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: Gratis: Dehd... Gratis: XIXA... Shana Cleveland... Lambert... Robyn Hitchcock... Martin Kohlstedt... Francis Lung... Mr Ben & the Bens... Weyes Blood... Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore with The Guilty Ones... Sinkane... Sam Amidon... Tropical Fuck Storm... The Delines... Mega Bog... Sebastian Plano... Gratis: Molly Linen + Cult Party... Dana Gavanski... David Thomas Broughton... Tusks... Erland Cooper... BC Camplight... Sean Rowe... glowe... Hannah Ashcroft... John Craigie... Kate Davis... Kiwi Jr... Rachael Dadd... Smoke Fairies... Shards... Angel Olsen... Beans on Toast... Jesse Malin... Peggy Sue... The Dears...

When: 7.30pm on Thursday 17 October 2019
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We continue our series of free entry shows at the Eagle Inn – with the Manchester debut of Chicago trio Dehd.

Love is everyday magic. That’s the impression you get listening to Water, the new album by Chicago trio Dehd. Love rises up into the atmosphere like steam off a summer sidewalk and makes you wild. Love breaks your heart and you consider yourself lucky for it. Like water itself, it surrounds us, it supports us; it’s what we’re made of. It takes the shape of its container.

That’s something Jason Balla, Emily Kempf, and Eric McGrady discovered quickly after forming Dehd in 2014. Balla and Kempf are both veterans of Chicago’s increasingly fruitful DIY scene (Balla with Ne-Hi and Earring, Kempf with Vail and formerly with Lala Lala). When they joined forces with first-time drummer Eric McGrady, they discovered they shared a strange and inexplicable chemistry. The music they make — hazy and reverb-drenched, a scuzzy and hyped-up take on surf rock that could only come from the Third Coast — came so intuitively, it made all three feel like they were stewards of something bigger than themselves, even while that very thing is unmistakably drawn from their own personalities. ‘There’s always been this easy grace about the band because we purely just love doing it,’ Balla says of their immediate coherence.

That easy relatability was tested around the time they began working on Water in August 2017, when Balla and Kempf, who had been dating since the band’s inception, went through an agonising breakup. ‘Realistically, when you have a breakup, you want to isolate yourself and cut yourself off from one another,’ Balla says. Instead, Dehd went on tour. The time in the van did them good, forcing each of them to come to terms with the way they felt about one another — and about the band.

‘We processed our breakup through the scope of the band,’ Kempf explains, leading them to realise that the music they were making as Dehd was more important than the dissolution of their romantic relationship — and that the musical connection between the three of them was even deeper than they’d imagined. ‘Every time we write music together or play shows, the chemistry between the three of us seems rare and worth holding on to,’ Balla says.

‘I don’t take it for granted,’ Kempf adds. ‘We love each other — in the truest sense of the word “love”.’

That might be why Water never comes across as cheap or exploitative, and why it doesn’t rely on any Rumours-esque interband drama for its power. Throughout, both Kempf and Balla — who composed the lion’s share of the material in live improvisation with McGrady in their Chicago practice space — sound fresh and alive, like they’ve each returned from a journey and are here to share what they’ve learned; it’s virtually impossible to imagine them on the opposite sides of a conflict.

In fact, Water finds Dehd’s three members united as they push themselves beyond their natural limits and end up in places they wouldn’t have imagined. Balla’s production incorporates flubbed notes and dropped beats, and it emphasises he and Kempf’s occasionally strained voices. It’s all animated by the red-lining feel-good spirit of the Velvet Underground’s Loaded and the breezy melodicism of C86-era indie rock, with a dash of the Cramps’ spooky-hop bop courtesy of McGrady’s locomotive drumming.

Which makes Water feel like a different kind of record: It’s at once a mature and grounded look at adult relationships, and a raucous celebration of friendship, and a cracked piece of purely musical bliss. It’s a clear-eyed look at the wild nature of everyday life that’s been spun up in sugary sweet melodies and scratched-crystal sounds. More than anything, it’s the embodiment of Dehd’s m.o. from the start: As Kempf puts it, ‘Work with what you have and make it magical.’

Local support comes from Organic Zip.

This is a free show – but we strongly advise booking your place in advance via Ticketweb.co.uk

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Monday 21 October 2019
Where: The Eagle Inn, 19 Collier Street, Salford, M3 7DW

We continue our series of free entry shows at the Eagle Inn – with Arizona’s XIXA.

For their new EP The Code, Tucson’s dark, dusty gothic overlords XIXA reached further into the desert, into their instruments, and into their words to carve a more grandiose space for their catchy and latin-tinged psychedelic rock to swell. Now they’re preparing for a new chapter: the release of their upcoming full-length album, Genesis – out in early 2020.

The guitar-slinging six-piece from the deep Southwest combine gritty guitars, the bumping grind of chicha and cumbia, and windswept desert blues into a mesmerising stew. After the acclaimed 2016 debut Bloodline, EP Shift and Shadow, and 2018’s dark western single Tombstone Rashomon, The Code was a natural next step in their evolution. A swirling, raw collection of songs, intense and sun bleached yet shot through with an inky gothic horror. They scan like the long lost soundtrack to a panoramic Tarantino Western; poised, stylish, and menacing. It’s XIXA at their potent, eclectic best.

US and European tours are lined up through 2019 as XIXA continues to spread The Code far and wide. Further touring in 2020 will pave way for the release of Genesis and further cement the band’s legacy as pathfinders towards a ‘New Southwest’.

‘Their desolate Americana, gritty guitars, and cumbia comes together perfectly’ – Kerrang

‘A heavy, reverbed, twangy chicha Spaghetti Western sheen, mystery vocals emerging from the clouds’ – NPR

Local support comes from Jonny Woodhead – frontman of 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.

This is a free show – but we strongly advise booking your place in advance via Ticketweb.co.uk

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 22 October 2019
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with La Luz’s Shana Cleveland – plus guests Samana!

Shana Cleveland has been beguiling listeners for years in her role as the superlative frontwoman for elastic surf rockers La Luz. Now Cleveland is evolving her sound on the new solo full-length Night of the Worm Moon, a serene album that flows like a warm current while simultaneously wresting open a portal to another dimension.

As much a work of California sci-fi as Octavia Butler’s Parable novels, Night of the Worm Moon incorporates everything from alternate realities to divine celestial bodies. Inspired in part by one of her musical idols, the Afro-futurist visionary Sun Ra (the album’s title is a tip of the hat to his 1970 release Night of the Purple Moon), the record blends pastoral folk with cosmic concerns.

Cleveland dreamt up this premise while living in Los Angeles, a city where – as deftly explored on La Luz’s recent Floating Features – reality and fantasy casually co-exist. One particularly evocative scene laid the groundwork for Night of the Worm Moon’s psychedelic undercurrents. As Cleveland tells it, ‘Shortly after I moved to Los Angeles I went to a hip hotel to watch a poolside screening of a documentary about a local alien-worshiping cult. Out front celebrities were getting out of the backs of cars and rushing past autograph hounds into some roped-off room where a secret dinner was about to commence. In the lobby a woman was being paid to exist inside a glass box. [Then] a car dressed as a spaceship pulled up in front to release 30 white doves into the sky above Sunset Boulevard.’

Appropriately enough, Night of the Worm Moon was recorded during a rare cosmic occurrence: 2017’s solar eclipse. ‘We took a break from recording during [the] totality and looked at the sun’s image through a piece of cardboard projecting onto a garbage can,’ Cleveland says. ‘When we came back inside the studio was covered in dozens of tiny crescent suns, refracted from a mirrored disco ball that [engineer Johnny Goss] had hanging in a window.’ Abetting Cleveland during the recording process was a familiar gallery of co-conspirators: multi-instrumentalist Will Sprott of Shannon & the Clams, original La Luz bassist Abbey Blackwell, Goss, pedal steel player Olie Eshelman, and Kristian Garrard, who drummed on Cleveland’s previous solo effort (with then-backing band The Sandcastles), 2011’s Oh Man, Cover the Ground.

But whereas that album was internal and contemplative, Night of the Worm Moon occupies a different, vibrant kind of headspace. UFO sightings, insect carcasses, and twilight dimensions are all grist for Cleveland’s restless creativity, and they and other inspirations collide beautifully on the album’s 10 kaleidoscopic tracks – a spacebound transmission from America’s weirdo frontier.

Special guests are Samana. Samana was realised in the heart of an Austrian forest surrounding a secret lake 3,000 meters above sea level, during a journey the pair undertook across the natural wildernesses and distant cities of Europe; unaware of when they would return or where the road would take them. The name Samana provides an insight into the many conceptual layers that make up the band. As an ancient Sanskrit term, it speaks of one ‘who abandons the conventional obligations of social life in order to find a way of life more in tune with the ways of nature’.

Between themselves, Rebecca Rose Harris and Franklin Mockett are multi-disciplinary artists. Franklin crafts the instrumentation, recording and production of the music to tape, while Rebecca Rose is the visionary behind the conceptual imagery, artwork, lyrics and film. The process by which all works are recorded is of great importance to Samana, who compose their art in their analogue recording studio and darkroom in the remote mountains of Wales.

Samana’s music offers a direct passage into the essence of ourselves, removing ones veneer, with threads of poetical sincerity, emotional honesty and direct openness. Each song is written with its own distinct weight and significance, born from the interpretation of dreams, the philosophies of ancient rituals and personal experience of love, loss and death. Through their rare and honest appreciation of dichotomy, their music emerges almost hauntingly, to lead us into the realms of the unassociated and unknown.

‘Laced with eerie, mystical atmosphere, alongside a plain-stated-gift for songwriting, Samana’s songs make for a strikingly distinct trip; one that you’ll be following with dedicated concentrations all the way through’ – GoldFlakePaint

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

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 Wednesday 23 October 2019
Where: International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY

We’re delighted to be welcoming Lambert to Manchester!

Five years ago, Lambert appeared for the first time. Well, better to say he was heard from. The person behind the Sardinian bull mask remains unrecognised to this day. There are many rumours about who and what could be hidden behind this mask. And that’s a good thing.

Lambert’s playing is internationally known and in demand. Renowned artists such as José Gonzalez, Deichkind and Moderat have asked for reworks of their tracks and received unique new interpretations. In these five years, Lambert released four solo albums and toured halfway across the continent. After releasing two albums in 2018, one in collaboration with electronics producer Stimming and one with Chicago folk singer Brookln Dekker, in May 2018 Lambert reduced his focus again: alone and disguised at the piano.

Busy days, busy years – so much so that one suspected more than one personality behind this pseudonym. But for Lambert, rumours and names are no more than inspiring sound and smoke. What counts is what really lies behind it: a new Lambert album will continue this story in autumn 2019.

The classification of the artist and phenomenon called Lambert into a narrow genre corset is almost unacceptable due to the versatility mentioned above. Nevertheless, the name often falls into neoclassical contexts. Possibly because his first live performances were in collaboration with Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds. Lambert’s harmonies also speak a clear, different language: melodies between the Beatles and this Chopin meet rhythmic structures and thrilling movements that reference modern electronic dance music. Lambert doesn’t seem to care about popularity or high culture. After all, it doesn’t matter because it is as superficial and deceptive as any outward appearance.

It remains to be said that Lambert, in contrast to neoclassicism and its ambience and the concentrated role of surface and diatonic harmony, sees himself as much more musically versatile. A clear and technically adept interest in music shines through again and again. Bach and Chopin are just as much a theme as Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau. Great heroes you wouldn’t expect to find behind all of his works. Nerdism? No. The catchiness of pop cultural traditions and contrasting inspirations make Lambert a colourful phenomenon as well, a horned pop truffle pig in the mud of neoclassical music. This is true and incomplete at the same time.

Lambert’s next works will certainly teach the world a better lesson again. For just as many personalities could be behind this mask, a single genre can certainly not be enough for this sound cosmos. Perhaps this is the best location for the hidden: everywhere and nowhere, but always exactly there. And that’s a good thing.

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 Thursday 24 October 2019
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to working with Robyn Hitchcock for the first time!

Robyn Hitchcock is one of England’s most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers. A surrealist poet, talented guitarist, cult artist and musician’s musician, Hitchcock is among alternative rock’s father figures and is the closest thing the genre has to a Bob Dylan (not coincidentally his biggest musical inspiration).

Since founding the art-rock band The Soft Boys in 1976, Robyn has recorded more than 20 albums as well as starred in Storefront Hitchcock – an in-concert film recorded in New York and directed by Jonathan Demme.

Blending folk and psychedelia with a wry British nihilism, Robyn describes his songs as ‘paintings you can listen to’. His most recent album is self-titled and marks his 21st release as a solo artist. The album, released in 2017, was produced by Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs). Hitchcock describes it as a ‘ecstatic work of negativity with nary a dreary groove’.

It has received rave reviews from UNCUT, Rolling Stone, Paste, Tidal and more.

‘A gifted melodist, Hitchcock nests engaging lyrics in some of the most bracing, rainbow-hued pop this side of Revolver. He wrests inspiration not from ordinary life but from extraordinary imaginings’ – Rolling Stone

‘These 10 gems slither, rock, roll, glide and shapeshift, coalescing around Hitchcock’s typically anxious, strained but striking and immediately identifiable vocals’ – American Songwriter

‘Beloved of everyone from Led Zeppelin to REM, Hitchcock has only enhanced his status with this wonderful outing’ – Hot Press

‘Witty, moving and seriously catchy, Robyn Hitchcock is a glorious return for a man who wasn’t really gone in the first place’ – Paste Magazine

Special guest is Emma Tricca. Emma Tricca has travelled far in seeking the heart of her own music. Inspired by Odetta and encouraged by John Renbourn, she has been gigging around folk clubs honing her craft as songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist. Extended stays in New York and Texas followed, before she returned to London to start work on a first melancholic masterpiece, 2009’s crystalline Minor White. Five years on she would release Relic, even more poised and precise than its predecessor, adding gentle percussion and plaintive orchestration to the established pattern of hushed guitar and heartfelt vocals.

Then hungry for new directions, when her friend Jane Weaver urged her to ‘explore the weirdness’ in her music she called up Jason Victor, producer and Dream Syndicate guitarist. Hauling in Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and New York bass hero Pete Galub they explored the rougher sound in her head. The resultant St Peter (2018) combined crunchy country rock, homespun psychedelia, Morricone soundtracks, New York underground grit and English folk grandeur to weave a wholly unique and surprising spell.

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: 7.30pm on Friday 25 October 2019
Where: St Michael’s, 36-38 George Leigh Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 5DG

We’re delighted to be welcoming pianist/composer Martin Kohlstedt to St Michael’s!

Composer and pianist Martin Kohlstedt does not shirk from a challenge. You can tell by the look in his eyes when he makes a fleeting connection with his audience or when he returns to the refuge of his pianos and electronic keyboards.

Those same eyes search and probe remorselessly through whatever space is in front of him, even before he engages his intellect. Fraught with risk for a performing musician, this game of provocation pushes at the limits of control, but it bears dividends for the composer. Kohlstedt, born in the rural heart of Germany, has become celebrated for the energy and unpredictability of his concerts, selling out Hamburg’s state-of-the-art Elbphilharmonie and playing such venues as the Russian State Library in Moscow and the Talar-e Rudaki in Tehran. But there is no pomp and circumstance in what he does. His focus is on a different way of conceiving music – and of communicating with it. He does not compose ‘works’ as such; rather he creates musical modules whose power lies in the way they can be combined and varied to produce conflicts and make points in ways that could not have been foreseen.

The same is true of his recordings. When he made his companion albums Tag (Day) and Nacht (Night), released in 2012 and 2014, Kohlstedt had to bite the bullet and produce a ‘definitive’ version of each of his musical inspirations. As a result the listener can eavesdrop on his secret rendezvous with his piano. With the 2017 album Strom (Current) the shapes of the performer and his instrument finally meld into a heady maelstrom of piano melodies and electronic landscapes, breaking down any barriers between new and old, between analogue and digital music-making. Structure and everything that goes to make sound become subordinate to the experience of savouring the moment. Those moments are as revelatory to Kohlstedt as his musical expression is to us – this is music as social interaction.

With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that collaboration has always been central to Martin Kohlstedt’s work. He has sought creative stimulus by crossing genres and collaborating on two rework EPs with artists from the worlds of electro, hiphop and pop, such as Christian Löffler, Douglas Dare, FM Belfast, Dwig and Hundreds. This interdisciplinary approach suits him, since he was never quite at home in the world of classical music. Always looking for something more, he studied media art at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and now he regularly composes film scores and contributes to drama productions, both in the theatre and for radio.

In 2019, never short of ambition, Martin Kohlstedt continues to move onward and upward in his work. Collaborating with the 70 singers of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Chorus and its artistic director, Gregor Mayer, he has created Ströme (Currents). It investigates and gives expression to the process of interaction between a collective body and a feisty, intuitive solo performer. In this project, drawing on his own experience and the experience of his long-term colleagues, he lets things take their course and, as two musical forces come together, he allows for the possibility of failure. The result is pure dynamism, characterised both by monumental clashes and gentle rapprochements, and at no point is Ströme intimidated by conventional conceptions of what classical music ought to be.

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 Saturday 26 October 2019
Where: Soup Kitchen, 31-33 Spear Street, Manchester M1 1DF

We’re delighted to be working with Francis Lung.

Manchester’s own Francis Lung, the nom de plume of former Wu Lyf member Tom McClung, releases his new single I Wanna Live In My Dreams. his debut release for Memphis Industries, where he joins the likes of the Go! Team, Poliça, Field Music, it comes with a gorgeously intricate self-produced video.

Following on from the home-recorded Volumes 1 + 2 EPs, which contained titbits written during his time in Wu Lyf, I Wanna Live In My Dreams sees Francis Lung return with a bigger, more expansive sound. Recorded at Low Four Studios with Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles, Go Go Penguin) on production duties, it’s a baroque pop rocket that signals Francis Lung’s new-found ambitions.

The video, crafted over four months by Francis, follows a young boy who falls asleep and turns into his dream alter-ego ‘Ghostface’, as Tom explains:

‘Ghostface is a character I’ve been drawing for years, but I’ve never been quite sure why. I thought it would be nice to give him some purpose by creating this story about him. I’ve never made anything like this before but for some foolish reason I thought it would be a good idea to spend four months of my life learning how to animate. It’s a combination of stop motion, keyframe and hand-drawn animation and it’s made up of thousands upon thousands of frames. I nearly pulled out all my hair making it.

‘The song is an homage to the Ronettes – written when I was in love with sleeping and found it very hard to do much else. There are obvious allusions to suicide here and eternal sleep, but to me it’s more about an alternate reality than being death-obsessed.’

Support comes from Butcher The Bar. Butcher The Bar is the once bedroom pop recording project of Joel Nicholson, now a five-piece guitar band based in Manchester. Releasing two records via Berlin based indie label Morr MusicSleep At Your Own Speed (2008) and For Each A Future Tethered (2011) – Joel has taken Butcher The Bar across Europe and UK solo, as a duo, and a full band, playing venues large and small in places far and wide. After eight years, they have recently released a third LP, III – the first BtB album to feature a full band.

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 Tuesday 29 October 2019
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

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

Join Mr Ben & The Bens as they embark on the their third headline UK tour around the release of the new album Who Knows Jenny Jones?

Born as a recording project in a barn in Northern Lancashire in 2012, Ben Hall recorded and self-released seven albums under the guise of a naively drawn character ‘Mr Ben’. After releasing a split EP on Bingo Records in 2017 the side project now turned live outfit with their first gig actually happening live on BBC 6 Music.

After releasing two more records with Bingo and numerous UK tours the four-piece are known for their captivating, costume clad, joyous, pop performances. Mr Ben & the Bens sound like they were baptised in water from the church of indie classics, the songs of the Lancaster Polymath echo Belle & Sebastian, Teleman, Gorkys Zygotic Mynci and a bit of Bill Ryder-Jones his genuinely great modern songwriting.

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

‘Shimmering with jangling optimism’ – Piccadilly Records

‘Perfect pop, record of the week’ – Marc Riley, BBC 6 Music

Support from Sun Drift.

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 Tuesday 29 October 2019
Where: Club Academy, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PR

Following her sold out show at YES in April, Weyes Blood returns to Manchester!

The phantom zone, the parallax, the upside down – there is a rich cultural history of exploring in-between places. Through her latest, Titanic Rising (out in April on Sub Pop Records), Weyes Blood (aka Natalie Mering) has, too, designed her own universe to soulfully navigate life’s mysteries. Manoeuvring through a space-time continuum, she intriguingly plays the role of melodic, sometimes melancholic, anthropologist.

Tellingly, Mering classifies Titanic Rising as the Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. The latter captures the album’s willful expansiveness (‘You can tell there’s not a guy pulling the strings in Enya’s studio,’ she notes, admiringly). The former relays her imperative to connect with listeners. ‘The clarity of Bob Seger is unmistakable. I’m a big fan of conversational songwriting,’ she adds. ‘I just try to do that in a way that uses abstract imagery as well.’

‘An album is like a Rubik’s Cube,’ she says. ‘Sometimes you get all the dimensions – the lyrics, the melody, the production – to line up. I try to be futuristic and ancient at once, which is a difficult alchemy. It’s taken a lot of different tries to get it right.’ As concept-album as it may sound, it’s also a devoted exercise in realism, albeit occasionally magical. Here, the throwback-cinema grandeur of A Lot’s Gonna Change gracefully coexists with the otherworldly title track, an ominous instrumental.

Titanic Rising, written and recorded during the first half of 2018, is the culmination of three albums and years of touring: stronger chops and ballsier decisions. It’s an achievement in transcendent vocals and levitating arrangements – one she could reach only by flying under the radar for so many years. ‘I used to want to belong,’ says the L.A. based musician. ‘I realised I had to forge my own path. Nobody was going to do that for me. That was liberating. I became a Joan of Arc solo musician.’

The Weyes Blood frontwoman grew up singing in gospel and madrigal choirs. ‘Classical and Renaissance music really influenced me,’ says Mering, who first picked up a guitar at age eight. (Listen closely to Titanic Rising, and you’ll also hear the jazz of Hoagy Carmichael mingle with the artful mysticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the monomyth of scholar Joseph Campbell.) Something to Believe, a confessional that makes judicious use of the slide guitar, touches on that cosmological upbringing. ‘Belief is something all humans need. Shared myths are part of our psychology and survival,’ she says. ‘Now we have a weird mishmash of capitalism and movies and science. There have been moments where I felt very existential and lost.’

As a kid, she filled that void with Titanic. (Yes, the movie.) ‘It was engineered for little girls and had its own mythology,’ she explains. Mering also noticed that the blockbuster romance actually offered a story about loss born of man’s hubris. ‘It’s so symbolic that The Titanic would crash into an iceberg, and now that iceberg is melting, sinking civilisation.’ Today, this hubris also extends to the relentless adoption of technology, at the expense of both happiness and attention spans.

The track Movies marks another Titanic-related epiphany, ‘that movies had been brainwashing people and their ideas about romantic love.’ To that end, Mering has become an expert at deconstructing intimacy. Sweeping and string-laden, Andromeda seems engineered to fibrillate hearts. “It’s about losing your interest in trying to be in love,” she says. “Everybody is their own galaxy, their own separate entity. There is a feeling of needing to be saved, and that’s a lot to ask of people.” Its companion track, “Everyday,” “is about the chaos of modern dating,” she says, “the idea of sailing off onto your ships to nowhere to deal with all your baggage.”

But Weyes Blood isn’t one to stew. Her observations play out in an ethereal saunter: far more meditative than cynical. ‘I experience reality on a slower, more hypnotic level,’ she says. ‘I’m a more contemplative kind of writer.’ To Mering, listening and thinking are concurrent experiences. ‘There are complicated influences mixed in with more relatable nostalgic melodies,’ she says. ‘In my mind my music feels so big, a true production. I’m not a huge, popular artist, but I feel like one when I’m in the studio. But it’s never taking away from the music. I’m just making a bigger space for myself.’

Tour support comes from Ana Roxanne. Ana Roxanne is a Southeast Asian intersex artist born and raised in the Bay Area, California. Their music explores themes of devotion, spirituality, gender and identity, and worship of R&B/pop divas. Ana’s debut EP ~~~ is available now on vinyl via Leaving Records.

The show is a co-promotion with Now Wave.

All ages welcome; under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.

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

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 30 October 2019
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

We’re delighted to be bringing Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore with The Guilty Ones to Manchester!

Downey, California to Lubbock, Texas is a thousand-mile straight shot across the heart of the American West, with not much in between. The cities at each end of the line are one-time cowtowns that grew into symmetrically platted working-class communities with very little to interrupt the horizon plane, making for big empty canvasses that require a vivid imagination to fill in all that blank space.

Dave Alvin from Downey and Jimmie Dale Gilmore from Lubbock have been filling canvasses with music of the American West for decades, coming from two very different directions.

The title track explains Alvin is a Strat-packing, wild blues Blaster, a nod to the roots rock band he formed with his brother Phil in 1978 before Dave peeled off to go his own way in 1986. He’s been part of the bands X, the Knitters and the Flesh Eaters, tours relentlessly with his own band, the Guilty Ones, and continues apace on musical quests informed by his love of California and its history, and by Texas and the South, where most of the great music that was made in Los Angeles before and after the Second World War came from.

Gilmore is the old Flatlander from the Great High Plains, acknowledging his first group, the folk-country trio formed in Lubbock 1972 with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock who continue performing and recording today. In addition to the Flatlanders and an extended solo career, he has been part of several ensembles including the Hub City Movers and The Wronglers with Warren Hellman, who started the Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco.

Alvin is a rowdy baritone. Gilmore, the timekeeper of the high lonesome, warbles. Each is an avatar, an authentic, original creator with a strong sense of place and music.

That combination might seem like oil and water. But mixed together in the forms of these ten cover songs and two originals, including the autobiographical title track, this is powerful stuff. Taking on all kinds of American music from the 1920s to the present is a very ambitious, very difficult feat to pull off. These two very particular, very peculiar, very not intellectual music makers make it a joy to behold.

‘A full band backs the twosome and while this might seem like an unusual pairing on paper, the result is an alternatively sweet, touching, rousing and undeniably heartfelt set that plays to both artist’s strengths while pushing each slightly outside their comfort zone’ – American Songwriter

This is a 10+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. This is a mixed unreserved seated and standing show.

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

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the Band on the Wall box office (no booking fee), Ticketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

Attend on: Facebook


All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
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