Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’

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“DEREVAUN SERAUN” is a piece I wrote a couple years back in five movements for voice, piano and string trio. Each movement is written about a different piece of literature, exploring the value I see in each work and the impression it has made on me, and there is nothing more to it than that. The pleasure of books – of good verse and stories and ideas – is a very simple thing, and I felt that some lofty unifying theme for the entire piece would be a betrayal of that belief. I think that when a work resonates with you it is an instinctive response to something. You can be taught to understand a challenging book, but not to feel affection for it; I think a lot of conversation around art, especially around literature, sometimes forgets this. In my experience, the art I like the most, irrespective of its ‘difficulty’, is the art I can advocate most directly and plainly, and about which I can say: “I read this piece and now I do not read or think in the same way that I did before”, or: “This is a story that I could not explain to someone; I do not understand it word-for-word, yet I feel like innately I understand the whole, and that the whole spoke to me”. This is a piece about five books that I like and why I like them.” – Kiran Leonard



Transformer 2 is super excited to return with Godspeed You! Black Emperor headlining our Halloween event on Saturday October 28th 2017 at Victoria Warehouse!

Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Liars – Ben Frost – Powell – Omar Souleyman
Bardo Pond – Valgeir Sigurdsson – The Field
Demdike Stare – Sculpture – Camilla Fuchs – Civil Civic

On sale Tuesday 6th June at 10AM to pre reg customers
On general sale Tuesday 6th June at noon.

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PINS, the Manchester quintet, have teased a future collaboration with Iggy Pop, something that coupled with the deep knowledge of the extensive artistry that underpins everything the band does has got us salivating. The Manchester band PINS got Iggy Pop to feature on a new track that’ll be featured on their forthcoming EP, “Bad Thing”, its the follow-up to their 2015 full-length album “Wild Nights”. The band explained that they got him to record his spoken word part by asking via e-mail through their booking agent, who happened to be friends with Iggy’s manager.

Iggy had to say this about the collab.  “I’ve got a session with a bunch of girls from Manchester called PINS, they sent me a good song and they’re looking for a narration in it, and I liked their music and their picture, so I’m doing that.”  PINS explain: “‘Aggrophobe’ is the wild card from our EP. The video was filmed partly at the director’s studio in Ancoats and partly at one of our favourite pubs on Oldham Street called Gulliver’s. We we’re backstage waiting to go on to play a show, whilst the other acts are doing their thing.”

Catch Pins at the Cookie in Leicester next week. also Instore on Record Store Day at Rough Trade Nottingham

01 “Bad Thing”
02 “Aggrophobe” (Feat. Iggy Pop)
03 “All Hail”
04 “In Nightmares”
05 “Dead Souls”

21/04 Leicester, The Cookie 

Opening with the subtle rumble of early morning Chinatown, hazy instrumental shape into focus with languid guitars, gently welcoming you into a dream .  The Manchester-based multi-instrumentalist/producer Ryan Kennedy,and his  dream pop group Horsebeach. Based around chiming guitars and Kennedy’s downbeat croon, Horsebeach draw inspiration from classic jangle pop. Becoming critics’ favourites with the release of their eponymous debut album in 2014,

The summery groove and the pop majesty of ‘It’s Alright’ soon sends you spinning into infinity, cares eased by the warm tones of chiming guitars, while Beth de Cent’s smokey vocals come together in perfect harmony with Kennedy’s. ‘Andy’ treats you to a yearning tale of forbidden love, packed with erotic overtones so full blooded they’d make Morrissey blush , while the marbled melodies of ‘Broken Light’ come on in nostalgic ripples and waves of sepia-tinged beauty. ‘Let You Down’ finds Kennedy’s voice sounding better than ever, detailing visceral regret over a full bodied groove .

Opening the B-side with a masterful subtlety, synth led instrumental ‘Midnight Pt.2’ sees Kennedy taking us for a moonlit stroll by the ocean before ‘Dana’ ushers in the dawn with the greatest X-Files inspired song ever written (sorry Cerys). The antithesis of over-serious hipster cool, the earnestly emotional lyrics, anthemic chords and shimmering should be enough to prompt John Hughes to rise again and make a much needed sequel to The Breakfast Club. ‘Disappear’ finds Kennedy and drummer Matt Booth drinking in the cosmic vintage of Düsseldorf ’72, as their chiming West Coast guitars are joined by celestial keys, head nodding bass grooves and a motorik rhythm. ‘Clouds’ draws us back into the haze as Kennedy’s multi-tracked vocals gently melt into the swirl of flanged guitar, while ‘Avoid The Light’ closes the LP with a plea to stay in the dreamworld just a little longer.

Alive with lyrical depth, melodic intricacy and lush production, ‘II’ is the work of a confident and mature multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, and it’s your new favourite LP all of a sudden.



1. Intro
2. It’s Alright
3. Andy
4. Broken Light
5. Let You Down
6. Midnight Part 2
7. Dana
8. Disappear
9. Clouds
10. Avoid The Light

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A fresh-faced, four-piece band emitting new music from the home they call Manchester. Reimaging the sound of the red-brick capital of the North with their uplifting and soulful brand of indie pop, Dantevilles are as sharp as they are raw. Clean, canny guitars and dual captivating vocals never compete for space in their unshakable, off-the-wall arrangements.

"Graffiti" by Dantevilles

This Manchester band have near insatiable energy, a knack for melody that comes allied to an engaging, unhinged live show. The new single ‘Graffiti’ arrives shortly via Heist or Hit, with the Gary Hadfield production providing a crisp sheen to the songwriting.

Brimming with potential, the single has a joyously natural feel. Dantevilles explain:

“‘Graffiti’ is all about escapism. The actual art form of graffiti is about expression with the ability to stay discrete. It’s something completely original, individual and non-conformist. It can be whatever the listeners want to draw relations to. Be that love, lust or travel. The song is about standing out above everyone else.”


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Horsebeach is the Manchester-based project masterminded by multi-instrumentalist and producer Ryan Kennedy. Two years on from the chiming majesty of II, he returns with “Beauty And Sadness” – ten rain-soaked vignettes touching on love, loss, regret and remorse. Conceptual, confessional and boldly melodic, it’s a deeply textured LP fusing the familiar C86 jangle with chirping synths, grooving rhythms and expansive ambience whilst meditating on break ups and fuck ups with striking lyrical honesty.

Melancholic, but never miserable, “Beauty And Sadness” is a celebration in the exquisite pain of longing. Named after Yasunari Kawabata’s 1964 novel of the same name – a book which helped Kennedy through a difficult breakup – the source of the album’s title gives a clue as to what lies within, as Ryan explains; “It’s about regret and an overlaying sense of loss but also a realisation of the beauty of starting again. I found some beauty in sadness, as it forced me to re-evaluate everything.”


Although the sound may be a departure from Horsebeach’s norm, the recording process remains the same with Kennedy overseeing all aspects of production. Taking full control of his melodic output, Beauty And Sadness is the third record to be released on Horsebeach’s own Alone Together imprint.

Drawing on inspiration from either side of the Atlantic, both new and old, Horsebeach’s music retains a certain appreciation to classic British guitar bands – The Smiths, Felt and groups from the C86 era are all indebted here. But Kennedy gives it a unique twist by delving into ambient electronics inspired by the likes of William Basinski and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. From the album’s dream-like intro – soft with velveteen pads and the delicate romanticism from a speech sample of Japanese author, Yukio Mishima – hazy synths give way to propulsive percussion, rippling guitars and soaring chord progressions as the band’s bittersweet signature sound evolves with newfound poise and purpose.

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NEW/ The Big Moon, The Slow Readers Club,Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation and many more have joined the likes of Sundara Karma, Amber Run andThe GROWLERS for this year’s Dot To Dot Festival!


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TRANSFORMER is a new series of shows promoted by the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. It’s name chosen in commemoration of Lou Reed, whose visionary approach to rock both in the Velvet Underground and on albums like Metal Machine Music, is reflected in the line-up of our inaugural event on 28th May 2017:



A list that reads like a response to the question – which existing bands would best headline one of Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable happenings or Wilson’s Factory Club nights, if either event still existed.

THE FALL played the original Factory night (also christened in reference to the VU/Warhol continuum) yet This Heat – in many ways their contemporaneous London based avant-rock counterparts – perform in Manchester for the first time in over 30 years at TRANSFORMER. Now named THIS IS NOT THIS HEAT (out of respect for original member Gareth Williams who died in 2001) the band reunited in 2016 after 40 years of inactivity for rapturously received shows in London at Café Oto.

TRANSFORMER will mark the first Manchester show in over 30 years for THIS IS NOT THIS HEAT but the northern swan song for NY noise-rock titans SWANS, who released their final record The Glowing Man to glowing reviews this summer.

From a slightly later period than This Heat but incubating like them in the depths a south London LOOP similarly straddle the divide between avant-garde composition and song-form; making the appearance of both on the same bill well overdue.

ROYAL TRUX from Washington DC, like LOOP are indebted to classic garage and psych, at least instrumentally. Vocally, Jennifer Herrema’s voice is akin to Betty Davis which acts as counterpoint to Neil Michael Hagerty’s which lies somewhere between Beefheart and Johnny Thunders. Like all of TRANSFORMER’S guests, this is a very rare chance to see them live, as the pair has scarcely been in the same room together since 2001.

TRANSFORMER’S line-up is completed by Berlin based, more recently formed Argentinian duo MUERAN HUMANOSwhose music none-the-less evokes art happening-slash-gigs in loft spaces in Abraham Beame’s New York or East London squat parties during Thatcher’s Britain: October Love Songs for Psychick Youth.