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Upcoming shows: Funke and the Two Tone Baby... OLA... She Makes War... Robbie Cavanagh + Demi Marriner... Say Sue Me... Easter... Eleanor Friedberger... Chloe Foy... Anemone... James and The Ultrasounds... William the Conqueror... Hater... Jen Cloher... Robert Vincent... Seamus Fogarty... Blurt... Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton... The Lovely Eggs... HALEY... The Breath... Amy Rigby + Vinny Peculiar... 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... The Wave Pictures... Beans on Toast... You Tell Me... Kristin Hersh... Tiny Ruins...

When: 7pm on Thursday 10 May 2018
Where: The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, Manchester M1 7HE

We’re delighted to be working with Simone Felice once again – this time, back at the Deaf Institute!

Simone Felice, the singer-songwriter/record-producer from deep in the Catskills, will release his new album The Projector on 13 April via New York Pro.

The first single to be taken released from the record is album opener and title track The Projector. Spectral, almost skeletal at first, before the man’s resonant voice and spartan guitar are joined by shiversome choral vocals from Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan and haunted folktronica from Four Tet. Felice counts London’s genre-surfing experimentalist as both close friend and neighbour. The track is a hallucinatory walk through the backrooms and hallways of modern human paranoia and tech-induced loneliness, as the warped choir sings: ‘All the while you felt so alone/but all the while there were bugs in the phone and you were not alone.’

Up in the Catskill Mountains, Simone Felice was thinking. Considering the roads he’d taken, and also the roads that had taken him.

Riding the train down from the Catskills to New York City’s slam-poetry scene in 1998, a callow ‘tone-deaf’ kid with little musical skills but verse in his heart. Forming a band with his brothers in 2005 and travelling the world. Hitting Number One in the US and UK with one production collaborator (The Lumineers’ Cleopatra, 2016), scoring a Mercury Music Prize nomination (Bat For Lashes’ The Bride, 2016) with another. Almost dying and being saved, just, by open-heart surgery in 2010 – an unasked-for sequel to his previous brush with mortality when, as a 12-year-old boy in 1988, he suffered a brain aneurysm.

‘I’ve been down the track,’ says The Felice Brother turned solo artist, putting it mildly. It was a lot to take in. And as he considered the prospect of a new album, it was a lot to get out, as well. ‘So often artists are looking to what they’re doing next, or are stuck in where they are today,’ Felice thinks. ‘Sometimes we forget to honour our history.’

‘It speaks to my journey,’ he begins. Back in the mid-Nineties, cresting out of his teens, he’d read at the Nuyorican Poets Café, a vital scene best exemplified by Saul Williams. ‘I became a stand-up riddler, reciting my poems from napkins or from memory, it’s how I cut my teeth. For me this was the beginning of understating the diabolical alchemy of the English language, the rhymes, the pictures you can paint, both terrible and fair, or as Patty Smith calls it: “a string of words more precious than the emeralds of Cortés.”‘

Lights down, curtain up, flickering camera on: this is the world of The Projector. It’s a handcrafted album of lone guitars echoing in the twilight, nocturnal electronics and woodsy vocals in which you can hear and feel the grain. Of scenes and moods, shouts and cries and pleas, interweaving narratives lovingly birthed in Simone’s native woods, not far from the Kaaterskill Creek upon which he himself was born.

Our woodsy auteur will be coming down from the mountain this spring, travelling to the UK and Europe, one man and his guitar and his store of stories, for a series of evenings with Simone Felice. This Projector won’t be hitting any multiplexes, but it will be unspooling in a run of bespoke venues – special environments for very special songs where, if you listen carefully, you just might sense something so emotional and true it’s, well, cardiac.

‘Since my surgery you can hear my heart ticking,’ says Felice. He means it literally but, sure, we can take it figuratively, too. ‘If you’re in the room with me I’m the crocodile who swallowed the pocket watch. For a few years I’d try to dampen the sound when we made recording in the studio. But I’ve given up on that. If you listen closely you’ll hear it when things go quiet. You might mistake it for a metronome that’s off-time. But it’s not. It’s just my achy breaky heart.’

‘Each song somehow sounds like a classic, each live performance suggesting we are in the presence of a rare, fiery brilliance’ – The Guardian

Special guest is Keto. Keto is the hypnotic orchestration of Leah Sanderson, who offers a fresh and quintessentially English take on millennial folk. 2017 saw Keto perform at Green Man and Glastonbury festivals, and support Julia Jacklin on a full UK tour. She played shows in Paris and at Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavik. Keto caught the attention of PRS, making her one of the recipients of the ‘Women Make Music‘ fund earlier in 2017. With the fund Keto travelled to the Island of Lewes in the Outer Hebrides to record her next collection of songs.

‘The beguiling outfit produce some of the most original music listeners have heard for years enticing the listener into a world of dreamscapes and wonder’ – Gigantic

This is a 14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

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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