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 Tuesday 29 October 2019
Where: Club Academy, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PR

PLEASE NOTE: This show has now sold out. Please watch this space for information about future Manchester shows by Weyes Blood.

Following her sold out show at YES in April, Weyes Blood returns to Manchester!

The phantom zone, the parallax, the upside down – there is a rich cultural history of exploring in-between places. Through her latest, Titanic Rising (out in April on Sub Pop Records), Weyes Blood (aka Natalie Mering) has, too, designed her own universe to soulfully navigate life’s mysteries. Manoeuvring through a space-time continuum, she intriguingly plays the role of melodic, sometimes melancholic, anthropologist.

Tellingly, Mering classifies Titanic Rising as the Kinks meet WWII or Bob Seger meets Enya. The latter captures the album’s willful expansiveness (‘You can tell there’s not a guy pulling the strings in Enya’s studio,’ she notes, admiringly). The former relays her imperative to connect with listeners. ‘The clarity of Bob Seger is unmistakable. I’m a big fan of conversational songwriting,’ she adds. ‘I just try to do that in a way that uses abstract imagery as well.’

‘An album is like a Rubik’s Cube,’ she says. ‘Sometimes you get all the dimensions – the lyrics, the melody, the production – to line up. I try to be futuristic and ancient at once, which is a difficult alchemy. It’s taken a lot of different tries to get it right.’ As concept-album as it may sound, it’s also a devoted exercise in realism, albeit occasionally magical. Here, the throwback-cinema grandeur of A Lot’s Gonna Change gracefully coexists with the otherworldly title track, an ominous instrumental.

Titanic Rising, written and recorded during the first half of 2018, is the culmination of three albums and years of touring: stronger chops and ballsier decisions. It’s an achievement in transcendent vocals and levitating arrangements – one she could reach only by flying under the radar for so many years. ‘I used to want to belong,’ says the L.A. based musician. ‘I realised I had to forge my own path. Nobody was going to do that for me. That was liberating. I became a Joan of Arc solo musician.’

The Weyes Blood frontwoman grew up singing in gospel and madrigal choirs. ‘Classical and Renaissance music really influenced me,’ says Mering, who first picked up a guitar at age eight. (Listen closely to Titanic Rising, and you’ll also hear the jazz of Hoagy Carmichael mingle with the artful mysticism of Alejandro Jodorowsky and the monomyth of scholar Joseph Campbell.) Something to Believe, a confessional that makes judicious use of the slide guitar, touches on that cosmological upbringing. ‘Belief is something all humans need. Shared myths are part of our psychology and survival,’ she says. ‘Now we have a weird mishmash of capitalism and movies and science. There have been moments where I felt very existential and lost.’

As a kid, she filled that void with Titanic. (Yes, the movie.) ‘It was engineered for little girls and had its own mythology,’ she explains. Mering also noticed that the blockbuster romance actually offered a story about loss born of man’s hubris. ‘It’s so symbolic that The Titanic would crash into an iceberg, and now that iceberg is melting, sinking civilisation.’ Today, this hubris also extends to the relentless adoption of technology, at the expense of both happiness and attention spans.

The track Movies marks another Titanic-related epiphany, ‘that movies had been brainwashing people and their ideas about romantic love.’ To that end, Mering has become an expert at deconstructing intimacy. Sweeping and string-laden, Andromeda seems engineered to fibrillate hearts. “It’s about losing your interest in trying to be in love,” she says. “Everybody is their own galaxy, their own separate entity. There is a feeling of needing to be saved, and that’s a lot to ask of people.” Its companion track, “Everyday,” “is about the chaos of modern dating,” she says, “the idea of sailing off onto your ships to nowhere to deal with all your baggage.”

But Weyes Blood isn’t one to stew. Her observations play out in an ethereal saunter: far more meditative than cynical. ‘I experience reality on a slower, more hypnotic level,’ she says. ‘I’m a more contemplative kind of writer.’ To Mering, listening and thinking are concurrent experiences. ‘There are complicated influences mixed in with more relatable nostalgic melodies,’ she says. ‘In my mind my music feels so big, a true production. I’m not a huge, popular artist, but I feel like one when I’m in the studio. But it’s never taking away from the music. I’m just making a bigger space for myself.’

Tour support comes from Ana Roxanne. Ana Roxanne is a Southeast Asian intersex artist born and raised in the Bay Area, California. Their music explores themes of devotion, spirituality, gender and identity, and worship of R&B/pop divas. Ana’s debut EP ~~~ is available now on vinyl via Leaving Records.

The show is a co-promotion with Now Wave.

All ages welcome; under 14s must be accompanied by an adult.

PLEASE NOTE: This show has now sold out. Please watch this space for information about future Manchester shows by Weyes Blood.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.