• 02
  • 03
  • 2017
  • 07.30
  • pm


Please note this is an 18+ event

Red Balloon Music are proud to present a rare solo headline show from American soul sensation Marty O’Reilly (Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra).

Formed in Santa Cruz California in 2012, Marty has been touring relentlessly ever since, from San Francisco to New Orleans to London to Seattle – and following a storming set at The Castle Hotel in Manchester in June last year, catch him once more – this time performing a rare solo set!

Support comes from one of Red Balloon Music’s favourite local acts – We Were Strangers.


Marty O’Reilly weaves trance-based blues music, harkening back to John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf, with a drunken minor swing comparable to some of Tom Waits’ darker works, delivering an enthralling and passionate performance, which often leaves him out of breath and the stage littered with broken strings.

Marty O’Reilly began his musical journey as a blues guitar player, with his ear pressed close to the ancient hiss in the works of Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Patton, and Leadbelly. Through extensive listening and studying of the early delta greats, O’Reilly developed a unique foundation onto which he would incorporate themes from influences in other musical veins such as John Fahey, Nick Drake, John Vandiver, and Tom Waits.

Whether it be his original pieces or his renditions of old American classics, O’Reilly tells his story through an old and soulful voice, propelled by a sense of authentic emotional adrenaline.

For these extra-special rare and intimate solo shows, Marty will explore his delta blues roots, test new material and reinvent songs that had previously only been heard in the band format, as well as giving fascinating insights into his songs and his inspirations.

Praise for Marty O’Reilly:

“raw musical excellence… guitar, fiddle and double bass played to within an inch of their inanimate lives. – 4000milestonashville

“Marty O’Reilly [is] imbued with an innate talent, [and] delivers beyond our expectations” – The Noise Beneath the Apple

“Delightful…well-crafted music” – SF Weekly


From beneath the moody and rain burdened Manchester sky, hails the latest musical offering from Stefan Melbourne, his new outfit going by the name of “We Were Strangers” Having performed and recorded in the past as a solo act, Melbourne’s recent endeavour is a more fluid affair with various musicians accompanying the salient troubadour as he takes up the lead.

Not too long ago the band released a small EP going by the name of “Before” which was welcomed and applauded by bloggers and listeners alike, paving the way for their album ” Beneath a Broken Sky ” which is due out in the coming months, a moving and fluent anthology of heartbreak and nostalgia, with a gritty sense of sorrow and a prevalent and fierce hope running throughout. Steeped in the rich heritage of the North and somehow possessed by the insistent, rain soaked Manchester streets We Were Strangers won’t disappoint.