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 Weather Station... Tiny Ruins... Lithics... Mass Gothic... A Bingo Records Showcase... La Luz... Michael Nau... Horse Feathers... Haiku Salut... Wolfgang Flür... Mull Historical Society... Ólafur Arnalds... The Sonics... BC Camplight... You Tell Me... Terry Riley & Gyan Riley... The She Street Band... Milky Wimpshake... Dawn Landes... Halo Maud... Murray A. Lightburn... Steady Holiday... Daniel Brandt & Eternal Something... Funke and the Two Tone Baby... She Makes War... Say Sue Me... Jo Passed... Easter... Eleanor Friedberger... William the Conqueror... Hater... Jen Cloher... Robert Vincent... Blurt... The Lovely Eggs... HALEY... The Breath... Danny Goffey... Holy Moly & The Crackers... Saintseneca... Federico Albanese... Kiran Leonard... Ryley Walker... River Whyless... Still Corners... Great Lake Swimmers... Lera Lynn... Liela Moss... Saint Sister...

When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 20 June 2018
Where: Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, M4 1LW

We’re delighted to be working with John Murry again!

John Murry was adopted at birth into the family of William Faulkner. Some have speculated that the Faulkner blood might also run in his veins, but that should be left for a Southern Gothic novel yet to be written (or perhaps re-written). Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, in the shadow of Elvis, his undiagnosed autism led to troubles at an early age which led to prescribed medication, which led to unprescribed medication which led to being institutionalised for addiction and mental health issues at a too young age. Eventually, discarded onto the streets of Memphis, he found music, which became the one constant positive force in his life. Memphis led to San Francisco and San Francisco led to heroin and heroin led to a near fatal overdose on the corner of 16th and Mission, so harrowingly memorialised in his song Little Colored Balloons.

Music again came to his rescue and led him to Tim Mooney (American Music Club) and the group of musicians that helped create his 2012 masterpiece The Graceless Age.

And John toured the world. He entranced and devastated audiences with his raw, unfiltered live performances, and it looked like his trajectory was set, that music had won and would have the final word. And then Tim Mooney, John’s mentor, his beacon, his bedrock, died suddenly and unexpectedly… and John’s world fell back in to chaos. Over the next few years, John would lose the footing that he had struggled so hard to establish. He would lose his wife, his daughter, temporarily his freedom and ultimately his country.

Somewhere along this volatile journey, John crossed paths with Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. John had opened for the band at a show in Glasgow and Michael watched side-stage transfixed by John’s performance. Over the next few years the two of them kept in touch, they talked about the music business, politics, books, but most of all they talked about music. And they talked about making an album together. Michael wanted to capture the rawness of John’s songs, capture the vibe that he experienced that night in Glasgow and was even more convinced of this approach when John came through Toronto opening for Chuck Prophet and did a solo set at The Horseshoe Tavern, which was as disarming and emotional as the set of music that he had experienced in Glasgow a couple of years earlier. ‘On The Graceless Age you can hear John’s affinity to artists such as Mark Linkous and Mark Lanegan, but seeing him on stage, with just his guitar and his songs reminded me of Townes (Van Zandt), that raw-boned, exquisite beauty, so real that it borders on the uncomfortable, you feel you should look away, but it’s just too compelling to do so. The pain, the intensity, the honesty just draws you deeper’.

Eventually John completed his descent and landed in Kilkenny, Ireland where he found some solid ground as part of a welcoming arts community. Michael then convinced him to travel to his Toronto studio where Michael put a band together consisting of brother Peter Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) on drums and Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers, Gord Downie, Lee Harvey Osmond) on bass. John brought along Cait O’Riordan (The Pogues, Elvis Costello) whom he had met in Ireland and who wanted to be a part of John’s journey. The five of them put aside five days to record all bedtracks and overdubs, with the brief that they would let the songs dictate where the journey took them, spontaneity was the order of the week. Michael Timmins describes the sessions, ‘I felt that it was important that John got out of his own way and that we set up a situation where he would just play and sing and the rest of us would just react, no second guessing, just react and capture the moment. It was a very inspired and inspiring week of playing and recording. Very intense. And I think we captured the raw essence of John’s writing and playing’.

A Short History Of Decay is an intensely personal document of an artist’s fall from grace. It contains all the tragic elements of that unwritten Southern Gothic novel: the revelations of a man coming to terms with the personal shortcomings, the flaws and the perverse twists of fate that led him to the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

‘Like Father John Misty, Mark Lanegan and Josh T Pearson rolled into one really broken dream’ – Q

‘A Short History Of Decay delivers in gloriously dysfunctional bucketloads’ – MOJO

Tour support is Benjamin Folke Thomas. Folke Thomas was born in the coldest winter recorded in modern day history in Gothenburg Sweden; perhaps his obsession for sad, lamenting country songs was inevitable; and grew up on a secluded island off the coast of, populated by mainly evangelical Christians. However, Ben never found God. He discovered grunge music instead, and at the age of 11 he was playing drums in a punk band before turning to folk and Americana music after seeing Kurt Cobain’s performance of In The Pines on Unplugged. Steeping himself in Leadbelly, Dylan, and Leonard Cohen, by the age of 20 he was an accomplished finger-picker, confident performer, and mature songwriter. Copenhagen is Ben’s best work to date; an album full of roots and rhythmic blues, alongside the most beautiful descriptive storytelling, sung with his trademark baritone vocals and packed with anthemic choruses.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar (no booking fee), Vinyl Exchange, WeGotTickets.com, Ticketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

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