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: Mass Gothic... A Bingo Records Showcase... La Luz... Michael Nau... Horse Feathers... Haiku Salut... Wolfgang Flür... Songs For Walter... Mull Historical Society... Ólafur Arnalds... The Sonics... Albert af Ekenstam... BC Camplight... You Tell Me... Terry Riley & Gyan Riley... A celebration of Bruce Springsteen... Milky Wimpshake... Dawn Landes... Halo Maud... Murray A. Lightburn... Steady Holiday... Daniel Brandt & Eternal Something... Funke and the Two Tone Baby... OLA... She Makes War... Say Sue Me... Jo Passed... Easter... Eleanor Friedberger... Chloe Foy... Anemone... James and The Ultrasounds... William the Conqueror... Hater... Jen Cloher... Robert Vincent... Seamus Fogarty... Blurt... Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton... The Lovely Eggs... HALEY... The Breath... Danny Goffey... 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... The Travelling Band... The Once... The Wave Pictures...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 13 September 2018
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be working with Sub Pop’s Mass Gothic for the first time – plus guests Gintis!

Even when you’re married and you’re best friends and you’ve spent a lifetime (18 years is a lifetime, right?) collaborating with each other, it’s not often obvious what’s staring you right in the face. I’ve Tortured You Long Enough is the tongue-in-cheek title of Mass Gothic‘s second album for this reason, among several others. Husband/Wife duo Noel Heroux and Jessica Zambri have always dipped in and out of each other’s creative spaces, advising on their respective outputs and supporting one another. But never had they before completely committed to doing an entire album as a duo, sharing an equal load. The time had come. And thank goodness. They have dreamed up a record packed with the tension, chaos and beauty of a fluid and cathartic two-way conversation. In a universe increasingly threatening our abilities to work hard on communication and coexistence, their creative union isn’t just inspired but important. ‘Why did it take us so long?’ laughs Heroux from their home in Queens, New York.

When Heroux put out 2016’s self-titled Mass Gothic record, he was necessarily doing so as a solo entity. Mass Gothic was born as a necessary project for his workings following the aftermath of Hooray For Earth’s end. Plagued by his own insecurities and anxieties, Heroux wasn’t yet ready to deal with putting his trust and confidence into another shared project. He wasn’t in a place to take on the burden of those responsibilities with another individual, especially not an individual so fundamental to his existence. So what changed? He can’t exactly pinpoint when the phrase I’ve Tortured You Long Enough came to him. It was before a single song of this record was written. But it became a mantra, almost a premonition. ‘It just popped into my head,’ explains Heroux. ‘You can say it to a loved one, or to a friend. Or you could wish someone say it to you. It covers so many bases but it’s taken on extra meaning in the past couple of years while everybody is at each other’s throats; frustrated and confused all the time.’

The most important application of the phrase, however, was upon Heroux himself. He had tortured his own psyche long enough, and was particularly in need of forcing himself out of his comfort zone and letting go of that prior stubbornness. ‘I’ve struggled greatly with telling myself that I can’t do things, or that things aren’t good enough,’ he says. Then in the autumn of 2016 circumstances led him to face his biggest fears head on, because he physically had no other choice. ‘We rented a small tiny cabin in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York. We put ourselves away and worked on music all day, wondering what it would feel and sound like,’ explains Zambri.

It began with Zambri penning the first iterations of Keep On Dying, a synth-laden call-to-arms that recalls the frantic energy of Animal Collective and the celestial torch-bearing of Bat For Lashes. Zambri had the melody and lyrics, and Noel arranged the chords to finish the song. Then things started snowballing. While the writing may have begun in New York, it relocated to LA while their lives became totally in flux. They threw caution to the wind last January and got rid of their Brooklyn apartment. Not only that, they also purged all their belongings, except the bare bones for making an album: instruments and recording equipment.

They bought a car and lived out of a duffle bag of clothes for an entire year. They drove to LA, lived with their co-producer Josh Ascalon, and wrote and wrote and wrote. ‘The entire record from start to finish was done without having our own place to live,’ marvels Heroux now. ‘Maybe we wouldn’t have been able to do it if we were anchored at home. We were forced into it. Jess was trying to open me up and if we could have just sat on a couch and thrown on the TV it probably wouldn’t have worked.’

The partnership has distinctly evolved the project’s sound. Mass Gothic was a far more diverse debut, and as the most successful debuts do it was just Heroux by himself, throwing a hundred different ideas at the wall. He describes it now as ‘the hellish sounds’ of his own brain. Its follow-up therefore is a far more intentional meeting-of-minds. Their openness to work with one another had to come without rules as neither of them could afford to hold back.

Last Spring, for instance, when they thought they’d done all the work and had a fully mixed album, they realised separately that it had way more potential. While they were preparing to go on tour with Zambri’s sister, Cristi Jo, and her sister’s boyfriend Joseph Stickney, Heroux woke up one morning, turned to Zambri and said: ‘Oh god, we have to fucking re-record the whole album.’ The rehearsals were the equivalent of pre-records, and they knew the tracks could accomplish so much more. Although he was afraid to say it out loud, they both agreed it was what was required.

The final ten days took place in the studio in Brooklyn where they laid it down from start to finish with Rick Kwan (Chris Coady mixed the record and Heba Kadry mastered it). “’t was too pristine before,’ says Zambri. ‘We wanted it to be perfect but it wasn’t breathing. Even if there would be tension, we wanted it to flow like water.’ On that front they’ve achieved a remarkable arc. Bookended by the tracks Dark Window and Big Window, it begins from a place of uncertainty, overwhelming disquiet and self-doubt, and it works towards a feeling greater than the individual. Via an optimistic number of romantic love songs (Call Me, J.Z.O.K., How I Love You) the record basks in the acceptance of co-dependence. Even though the works are intensive, there’s an element of ease to their overall message. The chords and beats may feel squeezed and claustrophobic at times, but expansive guitar tones and electronics allow the listener to deep dive into a chasm of potential.

‘Overall it’s a conversation between the two of us,’ explains Zambri. It isn’t autobiographical to the point of alienating its listener though. It’s important that the songs provoke. It’s a record that concludes with the comfort in knowing that you can be both independent and successful in a relationship, which speaks quite literally of the pairs’ experience giving in to this process with one another.

Written by Eve Barlow

Support comes from Gintis. Formed in Abergele, North Wales when schoolmates Carl and Dave bought a keyboard from Cash Converters after watching the video for Grandaddy’s The Crystal Lake, six-piece Gintis are masters of being touchingly nostalgic, yet never cloying. Melodic, country-influenced, brass-tinged melanchodelia, sprinkled with scientific rationalism and existential doubt, all wrapped up in breezy, understated three-minute ditties. Winners of a BBC Launchpad grant in 2017, Gintis released a double a-side 7″ single through The Popty-Ping Recording Company, recorded and produced by Bill Ryder-Jones, which received airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, and BBC Radio Wales. Summer 2018 saw them go back into the studio with Bill to record their follow up recordings.

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.
Designed by ikram_zidane

When: 7.30pm on Friday 14 September 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

After having an extremely fun time at the sell out Manchester showcase at the Castle Hotel in March, Bingo Records is bringing its roster back, this time in a bigger venue.

The Bingo Records tour sees all four acts from Lancaster independent label Bingo playing around the UK. It is an introduction to the label, the bands and the little weird world that those at the label have created instead of doing something proper with their time.

The self-described ‘ham-fisted folk pop’ of Mr Ben & the Bens caught immediate attention with ‘The Bluest Blues’, which saw the band playing their first ever live performance on BBC 6 Music and being named in Marc Riley’s best of 2017 list. Speaking of his music, Mr Ben said: ‘This project was born in a barn in northern Lancashire in 2012. I’m creating lo-fi experimental folk-pop with an emphasis on melody and lyricism. My work as an artist, designer and potter constantly influences into my songwriting.

‘I’ve written about everything from catching fish to imaginary nightclubs. It’s often surreal in theme, but I always place an emphasis on having a hooky pop sensibility. I’m not a great musician technically speaking. I play the guitar upside down and the keyboard with two fingers! But I guess being naive means you can write a different kind of music and approach it from an original perspective.’

Ben has spent most of this year touring with The Lovely Eggs, and his next EP – Happy Shopper – has been played a great deal on 6 music. It comes out in July.

Sun Drift is 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.

His debut album, ‘Dumbo’ is due for release this summer and sees Sun Drift at their most expansive and experimental.

Dog Daisies is a lush new indie-country-garage-pop band from Lancaster. Inspired by midnight walks, 90’s movies, motorways and the Lancashire coast. Formerly known as Stephen Hudson & the Fiat Pandas, Abraham Heights is the new group’s first recording since the Pandas’ Used to be Fun (2016).

As Stephen explains: ‘Some of our favourite films or songs feel like a dream you’ve just had; they make perfect sense when you’re in it but if you try to work it out, everything unravels. It seemed fun to start turning images in my head into a sonic language and just scatter the words over the top. It was enjoyable singing about hating your job selling cups, or fantasising about burying your best friend’s mum under a hill because she gave you a hard time… but with this new band I wanted to write less autobiographically and let our imaginations wander even further.’

Family Selection Box are a three piece art-pop outfit from Lancaster. Formed in 2016, Tom Diffenthal asked illustrators Lauren Dowling and Alanna Rusch to form a band to make a new recording project a reality. Both learned their instruments (bass and drums respectively) from scratch, and played their first gig (in Lauren’s mum’s front room) just weeks after forming.

The project soon turned to collaboration as the rhythm section contributed creatively. Tom’s kitchen sink lyrics combine with Lauren’s melodic sensibility and Alanna’s rhythmic intuition to create an instantly recognisable soundtrack to their refusal to take themselves too seriously, and their gloriously DIY approach to everything they do. Family Selection Box released the new album Confetti on Bingo Records in March.

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.
Designed by ikram_zidane

When: 7pm on Monday 24 September 2018
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

PLEASE NOTE: This show has now sold out! Join our mailing list, at the top of the page, for updates about future La Luz shows.

We’re delighted to be promoting La Luz’s biggest Manchester show to date – with guests Peggy Sue!

Los Angeles has often been described as a ‘dream factory’–both a mecca where dreamers converge to pursue long-held aspirations, and a topography of hallucinogenic contradictions: enchanting tangerine sunsets diffused by smog, crystal-clutching spiritualists mingling with deep-pocketed narcissists, rows of scenic palms competing with garish billboards for commuters’ attention.

It was against this backdrop that the four members of La Luz – singer/guitarist Shana Cleveland, drummer Marian Li Pino, keyboardist Alice Sandahl, and bassist Lena Simon – conceived of Floating Features, the band’s third studio album. For this, their most ambitious release yet, La Luz consulted landscapes both physical and psychological.

References to dreams abound on Floating Features. Loose Teeth catalyses nightmare fuel into a propulsive, intentionally disorienting collision of honeyed harmonies and Takeshi Terauchi-esque jetstreams of distorted surf guitar. Mean Dream unsurprisingly mines dreamstate imagery, and the lyrics and melody for Walking Into the Sun actually came to Cleveland during a particularly vivid night of deep sleep. Looming over the album’s coterie of surreal figures (gargantuan cicadas, a monstrous Creature, The Sun King, aliens, the titular Lonely Dozer) is the magnificent Greed Machine, a skulking, insatiable engine of consumption – Nathanael West’s ‘business of dreams’ fearsomely manifested.

To bring these visions to stereophonic life, La Luz pivoted from the DIY trailer-park brio of It’s Alive and the gritted-up urgency of Weirdo Shrine toward lush, hi-fidelity production value. Li Pino’s drums have never sounded more thunderously muscular, Simon’s basslines more robust-yet-agile, Sandahl’s organ melodies more complementary, Cleveland’s layers of guitar more versatile, or the group’s trademark harmonies more bewitching and rapturous. For every one of Floating Features’ seismic crescendos, there are just as many small, evocative details colouring its somnambulist soundscape.

Only La Luz could conjure up Floating Features’ Leone-on-LSD vibes, and the album finds the L.A. band at the height of their powers – golden rebels in a golden dream.

Tour support comes from Peggy Sue. Peggy Sue are London-via-Brighton indie duo Rosa Slade and Katy Young. Founded in 2007, the band have released three albums on Wichita Recordings, culminating in 2014’s critically acclaimed Choir Of Echoes, and toured with the likes of Jack White, Local Natives and First Aid Kit.

Slow Fade is the first single from Peggy Sue’s upcoming fourth album (due 2018) After a three year break – during which Rosa Slade and Katy Young have been performing with all-female singing group Deep Throat Choir – Slow Fade is an apt comeback; a melancholy celebration of patience. It is a dreamy breakup song, one that lets you hang around lazily in the days when you aren’t ok yet. The single – and upcoming album- borrow in equal parts from the perfectly constructed pop songs of the 1960s and the understated, noisy guitar experiments of 90s indie bands such as The Breeders and Blur. The new material sees frontwomen Slade and Young joined by Dan Blackett (Landshapes) on drums and Benjamin Gregory (GRIP TIGHT) on bass who bring an fresh energy and clarity to the band’s enduringly captivating duel vocals.

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

PLEASE NOTE: This show has now sold out! Join our mailing list, at the top of the page, for updates about future La Luz shows.

Attend on: Facebook

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

When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 25 September 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with Michael Nau again!

Michael Nau will release his new, full band album Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread through Full Time Hobby on 3 August. Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread is the follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed album Some Twist and its extension The Load EP. The band, who have confirmed a string of UK shows in September, have unveiled the first track from the album, Less Than Positive.

‘There was a musical language that we created; something without a guiding pattern that you could really just jump into and see where things could go,’ Michael Nau says of the process of recording Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread. He’s wildly poetic, especially when recounting his dedication to music, and the work that led to this particular collection of delicately passionate songs. ‘These things became the vehicle by which we traveled, giving us reason to spend most of our lives in a van of uncertainty.’

The sprawling new album was recorded in guitarist Benny Yurco’s one-bedroom apartment in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Nau and his collaborators had a cool little set up going in Yurco’s spot — drums and bass took over the bedroom, the guitar amp in the bathroom, Nau’s vocals and piano in the living room, and a vibraphone in the kitchen. It’s the first time one of Nau’s records happened all in one place, and ‘it feels most like a band record than ever before’. Nau and this particular group of musicians held it down together as a true team, which is why Nau named the record in their honour.

The songs on this layered record sound sunny and familiar, like sharing stories and worries with a close friend on a late summer day. In a gorgeous and natural way, he contemplates his own process, those feelings of uncertainty. ‘Making it too hard just comes easier,’ Nau croons on Funny In Real Life, an exquisite meditation on creation and self. ‘Truth is such a beautiful force/And every time we find the chorus/There’s no second-guessing the real/I don’t ever know how I feel.’

Nau shines when he’s nestled in that medium between melancholy and carefree. He seems to be thinking about the past, present, and future, all at the same time, and his songs move between pain and joy, fires and rivers, faraway stars, icy Saturdays, clouds of smoke, between shelter and flowers in the rain. ‘And it just keeps going, if it’s done it’s done/Still flow in the flowing, all around the sun,’ he sings on Smudge, the record’s finale, which is about love, and memories, and loneliness, and apprehension — ‘Something coming around some bend/Waiting for something to never end’ — all at once. It’s all just part of the waves of life; sometimes you get stuck, or things move slower, and sometimes the pace steps up. And that seems to be the gist of Michael Nau & The Mighty Thread — that there are ‘different movements’ in the self, that constantly figuring yourself out is all part of the journey. As long as love is the motion,’ Nau says, ‘it might get there.’ Wherever ‘there’ is.

‘Stoner gorgeousness… lingers in the mind long after it’s ended’ – Mojo

‘A master of melodic understatement’ – Uncut

‘Nau’s songs recall Fred Neill, Nilsson and early Hawley, spinning fugs of melodious sound via echo, distortion and tremolo’ – Q

Support comes from Mi Mye. Mi Mye is thought of as an open conversation, a lush collection of snapshots from the North of Scotland where principal songwriter and lyricist Jamie Lockhart grew up, and Wakefield – the place he now calls home. The music is a tapestry of his past – with the folk tradition from his childhood, spending his teenage years playing fiddle in ceilidh bands around the Highlands and moving south to get a broader understanding of music. In Wakefield Lockhart has found a small city that has an incredible independent music scene, which he has become an integral part of, and has created his own song writing style. Lockhart has also played fiddle with such people as The Cribs, King Creosote, Darren Hayman and Piney Gir.

This show is a co-promotion with Now Wave.

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.
Designed by ikram_zidane

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 27 September 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be promoting our first show with Horse Feathers in eight years!

Horse Feathers feel like a secret you don’t really want to share. Over twelve years and five albums, a passionate fan base has experienced this band as a precious commodity that they want to keep close to their hearts. One reason for this can be found in lead singer Justin Ringle’s distinctive voice, at once vulnerable and piercing, and in the quality of the music: gorgeous, lush string arrangements surrounding stark, visceral lyrics whose bite makes a piquant juxtaposition to the surrounding beauty.

Now, however, Horse Feathers has created an album that differs enough from its predecessors to suggest that the cat might get out of the bag. On Appreciation, their sixth full-length and the fifth on venerable independent label Kill Rock Stars, the signifiers of the band are there: Ringle’s warm tenor and lyrics that speak of work, love, and other struggles. But on this album less of the song dynamics are achieved with strings and more with an exciting new rhythm section steeped in Northern Soul. Longtime violinist Nathan Crockett and keyboardist Dustin Dybvig provide continuity, but much of Appreciation feels like the best of Ringle’s previous musical ideas just took a giant step into a larger arena.

Recorded primarily in Kentucky (at La-La Land Studios in Louisville and Shangri-La Studios in Lexington), the new album features instrumentalists J. Tom Hnatow, Robby Cosenza and R&B vocalist Joslyn Hampton, who helped make Appreciation a mixture of strutting 1970s-style country-pop (Without Applause, Don’t Mean To Pry) and supple soul (Best To Leave, Evictions). But Horse Feathers haven’t gained accessibility at the expense of quality, nor at the expense of their signature instrumentation (The Hex might be the only R&B/soul song where the rhythmic lead is played on banjo). For those who crave what NPR called ‘the densely pretty seethe of Horse Feathers’ earlier ballads’, the album delivers Born in Love and On the Rise, accentuating the string surge with Hammond organ, piano, tambourine, and finger snaps.

‘It just felt like a fresh take on how my songs can come across,’ Ringle says. ‘With this incarnation, it’s okay if what I’m doing right now is in fact kind of a pop song. I can have a chorus and repeat something. I’m more aware of that and enjoy it.’

This artistic adjustment comes in the wake of a lot of changes in Ringle’s life. Not too long ago, he left his former hometown of Portland for the coastal city Astoria, Oregon. He’s also been dipping his toes into the world of record production, helping North Carolina band River Whyless with the recording of their last album We All The Light. After a while of bouncing between three states, as well as stops in Camas, Washington to finish Appreciation with longtime compatriot Skyler Norwood at Miracle Lake Studios, Ringle is finally settling down just in time to get ready to hit the road with Horse Feathers in support of this new album. ‘I wanna get out there and do my job,’ he says.

Diehard fans are going to find plenty to cherish on Appreciation. But they’re going to have to make room in the club house for a lot more people – with this album, the Horse Feathers secret is officially out.

‘On Horse Feathers’ sixth album, their introverted persona has thawed, revealing a surprising affinity for the joy of Stax-era and country-fried soul’ – Pitchfork

Local support comes from Ash Mountain. Ash Mountain is the name of Manchester songwriter Tim Scott’s rotating band of musicians. Their latest three-track EP was produced by Oasis knob-twiddler Dave Scott in Aman, Jordan. And while there’s little in the way of Gallagher bros or middle-eastern influence in the music, the production does justice to the vocal and writing talents of new singer Matt Jones. The band cite everything from The Stones and Dylan to Townes Van Zandt to Calexico as influences – and it’s great to hear a Manchester band who’re willing to push the Americana envelope without sounding dated or derivative.

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.
Designed by ikram_zidane

When: 7pm on Thursday 27 September 2018
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be working with Haiku Salut again – this time, at the Deaf Institute, with special guests Group Listening and Thomas Ragsdale!

For their first two critically acclaimed albums, Derbyshire trio Haiku Salut concerned themselves with interweaving musical genres – finding new ways to combine folk and electronica, post rock and neo-classical, and creating music that was greeted with a host of suitably wide-eyed adjectives: spellbinding, magical, beautiful…

In the midst of all this, Gemma, Louise and Sophie created their wondrous Lamp Show, in which a stageful of vintage lamps flash, flicker and fade in time to the music. And it got them thinking – if they could invent a stage show that’s like watching electronica come to life, maybe there’s something further to be discovered about the relationship between light and sound. What if you could hear light? What if you could see sound?

The result is the trio’s third album, There Is No Elsewhere, and this year’s Lamp Show tour. The LP’s opening track, Cold To Crack The Stones features a manipulation of a NASA recording of the pulses emitted by lightning. So light has been turned into sound which will then be converted back to light, as the lamps dance to the music. What will be found in the translation?

Helping them in their quest is a disco box stolen from a UFO crash site, a sci-fi glockenspiel, and an array of instruments the band have had imported from the future. So there will be a party amongst the wonder. Come and see (and hear and see/hear) this unique band stage their unique show as their powers grow ever stronger.

Special guests are Group Listening. PRAH Recordings is excited to present Group Listening, a new project by Stephen Black and Paul Jones. Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.1 is a collection of ambient works – from the likes of Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, Euros Childs and Robert Wyatt – arranged for clarinet and piano.

Having met at music college, Stephen and Paul went separate ways creatively. Stephen delved into pop, recording albums and touring extensively under the guise of Sweet Baboo, while working with Cate Le Bon, H. Hawkline and others. Paul leaned into the piano, pursuing a career as a jazz pianist and experimental musician. He played with Keith Tippett, formed the Jones O’Connor group, performed with noise improv bands and composed orchestral and chamber music.

Reconnecting years later, the pair discovered that their music tastes, bizarrely, met in the middle; they have a shared love of The Beach Boys, Ghost Box Records, Messiaen and Angela Morley. They both like ambient and new age music, bubblegum pop, Artie Shaw, Moondog and the outsider music handbook Songs in the Key of Z.

Opening the show is Thomas Ragsdale. From his basement studio, Thomas Ragsdale creates cinematic electronica with immersive soundscapes and blissful techno workouts. His music has been featured with great effect in two BBC documentaries by Adam Curtis including the acclaimed HyperNormalisation, where his track Warning Mass features extensively, and original works also appear throughout BAFTA winner Alison Millar’s 2018 BBC doc Searching for Shergar. Ragsdale’s live performances are an audio-visual immersive sound-bath. Sharing bills with artists including Tropic Of Cancer, Telefon Tel Aviv, Forest Swords and Tim Hecker, Ragsdale draws his audience into a mesmerising and cinematic experience.

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.

Attend on: Facebook

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

When: 7pm on Friday 28 September 2018
Where: Gorilla, 54-56 Whitworth Street West, Manchester M1 5WW

We’re delighted to be bringing ex-Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flür to Manchester!

A member of Kraftwerk during the group’s golden era, Wolfgang Flür was the band’s electronic percussionist from 1973 to 1987.

Born in Frankfurt, Germany, Flür became the third member of the band in 1973, replacing a drum machine. He was a member of the group from their international breakthrough with the album Autobahn (1974), and remained as they experimented with proto-techno on albums such as Trans-Europe Express (1977) and Computer World (1981).

Frustrated with the half-a-decade it took to produce Electric Cafe (1986), he left the band after the LP’s release – it wouldn’t be until a 2009 reissue that Flür received an artist credit on the album.

In 1997, he launched his solo career under the name Yamo and released Time Pie, an album that featured work with the experimental duo Mouse on Mars.

In 2000, he published his memoir I Was a Robot but the book was pulled momentarily, and re-released with revisions after a lawsuit from the remaining members of Kraftwerk. A 12″ single named after the book appeared in 2004, and it was included on the 2015 release Eloquence: Total Works, a collection of unreleased Flürtracks dating back to 2002.

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

This show is a co-promotion with Synergy Concerts.

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.
Designed by ikram_zidane

When: 7.30pm on Friday 28 September 2018
Where: YES (Basement), 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB

We’re delighted to be helping Songs For Walter launch his new album – at new venue, YES!

Not all heroes wear capes. As Songs For Walter’s eponymous debut album and its vivid tales inspired by his late grandfather attested, they’re more likely to own a favourite pullover, worn only on special occasions. On new album An Endless Summer Daze, the family’s grand tradition of storytelling continues and has clearly been passed down the generations, from the most outspoken to unassuming observer alike.

Nom de plume of songwriter Laurie Hulme, Song For Walter is about to make a hefty impression on those who have followed his sonic trajectory to date. Through an astute voyeurism of friends and strangers he’s encountered along the way, An Endless Summer Daze is a bold and self-aware release that strips back his previously hefty guitar sound in favour of majestic acoustic flourishes. Whilst the debut LP came to fruition in Manchester’s sprawling suburbs, this time around the travel bug returned without warning and he found himself hitching a train to Edinburgh. “By absolute fluke, I ended up staying in an architecturally award-winning modernist house. I set up in the owner’s study and laid down the tracks,” he recalls.

An album which holds no barres and flexes artistic license whilst exploring the complexities of life, its lyrics both challenge and entertain, telling tales as tall as they are true. “I’ve never wanted to write about love, it feels so unimaginative,” explains Songs For Walter, of his development as musician and writer. “I like writing about peculiarities in people, personal stories, the bizarre world we’re born into and strange things we do.”

Channelling subtle melodic activism through the anti-folk stylings, latest single ‘Earwigging’ dabbles in Orwellian themes, telling of the contrast between rising alienation in the western world and CCTV culture whilst ‘Aliens’ was inspired by a Louis Theroux documentary about ET hunters. Masquerading behind upbeat major 7th chords, the unfortunate reality of an historical unemployment protest in Salford can be heard on ‘The Battle Of Bexley Square’ and ‘Squaring Circles’ laments the helplessness of workers tied to the 9am-5pm grind. “As a songwriter I develop my songs one bit at a time. The whole process is like doing a jigsaw, slowly finding each piece,” he tells.

With his past singles receiving BBC 6music spins from Laverne, Lamacq, Cocker, Robinson, Maconie, and Ravenscroft – who extended an invitation to play Belfast’s In The Court Of festival – Songs For Walter has found good company in fellow capeless comrades. Further shows have included Festival Number 6 and Indie Tracks, not to mention unforgettable experiences supporting his own heroes, The Wedding Present and Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr. “Supporting Lou was incredible and surreal,” he recollects. “He showed me how to play a couple of my favourite Sebadoh songs. One day I hope to ask Bill Callahan how he has bucked the trend and kept on releasing great music.”

Recorded at Manchester’s 80 Hertz studios, An Endless Summer Daze features adapted and manipulated homemade instruments, brought into the mix with Working For A Nuclear Free City’s coveted film and television composer Phil Kay. The album’s nostalgic title-track takes its name from a deleted line, rescued from the cutting room floor (“I can’t remember waking up from an endless summer daze”), whilst talented artist friend Amy Tidmarsh was enlisted to adorn the album sleeve with her pencil line drawings. Depicting an Okapi forest giraffe, a native creature in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it’s style recalls the famous artwork of Smog’s Julius Caesar and Palace Music’s Viva Last Blues, only adding to the album – and Songs For Walter’s – otherworldly charm.

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.
Designed by ikram_zidane

When: 8pm on Friday 28 September 2018
Where: Night & Day Cafe, 26 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN

We’re delighted to be welcoming Colin MacIntyre’s Mull Historical Society back to Manchester!

Colin MacIntyre is an award-winning musician, producer, author and playwright. He has released eight acclaimed albums to date, most notably under the name Mull Historical Society, having achieved two UK Top 20 albums and four Top 40 singles, since his Gold-selling debut album, Loss.

His debut novel The Letters of Ivor Punch (W&N/Orion) won the 2015 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. He has been voted Scotland’s Top Creative Talent at the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards, as well as into the Greatest Scottish Artists of All Time public poll, and has toured worldwide, including with Elbow and REM. He has performed live on the US College radio circuit, on Radio 4, 6 Music, Radio 1, Radio 2, MTV, Later With and The Jonathan Ross Show, among many others.

2018 will see the release of Colin’s new Mull Historical Society album Wakelines on Xtra Mile Recordings, produced by the Mercury Prize-winning songwriter and Brit Award-winning producer Bernard Butler (Suede, McAlmost & Butler). Summer 2018 also sees the publication of two new books from Colin: his memoir The Boy in the Bubble about growing up on the isle of Mull and his journey from island boy to international musician, which is published as part of the W&N Books/Orion ‘Hometown Tales’ series. Colin’s first book for children, The Humdrum Drum, a picture book with accompanying original songs and audiobook, will also be published this year.

He is adapting his novel for the stage, and has collaborated with those as diverse as King Creosote, political legend Tony Benn, and Trainspotting creator Irvine Welsh. His newest musical incarnation is the emerging Field Stars, an electro art-pop collaboration, produced by the Grammy Award-winning Dom Morley (Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black) and mixed by Lars Norgren (Tove Lo Habits).

Born into a family of writers and storytellers, Colin is a descendant of the Gaelic warrior-poet, Duncan Ban MacIntyre, and grew up on the isle of Mull in the Hebrides (pop. 2,500 people, 26,268 sheep).

‘Every bit the Hebridean Sufjan Stevens. Terrific’ – NME

Local support comes from Peaks. Peaks is the brainchild of Manchester-based songwriter Ben Forrester. Ben has been a strong component within the Manchester DIY scene for a number of years, predominately known as one half of riff-rock outfit Bad Grammar. Ben started forming ideas as Peaks in the latter half of 2015, officially unleashing the project at the start of 2016 with a series of single/EP releases throughout the year. After a relatively quiet period, Peaks returned with his third EP, Happy Medium, earlier this year which was produced by Tom Peters from math rock mavericks Alpha Male Tea Party. Drawing on a plethora of influences, Peaks combines expansive, post-rock guitar loops and sparkling pop melodies with an early 1990s emo twist.

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.

Attend on: Facebook

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

When: 7pm on Sunday 30 September 2018
Where: Albert Hall, 27 Peter Street, Manchester M2 5QR

PLEASE NOTE: This show has now sold out! Join our mailing list, at the top of the page, for updates about future La Luz shows.

We’re excited to be presenting Ólafur Arnalds’ return to Manchester – at the Albert Hall!

BAFTA Award-winning artist, composer, musician and producer Ólafur Arnalds adds more dates to his worldwide tour, his first in over three years. Previously announced European shows in May, which include the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London, have all sold out.

Fresh off his projects Island Songs, TV scores such as Broadchurch and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams and a world tour with his electronic outfit KIASMOS, Ólafur and his team of fellow craftsmen and musicians are back in the lab, working on an all new live show.

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

The centrepiece of the show are two semi-generative, self-playing pianos that Ólafur and his team have spent over two years developing. Simultaneously a compositional tool and a innovative addition to the live performance.

‘The self-playing pianos are a jolt to the creative process that forces me to try new and often surprising things,’ Ólafur says. ‘In a live setting the pianos are a integral part of the performance due to their generative nature. Each time they are played is a little different, making every performance unique.’

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

PLEASE NOTE: This show has now sold out! Join our mailing list, at the top of the page, for updates about future La Luz shows.

Attend on: Facebook

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

Read our monthly gig guides on Creativetourist.com.