UPCOMING SHOWS


 


Daniel Higgs
(Lungfish)
Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Friday 22nd June, 7.30pm

 Daniel Arcus Incus Ululat Higgs is a musician and artist from Baltimore, Maryland on whose behalf superlatives are destined to fail. It’s not that his artistic output – spanning three decades, numerous albums, books of poetry and collections of drawings – simply eludes classification, it defies it. Often we hear that a true work of art is meant to speak for itself, and with the work of Daniel Higgs the maxim rings truer than ever. His art is of the cosmos, we on Earth merely lucky that it happens to be confined to our atmosphere, in our lifetime.

Higgs is known primarily for his work as the sole lyricist and frontman of the band Lungfish, a four-piece dedicated to charting, in this listener’s estimation, nothing short of the evolution of all species, known and unknown. That the band has undertaken this pursuit in the guise of a humble rock outfit, in the absence of any public relations fanfare, metanarrative, or manifesto has been enough to endear them to tens of thousands. They are enshrined as one of America’s last true folk bands, and Higgs anointed as a patron saint to artistic purity.

In recent years, Higgs has released a number of solo outings that can only be described as the ultimate in isolation, worlds away from the hypnotic, communal rock of his band. On Atomic Yggdrasil Tarot, Higgs weaves meditative, casually ruptured drones using acoustic and electric guitar, upright pianos, banjo and jew’s harp, recorded entirely at home on cassette recorder. He pairs the music with a series of paintings that call to mind religious iconography passed through the disfiguring surrealism of Miro.

Higgs has wedded his music and his visual art into a singular being, meant to be encountered as a conjuring force similar to that of the tarot experience. The yggdrasil is the great tree of Norse myth that connects all worlds of cosmology. Passing into Christian folklore, the tree is said to connect heaven and earth. In his relentless pursuit of the indivisible, Higgs travels up and down this spine and hatches a new transubstantiation of sound and image into life-form.


Tickets for this show are £8 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venue, Jumbo Records in Person or online from here.

__________________________________________________




 Josh Rouse
The Crescent, York
Sunday 8th July, 7.30pm


“Like a baseball player who quietly hits 30 home runs every year or a golfer who regularly finishes in the Top Ten, Josh Rouse's continued streak of excellence is easy to ignore and maybe even downplay a little” -- Tim Sendra, Allmusic.com

You don’t have to work hard to enjoy Rouse’s music. His songs present themselves to you with an open heart, an innate intelligence and an absolute lack of pretension. They are clear-eyed, empathetic and penetrating. Without pandering, they seek to satisfy both your ear and your understanding. The verses draw you in with telling detail, both musical and thematic, and the choruses lift and deliver. They resolve without seeming overly tidy or pat.

Josh Rouse was born in Nebraska, and following an itinerant upbringing he eventually landed in Nashville where he recorded his debut Dressed Like Nebraska (1998).  The album’s acclaim led to tours with Aimee Mann, Mark Etzel and the late Vic Chestnut. The followup- Home (2000)—yielded the song “Directions” which Cameron Crowe used in his film Vanilla Sky.

“Every time I’ve made a record, I’ve tried to make it different from the last one,” says Rouse. “I always became fascinated by a different style of music. But at the end of the day, no matter how eclectic I try to make it, it’s my voice and melodic sensibility that tie things together.”

For his breakthrough album, 1972 (2003), which happens to be the year he was born, Rouse decided to cheer up a bit. Noting that he’d earned a reputation for melancholy, he says, with a laugh, “I figured this is my career, I might as well try to enjoy it.” While the Seventies are often identified with singer-songwriters, Rouse was primarily attracted to the warmer sound of albums back then, as well as the more communal feel of the soul music of that time.  The follow up,  Nashville (2005) continued the hot streak and expanded his audience further.

After relocating to  Valencia, Spain with his wife Paz, Rouse has released a steady stream of high quality songs and albums. Subtitulo (2006) contained the international indie folk hit "Quiet Town". On El Turista(2010) he even experimented with writing and singing some  songs in Spanish. In  2014, he won a Goya Award (the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar) for best song for "Do You Really Want To Be In Love," from the film 'La Gran Familia Española.'

His most recent release, The Embers of Time, was one of his strongest—self-described as “my surreal, ex-pat, therapy record.”  Charles Pitter astutely noted in Pop Matters.  “The critics may long for drama and scandal, but The Embers of Time often demonstrates that a simple life could be for the best.”


Tickets for this show are £16 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venue and Earworm Records in York, Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________




 Sam Outlaw
**Full band show**
+ Molly Parden


Deaf Institute, Manchester
Wednesday 8th August, 7.30pm


The Crescent, York
Thursday 9th August, 7.30pm

 

Sam Outlaw - one of Los Angeles’s only modern country artists – has been riding high on the success of 2017’s sophomore LP, ‘Tenderheart’, his follow-up to the Ry Cooder produced debut ‘Angeleno’, which raised the bar for West Coast country music.

Website / Watch / Watch


Outlaw offers an extraordinary refinement of the artistic identity laid out on ‘Angeleno’. Sonically, the album elaborates on his “SoCal Country” sound: a sun-bleached, Baja-influenced twang that deftly points to country’s neo-traditionalists and LA’s legendary singer-songwriters. Thematically, ‘Tenderheart’ is a thesis on self-discovery and the power of love – from the cinematic mariachi-laced climax on opener “Everyone’s Looking For Home,” to the determined swagger on side-A highlight “Trouble,” to torch song showstopper “Diamond Ring” - Outlaw meditates on his own conflicted quest for peace amidst the chaos of his chosen path.

The 13-track collection of originals was recorded in the San Fernando Valley and co-produced by Outlaw alongside Martin Pradler. Outlaw enlisted many of the same musicians that made his first album, 2015’s ‘Angeleno,’ an undisputed breakthrough and one of the best-reviewed debuts of that year: harmony singer Molly Jenson, pedal steel pro Jeremy Long and guitarist Danny Garcia, along with Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) and Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket). In addition, ‘Tenderheart’ features local mariachi group Erwin Vasquez and Mariachi Teocuitatlan.

Sam Outlaw has previously landed tours with Kacey Musgraves and Dwight Yoakam, performed on CBS Saturday Morning and last year won  Americana Music Association’s prize for International Song Of The Year.

Press:

‘Angeleno made him a legitimate contender to be the biggest country star L.A. has produced since Dwight Yoakam.’
LA Weekly

‘An instant classic’
NPR Music

‘[Outlaw is] leading the rebirth of L.A.’s modern country scene.’
Rolling Stone Country


Tickets for these shows are £15 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venues and Earworm Records in York. Manchester tickets here, York tickets here.

__________________________________________________



Jim White
w/ Clive Barnes

The Crescent, York
Thursday 6th September, 7.30pm

 

One of a series of live shows we're co-promoting with our friend at High & Lonesome.

Jim White gets around. When he’s not releasing his own critically acclaimed solo albums he splits his time producing records for other songwriters, exhibiting his visual art in galleries and museums across the USA & Europe and publishing award winning fiction.

His sixth solo studio album, the bizarrely titled Waffles, Triangles & Jesus, is a mind-bending joy ride of sonic influences featuring a bevy of his hometown Athens’ roots musicians, plus west coast indie darlings Dead Rock West, and rock and roll maverick Holly Golightly.

Website / Watch / Listen


Prior to Waffles, Triangles & Jesus, White released five eclectic, totally uncatagorisable albums plus another six even stranger side projects. Numerous songs from his back catalog have appeared both in film and television, with his Primus-esque Word-Mule being featured in Breaking Bad, and more recently his cautionary rocker Crash Into The Sun appearing Ray McKinnon’s highly praised Sundance Channel series Rectify.

UK fans may recognise White as the narrator and defacto tour guide for the award winning BBC documentary, Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus, a road movie set in the rural South, which the LA Times described as “Decidedly strange, delightfully demented.” Prior to becoming a musician White led an aimless, diverse life, working countless menial labor jobs: dishwasher, landscaper, lifeguard, cook, surfboard laminator, road builder, culminating with thirteen long years driving a taxi cab in New York City.

White is presently at work completing a memoir, Incidental Contact, based on a series of uncanny coincidences that befell him during his days driving that taxi in New York City. Two chapters of Incidental Contact, The Bottom and Superwhite, have been published in the literary music journal Radio Silence, with Superwhite being awarded a Pushcart Prize for short fiction. White was a pro surfer. He served as literary commentator for the National Endowment of the Arts. He was a European fashion model. Samuel Beckett once played a practical joke on him. There’s lots more non linear information that doesn’t really fit the usual bio format. But that’s Jim—he gets around.

Press:


Rough Trade Album Of The Month December 2017

#9 Americana Albums of 2017
★★★★ - Mojo Magazine

Americana Album Of The Month
8/10 - Uncut Magazine

‘Jim White brings a diverse wealth of worldliness to his arcane observations, which on Waffles, Triangles & Jesus finds familiar Americana tropes and sounds given his distinctive twist.’
★★★★ - The Independent

‘White remains one of modern music’s most fascinating artists. A former dishwasher, landscaper, model, lifeguard, cook, surfboard laminator, road builder and taxi driver, White emerged alongside the nascent ’90s alt.country scene as someone making a sound entirely of his own. Across five albums – and his live shows – he’s built a reputation as a consumate storyteller with a DIY aesthetic and an outsider mentality.’
The Line Of Best Fit

Performing alongside Jim will be Clive Barnes:

Clive Barnes is world renowned guitarist, singer and songwriter of rare quality. He has released four studio albums to date the latest of which The Ghost Country garnered rave four and five star reviews with previous album Welcome To Farewell winning Album of the Year in US publication Acoustic Guitar. Clive tours consistently throughout the US and Europe as a solo act and also as guitarist with the likes of Eric Bibb, Joe Cocker and Taj Mahal. He has toured as opening act with Jeff Beck, Alison Krauss, Gary Clark Jr, David Crosby, Dr. John, Gregg Allman, Solomon Burke, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Seasick Steve, Rodrigo Y Gabriela and many many more.

RTE's Harry Guiren noted in a review of Clive Barnes performing at Vicar Street, Dublin, "Clive is a guitarist who can make one guitar sound like six. Barnes transported the entire, hushed venue across the Atlantic to where the paths taken by the Delta Blues, Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen all led to his own special territory." 


Tickets for this show are £14 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venue and Earworm Records in York, Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________



 SLUG
The Crescent, York
Sunday 16th September, 7.30pm


‘Black ramps up the funk on groove-driven art pop gems’
Uncut Magazine

‘Combines Led Zep riffing, squelchy funk and a sprinkling of Odelay-era Beck’
The Times

SLUG the nom de plume of North East merrymaker Ian Black, returns with new album HiggledyPiggledy on 13 April 2018 via Memphis Industries.
 
Website / Watch / Watch


Whereas previous debut album, 2012’s RIPE, was made in collaboration with Peter and David Brewis of Field Music (Ian is an alumnus of the Field Music live band), HiggledyPiggledy was composed, produced and played entirely by Black enabling him to give free reign to his beguiling brand of Dada-rock.

Black taught himself how to produce while making HiggledyPiggledy, by all accounts a terrifying process that drove Black to the edge of sanity. To function he imagined himself variously as Lindsey Buckingham making Tusk, Eno producing Another Green World and Tod Rundgren laying down A Wizard A True Star.  In so doing Black was able to keep an equilibrium and make the record making experience experimental and spontaneous.

The album was inspired by a combination of The Residents, John Carpenter and the soundtracks of Don Cherry (particularly Holy Mountain) and Masahiko Sato (particularly Belladonna) plus the Dada art movement which will be self evident to anyone who’s seen the hilarious and life affirming SLUG live experience, replete with ever changing stage wear (snooker players, sailors, 50s jazz combo) and spontaneous crowd participation.

Black intended HiggledyPiggledy to be a more minimal affair than previous album RIPE, focussed more on rhythm and percussion. Thematically the record was written against the backdrop of political turmoil but really it’s about the strange life Black leads in his native Sunderland, an autodidact outsider living his life in Wetherspoons arguing with some of the questionable attitudes of locals.   Blacks stated aim to “have fun writing truly horrible lyrics”, playing characters “venting in pubs, writing in the character of how some people think and behave”. 
 
HiggledyPiggledy begins with first single ‘No Heavy Petting’ (the title taken from the dos and don’ts at Blacks local swimming pool), consciously written to be an aggressive album opener with and which pokes fun at Blacks own prudish attitude toward trash TV.  ‘Lackadaisical Love’ is another album highlight, one big 4/4 drum beat, fuzzy guitars like Maggot Brain-era Funkadelic, steel drums and fat moog bass. “A song about sex funnily enough” says Black.   Other noteworthy songs include “Dolly Dimple”, a song about the pornography of wealth, power and business all dressed up like a late 70s Bowie record and the Suicide meets Sliver Apples of “Arbitrary Lessons In Custom” about “how we lose touch with people and friends we love and the slow burn of how it happens”.

The results whilst punchy and direct remain rich, strange and sometimes unsettling.  HiggledyPiggledy, then, is a perfect intro to the wonderfully weird world of SLUG.  

Live the band swell to a six piece with Black on guitar and vocals, Andrew Lowther on bass, Damo Waters on drums, Rhys Patterson keys and guitar, and Ricky Murray keys and percussion.


Tickets for this show are £8 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venue and Earworm Records in York, Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________




Jess Williamson
The Fulford Arms, York
Thursday 4th October, 7.30pm

Introduced to us via a brief session of covers on the fab Aquarium Drunkard and subsequently touring opening for Kevin Morby, we've finally managed to persuade Jess Williamson to come to York in support of her third and best record, 'Cosmic Wink'.

‘Williamson outlines her personal mythology; as a lover, a daughter and, by the closing Piano Love, a future mother, via songs sung in a resonant, often Patti Smith-like voice, over a heat haze backing of Rhodes piano and guitar.’
Mojo Magazine

‘Its ghostly instrumentation and measured pace distort your sense of time in a manner similar to stark classics like Songs: Ohia’s Didn’t It Rain.’
Pitchfork

Website / Watch / Listen


When love burst into being for Jess Williamson, it was a force so powerful that it seemed to redirect the sun, re-casting all of her life in new light. That's how she tells her story across Cosmic Wink — her third album, and first for Mexican Summer — all of which came together in the midst of a series of transitions in her personal life.

In 2016, after living in Austin on and off for a decade, she left her home state of Texas for California. Deeply inspired by the move to Los Angeles and the bliss of new love, she rented a back house from an actor friend who was away on a movie and started writing the songs that eventually became Cosmic Wink. As she wrote, her beloved dog Frankie began going gray with old age.

All three of these seemingly dissimilar streams intersected to give Cosmic Wink a unified sound and feel. The openness of LA — and confronting the downbeat nature of her older songs while performing to hushed European crowds — challenged her supposition that "heartache, depression, and sadness" were "the only way to make interesting music," as she puts it.

"You're asking a lot if you expect an audience to be completely silent during your set and listen to every word. I started thinking about performing as something that could be fun, and having a good time playing with a band live, making songs that could be relatable to all kinds of people. I want my mom and her friends to like this album as much as someone with super obscure taste — and I don't think they're mutually exclusive."

Meanwhile, watching Frankie fade into old age gave her a new appreciation of the passage of time — and inspired the album's opening song, "I See the White." "I noticed the graying of the fur around her eyes," Williamson says, "and I realized that she was a physical manifestation of the passing of time, and it was heartbreaking. It's so easy to act like we have all the time in the world, to feel immortal or invincible."

It's that last realization that gives Cosmic Wink its paradoxically joyful center — the sense that time is slipping out of our grasp not only broke her heart, but also gave her a new sense of gratitude for the possibility inherent in the time she was afforded, and an attendant love for life and the people around her.

Throughout the album's nine songs, Williamson's love spills from her, readily, in poetic exhalations. "This love predates my name and my face and my age," she sings in "Awakening, Baby." "I can feel your heart / Or is it mine / Or is it ours?" She and her partner weave together in a kind of cosmic enmeshment — now they're one person, now they're two again — but she always sounds like an individual in possession of herself.

"When I left Austin and went to LA, I started to take my process more seriously," she says. "I took my art more seriously. I didn't have a normal job or a lot of friends when I first got to LA, so I just spent all day alone in that house writing. I got really into Carl Jung and working with my dreams. The title of the record is a reference to the Jungian concept of synchronicity and learning to live in a more magical way, looking for signs — which is maybe silly to some people, but it was working for me. And in a way, the record itself became a validation of the risks I was taking."

Which isn't to say that it came easy. Frankie died exactly one month before recording was set to begin. Williamson had decamped to Lockhart, TX, to write and rehearse with her band. Unable to work, she pasted a series of portraits on her wall — people she "wanted to think of as guardian angels," as she puts it. Chan Marshall, Nina Simone, Townes Van Zandt, Patti Smith, and Leonard Cohen all served as icons. So did Frankie. And so did RF Shannon's Shane Renfro — her bandmate of four years and the partner with whom she'd found herself so intertwined.

Her relationship with Renfro prompted a series of questions that she explores throughout Cosmic Wink, even as she marvels at the joy that love has brought her: "How much time do I have with this person? What's going to happen after we die? Where will we go? Will you be there with me?"

She invited Renfro to collaborate on Cosmic Wink with her, as the producer. "It was the first time I was really willing to take a back seat to that process," she says. "Shane and I had already been working together for so many years, and I wanted this album to be a marriage of our strengths." Along with co-producer Dan Duszynski, Renfro slowly peels back Williamson's songs, getting at their essence with a tender grace.

The music is appealingly swampy, occasionally static in ways that recalls Amen Dunes and the spectral spin of Alice Coltrane, until Williamson's voice bursts through the circle in an ecstatic push. The songs unfold slowly, but her intimate delivery and the minute explorations of her band draw you into the details. She asks her subject to suspend their fixation on the passage of time in "Forever," and she's asking us to do so, too — come and get lost and see what you can see.

Cosmic Wink was recorded in Dripping Springs, TX, at Duszynski's property, where the band lived, worked, and cooked meals together for a week, with occasional breaks for wildflower gathering and loops through the cedar-spotted woods. Working from an intuitive feeling that it would take her seven years to establish herself musically, Williamson released her first two albums on her own Brutal Honest label, and intended to do the same with Cosmic Wink before signing to Mexican Summer.

Cosmic Wink is out nearly seven years to the day after playing her first solo show — another quiet synchronicity. "I don't feel like I've made it," she says. "I feel like I've opened the door and walked through it." On the other side? Everything the light chooses to illuminate.


Tickets for this show are £7 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venue and Earworm Records in York, Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________




Daniel Blumberg
Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Wednesday 10th October, 7.30pm.


Daniel Blumberg is an artist and musician from London. Over the past decade he has released an extensive catalogue of music under different names, while forging ongoing collaborations with musicians, writers and filmmakers such as Neil Hagerty, David Toop and Brady Corbet. He is a prolific visual artist, described by Hans Ulrich Obrist as “one of London's most exciting emerging new artists”

Most recently Blumberg has been playing and recording at London's Cafe Oto, working intensively with a core group of improvisers consisting of violinist Billy Steiger, saxophonist Seymour Wright, double bassist Tom Wheatley and cellist Ute Kanngiesser.

These regular sessions have culminated in the release of his debut record Minus on Mute Records (May 2018), accompanied by a companion LP of solos by the key players on the record including Dirty Three's Jim White. Alongside this OTORoku have released a live recording of the group and two discs by GUO, Blumberg's duo with Seymour Wright.

Minus is a powerful and highly personal work, one that weds a free-music ethos to the rawest emotional songwriting. Live the material is radically reimagined from show to show, with a rotating cast of players pushing Blumberg's fragile songforms to their limits.

Press:

'a statement of intent from an artist who has found his voice'

The Quietus

'a modern classic'

The Times

'one of the most unique and exquisite records you're likely to hear this year'

Billboard

Tickets for this show are £8.50 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________




Dawn Landes
The Basement, York
Tuesday 16th October, 8pm

 Dawn Landes is a Kentucky born singer-songwriter who has spent many years living in Brooklyn, NY.

‘I was lucky enough to work with the legendary producer Fred Foster for my new record. Fred has been making hits for most of his 86 years. Not only did he produce Dolly Parton's first record (what?!) but he also produced Roy Orbison's biggest hits and some of my favorite Kris Kristofferson songs. I learned so much working with Fred on this record and I'm so very proud of it. We recorded everything in Nashville with the heaviest hitters around... Charlie McCoy, Steve Gibson, Bobby Wood, Eddie Bayers, Russ Pahl, Larry Paxton and more.’

Here's a glimpse of the star power in the studio during our sessions, live at Sound Emporium. Dawn Landes teamed up with Country Music Hall of Fame producer Fred Foster for her new album "Meet Me at the River" which will be released in August 2018.


Website / Watch
 
As a recording artist she has released four full-length albums to date and five EPs. In support of her releases, Landes has toured extensively in the US, Europe and around the world, often sharing the stage with artists such as Ray Lamontagne, Feist, Andrew Bird, José González, The Weakerthans, Midlake, Suzanne Vega, and Sufjan Stevens.

As an instrumentalist, she has toured as part of New York City American roots music band Hem. and Sufjan Stevens' touring band. A producer and engineer, she worked at Stratosphere Sound in New York City and at Philip Glass' own personal recording studio. In 2007 Landes helped found Saltlands Studio in Brooklyn, NY. She has collaborated with contemporaries like Justin Townes Earle, Will Oldham and Josh Ritter in the studio.

Her songs have been featured in commercials, popular films and TV shows, including The Good Wife and House. Landes has performed with The Boston Pops, NYC Ballet and recently at the TED Conference in Vancouver, BC, highlighting her forthcoming musical Row.
 

Tickets for this show are £10 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venue and Earworm Records in York, Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________




Tom Robinson & Band
perform 'Power In The Darkness'

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Tuesday 16th October, 7.30pm

We're delighted to be working with Tom again as he returns to Leeds to perform the politically charged 1978 classic album in full and more.

Website / Listen / Listen

Born in Cambridge in 1950, Tom Robinson first became known in the late 1970s as a musician and LGBT activist with the Tom Robinson Band (TRB) who were early supporters of Rock Against Racism and Amnesty International. In 1977 their Top 5 debut release 2-4-6-8 Motorway became one of the landmark singles of the UK punk era. Other hits included Glad To Be Gay, Up Against The Wall and the band's debut album Power In The Darkness which went gold in the UK and Japan.

As a solo artist Tom had further solo hits in 1983 with War Baby and Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio, and co-wrote songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John and Dan Hartman.  His 14th studio album Only The Now was released in 2015 featuring guests such as Billy Bragg, John Grant and Ian McKellen. Recent festival dates include Latitude, Green Man and headlining the Left Field stage at Glastonbury 2016.

As a radio broadcaster Tom hosts three shows a week on BBC Radio 6 Music, is a member of the Ivor Novello Awards committee and in 2016 was awarded a fellowship of LIPA to recognition his support for new music artists through BBC Introducing.

To mark the 40th anniversary of 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Tom pays tribute to the original TRB by performing his entire Power In The Darkness album with a classic four-piece lineup. His incendiary live quartet features Faithless drummer Andy Treacey, Richard Ashcroft guitarist Adam Phillips and keyboard virtuoso Jim Simmons plus Tom himself on bass and lead vocals.


Tickets for this show are £20 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from Crash Records and Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________


 
Lisa O'Neill
Oporto, Leeds
Wednesday 17th October, 7.30pm


On her way to heaven, Lisa O’Neill hit “a pothole in the sky.” And so it begins, a perfect way to start this tale, this journey, this album. Because all great things and all great art usually stem from a bump in the road, or a pothole in the sky. This is Lisa O’Neill from Cavan’s third album, following a witty and charming debut (This Is An Album By Lisa O’Neill), and an altogether more cohesive follow-up (Same Cloth or Not) that marked her a serious artist, a contender, a voice, a forked tongue.

This one, however, is the recording Lisa O’Neill needed to make. It’s a recording of “the voice”. The Voice is everything for the folk singer – a conduit for the words, the emotion, the thought process. And if, like me, you ever felt a record needed to be made of an artist’s voice, about her voice, so beautifully focused on, centred on, honed-in on and in love with the voice, then this, friends, is the fucking record. Excuse my French.

This is achieved by the utterly brilliant and stark accompaniment. The drones that underlay the voice seem to egg her on. The doomed dance of the double bass-line grows and growls. The piano trickles manically, spinning in circles like a possessed children’s toy. And that casual drawl starts to sound more like a cracked, wracked, wrought plea full of desperation and fear. And you realise that this is no ordinary record.

O’Neill’s voice goes to all sorts of places throughout the course of this album, and the music provided by Mossy Nolan, Emma Smith, Joseph Doyle and Seamus Fogarty follows her like a dark swirling storm, often bringing to mind the loose impressionism of the Dirty Three. On ‘’Planets’’ O’Neill delivers her most extraordinary vocal and lyrical performance to date. It is remarkable and on this form she could go toe to toe with Nick Cave at his most fire and brimstone. Except O’Neill’s prose is elemental and mysterious, not angry.


Tickets for this show are £10 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________




The Coathangers
Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
Thursday 18th October, 7.30pm


With their new live album, entitled simply "LIVE," out June 1st via Suicide Squeeze, Atlanta garage punks The Coathangers have announced a UK tour for this September.

To celebrate, they have shared a brand new live video for "Hurricane"; lead single from their 2011 album "Larceny and Old Lace" and a main-stay favourite of their high-octane live show. The clip finds The Coathangers at their visceral and frantic best as they tear through the performance with a wild, unshackled energy - a taste of what to expect from their forthcoming shows.

Website / Watch / Listen

In their thirteen years of existence, Atlanta’s tireless garage punks The Coathangers have cranked out five full-lengths and well over a dozen singles, splits, and EPs. Considering the band’s initial aspirations to merely hang out and play a few house parties, their relentless touring schedule is perhaps the greatest testament to the lasting power of their scrappy hook-laden records and the infectious energy radiating from their live shows. And while every Coathangers record has captured their buoyant turbulence and jagged euphoria, there is always some degree of magic that inevitably gets lost when bands go into the studio.

Perhaps it’s the energy transference from the audience that’s missing or maybe it’s the push-and-pull of the musicians playing together in a volatile environment. Whatever the source of that inexplicable magic, The Coathangers have always wrangled a rowdy replication of that sweaty and sticky live feeling, but the time had come to properly document it.

Their quest for enchantment prompted The Coathangers: 2 Nights of Magic, a free two-night stand at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, California replete with magicians, tarot card readings, burlesque dancers, palm readers, and a giant papier-mâché rabbit for photo-ops. And out of those shows came ‘LIVE’, the first Coathangers release to document the band in their natural habitat.

“It’s kinda trippy, this record,” says guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel. “It’s like our anthology… our entire career in 38 minutes.” Sure enough, ‘LIVE’ spans everything from the slow-burn pop of “Captain’s Dead” from last year’s ‘Parasite EP’ to the rabblerousing rocker “Tonya Harding” from their self-titled debut.

The boisterous magic was successfully captured by Dylan Ely and front-of-house engineer Eric Huff, with Kugel’s husband Scott Montoya handling the mixing in their new home studio. Now Suicide Squeeze is proud to offer ‘LIVE’ to the world on June 1st 2018 via digital formats and a limited pressing of 1500 copies of tri-color vinyl.


Tickets for this show are £9 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________



 
Goat Girl

Sneaks
The Crescent, York
Saturday 27th October, 7.30pm


**UPGRADED VENUE. PREVIOUS TICKETS REMAIN VALID**


Rough Trade Records have just released the self-titled debut album by Goat Girl. Produced by Dan Carey (The Kills, Bat For Lashes, Franz Ferdinand) in his South London studio, the record already has the press hot under the collar and has helped the four piece secure a rather sweet US tour with Parquet Courts and a bunch of fine festival slots in the summer.

Across 19 tracks in 40 minutes, Goat Girl’s debut creates a half fantasy world out of a very dirty, ugly city reality. In the groups words: “Simply put, it’s an album that comes from growing up in London and the first-hand experience of our city’s devolution. We wanted to think of it as this place seen not necessarily just through our eyes, but someone who can’t get past the abnormalities and strange happenings that exist in our city. We think this gives the freedom lyrically and musically to explore unspoken truths and emotions that we all as humans feel.”

This world is populated by creeps and liars, lovers, dreamers and wonderful lunatics. It’s a very English album -- sharp-eyed observations like The Kinks, louche rage like The Slits -- but it’s also full of swampy swaggering guitars and Lottie’s filthy drawl. “It wasn’t exactly intentional to have this warped country sound, but I think that was initially what we were all drawn to and inspired by, bands that existed in a lo-fi,dissonant, scratchy context.”

Goat Girl belong to a burgeoning, close-knit south London scene, born in venues like The Windmill and including bands like Shame, Bat-Bike, Fat White Family, Horsey, Sorry, and many more. They’ve built up a strong live following over the last year, headlining their own UK tours and supporting The Fall, Moonlandingz, and Parquet Courts.

Goat Girl are: Clottie Cream, Rosy Bones, Naima Jelly and L.E.D.

Press:

‘Goat Girl are ready to turn indie music on its head and rip its guts out’
The Guardian

‘Goat Girl are the whip – smart, politicized young Londoners breaking into the big time’
DIY


Tickets for this show are £11 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venue and Earworm Records in York, Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________




John Smith
The Crescent, York
Sunday 4th November, 7.30pm

Born in Essex and raised in Devon, John Smith has gained a reputation through relentless touring as one of the UK’s finest guitarists and singer-songwriters. With five album releases in 11 years, his reputation now extends far beyond the UK folk scene, as reflected by sideman credits including Joan Baez, David Gray, Lisa Hannigan and Lianne La Havas.

Compared as a singer to John Martyn and Ray Lamontagne, Smith has evolved his own transatlantic blend of fingerstyle and slide techniques, switching between acoustic and electric guitars in various tunings. His uniquely intimate take on love, loss or even a mythic murder ballad, combined with his innovative guitar work, have won him a loyal following, made up of people willing to take part in the communion of a song.

He returns this Autumn for a 34-date UK / EU tour.

“The future of folk music” - John Renbourn
“He’s a magician” - Ben Howard
“Spellbinding” - Time Out


Tickets for this show are £15 in advance.
 
You can get tickets in person from the venue and Earworm Records in York, Jumbo Records in Leeds or online from here.

__________________________________________________





Holy Moly & The Crackers

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Friday 23rd November, 7.30pm

 The Deaf Institute, Manchester
Saturday 24th November, 7.30pm

The Crescent, York
Sunday 25th November, 7.30pm

We're dead chuffed to be helping our Geordie buddies on their biggest ever UK headline tour in the autumn with shows in Leeds, Manchester and York. Tickets for all three are available online from the links above.

Watch / Watch / Watch

Newcastle’s Holy Moly & The Crackers are one of the country’s hardest working bands.

You might call that a cliche, but how many others can you name that have covered the thousands of miles and played the amount of shows that HM&TC have, in just two years? Oh, and they’ve managed to write, record and release a critically-acclaimed album and start their own record label in that time too.

Lead singers Conrad Bird and Ruth Patterson met when they were teenagers in 2008 and Ruth was in the midst of adapting to a diagnosis of chronic arthritis. Ruth, at one stage cited for an orchestral career on the violin, had not played for two years. But, encouraged by their mutual passion for music, she battled through the new limitations to relearn her instrument and discovered a love and skill for singing.

Not long after the couple met costume designer and accordion player Rosie Bristow they started to perform Irish, American and Balkan folk songs together at open mics and dive bars. They were cutting their teeth, learning the ropes.

By 2015 the trio had moved to Newcastle and met jazz/funk bass player, Jamie Shields, and Tommy Evans - who would give Keith Moon a run for his money - on drums. The gang began to blend their love of the folk tradition with a contemporary rock sound, influenced by a wide range of artists - from Cold War Kids to Gogol Bordello and Jack White.

Since then the bombastic folk rockers have been on what seems like a never-ending tour,; playing over 300 shows, 60 festivals (including Glastonbury, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, Boomtown and Bestival) and tearing through trips around Italy, the Netherlands, France, Portugal and Germany. Wowing their raucous and ever-expanding fan-base with instrument-swapping, squeezebox-growling, fiddle-shredding, brass-howling hoe-downs, the group have been able to hone a sound that is organic and invigorating - forged in the sweat and heat of the live show.

In 2017 Holy Moly & The Crackers stepped up a gear. They signed a deal with Wipe Out Music Publishing and, working with producer Matt Terry at the legendary rock studio VADA, recorded and released Salem - a record that’s been described as “a new kind of sonic madness” by music magazine and long time supporters, Narc.

The album has taken them to new heights, and has seen the band’s idiosyncratic blend of folk and contemporary rock playlisted across Spotify, clocking up close to a million streams in the process*, as well as receiving rotation on BBC Radio and RadioX. The album’s hooky rabble-rousing lead single ‘Cold Comfort Lane’ has been featured internationally on adverts and TV shows, including E4’s ‘Tattoo Artist Of The Year’.

Now it is 2018. 22-year-old Nick Tyler has joined on guitar. Classically trained but influenced by psychedelic and DIY punk in equal measure, he is the final piece of the multifarious puzzle that is Holy Moly & The Crackers - the final Cracker, as it were.

This year HM&TC will release two stand-alone singles, recorded by Matt Terry and mixed by Dan Austin (Pixies), and back the songs up with with major international festival appearances, including a main-stage appearance at Beautiful Days and Colours Of Ostravia in the Czech Republic, before embarking on their biggest UK headline tour to date in November.

They will also head back into the studio to record their next album and continue their relationship with Matt and Dan, both of whom use dynamic formulas combining tight, pop sensibility with the naturalism of garage rock and folk/roots.

The last two years have been a whirlwind and you might think that it’s time to take a breather. But HM&TC are not that kind of band. The road is their home and they’ve got their foot to the floor.

Press

“One of Newcastle’s finest bands have upped the game on their new album”
The Crack

“This is one of the most original sounding albums doing the rounds at the moment”
God Is In The TV Zine

“A cauldron of swirling dark rock potions”
R2 Magazine

“Turn it on and turn it up. This one’s a rager”
No Depression (USA)


__________________________________________________