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Just announced: Session Americana, 1st November.

Session Americana

01 November / 19:00 / More Info / Buy Tickets

Session Americana is a rock band in a tea cup, or possibly a folk band in a whiskey bottle.

This band/collective of talented musicians craft a musical experience unlike any other. On stage is a collapsible bar table wired with microphones, a vintage suitcase recast as a kick drum, an old Estey field organ, a pre-war parlor guitar, a mandocello and all of its smaller siblings, a harmonica case fire damaged when Jack's bar went up in flames and graffitied by Depeche Mode roadies, and an assortment of other instruments that get passed around in this freewheeling modern hootenanny.

The anything-could-happen feel of a Session show depends on craft that's not accidental or easily won; they bring a kind of ease and genuineness to this timeless music, sometimes presenting the latest batch of original songs, sometimes reaching back into depths of the American "song bag".

"It's a wild trad ride that's definitely worth hopping on board with" Time Out, London

Just announced: SOIL&”PIMP” SESSIONS, 9th July.


09 July / 19:30 / More Info / Tickets on sale 4th March 2015 at 09:00

Japanese jazz-punk renegades SOIL&”PIMP” SESSIONS are an explosive band comprised of six musicians; Shacho (agitator, spirit), Tabu Zombie (trumpet), Motoharu (sax), Josei (piano), Akita Goldman (bass) and Midoryn (drums). The sextet’s roof-raising live shows (dubbed “Death Jazz” in a two-finger salute to Japan’s polite, noodling, straight ahead jazz cognoscenti) have earned them a fearsome reputation and new fans at every stop on their annual trailblazing European tours.

At its core, the group is about giving pulsating live performances. SOIL&”PIMP” SESSIONS combine the highest musicianship with the coolest of cool sounds and atmosphere. Their brand of jazz is rough around the edges, unadulterated entertainment and constantly kept at boiling point.

Each member brings his own unique talent and perspective. They originally met at a club event in Tokyo in 2001. The Tokyo club scene was dominated by DJs until SOIL&”PIMP” SESSIONS arrived, breaking the mold as live pioneers.  Calling their music “Death Jazz”, they gained recognition for performing an original form of aggressive alternative jazz.  The band comments; “We always felt that in the world of jazz, there was an unwritten rule that the musicians were to concentrate on their techniques and the audience were simply there to admire, like a transmitter/ receiver relationship. We wanted to break away from that and create exciting jazz with far more interaction between the players and the audience”. Shacho, who holds a rather unusual title in a jazz band as “the agitator”, plays a key role in this by stirring and stimulating the audience.

It did not take long for SOIL&”PIMP” SESSIONS to become one of the hottest new bands in Japan and becoming favorites of major festivals including Fuji Rock. Their international breakthrough came when Gilles Peterson, the renowned British DJ, introduced the them through his Radio 1 show ‘Worldwide’. Since then, SOIL&”PIMP” SESSIONS have been awarded the “John Peel Play More Jazz Award” at the Worldwide Awards and have released a string of storming albums on Peterson’s Brownswood recordings to widespread critical acclaim.

Just announced: Focus, 23rd October.


23 October / 19:30 / More Info / Buy Tickets

With their unique brand of progressive rock, Focus manifested themselves at the start of the '70s as the most successful and appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports. Fronted by founding member Thijs Van Leer, and best known for their hits “Hocus Pocus”, “House of The King” and “Sylvia”, as well as critically acclaimed albums 'Moving Waves', 'Focus 3' and 'Hamburger Concerto', the iconic Dutch music masters are back with their tenth album, which is guaranteed to please their legions of fans!

After a comeback in the early 2000's, which resulted in the well-received albums 'Focus 8' and 'Focus 9', the band regrouped with a fantastic new line-up. Along with Thijs van Leer on vocals, flute and keyboards, back on the drums is famed Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden, who joined the group on their second album 'Moving Waves' in 1972. Internationally renowned for his rhythmic skills, Pierre remains a defining factor in the Focus sound. Bassist Bobby Jacobs, who comes from a well-acclaimed Dutch musical family and guitarist Menno Gootjes, who participated in Focus at an earlier stage, complete the band's current line-up.

There is a rejuvenated passion in the new compositions that adorn the new album 'Focus X', which features a full scale Roger Dean painting on the cover. Says Thijs van Leer, who holds the distinction of being the first ever knighted musician in Holland, “It's a thrill to have finally completed 'Focus X'; we are all ecstatic and looking forward to playing the new material on the forthcoming Focus X World Tour.”

Thijs van Leer - Hammond-organ, flute and vocals

Pierre van der Linden - drums

Bobby Jacobs - bass

Menno Gootjes guitar

Just announced: Robyn Hitchcock, 2nd June.

Robyn Hitchcock

02 June / 19:30 / More Info / Tickets on sale 9am, Wednesday

Robyn Hitchcock celebrates his new album ‘The Man Upstairs’ with a Manchester show at Band on the Wall. The Man Upstairs sees psychedelic troubadour Robyn Hitchcock uniting with legendary producer Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, R.E.M.) for one of the most unique outings of his already quite distinctive career. The album – which arrives just one year after 2013’s acclaimed Love From London – sees the British singer/songwriter musing on mortality, masculinity, and the impossibility of forever via an unexpected intermingling of self-penned originals and “songs I wished I’d written.” Modern standards like The Doors’ “The Crystal Ship” and The Psychedelic Furs’ “The Ghost In You” are reimagined as stark and melancholy folk ballads, and then set to powerful effect alongside haunting new songs like the plaintive “Recalling The Truth.” Hitchcock’s 20th solo studio recording – give or take a few outtake, demo, and rarities compilations – The Man Upstairs is a remarkable portrait of an artist raging quietly against the dying of the proverbial light.

From plugging in Bob Dylan’s electric guitar at his infamous 1965 performance at the Newport Folk Festival to his stewardship of an array of folk heroes – including Hitchcock’s beloved Incredible String Band – Joe Boyd has been intimately involved in some of music’s milestone moments.  Boyd proposed Hitchcock made an album like Judy Collins did in 1967, an album with half originals and half covers. The record comprises equal part well-known favourites, personal discoveries, and original songs. The multi-tiered method offered the rare opportunity for Hitchcock to record as a performer, not “just another singer/songwriter laying their freshest eggs.”

Just announced: Bill Laurance Project ‘Swift Tour’ at Sage 2, Gateshead

Bill Laurance Project ‘Swift Tour’ at Sage 2, Gateshead

26 May / 20:00 / More Info / Buy Tickets

Snarky Puppy founder-member and Grammy Award winning pianist Bill Laurance performs music from his second album Swift.

Featuring Snarky’s own Michael League on bass and Robert ‘Sput’ Searight on drums, Bill picks up where his acclaimed debut Flint left off — pushing a deep groove under flowing classical melodies. 

‘The natural evolution of contemporary instrumental music. Flawless’ (

Swift is released on GroundUP records in Spring 2015.

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