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:
SWANS, THE FALL, THIS IS NOT THIS HEAT, ROYAL TRUX,
LOOP, MUERAN HUMANOS
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 HUMANOS whose 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.
In addition to this stellar line-up there will be multiple bars, food stalls and a record fair.
Tickets start at £20 as Tier 1 early bird tickets, rising to £25 as tier 2 and the final batch of Tier 3 will finish at £27.50.