Big Thief at O2 Apollo

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Big Thief by Alexa Viscius

Big Thief at O2 Apollo, Manchester 7 April 2023 Tickets from £29.00 — Book now

Big Thief are performing at Manchester’s O2 Apollo in support of their latest, critically acclaimed double album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You.

Big Thief are purveyors of raw, intimate folk rock that increasingly surprises. Led by singer/guitarist Adrianne Lenker and guitarist Buck Meek, the four-piece released their debut album, Masterpiece, back in 2016, with the following year’s Capacity cementing their status as leading lights of the genre, flitting nimbly between lo-fi acoustic and throwback rock riffs. 2019 brought the twin punch of U.F.O.F and Two Hands, the first record celestial and eerie, the second gritty and earthbound, both of them featuring wonderful, memory capsule-like storytelling, which seems to flow so easily from Lenker’s pen.

Big Thief’s latest record, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You is a sprawling double-LP exploring the deepest and widest elements of the band. It was recorded over four distinct sessions in Upstate New York, Topanga Canyon, The Rocky Mountains and Tucson, Arizona, and the range of its physical territory is matched by its varied states of fidelity, style and mood – all held together by a kind of free-play, anything-is-possible energy.

From the trip hoppy ‘Blurred View’ to the electronica-tinged ‘Heavy Blend’, the album is full of little revelations. The prepared acoustic guitars and rough-and-tumble beat of ‘Time Escaping’ create an otherworldly backdrop for lyrics “unabashedly as psychedelic as I naturally think” (Lenker). More lush in its arrangement, the jangly endorphin-rush of ‘Little Things’ finds Big Thief at their most vibrant and loose, while the minimalist, fluttering ‘Simulation Swarm’ is an exercise in restraint, every note meticulously placed.

The whole thing feels like an experiment born our of pure intrigue, childlike in its exploration but also assured in the various destinations it lands on. Testament to its success, the band are now playing at The Apollo – a big old upgrade from the Academy, where they played only 12 months ago. Catch them there on 7 April.

Big Thief at O2 Apollo, Manchester 7 April 2023 Tickets from £29.00 Book now

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