26 Oldham St,
Manchester M1 1JN



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Thu April 4

CHRIS SHIFLETT (FOO FIGHTERS)

+ special guests MIKE WEST

SOLD OUT // Doors 8:00pm

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CHRIS SHIFLETT

Alt-country songwriter. Rock & roll guitarist. Pop-punk pioneer. Chris Shiflett has played multiple roles during his 20+ year career, fronting his own band one minute and serving as the Foo Fighters’ longtime guitarist the next. He turns a new corner with West Coast Town, an autobiographical solo album that finds Shiflett pulling triple-duty as singer, songwriter and bandleader.

Heavily inspired by both the unique twang of California’s country tradition — particularly Bakersfield icons like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard — and the rootsy stomp of the Rolling Stones, West Coast Town is an extension of the acclaimed alt-country career Shiflett kickstarted back in 2010. It’s a bright, bold album, with Shiflett revising the supposed “rules” of country music to suit his own background. There are no songs about Georgia back roads here. No southern belles in denim cut-offs. Instead, Shiflett — a California native who grew up in Santa Barbara — writes about an adolescence spent onstage, on the beach, and on the prowl. During the nostalgic title track, “West Coast Town,” a teenage Shiflett chases girls along the Pacific Ocean shoreline, returning home at night to his childhood home on Salinas Street. Later, he drinks away an ex’s memory in “Room 102,” battles hangovers and heartbreak in “I’m Still Drunk,” and triumphantly wraps up a rock & roll show with “Goodnight Little Rock.”

“‘Goodnight Little Rock’ is a truck driving country song,” he says of the rowdy, guitar-driven track, “but written from the viewpoint of a van tour. That’s as close as I’ve come to ever being a truck driver.”

Truck driver or not, Shiflett has spent the past two decades crisscrossing the globe, playing thousands of shows along the way. In 2016, those travels took him to Nashville, where he interviewed Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb as part of his weekly podcast, Walking the Floor with Chris Shiflett. The meeting took place at RCA Studio A, shortly after Cobb moved his recording operations into the historic room. There, surrounded by vintage gear and the ghosts of country music’s greatest singers, Cobb and Shiflett formed a genuine friendship. “When I left the studio,” Shiflett remembers, “I thought, ‘I have to make a record with that dude.’ I was already a big fan of the records Cobb produces, and his setup was just so amazing.”

Later that summer, Shiflett came back to Nashville, this time with a catalog of new songs in tow. West Coast Town, his first solo album since 2013’s collection of honky-tonk covers, All Hat and No Cattle, was recorded at RCA Studio A over a three-week period, with help from Grammy-winning engineer/mixer Matt Ross-Spang. Cobb doubled as the album’s producer and acoustic guitar player, with a group of A-list studio musicians — pedal steel guitarist Robby Turner (Waylon Jennings, Chris Stapleton), drummer Chris Powell (Brent Cobb, Jamey Johnson), bassist Adam Gardner (Southern Family), and keyboardist Michael Webb (Southern Family) — adding their own contributions. On an album filled with all-star names, though, Shiflett plays the biggest role, singing and picking his way through 10 original songs that mix together the bounce of Bakersfield country, the anthemic punch of blue-collar roots-rock, the rule-breaking rebelliousness of SoCal punk, and plenty of guitar heroics.

With every song captured in two or three takes, West Coast Town often sounds more like the work of a live band than a studio creation. That approach suits the songs well. After all, this is an album about growing up — about making peace with your roots — and growing up is always a bit messy. Asked about his influences, Shiflett rattles off names like the Stray Cats, Social Distortion, Dwight Yoakam, and Uncle Tupelo, all of whom challenged the rules of the genres they occupied. West Coast Town follows a similar path. Although set in coastal California, it’s an album that creates its own geography — a place where dark lyrics rub shoulders with bright bursts of melody; where country music doesn’t just belong to American South, where the soft swoon of pedal steel makes way for sharply-worded lyrics; and where one of modern music’s biggest multi-taskers can combine his songwriting, singing and guitar-playing talents into one track list.

chrisshiflettmusic.com

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MIKE WEST

Mike West has a reputation as an honest and engaging performer. Beginning his musical journey as the frontman and guitarist for a thrash metal band, Mike traded in his electric guitar for an acoustic and began paying homage to his love of delta blues, folk and country while remaining true to his metal and rock roots.

 “There are million and one troubadours who …think this stuff is easy. There aren’t many as interesting as this. “Rusted” is the type of record that makes true sense when it’s you and the darkness of the small hours with everything you regret for company.” Maximum Volume Music

 A walking dichotomy of genres and influences, Mike is as comfortable performing at a metal festival, as he is at a tattoo convention, arts café or folk club. This widespread appeal is down to his honest lyrics, driving rhythms and diverse subject range, from his home town of Rock Ferry to the practice of Tibetan Sky Funerals.

“This UK troubadour is raw at near every note, creating haunting landscapes. And when West summons that guttural growl, it wants to tear at your soul.” Global Texan Chronicles

With his E.P ‘Rusted’, named from him coming to terms with the fact that he not that metal anymore, Mike explored the themes of working for the machine, Walt Whitman’s poetry, love, struggle and the dereliction of his home town and with an ever expanding repertoire of songs, his live performances are a roller coaster of existentialism, literature and dealing with the pressing questions in his life, wrapped up into relatable songs you can tap your feet too.

 With a proud reputation as a hard working musician, Mike has toured across UK and Europe earning fans with his down to earth manner and reliable songs, gaining traction with each city and country as well as supporting diverse artists such as Shawn James, Left Lane Cruiser, Cecil Allen Moore, Ciaran Lavery, Tony Wright (Terrorvision), Michele Stodart (Magic Numbers) and The Pierce Brothers. Mike appeals to head bangers and folk twangers whether he is playing Latitude Festival, Dark Holler festival or Pentre Fest.

Mike West is an honest, open musician constantly improving through his song writing and live performances, developing a unique blend of optimistic and realistic world views with a driving rhythm of acoustic  music that pays tribute to his array of influences while sounding unlike any other acoustic act around. Currently touring across the UK and Europe while recording his first full length record, Mike West is here to establish himself as one of the U.K’s top Alt-Country artists.

Channeling his creativity further, Mike writes and draws his own comics under Cog Life Comics. Influenced by Lovecraft, Poe, King and Harris, he loves Horror tinged with Sci-fi, Universal Monsters and anything crypto-zoological or unexplained. A writer of comics, short stories and flash fiction, he wears his influences on his sleeves and strives to add his own unique perspective to his work.

mike333west.com


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