The Handsome Family in Manchester
The Handsome Family will be touring the UK and Ireland this year for the first time since 2018.
The Handsome Family have written some of the most haunting and beautiful songs in American music. During a 30-year career, Brett and Rennie Sparks have created songs that transform the mundane landscape of modern life into a place of mysterious portent.
Handsome Family songs take place in parking lots and big box stores, under overpasses and in airports. They sing about Custer’s last stand and automatic lawn sprinklers in the same song. Rennie’s lyrics often focus on the myriad creatures that live at the edges of the man-made world: the sparrows, rats, cockroaches and crows that share our cities.
Many great songwriters have covered their work, among them Jeff Tweedy, Jason Lytle, and Andrew Bird as well Christy Moore. David Bowie wrote the words, “The Handsome Family” in a notebook right before his death. Who knows what could have been?
Handsome Family shows are famously relaxed. Their songs can be dark, but there’s always laughter on stage. Rennie sings as well as plays Autoharp, banjo, and uke bass. She often introduces songs with seemingly unrelated stories. Brett, with his stentorian voice, is a powerful presence at center of the stage.
There are a lot of new faces at shows these days, lured by “Far From Any Road,” which became a global hit after it was used as the theme to season one of True Detective. Both Bruce Springsteen and Guns ’N Roses have used “Far From Any Road” as walk-on music.
2022 TOUR UK/IRELAND
26 AUG St Lukes Church, Brighton UK
27 AUG St Lukes Church, Brighton UK
30 AUG Birmingham Hare & Hounds, Birmingham UK
31 AUG The Globe, Cardiff UK
01 SEP The Phoenix, Exeter UK
02 SEP The Redgrave Theatre, Bristol UK
03 SEP St Barnabas Church, Oxford UK
06 SEP eARTh, London UK
07 SEP Norwich Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich UK
08 SEP The Wardrobe, Leeds UK
09 SEP Sage, Gateshead UK
10 SEP Community Central Halls, Glasgow UK
12 SEP St Marys A Cultural Space, Chester UK
13 SEP Stoller Hall, Manchester UK
15 SEP Black Box, Belfast UK
16 SEP Letterkenny Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny IE
17 SEP Liberty Hall, Dublin IE