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: Tokyo Police Club... Aoife O’Donovan... Peggy Sue... Born Ruffians... The Handsome Family... Happyness... Scott Matthews... Pictish Trail... Mr Ben & The Bens... We Were Promised Jetpacks... Douglas Dare... Andy Shauf... Smoke Fairies... Roddy Woomble... Lindsay Munroe... Sam Amidon... A.A. Williams... bdrmm... Joan Shelley... Erland Cooper... The Lovely Eggs... BC Camplight... Jesse Malin... Penguin Cafe... The Lovely Eggs... Dana Gavanski... Alice Boman... Josh Rouse + Vetiver... The Beths... Tré Burt... Joep Beving... Moulettes... The Dears... Robyn Hitchcock...

When: 7pm on Wednesday 2 December 2020
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been postponed from May to December. Original tickets are valid and all other details remain the same. Here’s a message from the band:

‘hi everyone!

‘as you’ve probably worked out, our much anticipated return to the UK/EU is not going to happen quite so soon as we’d all hoped, but fear not! we’re going to do the tour in December instead. if you already have tickets, you can use them for these shows. they’re probably going to be the first gigs we get to play all year, so we’re going to be FULL OF PENT UP ENERGY and ready to rock even harder than usual. we can’t wait to see you, and in the meantime please take care of yourselves and your neighbours.

‘xo
TPC’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This show is a co-promotion with Mission Mars.

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

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Friday 22 January 2021
Where: Hallé St Peter’s, 40 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6BF

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current circumstances, this show have been rescheduled and will be performed with Aoife and the string quartet. All tickets purchased for the original date will remain valid.

We’re delighted to present Aoife O’Donovan: Songs and Strings in one of Manchester’s hidden gems.

Recognised for her ethereal voice and substantive songwriting, Aoife O’Donovan is also known for her collaborations. Called ‘a vocalist of unerring instinct’ by the New York Times, O’Donovan is one of the most sought after vocalists and songwriters of her generation and her career has allowed her to collaborate with some of the most eminent names in music across a wide variety of genres.

The most recent example is I’m With Her, the band comprised of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and O’Donovan. Their debut album See You Around, released in February 2018, has garnered praise from NPR, who instantly hailed the collection as ‘willfully open-hearted’, and the Guardian called their sound both ‘ethereal and purposeful’.

As a solo artist, O’Donovan has released two studio albums. In the Magic Hour (2016), a 10-song album full of the singer’s honeyed vocals mixed with gauzy, frictionless sounds: splashing cymbals, airy harmonies, and the leisurely baritone musings of an electric guitar. Mojo described the record as ‘exhilarating and exploratory,’ while the New York Times named The King of All Birds one of the Best Songs of 2016. Aoife toured 2016 in support of the album and ended that year releasing a live album, Man In A Neon Coat: Live From Cambridge, with her touring band. Her debut solo album, 2013’s Fossils, is a moody collection of original songs with a country lilt. The record received critical acclaim and was featured on a number of Best of 2013 lists including NPR Music, American Songwriter, New York Magazine and No Depression. In 2018, Aoife contributed an original song titled Are You There to the film What They Had, an official selection at both Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals.

O’Donovan spent the preceding decade as co-founder and front woman of the string band, Crooked Still. She is the featured vocalist on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the Grammy-winning album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, and its one-third of the female trio Sometimes Why. Throughout her career, she has also collaborated with artists such as Alison Krauss and jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, and is currently a member of the house band on the radio variety show Live From Here.

For this show, Aoife is joined by a string quartet.

Hallé St Peter’s, located on Blossom Street in Ancoats, is a Grade II-listed, deconsecrated church, which was built in 1859. Having stood empty for decades, it was recently restored to provide rehearsal and recording space for the Hallé orchestra.

This show is sold as unreserved seating. It is a co-promotion with Please Please You and the Brudenell.

Age restriction: 14+. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Saturday 27 February 2021
Where: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been postponed until February 2021. Original tickets remain valid and all other details are the same. Here’s a note from the band:

‘Hope everyone’s been holding up ok at the end of the world!! We were hoping hard to get to play ‘Vices’ to you this year but we always knew it might not be possible. We’ve managed to reschedule almost all of the shows for SPRING 2021 and we’re still working on a Brighton one. Thanks for your incredible patience with this tour. Crossing all our fingers that we’ll all be back playing and watching music together next year.’

We’re delighted to be bringing Peggy Sue to the Kings Arms!

Peggy Sue are London-via-Brighton indie duo Rosa Slade and Katy Young. Founded in 2007, the band have released four albums on Wichita Recordings, culminating in the critically acclaimed Choir Of Echoes, and toured with the likes of Jack White, Local Natives and First Aid Kit.

Fifth album Vices, due autumn 2019, will be their first in four years and the first release on the band’s own Souvenirs Records. Slow Fade, a lo-fi celebration of restlessness (released impatiently in 2017), was an apt first taste of the melancholy optimism that fills the ten tracks of Vices. The single and upcoming album borrow in equal parts from the perfectly constructed pop songs of the 1960s and the understated, noisey guitar experiments of 90s indie bands including The Breeders and Blur.

Peggy Sue’s front-women Rosa and Katy have spent the past four years in the great company of all-female singing group Deep Throat Choir (Bella Union), building Vices gradually all the while in studios across London with the help of producer Jimmy Robertson (Choir of Echoes) and new recruits Dan Blackett (Landshapes), Ben Gregory (GRIP TIGHT) and Euan Hinshelwood (Younghusband).

Tour support comes from GRIP TIGHT. GRIP TIGHT is the musical project of London born, Berlin-based producer and vocalist Benjamin Luke Gregory. Creating darkly hypnotic songs using synthesisers and mutilated vocal samples, his music has garnered airplay from BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music, and has been described as ‘full-blooded and soulful contemporary pop’ (DIY). His debut album is scheduled for release later this year.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Thursday 4 March 2020
Where: YES (Basement), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been moved from June 2020 to March 2021, and now takes place in YES Basement. All other details are the same, and original tickets remain valid

We’re excited to be welcoming Born Ruffians back to Manchester!

Midland-born, Toronto-based indie rock band Born Ruffiansguitarist/vocalist Luke Lalonde, bassist Mitch DeRosier, and drummer Steve Hamelin – are proof that a group of friends with a tireless work ethic and fierce, grassroots commitment to their labour’s integrity and vision can still go a long, long way. Fifteen years into their career, the trio isn’t slowing; instead, they’re doubling down on those designations with JUICE, their sixth full-length record. It’s a hyper, earnest, and affecting collection of rock and roll songs, written and polished over a three-year span then sewn together into a cohesive and uniquely enjoyable experience. It’s Born Ruffians as they’ve always been: on their own terms, heads against the wind until their work is done.

‘Here’s the thing: you get further as a band when all members embrace the strength of their creative relationship, keeping the external demands and pressures at bay,’ says Lalonde. ‘JUICE kind of reflects that as a title. We’re squeezing more out of this bond that we’ve forged over so many years.’

JUICE, due on 3 April 2020 via Yep Roc Records, embodies the band’s longstanding history, exhuming Born Ruffians’ early days in Toronto, while dissecting their relationships with that time and the memories they hold. ‘Was it all the way it seemed? How I wonder what you see/In that wavy haze,’ Lalonde belts on the chorus. ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,’ Lalonde explains with a grin. Those days were marked by equal doses of anxiety and excitement, living hand to mouth in a basement in downtown Toronto. ‘That anxiety will exist forever, I think,’ says Hamelin. ‘But the more you take your life into your own hands, it alleviates some of that anxiety.’

JUICE evokes this simplicity: the desperate appreciation for, and necessity of, major key melodies and camaraderie that’s prompted when your back is against the wall. Heard on their own, each single is a neon bolt of energy and storytelling, but placed alongside and tumbling into one another from start to finish, they’re recontextualised as interlocking pieces in a puzzle.

Our collective 21st Century spiritual malaise requires a salve, and JUICE is just that: a sweet, delectable nectar from a band that’s lived longer than most. It’s bright and punchy, from the brass section blasts opening the breathless rock and roll sprint of I Fall In Love Every Night to the playful throb of Hamelin’s drums on Breathe. The plucky gait of Dedication completes this opening trio with whistles and percussion blocks framing Lalonde’s sardonic reading of dogged devotion to capitalism, rhyming off would-be Extremely Online listicles: ’12 ways to die in a fire, 10 ways to be consumed by desire, 8 things you didn’t know about the all-consuming shadow of this empire.’

This beginning three-track suite is mirrored on the back end by the final three songs, an adventure capped off with Wavy Haze. It’s a four-minute wander through Lalonde’s foggy recollections of the band’s beginning hemmed in by cotton-candy guitars and rumbling drums. ‘Miss the stuff you did not need: attention headaches, nicotine, alcohol, and some amphetamines,’ Lalonde declares on the verse. It’s almost like taking stock, counting chips before the next bet. ‘There’s a bit of pride in what we’ve done, and looking back and looking forward all at the same time,’ says DeRosier.

In the end, JUICE is a testament to where Born Ruffians have come from, and a bold, pulpy mission statement for the future. However weird and overwhelming things get, Born Ruffians close out the record by reminding us that they’re in this for the long haul, as Lalonde sings, ‘You see a light come shining from behind, reminding you that kid is always on your back.’

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the 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: 8pm on Wednesday 10 March 2021
Where: The Dancehouse, 10A Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 5QA

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been moved from May 2020 to March 2021, and now takes place at the Dancehouse. Original tickets remain valid, and your ticket outlet will be in touch to confirm all the new details. Here’s a message from the band:

‘Now more than ever, we look forward to singing with you again’ – Brett & Rennie Sparks, March 2020, New Mexico

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the making of their first records, Brett says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This show will now take place at the Dancehouse. Built in 1929-30, the Dancehouse was originally two meeting halls, before being converted into cinemas with Art Deco interiors. Since 1990, it has been home to the Northern Ballet School, and has hosted concerts by the likes of Patti Smith, Arlo Guthrie, John Renbourn, Silver Jews and John Cooper Clarke.

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

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Friday 19 March 2021
Where: YES (Basement), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

PLEASE NOTE: This show has been postponed until March 2021. All other details are the same, and original tickets remain valid.

We’re delighted to be working with Happyness again!

Happyness, formed of core members Jonny Allan and Ash Kenazi, have always been something of an enigma.

Formed as a three piece in 2013, the band quickly gained a reputation as an unconventional and defiantly independent force in London’s alternative music scene. With a staunch DIY outlook and fluid musical roles, they self-recorded their debut LP – lo-fi gem Weird Little Birthday – before ever playing to a live audience. They garnered critical acclaim for their wiry, 90s-indebted arrangements and haunting blissed out melodies, as well as their eclectic lyricism and ability to switch effortlessly between wry, twisted one-liners and aching soulful poetry, which would earn them the NME Award for Best Lyric in 2015.

Numerous festival appearances followed, as well as concert appearances with Mac Demarco, Ezra Furman, The Dandy Warhols and Speedy Ortiz, extensive headline tours of the UK, USA and Europe, an NPR Tiny Desk Session, two KEXP sessions, appearances in various Albums of the Year lists, and an eventual re-release of the LP on Moshi Moshi Records (UK) and Bar/None Records (USA).

The windswept harmonies and tighter, poppier structuring of much-anticipated sophomore album Write In saw Happyness grow from underground goofball phenomenon into established songwriters, and continue their trend of evading stylistic boundaries and defying easy categorisation. The period was marred by health-scares and inter-personal struggles, and after a year of touring the band took an unannounced hiatus, during which time they parted ways with bandmate Benji Compston.

In 2019, after a nearly two-year period, that the band describe as ‘the best and worst years of our lives,’ Happyness announced a handful of intimate headline dates which instantly sold-out, as well as a triumphantly oversubscribed appearance at End Of The Road Festival. The return was marked by drummer Ash Kenazi’s emergence from supporting role into fearless drag queen to co-front the project with singer Allan, as well as a five-piece live line-up comprising of Max Bloom (Yuck), Anna Vincent (Heavy Heart) and Scott Booker Roach (Social Contract).

Beautiful, stormy comeback single Vegetable followed in January 2020, and if it’s anything to go by, the stage is set for a major Happyness renaissance. Sitting in tone somewhere between the ragged euphoria of Weird Little Birthday and the lush balladry of Write In, and with a fresh injection of characteristically mad, artfully self-aware lyrical turns (the song references Chumbawumba, drag queen Jujubee, vaping and Scientology’s E-meter auditing process all in the space of less than four minutes), it seems the band may be entering their most thrilling era yet. A UK tour in April suggests that we can expect a lot more material very soon. And with the London date at Moth Club sold out two months in advance, their biggest headline appearance yet announced at the legendary Scala in November, and the newest version of their screwball vision in tow, it’s as if they never went away. Happyness, to the runway.

Main support comes from Oort Clod. Oort Clod are the bar band from the edge of the universe. Featuring members of Unpaid Intern, the Hipshakes, the Early Mornings, Dream Soda and Blanket Fort.

Opening the show are The Birthmarks. The Birthmarks are a band based in Manchester, England formed by the twin creative talents of Dylan Hughes and Edwin Stevens, who grew up together in the nearby welsh seaside villages Llanfairfechan and Dwygyfylchi. The pair moved to the North West of England and formed the pop band Sex Hands who established a cult following in the UK before dissolving, resulting in the establishment of The Birthmarks.

The band features Alex Hewett on drums, Bryony Dawson on bass and Henry Withers on keys and guitar, with Dylan and Edwin both playing guitar and vocals. Collectively they are/have been involved in many diverse bands throughout the uk DIY music scene, including but not limited to Irma Vep, Aldous RH, Lovvers, Egyptian Hip Hop and Inland Taipan. As a group they create something both familiar and slightly imperfect, through their process of constructing a melody and then tarnishing it.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Friday 19 March 2021
Where: St Michael’s, 36-38 George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DG

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

We’re delighted to be working with Scott Matthews for the first time – at St Michael’s in Ancoats!

If there’s one quality that defines the career of Scott Matthews it’s this: evolution.

The singer/songwriter has challenged himself creatively during a career that has been characterised by rare quality. As Matthews gears up for the release of his seventh studio album, new horizons loom into view as he finds different ways to cast a spell.

The quality of Matthews’ craft is a given. The Ivor Novello-winning artist is part of a lineage that includes such greats as Buckley and Drake, John Martyn and Paul Simon. With guitar in hand and a voice that conveys raw emotion, he has long been established as one of the world’s foremost purveyors of song.

Introspective and reflective, combining blues and folk, mixing the ethereal with the empyrean, Matthews is a musical alchemist who transforms base metal to gold. He has expanded his sonic palette while making his new record, introducing new moods and musical textures as he addresses universal truths.

Having broken through with the much-loved Passing Stranger and more recently mastered the delicate art of one-man-and-a-guitar music with sparse musicianship and an otherworldly falsetto, through the records Home Pt I, Home Pt II and The Great Untold, Matthews is travelling along new roads.

Waves of electronica are matched with big, chiming electric guitars as Matthews finds different colours for his canvass. His new work will be out later this year and it will be accompanied by a tour, during which he’ll revisit fan favourites from an extraordinary canon of work.

‘It’s been a welcome diversion to work on my seventh record. For the first time in the making of any of my records, I have given myself a very clear blueprint and can hear how every song should sound given the limitations I have set myself.’

Matthews new record will feel sparse with an air of electronic minimalism. There will be less instrumentation than on earlier works; with percussion, strings and woodwind being replaced by a world of emotive synthesisers and pulsing drum grooves. Rehearsing in his local church, he’s been testing himself, pushing himself far outside his normal comfort zone as he explores new sounds and ways of making music.

If you’re looking for examples, consider the career progressions of David Sylvian, Mark Hollis, Brian Eno or Thom Yorke, who all found new ways of working in an ever-changing world.

‘In many ways, it’s like starting again. I feel reborn in an oscillating world. The fact that the music is so different forces me to sing and write lyrics in a pleasingly unexpected way, it breathes a whole new energy into my approach and song-writing ethos. There’s a pulsating dynamic, which I’m captivated by.’

Matthews will tour the UK in November and play at a number of churches and unusual spaces with natural ambiences suited to his newfound lo-fi sounds. ‘It will be one man and a guitar with a wave of electronica washing over me. I am fascinated by thought provoking sounds and how they totally immerse the listener and encourage them to dig a little deeper into their being. I think these songs will prick people’s ears up. They’ll keep people on their toes and hopefully their electronic grace will sweep them off their feet too.’

Over 14 years and with his seventh album on the horizon, Matthews has continued to push the envelope with songs of breath-taking majesty. And now he is setting himself new challenges as his evolution takes a beautiful turn.

This is a seated show.

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

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

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

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Friday 2 April 2021
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

PLEASE NOTE: This show is being reschedule from April 2020. All other details are the same, and original tickets remain valid. 

We’re excited to be welcoming Pictish Trail back to Manchester!

Bold, weird, wild, wired, sonically luxurious yet never losing touch with its DIY-‘til-I-die roots, Thumb World is a voyage to the outer rings of Pictish Trail’s mind at its darkest, funniest and most inventive – a plugged-in, fuzzed-out, fucked-up contemplation on, as he puts it, ‘life repeating and gradually degrading, the inevitable cyclical nature of things, and the sense of their ultimately being no escape’.

Expect alien abductions, thumping beats, Trump-haired pigs, paternal panic, astronaut sex, bad acid trips, worse hangovers, lashings of distortion and a lot of anthropomorphic thumbs. ‘Our opposable thumbs are the things that separate us from most other animals on Earth,’ Pictish explains, of the fat digit symbolism, ‘they are also the things that we use to swipe on screens, to separate ourselves from our normal lives, but which in turn trap us within an artificial reality.’

Produced and mixed by Rob Jones, featuring string arrangements from Kim Moore and drumming from Alex Thomas (Squarepusher, Anna Calvi, Air), Thumb World is Pictish Trail’s most collaborative album to date.

An audio-visual dialogue with Swatpaz, AKA Scottish artist Davey Ferguson – the man behind the Turbo Fantasy series and an entire episode of cult TV phenomenon Adventure Time – furnished Johnny with not just a graphic aesthetic for the album, but even helped him to shape the sound of the finished record. ‘I sent Davey a work-inprogress mix of the album,’ Johnny says, ‘he came back with sketches in which he had reimagined Thumb World as an 80’s arcade game. Some of the songs are centred around specific visual images, inspired by Davey’s sketches.’

Due for release on Fire Records on 21 February 2020, four years in the making, Thumb World is the much-anticipated follow-up to his critically acclaimed Scottish Album of the Year Award public vote winner Future Echoes.

‘Mysterious, cinematic, pop melancholia’ – the Guardian

Tour support comes from Savage Mansion. Weird Country is the much-anticipated second album from Glasgow indie-rock group Savage Mansion. Due for release on 3 April 2020, it marks a bold step forward for one of the most exciting new bands in Scotland. The album is preceded by the single Karaoke, a tumbling bar band tribute to the best and worst of the band’s native city, available on digital services now after debuting on last night’s Vic Galloway show on BBC Radio Scotland. Savage Mansion will promote Weird Country with a UK tour opening for Lost Map label-mate Pictish Trail.

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 9 April 2021
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘Upbeat, psychedelia-tinged pop’ – Secret Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Saturday 10 April 2021
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

We’re delighted to be working with We Were Promised Jetpacks for the first time!

Sometimes you have to go back to basics in order to find yourself again. This is something Scottish rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks realised over the course of creating their fourth full-length album, The More I Sleep The Less I Dream. Lyrically, The More I Sleep The Less I Dream reflects a group of people who have grown up since they first emerged on the scene with These Four Walls in 2009. During the making of this album all four members turned 30, and felt like vastly different people to the four 20-year-olds that they were when they first started releasing music. It’s one thing to say you want to take a step forward, it’s a much more daunting prospect actually doing so. The More I Sleep The Less I Dream contains the essence of what the band have grown into, both as artists and as people. They’ve taken their experiences, both from their ten years as a touring band and from the changes in their personal lives, and forged them into an album that represents a new phase for the band.

That evolution continues as founding member, Michael Palmer, left the band in 2019. The remaining members navigate what it looks like to be a 3 piece for the first time since the band’s inception and dive in to writing their next studio record due out early 2021.

This is a 14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. This show is a co-promotion with Mission Mars.

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

Attend on: Facebook


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

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