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: The Breath... Amy Rigby... 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... Aidan Moffat & RM Hubbert... The Travelling Band... The Once... Odetta Hartman... The Wave Pictures... Beans on Toast... Advance Base... You Tell Me... Kristin Hersh... Tiny Ruins... Skinny Lister... Steve Gunn... The Unthanks...

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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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

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