Storyhouse music festival announced for 2022

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Storyhouse is set to be filled with music as some of Chester and the North West’s most exciting talent takes over the building for weekend in early 2022.

Storyhouse Sessions, taking place from 21-23 January, is being staged in partnership with Chester-based leading independent label Mai 68 Records

More than 30 bands, singers and musicians will perform live at locations throughout the building including the main theatre space, Garret Studio, Garret Bar and The Kitchen. 

Gigs in the main house and Garret Studio will be ticketed, while sessions in The Garret and The Kitchen will be free to all. 

The weekend opens on Friday, 21 January with Pulp Disco bringing disco, nu disco, Balearic, electronic and classic House sounds to the Garret Bar. 

Saturday, 22 January features a full day of top tunes from some of the most talented performers in the North West. 

Main stage headliners are Sunstack Jones and The Shipbuilders.  

Sunstack Jones arrive at Storyhouse having recently supported Tim Burgess on tour. The band have been given airtime by Mark Radcliffe and Steve Lamacq, while their latest album Golden Repair – released on the 

Mai 68 label and featuring their trademark sun-drenched folk sound – won four stars from Mojo. 

Liverpool gypsy-surf-rock band The Shipbuilders have been described as playing “an infectiously catchy blend of twisted blues, jangly psychedelia and sea shanty-recalling storytelling.” (Get Into This

Meanwhile the Garret Studio plays host to two fantastic acts over one evening; Chester indie-folk favourites The Loose Kites, and Campfire Social

The five-piece alt-pop indie band, who released the EP Everything Changed earlier this year, deliver songs with ‘heart-on-sleeve lyrics and bright harmonies.’ 

Only Human, a collective of musicians with a shared love of electric music and live performance, play in the Garret Bar, while The Kitchen hosts more than seven hours of live music from noon to 7.30pm, including Widnes-based folk-tinged indie pop trio Mondegreen, and a special set by Ennio the Little Brother

The lyricist and producer, who has been featured on Cerys Matthews’ Sunday Music Show on BBC Radio 6 and Tom Robinson’s introducing playlist, is a purveyor of what has been dubbed “idiosyncratic, soulful dream pop”. 

The music takeover continues on Sunday, 23 January with another full day of free performances in The Kitchen from noon to 7.30pm. 

The Garret Studio features sets from Me and Deboe with their harmony laden alternative folk plus Friends of Our Youth who promise fans plenty of spiky hooks and luscious melodies. 

And the main house hosts By The Sea and Gintis

Wirral band By The Sea, who are produced by Bill Ryder-Jones, bring their own brand of dream pop to the Storyhouse auditorium. 

Meanwhile Welsh/Liverpool band Gintis bring with them a playlist of existentialist pop and country-tinged melancholia. 

Storyhouse Music Programmer Thea Gilmore said: “This is the first time Storyhouse has staged a music festival of this kind, and in collaboration with Mai 68 Records we’re really excited to be able to present such a fantastic range and depth of local talent, all playing live in the building over one weekend. 

From House to folk-rock, blues to psychedelia, and New Wave to dream pop, this is a chance to discover some great original music performed by some of the most exciting bands on the current North West scene.” 

Si Jones

And Si Jones of Mai 68 Records added: “We are hugely excited to be working in collaboration with such an esteemed local cultural institution. There has always been a real synergy between independent venues, artists and labels and the idea of connecting our artists to the heart of the city is a dizzying prospect. Chester, North Wales and the bright lights of Merseyside is blessed with a thriving number of artists who are immersed in this independent spirit. We are a collective of music obsessives who give up our time to share the music we love and the notion of doing this in the wondrous art deco surroundings of Storyhouse is enough to brighten up any wintery January weekend. Please come and support your local Indies

For the full line-up and tickets visit the Storyhouse website at 

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