, Dan Cutler, John James Tourville and Cameron Snyder, continuing its democratic ethos and musical versatility.

The album that emerged is Hurry Home. ‘It’s a fitting title for this album because our lives and our songwriting revolve around leaving and returning, or searching for, home,’ says the band. ‘And home can be a physical place, a relationship, or a state of mind.’

Local support comes from Robbie Cavanagh. Robbie Cavanagh recently returned with his stunning second album To Leave / To Be Left, via At The Helm Records. Recorded at Eve Studios near Manchester, To Leave / To Be Left finds Cavanagh (sounds like ‘Copa Cabana’) building upon his debut with 11 new tracks exploring, ‘leaving and being left. What’s taken away and what’s left behind’. Eve Studios is an old vicarage full of old BBC equipment and collected antiques, giving the album a really natural, old sound without feeling forced. Robbie, producer Roo Walker and Engineer Henry Broadhead worked closely together, deciding on each sound, each instrument, each tone.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Wednesday 31 January 2018
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be welcoming Liima back – this time, to Soup Kitchen!

Fresh off tour with Grizzly Bear, Liima have shared a second track and video from their forthcoming album 1982 (out 3 November on City Slang) and announced a European headline tour.

The Danish-Finnish group, featuring the three members of Efterklang alongside drummer Tatu Rönkkö, share this latest cut 2-Hearted, with front man Casper Clausen commenting: ‘2-Hearted is about a conflict of the love for two different directions – wanting two different people or opposite directions in life at the same time, and to find an acceptance within the situation rather than a choice. We wrote this song in Viseu, Portugal at the Jardins Efemeros Festival. It’s the first song we have made using the often-damned auto-tune effect. We feel the auto-tune contra the clean vocal fits the duality of this song.’

In the year 1982, Time Magazine chose the first ever non-human ‘person of the year’; the Personal Computer. It’s also the year that Liima’s Casper Clausen was born, with the other three band members born in the surrounding years. Though 1982 is not an album that tries to mimic the sounds of that year, it is an album borne of influences and circumstances that stem back to that point in time. It’s an album that sees the band questioning the concept of identity and our place in time – as much an album of existential questioning and of looking forward as it is of nostalgia and reflection.

Liima was born as much of breaking old habits as building new habits, and their second album, provides a masterclass in pushing beyond one’s established comfort zones. Like its predecessor, 1982 was written during four residencies, beginning in January 2016 – before Liima’s debut ii was even released – at The London Edition, where Casper Clausen, Rasmus Stolberg, Mads Brauer and Tatu Rönkkö worked in a club in the hotel’s basement, sometimes watched by small crowds, much as PJ Harvey was during the making of The Hope Six Demolition Project at London’s Somerset House.

They reassembled at another hotel in Copenhagen before embarking upon tours of North America, South America, and Europe. Even then, they’d reconvene between trips to continue work, first in the less glamorous surroundings of a music conservatory in Viseu, Portugal, in July 2016, then, finally, in August, at Berlin’s Michelberger Hotel. By the time they gathered in Mankku Studios in Porvoo – again in the Finnish countryside – Liima were more than ready to begin recording with Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor as co-producer.

1982 finds Liima – musically and lyrically – exploring themes that shaped their youth while looking forward to a future in times that feel as uncertain as they ever might have been, and in which we all struggle to find our identity. ‘Finding values of life, giving up on values of life… Our civilisation, our way of life and our liberal thinking is threatened and challenged,’” Clausen muses. ‘I say our time, but could it be MY time, MY age. Was it like that for my father when he was 35 years old? I’m wondering, I guess the album is wondering.’

Here, amidst the contemplation and questioning, the band stake their claim firmly to both their new name and their new sound. For a band originally founded upon enthusiastic acts of spontaneity, 1982 represents a huge, sophisticated leap forward. The decision to form Liima may have been as bold and radical as their new sound, but the consequences speak for themselves.

Local support comes from Koalas. Following on from their downbeat summer debut Home Heart, Manchester synth-pop duo Koalas have just reveal their hand with a double a-side of exhilarating left-field pop, Lover / Two Loves. With Manchester’s lurching music scene currently knee deep in DIY guitar bands, Koalas are part of a new vanguard of artists to come out of the Low Four studio and label, working with producer Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, GoGo Penguin, Makemake). Koalas cite influences ranging from Caribou and Boards of Canada to The Pointer Sisters and Ambitious Lovers.

This show is part of Independent Venue Week 2018 – find out more at independentvenueweek.com.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 3 February 2018
Where: St Michael’s, 36-38 George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DG

We’re delighted to be hosting the Manchester leg of Willy Vlautin’s ‘Words and Music’ tour!

For this special event, Willy Vlautin will be playing songs from Richmond Fontaine and The Delines, as well as instrumentals that are featured on the soundtrack from his new book Don’t Skip Out on Me. He will be accompanied by David Murphy, who previously toured with Richmond Fontaine, on pedal steel.

Willy will be reading from the book too – with songs interspersed with a Q&A, discussing the books, his music and a new film adaptation of his novel Lean on Pete by British director Andrew Haigh.

Vlautin’s fifth novel, Don’t Skip Out On Me is published on 1 February by Faber and Faber. Like his previous novel Northline it will have an accompanying soundtrack included with the book on CD – but this time it is Richmond Fontaine playing on all the instrumental tracks. While the CD comes with the book, Décor Records will be releasing the album on vinyl – as well as a vinyl and CD release of the previous Willy Vlautin soundtrack to Northline.

There will be copies of the new book available to buy on the night, which Willy will be signing after the show, along with vinyl copies of both albums.

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

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

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 3 February 2018
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with Irma Vep again – this time, with dbh and The Capoeira Band!

“No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody’s gonna slow me down, innit
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody’s gonna mess me around, innit
Hey Satan, paid my dues,
Playing in a rocking band, need new shoes
Hey mama, look at me,
I’m on my way to the promised land, weeeeee!
I’m on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I’m on…”

– Highway to Hell by The AC/DC

These lyrics by Australian rock ‘n’ roll gods AC/DC could well be applied to the 2017 that Edwin Stevens, AKA Irma Vep, has had.

Having released five award-winning records in various formats, including the Smash Hits album of the year nominee No Handshake Blues (Faux Discx/Comfortable on a Tightrope), he has toured the UK extensively and won the hearts of the masses by rocking the show with fully rocking bands like Jane Weaver, Jon Collin, Girl Ray and Wedding. If that isn’t enough ace stuff for you – he capped off the year with a full band transcendental rock tsunami at a sold out Band on The Wall supporting North East legend Richard Dawson in December.

You could say the sky is the limit for this obnoxious young man from Llanfairfechan, North Wales. He would not agree tho, no. He would say that the sky is black and full crying, dying birds and he doesn’t want none of it. The birds are in pain and he is sad, he would say. He is sad because he was exiled back to Wales from Manchester under dubious circumstances. He is sad because he forgot to get PRS and now he can’t afford it.

Hell bent on paying the rent, Edwin moved to Glasgow in September to study and hopefully find work but he hasn’t found any yet. He really likes it there but ‘it’s slim pickings for money’, he says. Maybe this is because he is unemployable, unemployable because all his energy has been spent selflessly crafting the sound of the summer, year after year and it’s a lot more hard when you have no GCSEs.

He had a thought the other day. He thought why not go play some gigs with his old pal dbh (dan bridgwood hill) and try and make a bit o’moolah along the way. Maybe they’d have fun and see some friends. He thinks that’s a good idea. Dan does too.

He made some calls and some lovely promoters obliged. This is where we’re at now. Three gigs. He hopes to see you there.

Local support also comes from The Capoeira Band.

This show is a co-promotion with Comfortable On A Tightrope.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 3 February 2017
Where: Club Academy, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PR

PLEASE NOTE: This is a rescheduled date from November 2017. Original tickets remain valid.

We’re delighted to be promoting Will Varley’s biggest Manchester show to date – with guests Ida Mae and Sean McGowan!

The heady sense of the unfamiliar suffuses Will Varley‘s music – somehow so rooted in the ancient folk traditions we know intimately yet with a voice and lyricism that resonates unlike anyone before him. Perhaps it’s the collision of his relative youth and wisdom. Or perhaps it’s the times, and how Will is able to capture them in his soul-searching and musings.

From rambling along England’s south coast playing shows along the way to supporting Billy Bragg, The Proclaimers and Frank Turner, Will’s travels have led him to places far from his home in Kent, the Garden of England.

After self-releasing two albums, he signed to Xtra Mile Recordings in 2015 whereupon third album Postcards From Ursa Minor propelled him with rocket fuel into new territory. It would’ve been easy to draw on that for a couple of years, but it’s alien to Will to remain in one place for too long. ‘If you know where you are when you wake up, something’s wrong,’ he sings on Seize the Night, and so it goes that fourth album Kingsdown Sundown followed only a year later. It was immediately clear that Will had absorbed the shadow that had fallen squarely across the world as 2016 unfolded.

Instead of the inherent hopeful sound of Postcards, he pared down the songs to a sombre, skeletal tone. To Build A Wall, Something Is Breaking, We Want Our Planet Back and We’ll Keep Making Plans tell the tales of a world in crisis, and the efforts of ordinary people to carry on. While his crowds got bigger and his songs were being embraced by peers and fans alike, Will still wrote what he felt. And people understood. These songs made even more sense as they hung in the air at the beautiful Union Chapel in north London, a sold-out, hair-raising and triumphant show.

But Will couldn’t dwell on that set of songs for long either. In bringing the exhilaration of the unfamiliar into his fifth album Spirit of Minnie, Will took the opportunity to record the album in autumn 2017 with producer Cameron McVey, who has worked with trip-hop luminaries Massive Attack and Portishead. Making this decision will undoubtedly be another unforgettable milestone.

For the first time, Will assembled a full band to draw out the galaxy-spanning atmosphere within the core of his songs. A nod to his previous brush with Postcards…, All Those Stars brings you into the warmth, and invites you to admire the grain of the songs while lost in the ambience. By the time you reach the halfway point, Statue, Will’s songs have been lifted by pedal steel, violins, piano, bringing them a visual quality, like seeing things in colour for the first time. The title track is a career highlight – a tale that recalls folk-storytelling traditions and folklore (‘to us she is vast and ancient, to the universe she is still a child’) with the swell of its drama built from an eerie collage of acoustic sounds, a reminder of how potent a vision an intimate room of unplugged musicians can conjure. The album closes with a story of humanity, our place on the Earth and our curiosity, and our follies, set to an ebbing and flowing ocean of strings guided by the pull of the band at its heart. As ever, Will has taken us on his travels, asked big questions and explored further than before, away from the stark rolling hills of Kingsdown Sundown to the wide, expansive and mysterious landscapes of Spirit of Minnie.

And more people are set to join the robust party accompanying him – his back catalogue for the first time available on Spotify and other streaming sites and live shows around the world growing in size organically, just as his songs have grown with instrumentation and ambition. His appeal is in how he turns his hand to the heartfelt and the philosophical and relates it back to every single person that hears him and is understood. He is the definition of a modern storyteller steeped in tradition.

His return to the road in 2018 follows most of 2017 being on it – supporting Frank Turner in the US, performing solo in Germany and France, returning to the US to support Lincoln Durham, and then yet another European tour this time with Valerie June. He consistently steals the show, as he has at festival tents throughout the summer, at Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings in May 2017, and at the first Xtra Mile Reeperbahn showcase in September. He continues to tour and bring songs to as many as possible – joining Skinny Lister in the US and playing his biggest UK tour to date including London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on album release day.

It all seems a long time since his first tour with The Proclaimers (in 2015), when he first supported Frank Turner at the Royal Albert Hall in support of Teenage Cancer Trust, his first EP release with Xtra Mile – the passing of time has crafted a one-off, a man who broaches the unfamiliar and comes back to tell us what he’s found in the most beautiful ways.

Main support comes from Ida Mae. After finding critical acclaim with Kill It Kid, spending years touring various parts of the world, and working closely with legendary A&R man Seymour Stein, Ida Mae – aka husband and wife Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean – felt drawn to a more honest sound, a simpler expression of song where all you need is a guitar and a voice to accompany it. Currently working on their debut album with acclaimed producer and friend Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams/Ray Lamontagne/Kings Of Leon/Laura Marling), their partnership with Decca Records is set to be the most exciting adventure they’ve ever embarked on together.

Opening the show is Sean McGowan. Raised on a diet of The Clash, The Jam, Specials, Billy Bragg and other such politically-charged, punk-ignited British pop, 24-year-old Southampton-born troubadour Seán McGowan has been playing up and down the UK for six years, and DIY released three EPs over that time (given away / sold on a ‘pay what you want’ basis at shows). 2017 was jam-packed with touring for McGowan – including his first ever main stage festival appearance at Common People, sold out headline shows and a UK tour with Mr Billy Bragg himself.? He’s now penned a record deal with Xtra Mile Recordings and released his new EP Graft & Grief, featuring new single Costa del Solution. It’s all coming together for the Southampton boy. He’s got the ball and he’s running with it.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a rescheduled date from November 2017. Original tickets remain valid.

Tickets are available from Seetickets.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 14 February 2017
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

Following her sold-out show at the Eagle Inn, we’re delighted to be working with Jen Cloher again – this time, at the Deaf Institute!

Acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter Jen Cloher has released her much anticipated self-titled album – her fourth.

By now you would have heard the singles – the raw and unflinching examination of Forgot Myself, and the melancholy sweep of Regional Echo – pointing towards Cloher’s unique way with a double edged lyric and serrated guitar chord. It’s certainly something critics have picked up on, with the album so far winning accolades from the likes of the Guardian, Observer, Loud and Quiet and more.

A letter in triplicate addressed to the themes of love, music and Australia, Jen Cloher is the culmination of a period of artistic and personal growth in which the artist took her rightful place as a punk-rock figurehead of Australia’s famous DIY music scene. She is an outspoken advocate for artist rights and co-founder of the incredible Milk! Records label, which includes the likes of Courtney Barnett and Fraser A. Gorman among its luminaries. Since 2013, Cloher’s output has been increasingly sharp-witted and poetic, with her last album, the critically lauded In Blood Memory representing an artistic apex for the artist and garnering her a prestigious Australian Music Prize nomination.

Released through Cloher and Barnett’s own label Milk! Records, Jen Cloher represents another quantum leap forward for the artist. Recorded amidst the rolling greenery of South-Eastern Australia and mixed at Jeff Tweedy’s famous Loft Studios in Chicago, the songs are split by Courtney Barnett’s extraordinary lead guitar and anchored by the rhythm section of Bones Sloane and Jen Sholakis. The end result is bold, assured, and piercingly observed, seeing Cloher face up to painful truths with unwavering honesty and emerge triumphant. On tracks like Analysis Paralysis and Shoegazers Cloher dissects the complacency of privilege, while on the stirring anthem-to-be Strong Woman she looks to her Maori heritage of women warriors, proud that her mother ‘wanted respect more than love’.

This is Cloher at her most incisive and witty, cutting and expressive, and represents possibly her most stunning body of work to date.

‘Her fourth and best album yet… incredible’ – The Guardian

‘Astonishingly candid… (she) tackles politics, equality and pride with frank intimacy’ – The Observer New Review

Tour support comes from Milk! Records label mate Hachiku. Inspired by other do-it-yourself artists like Grimes, Hachiku – AKA singer/songwriter Anika Ostendorf – writes and produces her shoegaze/dream pop with an avant garde twist on operatic vocals from whichever bedroom she’s currently inhabiting. Born in Detroit but raised in Germany, Anika is what can be best described as a ‘global artist’.

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

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Friday 16 February 2018
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be helping Dohta launch their new single!

This will be the debut headline show by Dohta – a Manchester-based band who make alternative/electronic sounds for the modern world.

Help the group launch their latest single, Giant’s Footsteps, following on from previous releases Hijack and Quiet.

Support comes from Jade Mannion – ‘one of the most arresting solo artists on the Manchester scene right now,’ according to the MEN.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Saturday 17 February 2018
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

We’re delighted to welcome The Lovely Eggs back – this time, to Band on the Wall, with special guests Porky the Poet (aka Phill Jupitus) plus Mr Ben and the Bens.

Hot on the heels of their rammed and raucous Autumn tour, Northern psychedelic punks The Lovely Eggs announce their next series of live dates for February ahead of their forthcoming album This Is Eggland (out 23 February on Egg Records). The Lovely Eggs are one of the most unique, innovative and genuine bands on the British Underground music scene. Setting themselves apart from the mainstream, they’ve built up a cult following which is due to blow wide open with their mild-melting new album, produced by Flaming Lips/Mercury Rev producer Dave Fridmann. You can sample what’s in store with their brand new single, I Shouldn’t Have Said That, which is out now. They will be supported by comedian Phill Jupitus (in his guise as Porky the Poet) on all dates.

This Is Eggland is heavier and more in-your-face than anything they’ve done previously. Married couple Holly Ross (guitar/vocals) and David Blackwell (drums) bring together a fierce DIY ethos, surreal sense of humour and kitchen-sink realism. Dave Fridmann lends his magic dust to bring out the best of The Lovely Eggs’ explosive blend of motoric krautrock, 60s psychedelia and punk rock attitude, all flipped over and egged up.

The album title This is Eggland is a cheeky nod to Shane Meadows’ series This Is England. It is a comment on the current state of the country, with The Lovely Eggs encouraging people to build their own worlds and create their own reality in these troubled times. The album is about being an outsider and doing things differently, eschewing society’s conventions as they have done.

The album was self-recorded at Lancaster Musician’s Co-op (a non profit making recording studio and rehearsal rooms, where the pair met and David works) and the Eggs’ own house in Lancaster, while their three-year-old son was in bed. Dave Fridmann then produced it remotely with the band sending demos and working progress back and forth. The result is a gratifyingly rich sounding record, which still retains the raw energy of the band’s sound but harnesses a real power and dynamism. It’s much heavier than anything they’ve done before. As Holly says: ‘It’s pretty relentless. It kind of sounds like a chip shop on fire. We still write about everyday life and the stuff that goes on in our world, it’s just the new album is more fierce and really tells it like it is.’

Before stand-up comedy, television and musical theatre took him to their arms, Phill Jupitus plied his trade as Porky The Poet. In the turbulent mid-1980s, this shambling, badge-spangled firebrand was slinging his whimsical, and often quite cross stanzas across the land, opening for such artists as Billy Bragg, Gil Scott Heron, The Pogues, The Housemartins, Alexei Sayle and The Style Council.

After a lengthy hiatus, Jupitus revived Porky at the Edinburgh Free Fringe in 2012 with his first one-man poetry show Twenty Seven Years On. He followed the success of this run with Zeitgeist Limbo (2013), Juplicity (2014), Apologist Now! (2015 and, most recently, Survivalve (2017).

Missing the sticky-floored majesty of his early gigs, Jupitus offered his services to Lancaster legends The Lovely Eggs, stepping onstage to tickle, confound and let’s face it downright confuse their audiences before a few of their gigs. He has enjoyed this experience so much that he will be opening for them on their forthcoming UK tour in February 2018, before going on to continue his own Juplicity stand-up comedy tour through March and April.

Opening the show is Mr Ben – a ham-fisted Lancashire lad who plays melodic folk-pop – who will be joined by his band, the Bens.

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

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Sunday 18 February 2018
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be welcoming Loney dear back – his first visit since 2012!

Swedish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emil Svanängen makes records and plays shows under the enigmatic name of Loney dear. In the early 2000s, in his Stockholm apartment studio, Svanängen made a name for himself by creating homemade CDrs with a minidisk microphone and a home computer, self-releasing albums which by 2007 had pricked Sub Pop‘s ears and they released Loney Noir. Two more albums – Dear John and Hall Music – followed, as did glowing reviews in the Guardian, BBC, Drowned in Sound, Pitchfork and earlier this year the Line of Best Fit went as far as calling him a ‘brilliant genius’.

Loney dear has consistently crafted elegant, deeply stirring music, described by The Quietus as ‘the obsessive work of one man, albeit one that can sing with the vulnerable delicacy of an angel and makes bedroom recordings that sound like God’s own orchestra’. Multi-layered with instrumentation and Svanängen’s fragile yet irrepressible vocals, Loney dear’s songs bloom with a sense of both intimacy and openness, at once uplifting and heartbreaking, tenacious yet tender.

In 2017 Svanängen finds himself at something of a crossroads. His career, in many ways, has been as unique as his music. ‘I’ve been taking some strange roads. Basically, I have a really strange career and I have no idea where it’s going. Everything is always random because my career is so small and slow. I have had to learn to enjoy all the randomness of what I’m doing.’

After all these years in the music industry, Svanängen has reached a stage in which he is not striving to be loved, to be big, to be recognised or feels that he is deserving of more than he has. Above all, he feels emboldened and powerful simply by the new music he is making, as featured on his latest album. ‘I’m moving into a more bold state, I’m confident, powerful, I became a singer, I learned my darkness and discovered my magnetism.’

Loney dear’s eponymous seventh album is released on Real World Records on 29 September 2017.

‘An elegant, understated pop masterpiece’ – The Independent

‘Celestial mini-symphonies… conjure visions of a one-man Scandi version of Animal Collective’ – Uncut

‘On Loney dear, Svanängen has finally hit the perfect balance’ – Under The Radar

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Monday 19 February 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with Gun Outfit again – this time, at Gullivers, with guests Secret Admirer!

Like a stone eroded by years in the arroyo, Gun Outfit’s enveloping ‘Western expanse’ aesthetic of guitar levitations and honky-tonk hexes has become gradually smoother over time. Their fifth LP ranks as their most brutally beautiful statement yet. Drawing from mythologies both classical and postmodern, Out of Range builds a world in which Brueghel the Elder, St. Augustine, and the ancient goddess Cybele ride with John Ford, Samuel Beckett, and Wallace Stevens on a Orphic-Gnostic suicide drive towards the hallucinatory vanishing points of the Southwestern desert, debating the denouement of the decaying American dream.

‘And Orpheus’ ghost fled under the earth, and knew the places he had known before’ – Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book XI

Orpheus had a hell of a time. Of all the evocative modern retellings of the Orpheus myth – by Jean Cocteau, Marcel Camus, Philip K. Dick, et al – none equals the blunt power of Ovid’s version in Metamorphoses. After losing his lover Eurydice, the great musician Orpheus swears off women and turns instead to the love of young men. He refuses to worship all gods but Apollo, inciting Dionysus’ female followers the Maenads to tear him limb from limb. Orpheus’ severed head and orphaned lyre, still singing and strumming – his bewitching songs ‘made the pale phantoms weep’ – float down the Hebrus River to Lesbos, and his ghost revisits the underworld where he left Eurydice.

Sonically, Gun Outfit has never sounded more confidently awash in its collective strengths and nuances, its players never more sensually attuned to each other’s playing. Like a stone eroded by years in the arroyo, the band’s enveloping aesthetic of guitar levitations and honky-tonk hexes has become gradually smoother over time. Sharp and Keith have become highly sensitive, idiosyncratic singers and guitarists—two voices that meld and ascend into a wild, honeyed helix. Drummer and founding member Dan Swire (drums, percussion, guitar) and Adam Payne (bass, guitar) comprise the rare rhythm section able to vault a song into the strata through sheer will (as on the kinetic, anthemic Sally Rose) or show remarkable restraint when required (Primacy of Love). Henry Barnes, the legendary mastermind of Man Is the Bastard and Amps for Christ, has gone from mentoring multi-instrumentalist accomplice to official band member, scarifying these songs with his singular guitar, dulcimer, bouzouki, and fiddle parts as well as his own homemade hybrid instruments like the ‘sibanjar’ and ‘springocaster lap-slide’. Engineered by Facundo Bermudez (Ty Segall, No Age) and mixed by Chris Cohen (Weyes Blood, Cass McCombs) in Los Angeles, the recording process spanned the 2016 presidential election. Dylan recorded the vocals for Cybele, a song about a religious cult, drowned antiquities, and the end of empire, ten minutes after the election results were announced.

Out of Range ends with the moving Second Decade, an unusually autobiographical and candidly self-reflexive meditation on the experience of playing together in a decade-spanning band, and the effects of of time on art. Using the stage as metaphor, each of Gun Outfit’s singers assumes a role in a Samuel Beckett play, Carrie as Winnie from Happy Days and Dylan as Estragon from Waiting for Godot: ‘Ten years attention/Trying to hold on/You were akin to Winnie/While I was doing Estragon.’ They’re existential antiheroes, each half of an enduring partnership, who have returned underground, like Orpheus, to the out-of-range places they’ve known before, to play ballads for the dead: ‘Oh my/Caroline/Can you believe how hard it is to keep a love alive?/Ten years of working/And playing all our parts/We had to call it a country/Because it was bigger than a work of art.’ And the pale phantoms weep.

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

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

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