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 Thursday 25 March 2010
Where: Dulcimer, 567 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester M21 0AE

We’re proud to present the first visit of Toronto’s Picastro to Manchester since 2007!

Since their formation in 1997 and the release of their debut album Red Your Blues in 2001, Canada’s Picastro have continued to mine a rich seam of beautifully melancholic (and sometimes menacing) avant-folk/rock.

Their fourth album, Become Secret, finds them on top form once again, with the familiar accompaniment of cello, acoustic guitar, drums and piano employed to great effect on songs that incorporate Eastern-European folk themes, bleak cinematic soundscapes and dark, unsettling pop.

Front woman and songwriter Liz Hysen shares vocal duties on several songs with guest vocalists including Tony Dekker (Great Lake Swimmers), Brendan Massei (Viking Moses), Colleen Kinsella (Fire On Fire, Cerberus Shoal) and John McIntyre. Greg Weeks (Espers) also plays on the album, and recorded several of the songs at his Hexham Head studio in Philadelphia.

Lyrically, Hysen drew inspiration from a variety of sources, including Cormac McCarthy, Westerns and the Bible, as well as Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1975 film The Passenger. In fact Hysen, an avid film buff who also makes Super 8 films as a hobby, says that the final album track, The Stiff, synchs up perfectly with the final scene of The Passenger.

Picastro have appeared in Wire and Comes with a Smile magazines, and on the soundtrack of TV series 24, believe it or not. Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallett previously played viola in the band.

‘Somewhere between the Dirty Three and Electrelane‘ – Sunday Times

‘This Toronto quartet continue to mine a dark yet fuzzy and warm soundscape of violin and guitar, fronted by the compelling, haunting vocals of Liz Hysen. Comparisons to Godspeed You Black You Emperor! and Dirty Three are inevitable, but Picastro also lay down all sorts of eastern European folk vibes’ – The Independent

‘Picastro bring lo-fi minimal classicism deeply etched with lyrics of a dark loneliness to the masses. The Nico-like Liz Hysen is their chief muse, vocalist and Dada fiddle player. Cellist Rachel McBride, drummer Evan Clarke and guitarist Zak Hanna join her fragile but deliciously morose sonic universe’ – Straight, No Chaser

Support comes from Paddy Steer. This Manchester music mainstay is one half of Homelife and has played with the likes of Toolshed. As a solo artist, he released his debut album on Red Deer Club recently – and at last year’s Best of Manchester Awards, he was recognised as ‘unsung hero’ for his contribution to Manchester’s music community.

Tickets available from the bar, Piccadilly Records, Ticketline.co.uk and on 0161 832 1111.

All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.