Lauren Housley/Megan Dixon Hood/Rachel Hillary/Hannah Ashcroft
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Are We Strangers Now? is six years old!!
Come and celebrate with us, and some of our favourite musicians at this very special evening of live music.
We are very lucky to have performing live, four amazing acts – Lauren Housley, Megan Dixon Hood, Rachel Hillary, and Hannah Ashcroft – in the intimate surroundings of The Castle Hotel in Manchester!
Lauren Housley is a native of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, but is now based in Manchester.
She draws her influence from a wide range of music genres, with her emotive vocals steeped in Gospel, Blues and a unique blend of ‘Nashville’ flavoured soul with a hint of Americana and Roots, Pop and Rock and some killer covers thrown in for good measure. It’s a very potent and thrilling mix.
Lauren’s debut album ‘Sweet Surrender’ was one of the standout albums of 2015, filled with original songs, written alongside long time creative partner Thomas Dibb, that are honest, sincere and personal.
A number of these tracks were playlisted on Radio 2 by the likes of Chris Evans, Jeremy Vine and Bob Harris.
This national exposure was to bring her to the attention of the promoters at Live Nation. Lauren explains:
“An out of the blue phone call and I was booked to play at Bluesfest 2016 at the 02 Arena, along with Van Morrison, Tom Jones and Dave Matthews Band. The irony of this was that I was trying to buy tickets to Bluesfest before the phone call.”
Most of last year was given over to recording ‘The Beauty of this Life’, which was released on 28 July 2017 (digital formats) and 11 August 2017 (physical format), and features the best of her limited edition album, and 6 new tracks.
MEGAN DIXON HOOD
Megan Dixon Hood combines haunting melodies with ethereal lead vocals through her piano folk-infused songs, delivering atmospheric melodies that are creative, yet heartfelt.
With songs stepping into the darker side of her music, she is experimenting further with her band to create an enchanting and climatic sound.
Following a string of festival appearances including Liverpool Sound City, 2000 Trees and the main stage at Glass Butter Beach, Megan achieved success with her first single ‘Early Morning Riser’, which also won ‘Single of the Year’ for Staffordshire and Cheshire Music Awards.
After catching the attention of BBC Radio 2’s Weekend Wogan Show, it received plaudits from within the industry, including that of BRIT Awards Winner Rag’N’Bone Man, earning her a support slot with him at Manchester’s Sound Control.
Her enchanting sound has been recognised by Caffe Nero, choosing to play two of her songs from her first EP’s to be part of their worldwide Caffe Nero playlist, before inviting her to play Cornbury Festival 2016.
The Manchester Evening News also named Megan number 5 in the top Manchester bands and acts to watch out for in 2017.
Rachel Hillary is a singer-songwriter, born and bred in Manchester and Stockport.
She has an enormous raw talent, a kind of ethereal hypnotic charm that casts an immediate spell over any audience.
Her lyrics and her singing take you firmly to another world, playing on your emotions. Rachel sings not only from the heart but also from the soul.
Hannah Ashcroft is a Manchester based singer/songwriter and guitarist, sitting somewhere between the folk, indie and alternative genres.
With a unique fingerpicking style influenced by the likes of John Martyn and Nick Drake, she combines intricate guitar parts and haunting melodies to explore themes of humanity, mythology and superstition.
After two years of playing around Australia she returned to the UK late last year to release her Melbourne made debut EP ‘The Quiet Kind’, with tracks receiving airplay from BBC Introducing and BBC 6 music.