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: Beans on Toast... Lightheaded + Mt. Misery... Jake Xerxes Fussell... Andrew Wasylyk & Tommy Perman... Cat Clyde... Charlie Parr... Mock Tudors... Dominie Hooper... Steve Wynn... Ryley Walker... Terry Reid... Chime School... The Courettes... Douglas Dare... Tusks... Rachael Lavelle... Euros Childs... Roddy Woomble... Mikey Kenney... John Francis Flynn... Old Sea Brigade... Coruja Jones... Good News... Myriam Gendron... Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra... Tropical Fuck Storm... Kris Drever... Erland Cooper... Pokey LaFarge... Admiral Fallow... Skinny Lister... The Sheepdogs... Svaneborg Kardyb... The Unthanks in Winter... Jim Moray... Emily Barker... Chuck Prophet... Martin Kohlstedt...

When: 7.30pm on Saturday 14 September 2024
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to welcome Charlie Parr back to Gullivers!

In the music of Charlie Parr, there is a sincere conviction and earnest drive to create. The Minnesota-born guitarist, songwriter, and interpreter of traditional music has released 19 albums over two decades and has been known to perform up to 275 shows a year. Parr is a folk troubadour in the truest sense: taking to the road between shows, writing and rewriting songs as he plays, fuelled by a belief that music is eternal and cannot be claimed or adequately explained. The bluesman poet pulls closely from the sights and sounds around him, his lyrical craftsmanship built by his influences. The sounds from his working-class upbringing — including Folkways legends such as Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie — imbue Parr’s music with stylistic echoes of blues and folk icons of decades past. Parr sees himself merely as a continuer of a folk tradition: ‘I feel like I stand on a lot of big shoulders,’ he said in an interview. ‘I hope that I’ve brought a little bit of myself to the music.’

With a discography simultaneously transcendental in nature and grounded in roots music, Charlie Parr is the humble master of the 21st century folk tradition. Parr started recording in Duluth in 2002, where he lives today. Life in the port town on Lake Superior has a way of bleeding into his work the same way his childhood in Austin, Minnesota does. Parr self-released his debut album, Criminals and Sinners, and did the same for his sophomore album 1922 (2002). With growing popularity abroad, Parr signed with Red House Records in 2015, where he recorded break-out albums Stumpjumper (2015) and Dog (2017). Parr’s music has an overwhelming sense of being present and mindful, and his sound is timeless.

Parr’s mastery of his craft is only more apparent when contextualised within the history of folk tradition of which Parr has dedicated his practice The land and lives around and intersecting with Parr have always influenced him, from the hills and valleys of Hollandale, Minnesota to the Depression-era stories from his father. Parr strives to listen to everything: ‘I don’t see that I’d ever be capable of creating anything if it weren’t for these inspirations and influences, books and music as well as the weather and random interactions with strangers and animals. So, the well never runs dry as long as my eyes and ears are open,’ Parr said in a 2020 interview. Before he was even 10 years old Parr was rummaging through his father’s record collection — sometimes drawing dinosaurs on the vinyl sleeves — and listening to country, folk, and blues legends, many of whom are staples in the Folkways catalogue. When Parr sings and plays his resonator or 12-string, you can hear influences like Mance Lipscomb, Charley Patton, Spinder John Koerner, Rev. Gary Davis and Dock Boggs. This is especially true in his playing, when, after a diagnosis of focal dystonia, Parr turned to greats like Davis, Doc Watson, and Booker White for two-finger picking inspiration. Gifted a 1965 Gibson B-45 12-string by his father, Parr has never had a formal lesson and learned by to listening records and watching musicians he admired.

Parr’s first album with Smithsonian Folkways, Last of Better Days Head (2021), foregrounded his lyrical craftsmanship and sophisticated bluesman confidence, with spare production highlighting Parr’s mastery of guitar and elevating his poetry. Last of Better Days Ahead is a portrait of how Parr saw the world in that moment, reflecting on time and memories that have past while holding an enduring desire to be present. In his 2024 release, Little Sun, Parr weaves together stories celebrating music, community, and communing with nature. Putting forth an ambitious and raw album that exemplifies the best of Parr’s sound: a blend of the blues and folk traditions he continues to carry with him and the steadfast originality of a poet.

Local support comes from Jon Coley. Jon Coley is an acclaimed folk singer songwriter. He plays an eclectic mix of Blues, soul and folk, mixed with fresh original songwriting. He is renowned for his unique guitar playing passionate vocal performances, reminiscent of Van Morrison and Amos Lee. Jon is influenced by performers such as Nick Drake, Neil Young, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Sam Cooke, Bert Jansch, Wizz Jones, classic blues and especially the music of John Martyn. He has quickly become a legendary figure in his present home of Manchester, and his family’s native Liverpool, where his grandfather worked to book bands for the Cavern Club alongside Bobby Wooler and owner Ray McFall.

Jon has played support spots and festivals alongside John Renbourn, Blind Boy Paxton, Michael Chapman, Ralph McTell, Jon Gomm, Wizz Jones, Dylan LeBlanc, Chance McCoy, Charlie Parr, Tré Burt, Jerry Joseph and shared a stage and many more, including Foss Patterson and Danny Thompson of John Martyn’s band at venues as varied as New York’s Bitter End Club, Preservation Hall New Orleans, and Liverpool’s Echo Arena. After years of live touring, Jon released his Mercury nominated album If All I Ever Wanted Was All I Ever Needed to critical acclaim in 2021.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.