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 Travelling Band... Aldous Harding... William the Conqueror... Wolf Parade... Lost Horizons... Skinny Lister + Beans on Toast... The Burning Hell... Leif Vollebekk... Euros Childs... Lowly... Jesca Hoop... Schwervon!... Charles Howl... David Thomas Broughton... Haiku Salut: Christmas Lamp Show... Honeyfeet... The Deslondes... Liima... Will Varley... Jen Cloher... The Lovely Eggs... Loney dear... Gun Outfit... The Handsome Family... Karl Blau... Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker... Brooke Sharkey... Lilly Hiatt... Josh Rouse... Pinkshinyultrablast... I’m With Her... The Breath...

When: 7pm on Tuesday 18 October 2011
Where: The Thekla, 40 The Grove, East Mud Dock, Bristol BS1 4RB

When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 19 October 2011
Where: Band on the Wall, 26 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JZ

We’re ecstatic to welcome back one of our favourite artists, and the very reason we started Hey! Manchester in the first place!

Jens Lekman at Band on the Wall, Manchester

In the symbology of Jens Lekman‘s songbook, motion is a means to stave off insanity or succumb to it and the songs on the An Argument With Myself EP deal with many types of movement, both big and small, from why he moved to Melbourne to the societal change/movement in his old hometown of Gothenburg to simple map directions.

The opening song and title track begins with this excellent Jens archetype, recounting an inner battle while walking home through the central business district of Melbourne, Australia. While on its face, Waiting For Kirsten seems to trace an ultimately futile odyssey to track down Kirsten Dunst while she films in Gothenburg, its really an attempt to work out the complex relationship one has with one’s hometown. The comfort and disappoint of what’s changed, and what seems to never change. Alternately, the horn-driven New Directions brings a slightly manic roadmap of directions to any place but here and any time but now. The songs are witty, literal, and impeccably location-specific, and they’re all heading somewhere as a means to either go crazy or keep from doing so.

With more fractured textures that combine horns, flutes, string swells and arpeggiated guitars, the opening of the EP finds Jens in constant state of transition, musically, as well. However, as An Argument With Myself comes to a close the arrangements get looser, more reggae-tinged and relaxed, like a music box winding down. For a moment, the motion almost stops. For now.

We’re delighted to be welcoming Jens back to Manchester for a fourth time, following sold-out performances at the Deaf Institute, Sacred Trinity and the Kings Arms over the past five years. Jens will also play at the Thekla in Bristol. These are his only UK appearances outside of London, so please book early to avoid missing out.

Support at both shows comes from up-and-coming Jagjaguwar artist Lia Ices. True to the ever-present dichotomies that serve as a source of inspiration for her, Lia Ices’ emotionally driven and experimental pop music is both avant-garde and timeless. A natural yet refined grace permeates her work: she is a pianist herself. Dancing on a finely crafted line between the percussive qualities of her instrument, and the melodic elements within the rhythm of her voice, Ices’ music reveals itself as epiphany. With such overt elegance as if from a bygone era, listening to her songs inspires a psychic time slip, and its hard to know if you’re wading in the warmest of memories or awed by the invention and glow of new surroundings.

In Manchester, tickets are available from Band on the Wall’s box office, Common (both no booking fee), Piccadilly Records, Vinyl Exchange, Seetickets.comWeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.ukTicketweb.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

In Bristol, tickets are available from Bristol Ticket Shop, Rise MusicSeetickets.com, Alt-Tickets.co.uk, Ticketline.co.uk, WeGotTickets.com, Ticketweb.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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Bristol – Attend on: Facebook | Last.fm

All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

Read our monthly gig guides on Creativetourist.com.