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Acoustic folk and blues
Explaining Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra's music is like describing a remembered dream. It feels familiar, but at the same time it feels new. It's blues but not blues, folk but not folk, soulful but not soul.
Marty's voice is beautiful and distinctive, his lyrics stark yet lush over gritty electrified guitar. Chris Lynch's violin, Matt Goff's percussion and Ben Berry's rich bass meld beautifully. The chemistry of these friends is obvious. But one can also hear an urgency in the songs, expressing something elemental and perhaps contradictory: love and anger, joy and pain.
The live performance is at the core of this project: the band enters a trance and the music is born again as something new every night. They go from raw gospel blues to cinematic epics, from heavy driving grooves to delicately arranged folk songs. They leave the stage out of breath, the ground littered with broken strings and bow hairs. It's hard to describe, impossible to categorise. Yet people who know the music will try to explain it to you, just as you might struggle to explain a dream in the morning. The visions might slip away as you recount them, but the feeling remains.
The band formed in Santa Cruz California in 2012 and has been touring relentlessly ever since, from San Francisco to New Orleans to London to Seattle. They invite you to join them.
"A band true to its name: soulful" - NPR
"Delightful, well crafted music" - SF Weekly
"Raw musical excellence, guitar, fiddle and double bass played to within an inch of their inanimate lives." - 4000 Miles to Nashville
"Definitely on the top of the Americana list penned by any serious connoisseur of roots music this year." - Portland Tribune
The 200 year long story of The Castle Hotel is woven not just into it’s bricks and mortar, its Victorian tiles or its mosaic floors. It’s a feeling that you can’t put your finger on. It’s in its people. In its memories. And in the layers of history built up over centuries of experience.
The Castle Hotel started life in 1776, although records show that there has been a dwelling on the site since the 1400s. Over the course of a century the pub changed name several times, trading first as The Crown and Sceptre, then The Crown and Anchor and later The Clock Face. In the late nineteenth century the pub was acquired by Kay’s Atlas Brewery and started a new chapter as The Castle Hotel; which is probably when the current tiled façade and bar were added. In the early 1930s Frederic Robinson took over Kay’s Atlas Brewery and, consequently, The Castle Hotel.
The pub’s now deeply cemented relationship with the city’s music scene probably began when it was a stopping off point for people on their way to Band on the Wall.
In 1979, a now legendary John Peel interview with Ian Curtis took place here, weaving The Castle further into the fabric of Manchester’s musical heritage. Sadly, The Castle fell on hard times and closed it’s doors in 2008. This cherished public house was not to remain closed for long though, and in 2009 friends Jonny Booth and Rupert Hill took over The Castle Hotel and set about bringing the decrepit building back to life.
After a period of restoration which saw the infamous leaky roof replaced and the pub’s entire interior sympathetically brought back in line with it’s rich heritage, the renovation was completed in October 2010 with the grand unveiling of the new Music Hall and Theatre at In The City 2010.
So that’s the story so far. And now The Castle Hotel is ready for it’s next chapter; one which will see this historical drinking house continue to evolve at the beating heart of Manchester’s creative communities. So come along, pull up a stool, and become a part of our story.
Whilst every effort goes into ensuring this gig listing is accurate and up to date, always check with the venue before you travel.