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Upcoming shows: Tropical Fuck Storm... The Wave Pictures... Hania Rani... Aoife O’Donovan... The Lovely Eggs... Pet Deaths... The Courettes... Ríoghnach Connolly & Honeyfeet... Darren Hayman... Vetiver... La Luz... Francis Lung... John Francis Flynn... Jenny Hval... Ben Caplan... Advance Base + Karima Walker... Jeffrey Martin & Anna Tivel... Xenia Rubinos... Lael Neale... The Handsome Family... Rory Butler... Dana Gavanski... Charles Watson... Penguin Cafe... Ólafur Arnalds... Polly Paulusma... Tommy Alexander... The Dears... The Sheepdogs... The Burning Hell... Angel Olsen... John Craigie... Dustin O’Halloran... Plastic Mermaids... Dan Mangan... Josh Rouse... Julie Odell... Heartless Bastards... Alice Boman... Jesca Hoop... Stars... Rachel Baiman...

When: 7.30pm on Saturday 29 October 2022
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re pleased to be working with John Craigie again as we bring him to Gullivers!

Portland, Oregon-based singer, songwriter and producer John Craigie adapts moments of solitude into stories perfectly suited for old Americana fiction anthologies. Instead of leaving them on dog-eared pages, he projects them widescreen in flashes of simmering soul and folk eloquence.

On his 2022 full-length album, Mermaid Salt, we witness revenge unfurled in flames, watch a landlocked mermaid’s escape, and fall asleep under a meteor shower. After selling out shows consistently coast-to-coast and earning acclaim from Rolling Stone, Glide Magazine, No Depression and many more, his unflinching honesty ties these ten tracks together. The album comes from the solitude and loneliness of lockdown in the Northwest. Someone whose life was touring, travelling and having lots of human interaction is faced with an undefinable amount of time without those things.

So, he began writing new songs and envisioning an album that was different from his past records. The sound of everyone playing live in a room together was traded for the sound of song construction with an unknown amount of instruments and musicians – a quiet symphony. Rather than steal away to a cabin or hole up in a house with friends, Craigie opted to set up shop at the OK Theatre in Enterprise, Oregon with long time collaborator Bart Budwig behind the board as engineer.

A rotating cast of musicians shuffled in and out safely, distinguishing the process from the communal recording of previous releases. The core players included Justin Landis, Cooper Trail and Nevada Sowle. Meanwhile, Shook Twins lent their signature vocal harmonies, Bevin Foley arranged, composed and performed strings, and Ben Walden dropped in for guitar and violin plucking parts.

On Distance, warm piano glows alongside a glitchy beat as he softly laments, ‘I could lose you to the loneliness, vast and infinite’.

Then, there’s Helena. A jazz-y bass line snakes through head-nodding percussion as he relays an incendiary parable of a mother and son in exile. He croons, ‘She said fire was how we’d make ‘em pay. As I ran across the fields, she would scream, “Light it up son”‘, uplifted in a conflagration of Shook Twins’ harmonies.

Craigie had reached a series of watershed moments in tandem with Mermaid Salt. Beyond headlining venues such as The Fillmore and gracing the stage of Red Rocks Amphitheatre, his 2020 offering Asterisk The Universe earned an unanimous tastemaker applause:

‘For many weary and heavy listeners hearted, the album might be exactly what they need’ – Glide Magazine

‘Tracks like Don’t Deny and Climb Up bridge a Sixties and Seventies songwriter vibe with the laid-back cool of Jack Johnson, an early supporter of Craigie’ – Rolling Stones

Along the way he generated over 40 million total streams and counting, speaking to his unassuming impact.

In the end, Craigie offers a sense of peace on Mermaid Salt.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are also available from Dice.fm, WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

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