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: Mr Ben & The Bens... Holy Moly & The Crackers... Saintseneca... Federico Albanese... Kiran Leonard... Ryley Walker... Curse of Lono + Izzie Walsh... River Whyless... Still Corners... Great Lake Swimmers... Lera Lynn... Liela Moss... Saint Sister... Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert... The Travelling Band... The Once... Odetta Hartman... The Wave Pictures... John Metcalfe... Beans on Toast... Advance Base... Laura Gibson... You Tell Me... Kristin Hersh... Tiny Ruins... Skinny Lister... Steve Gunn... Josh Rouse + Grant-Lee Phillips... The Unthanks...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 22 November 2018
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be hosting the Manchester leg of Mr Ben & The Bens’ Happy Shopper tour!

Following the amazing success of the sell-out Bingo Records split EP, Lancaster polymath Ben Hall, AKA Mr Ben & the Bens, is back with four new songs and a UK tour.

Since the release of The Bluest Blues and My Museum on that record, Mr Ben has toured the UK with DIY legends The Lovely Eggs, played in session twice for Marc Riley on BBC Radio 6 Music, been on air all over the place, bought a new hat, eaten at least 17 pieces of toast and had a bath.

After all that, it was time to record some new stuff. Here’s The Happy Shopper EP, available to pre-order now via Bingo Records. It comes as a 12” heavyweight vinyl with artwork by Ben himself and a zine by Bingo Records co-founder Lloyd.

‘I wrote this record in the period just after Christmas 2017,’ Ben says. ‘I always find that length of time between Christmas and New Year thoroughly depressing so I kind of wanted the songs to be an antidote to that feeling. The record is named after the home brand of products that are available at our local corner shop. I visit up to three times a day and feel like it is some kind of refuge for the community in a weird way!’

It sees Ben return with lead track How We Used To Write, offering fans more of the infectious call-and-response melody that made The Bluest Blues so popular. The rest of the album allows Ben to branch out, switching the guitar for piano for two of the record’s tracks, including live favourite The Same Rain Falls on Every Soul. To end the set, Ben takes a trip to his folk-based acoustic roots, with the lo-fi self-effacement of It’s The End.

Ben says: ‘This past few months have been mad. Touring with the band was one of the best experiences I’ve had, and we’ve met so many amazing people through that. The support we’ve had from The Lovely Eggs, Marc Riley and Bingo Records is more than I could have hoped for. I am so excited to release this next album. It’s all happening so fast and I just want to keep on making stuff and getting it out for people to hear.’

Happy Shopper was recorded by Theo Verney and mastered by Zac Barfoot, of Bingo Records band Sun Drift, with whom Mr Ben shared the previous EP.

‘It’s an intoxicating combination of excellently written melodies and perfectly fitting vocal strafes’ – Piccadilly Records

Main support comes from Lancaster’s psych Kraut rhythm lords Khamun.

Opening the show are Mr Ben’s Bingo label-mates Sun Drift. Sun Drift – the project of Lancaster-based songwriter and producer Zac Barfoot. It combines his love of layered production techniques with his meandering guitar playing and laid-back mind set. Sun Drift’s offerings on the split EP with Mr Ben & the Bens see Lancaster’s most productive DIY producer expand on the more brooding aspects of his dreamy sound, building up to a full LP due out later this year.

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 24 November 2018
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

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

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.

Support comes from The Buffalo Skinners. The Buffalo Skinners are a songwriting collective based in Sheffield. James Nicholls plays the violin, Peter Seccombe the guitar, Phil Nixon lead guitar, Miles Stapleton the drums and Robbie Thompson the bass. Drawing influence from folk, rock & roll, blues, soul, and many other genres, the boys paint on a broad canvas. The focal point of the band, however, is always a shared passion for songwriting, harmony and the fun of a live performance. The band began life as street performers, busking their way around the UK. Eight years on sees them having taken the energy and intensity of performing on the street, and put if firmly at the centre of their live show.

This show is a co-promotion with Please Please You.

This is a 14+ show. 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: 7pm on Sunday 25 November 2018
Where: YES (The Pink Room), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

We’re delighted to be working with Saintseneca for the first time – and new venue YES!

Saintseneca’s Zac Little has been thinking a lot about memory. Not necessarily his memories, though they creep in often too. Rather, he mulls over the idea of memory itself: its resilience, its haziness, how it slips away as we try to hang on, the way it resurfaces despite our best efforts to forget.

Memory is the common thread running throughout the Columbus folk-punk band’s fourth album, Pillar of Na, arriving in late summer via ANTI- Records. Following 2015’s critically lauded Such Things, the new album’s name is rooted in remembrance, referencing the Genesis story of Lot’s wife who looks back at a burning Sodom after God instructs her not to. She looks back, and God turns her into a pillar of salt. ‘Na,’ meanwhile, is the chemical symbol for sodium. ‘Nah’ is a passive refusal and the universal song word. It means nothing and stands for nothing. It is ‘as it is’.

Like Lot’s wife, Little cannot help but revisit where – and how – he grew up. Raised in church in southeastern Appalachian Ohio, he took up preaching when he was still a teenager, sometimes in small country settings and other times to congregations of thousands. But these days he’s more interested in listening. And questioning.

Musically, Pillar of Na is Saintseneca’s most ambitious album to date, with Little aiming to incorporate genre elements he’d rarely heard in folk. ‘I wanted to use the idiom of folk-rock, or whatever you want to call it, and to try to do something that had never been done before,’ Little explains. ‘To reach way back, echoing ancient folk melodies, tie that into punk rock, and then push it into the future. I told Mike Mogis I wanted Violent Femmes meets the new Blade Runner soundtrack. I’m looking for the intersection between Kendrick Lamar and Fairport Convention.’

‘You’re always going to be situated in the folk legacy,’ Little continues, acknowledging his past recordings, which include three albums (the aforementioned Such Things, 2014’s Dark Arc, 2011’s Last) and three EPs (2016’s The Mallwalker, 2010’s Grey Flag and 2009’s self-titled). ‘But let’s move forward. I’m not trying to make the lost Velvet Underground B-side. I want to find something that has never been heard before, or at least go down trying.’

Local support comes from South Island Son. Setting up home in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, the South Island Son boys have had a busy nine months in office. Since their debut sell out gig, the band have been busy picking up airplay on BBC 6 Music and BBC Introducing, and touring in France following their single Down The Slopes as well as cropping up at festivals during the summer.

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 Tuesday 27 November 2018
Where: St Michael’s, 36-38 George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DG

We’re delighted to be welcoming Italian pianist/composer Federico Albanese to Manchester!

Federico Albanese is back on tour presenting his third full-length album By The Deep Sea, released on Neue Meister this February. ‘By The Deep Sea is a state of mind in which I find myself quite often,’ says Albanese. ‘It’s a sort of meditation state, when I try to detach myself from the daily life. In this inner world there is space to get closer to our deepest thoughts, ideas, doubts, close enough to see them clearly, from the right distance, and being able to process them, exorcise them, translate them into something else.’

By The Deep Sea is a work of remarkable nuance, elegance and, naturally, depth. Albanese provides its crucial instrument, piano, as well as a host of others, including Rhodes piano, synthesisers, Hammond organ, electric, acoustic and bass guitars, plus field recordings. ‘I’ve been working quite a lot on synths and arpeggiators, loops and effects to process the piano sound,’ he elaborates. ‘It’s so beautiful to experiment and create layers underneath it. I wanted a feeling of evolution, something that could represent the idea of getting closer and closer to a deep state.’

Federico Albanese’s musical versatility is shown by his natural gift that pushes him to explore music in all its facets. The Italian composer’s compositions are airy and cinematic, blending classical music, electronica and psychedelia. His highly acclaimed debut solo album The Houseboat and the Moon (2014) has been described as ‘pure gold’ and ‘one of the most beautiful modern classical albums of the past years’. Albanese’s second album The Blue Hour (2016) came out via the legendary Berlin Classics and its newly launched label Neue Meister. With this record Albanese enhanced the overall sound image even further, with its mixture of compositional precision and dreamlike fluidity. With piano and synthesisers joined by a cello, which when magnified by over-dubbing and sound effects, was culminated into a chamber orchestra. Following the release of The Blue Hour, Albanese performed numerous concerts across Europe including Womad Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and over the pond at SxSW in Austin, Texas.

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.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Wednesday 28 November 2018
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with Kiran Leonard again!

Kiran Leonard has announced a brand new album Western Culture, released 19 October 2018 on Moshi Moshi. He has also shared its lead single, Paralysed Force.

Kiran Leonard: ‘Paralysed Force is about how insecurities you should settle within yourself often get transplanted onto other people you know. Projecting the question towards another allows you to shirk responsibility for your own wellbeing, but all this does is suspend the issue at hand, and prolong an inevitable falling back.

‘There’s also a sort of compulsiveness, a wanting to be suspended, that’s involved in it all, because sometimes it feels good not to have to think about yourself. I suppose the song’s about being caught between those two points – basically, that even if you know you’re being irresponsible (and possibly daft), there’s still a desire to give yourself up.’

The album Western Culture marks a huge sonic progression due, in part, to the involvement of his venerable live band (Andrew Cheetham on drums, Dave Rowe on bass and Dan Bridgewood-Hill on guitar, synth and violin) on record for the first time. It is also the first Kiran Leonard album to have been made in a professional studio.

‘It was nice not having to spend two-plus years recording an LP in drips in my front room,’ says Leonard. ‘It was mostly smashed out over nine days or so makes it a lot more focused than my long-ass records usually are. I think it’s both more accessible and more peculiar than my other records. There’s a nice Bon Jovi solo at the end of the seventh track.’

Kiran Leonard is a 22-year-old musician from Saddleworth, Greater Manchester. Debut album proper Bowler Hat Soup (2014) and follow-up Grapefruit (2016) were both recorded at home, with Kiran playing virtually every instrument himself. Derevaun Seraun (2017), a concept album in five movements inspired by five pieces of literature and arranged for piano, strings and voice, was an ambitious departure from his usual sound.

Tour support comes from Ubaldo – aka Andreu Garcia, from Catalonia.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Thursday 29 November 2018
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

We’re delighted to be working with Ryley Walker again – this time, at Band on the Wall!

Released on 18 May via Dead Oceans, Deafman Glance is the second Ryley Walker album produced by LeRoy Bach and Walker himself. It was largely recorded at the Minbal (now JAMDEK) Studios in Chicago. Some later sessions also took place at USA Studios and in LeRoy’s kitchen. Cooper Crain (Bitchin’ Bajas, Cave) recorded and mixed the album, as well as adding his shimmering synths all over it.

Ryley plays electric and acoustic guitars, and was joined by long-time six-string sparring partners Brian J Sulpizio and Bill Mackay, who both play electric. LeRoy Bach also plays some electric guitar, while adding all piano and other keys. Andrew Scott Young and Matt Lux play bass – Andrew supplying some double-bass, both of them played electric. Drums and percussion are handled by Mikel Avery and Quin Kirchner. Topping off this list of notorious Chi-Town players is Nate Lepine, who added a lot of flute and a little saxophone too.

Ryley says of Deafman Glance:

‘I think more than anything the thing to take away from this record is that I appreciate what improv and jamming and that outlook on music has done for me, but I wanted rigid structure for these songs. I don’t want to expand upon them live. There’s a looseness to some of the songs I guess, but I didn’t want to rely on just hanging out on one note.

‘I was under a lot of stress because I was trying to make an anti-folk record and I was having trouble doing it. I wanted to make something deep-fried and more me-sounding. I didn’t want to be jammy acoustic guy anymore. I just wanted to make something weird and far-out that came from the heart finally. I was always trying to make something like this I guess, trying to catch up with my imagination. And I think I succeeded in that way — it’s got some weird instrumentation on there, and some surreal far-out words. And it’s more Chicago-y sounding. Chicago sounds like a train constantly coming towards you but never arriving. That’s the sound I hear, all the time, ringing in my ears.’

Tour support comes from Andrew Tuttle. Andrew Tuttle is a best-kept secret of the Australian underground. A composer, improviser and collaborator who has shared stages with Matmos, Julia Holter, Forest Swords, Steve Gunn, OM, Deradoorian and many others, a world traveller and artist in residence, his third, self-titled album, is an expression of his life in music and a reflection of life in his home city of Brisbane.

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), Vinyl Exchange, Ticketline.co.uk, Wegottickets.com and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7pm on Friday 30 November 2018
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be promoting a co-headline show with Curse of Lono and Izzie Walsh!

Acclaimed London five-piece Curse Of Lono released their second album As I Fell on 17 August. The album entered the official Americana Album Charts at No. 10 and the official Independent Albums Breakers Chart at No. 15. Produced by Oli Bayston (Boxed In) at Rancho V, a remote desert studio in Joshua Tree, and Flesh & Bone Studios in Hackney, the album is accompanied by a mini-documentary Somewhere In Their Heads by Gregg Houston (Noel Gallagher, Two Door Cinema Club, Michael Kiwanuka, Foy Vance), which recently won Best Short Documentary at the LA Edge Film Festival, the Jukebox Film Festival in Nevada, Feel The Reel International Film Festival in Glasgow, Changing Face International Film Festival in Sydney, The Hollywood Sun Awards in California and the Cult Critic Film Festival in India.

As I Fell is the follow-up to Severed, one of the most critically acclaimed debuts of 2017, and builds on Curse Of Lono’s deeply cinematic blend of harmony-laden Americana and driving, gothic alt-rock. It’s a sound that owes as much to old faithfuls like The Doors and The Velvet Underground as it does to more modern practitioners of the form such as The War On Drugs and Wilco.

Although some of the songs on As I Fell revisit familiar themes like murderous jealousy and the death of loved ones, much of the album covers new ground. Leuven, with its sumptuous string arrangement, recalls the stories Felix’s grandfather told him about growing up as a half-Jew in Nazi Germany and a devastating train crash he survived in 1954 after the first football international between England and West Germany after World War 2.

‘It was one of the worst train crashes in Belgian history,’ says frontman Felix Bechtolsheimer. ‘My grandfather and his brother were on their way home from Wembley when their train derailed outside Leuven in Belgium. He told me that he was never able to shake the image of their coats soaked in blood as he and his brother dragged the bodies from the wreck.’

Joining Felix in Curse Of Lono, who formed in London in 2015, are Joe Hazell (lead guitar and vocals), Dani Ruiz Hernandez (keys and vocals), Charis Anderson (bass and vocals) and Neil Findlay (drums).

Curse Of Lono completed their first UK headline tour in May, including a sold-out show at London’s Lexington, and appeared at several UK Festivals this summer as well as supporting Steve Earle, Southside Johnny, Cordovas and David Ramirez on separate European tours. They will be embarking on a second UK headline tour in November/December.

Co-headliner for this show is Manchester-based Izzie Walsh. Singer-songwriter Izzie Walsh and her Americana band have performed across the UK, taking popular venues and turning them into Tennessee front porches. Starting 2018 off with sold out shows at the Deaf Institute and London’s Slaughtered Lamb, the band released their brand new five-track EP Take Me Back.

Being a mainstay of UK acoustic scene Izzie is always accompanied by her brilliant band, who use traditional instruments such as banjo, mandolin and dobro as well as double bass and drums, creating catchy rhythms and melodies you can’t help but sing along to. Together they have played numerous shows and festivals – with this year’s including Buckle & Boots, Blue Dot, FSA Festival and many more.

Their music takes influence from The Lumineers, Margo Price, Mumford & Sons and Johnny Cash, ensuring that these English hillbillies are like a double whiskey in your Earl Grey, putting a modern kick into their music that will makes your ears tingle.

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 Saturday 1 December 2018
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with River Whyless for the first time!

For many bands, and especially those who’ve been together for several years, recognising maturation, progress or palpable evolution is a daunting task. Is it continued creative accomplishment that signals progression? Or perhaps it’s profitable commercial endeavours? The answer is often quite unclear. Six years, two albums and countless gigs after first forming as a band, River Whyless, the North Carolina-bred folk-rock outfit has discovered their evolution is a subtler albeit monumentally important one. Deep in the throes of writing and recording their bold new album, Kindness, A Rebel , the four musicians reached a necessary and collective understanding. Namely: this band is their lifeblood, their family and their love. To that end, with unspoken acceptance, the members of River Whyless, each songwriters in their own right, collectively put aside their respective egos, coalesced around each other’s creative vision, and fully embraced the beauty of their enduring partnership.

‘It was a feeling of openness and hope and acceptance,’ says singer-violinist Halli Anderson of the multi-week sessions with producer Paul Butler (Devendra Banhart, Michael Kiwanuka) that resulted in some of River Whyless’ most dynamic, genre-bending and heartfelt material yet. Creatives regularly waver between honouring their own creation and rallying around larger ideas for the benefit of the group. But with every member of River Whyless now charting a life outside the band, and also writing on their own, when coming together to record Kindness it was never more crucial they be open and honest with each other.

Despite having never felt more unified in their vision for the future, much as they’ve navigated their freewheeling career to date, River Whyless are choosing to not predict what lies ahead. Allowing their creative union to continue guiding them, they insist, remains their only constant. ‘It feels like you’re on a journey with your family,’ drummer Alex McWalters. says of the satisfaction of being in a band like River Whyless. ‘It’s a beautiful thing.’

Local support comes from The Happy Soul. With influences as diverse and weird as Frank Zappa, Jake Thackray, Mahalia Jackson, Scott Walker, Nilsson and The Beach Boys, The Happy Soul are a hard band to pigeonhole. Part power-pop, part gospel, part Spector, they have been busy working on their new album, Big Wow, which was released it this Summer.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Monday 3 December 2018
Where: YES (The Pink Room), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

We’re delighted to be working with Still Corners for the first time!

With influences that span the spacey experiments of Vangelis, the expansive, cinematic sounds of Ennio Morricone, and glamorous ’80s synth pop, Still Corners is the project of Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray. The group formed shortly after Hughes, an American expatriate, met Murray by chance at a London train stop in 2009.

In 2010 Still Corners released singles Don’t Fall in Love/Wish on 7-inch through British psychedelia label the Great Pop Supplement with an accompanying video for Wish directed by Lucy Dyson. Selling all 700 copies in a single day saw Sub Pop take due notice and quickly sign the group. Their first full length Creatures of an Hour was released by Sub Pop in 2011.  By the time of their second record in 2013, Still Corners had shifted focus from ’60s influences in favour of a slicker, more ’80s-sound inspired by Roxy Music’s Avalon. Another Sub Pop release, Strange Pleasures, includes the hit single Fireflies (Pitchfork, Best New Track) and sleeper hit, The Trip.

To record their third album, Murray and Hughes relocated from London to the English seaside. Moved by the water’s intense dark colour, they named the set of songs Dead Blue. The album, which featured the Brian Wilson-inspired single Lost Boys was released on Still Corners’ very own Wrecking Light Records in September 2016 and was highest-rated dream pop album on The Line of Best Fit in 2016.

Still Corners return in 2018 with a new album, Slow Air. Evoking the atmospheric sounds Still Corners are known for, Slow Air continues the band’s journey with a lush, ethereal album inspired by the heat of America’s west.

‘We wanted to hear beautiful guitar and drums and an otherworldliness, something almost indefinable along with a classic song writing vibe,’ says Murray. ‘We’re always trying to get the sound we hear inside of ourselves, so we moved fast to avoid our brains getting in the way too much.  The name Slow Air evokes the feel of the album to me, steady, eerie and beautiful.’

Black Lagoon, the lead single/video, has the band on a journey from the desert to the ocean in search of a lost eden. Filmed over a month in Texas, Arizona and California and shot on a small handheld cinema camera, the band travels across America in a white mustang convertible searching and reaching into the unknown.

Slow Air will be released on Wrecking Light Records on 10 August and the band will be touring in North America and Europe this autumn.

Tour support comes from Bella Union‘s Psychic Markers. Psychic Markers – consisting of Alannah Ashworth, Lewis Baker, Steven Dove, Leon Dufficy and Luke Jarvis – are a hodgepodge bunch made up of members of various other bands and with a geographical backdrop that stretches countries as well as counties. So it makes sense that their music would be eclectically emblematic of such sprawling backgrounds. Their sophomore album Hardly Strangers – much like the band themselves – is an assorted affair. 1950s-tinged doo-wop nestles up alongside lush cinema-influenced soundscapes; while flashes of neo-psychedelia take pop hooks and stretch them out into hypnotic and elongated jams befitting of 1970s Germany before pushing them into further cosmic realms.

Local support comes from Manchester doom-pop quartet Easy Kill. DIY Magazine says of them: ‘That open-wound honesty is Easy Kill’s calling card. Amongst the beautiful, often twinkling musicianship lies a bruised but still beating heart: the kind of timeless storytelling that latches itself to the soul, never daring to loosen its grip. Bands as refreshing as Easy Kill come along once in a blue moon.’

This show is a co-promotion with Now Wave.

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 Friday 7 December 2018
Where: YES (The Pink Room), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

We’re delighted to be bringing Great Lake Swimmers back to Manchester – this time, to new venue YES!

2018 marks the 15th anniversary of Great Lake Swimmers. Over seven albums, multiple EPs, live broadcasts and reissues, the Toronto-based project led by singer-songwriter Tony Dekker have established themselves as a beloved indie-folk act in their native Canada and beyond. The CBC has called them ‘a national treasure’ while their music has taken them around the world, sharing a sound that is at once familiar and distinct, using the tools of folk music as the starting point to delve deeper.

It’s this contrast and evolution that brings them to their latest release, The Waves, The Wake – a metaphor for the future ahead, and the past trailing behind. Abandoning the acoustic guitar, this new collection of songs sees the group branching out to include new sounds such as harp, lute, pipe organ, woodwinds, congas and marimbas, alongside the more familiar flecks and chimes of the banjo, piano and 12-string electric guitar. The stunning acoustics of the historic, 145-year-old Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario lend the atmospheric touch to the album, under the guidance of co-producer Chris Stringer (Union Sound). This record is about the songs, first and foremost, and was made with many of Toronto’s most talented players, including arrangements by Drew Jurecka and electric guitar appearances both atmospheric and spirited by Kevin Kane (Grapes Of Wrath). Long time collaborators Erik Arnesen (banjo, guitar), Bret Higgins (bass) and Josh Van Tassel (percussion) also contribute their considerable musicianship.

The Talking Wind opens the album solely with woodwinds and vocals, setting the tone with its scaled-back, minimalist approach. Similarly sparse arrangements on Falling Apart pair a meditative, layered piano with an appearance by renowned harpist Mary Lattimore alongside Dekker’s haunting, plaintive vocals. Bridging the album to the group’s past work, the lonely jangle of Alone But Not Alone is a study in song-craft; Side Effects matches lyrical substance to musical motifs with its expressive vibraphone, tempo variations and vocal effects.

But perhaps the album’s centrepiece is the entirely a cappella Visions Of A Different World with its ghostly, longing vocals nakedly bearing its message.

Great Lake Swimmers have twice been nominated for Juno Awards, have been shortlisted for the prestigious Polaris Prize and won a Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Folk/Roots Artist/Group. They have shared the stage as support for such musical luminaries as Robert Plant, Feist and Calexico, and have appeared as headliners for many of Canada’s major folk music festivals. Their relentless touring schedule and countless live shows have helped them develop devoted fan bases across Canada, the US, Europe, the UK and many points beyond. Mojo dubbed them ‘ambient zen Americana’ and Exclaim has described them as a ‘cherished blend of folk and orchestral indie pop’.

Special guest is Keto. Keto – the hypnotic orchestration of Leah Sanderson – offers a fresh and quintessentially English take on millennial folk. October 2018 saw Keto release her eagerly anticipated debut album, Blackened Pool, a collection of incredibly dark, minimalist songs, with dreamy backdrops, where bleakness and enduring hopefulness collide. 2018 has seen Keto perform at Green Man and Glastonbury festivals, support Low in Bristol, and tours the UK and Ireland with supports slots alongside Simone Felice and Julia Jacklin.

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

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