Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams
The Soup Kitchen, Manchester
Friday 27th January 2017

Words: Stomper
Pics: via Instagram

Little did I know that when I shared one of Ryan Adams new songs ‘Doomsday’ onto some of my friends Facebook walls on Friday morning that I would be watching him play an impromptu gig to 150 people at Manchester Soup Kitchen the very same night!

It all started when Ryan posted on his Instagram page that he was in Manchester’s best known music shop Johnny Roadhouse, and he was looking for somewhere to play later that night.
Last time I saw Ryan play was at Manchester Academy in 2001 so was I going to pass up this opportunity to see him play such an intimate gig and go see Trainspotting 2 with Lisa as planned. Not blummin likely!

Right great, where are you playing Ryan? He’s keeping us all guessing…

People are going nuts on his Instagram and Twitter pages, all frantically trying to find out where he’s playing, people are guessing, perhaps the Night & Day Cafe, possibly The Deaf Institute, someone is convinced it will be The Castle, this nugget coming from someone who’s brother, sister. cousin, friend with benefits “runs the place” – apparently; the fevered excitement was tangible, people were ringing friends, scouring venue listings for gaps.

He finally, cryptically lets us know by posting a picture of a Campbell’s soup can…ah ha! That’s not too hard to work out, cheers Ryan!

Ryan Adams Soup

I phone Seamus; he is already on his way, to let him know I think he’s probably playing The Soup Kitchen. Confirmation arrives as Ryan officially posts at about 7:30 that, yes indeed he will be appearing at The Soup Kitchen; nestled deep in Manchester’s Northern Quarter; it’s an intimate venue – for ‘larger events’ they utilise the sub200 capacity basement venue; Mr Adams has shifted in excess of 4 million album units over the years – therefore getting 200 to attend one of Manchester’s more inviting venues was never going to be an issue.

Re-read the confirmation post “Doors at 8pm on stage at 8:30pm”

Cue the 80mph journey from Preston to Manchester – via many red traffic lights, more importantly I didn’t notice any double flash white lights…nor any blue lights for that matter!

We arrive, abandon the car, join the queue and eventually bundle into a heaving Kitchen just as the already present audience is being told “by all means take pictures but please no flash photography” – there are all sorts of disappointed noises coming from the entrance area, were a huge crowd snakes longingly around the streets in the vague hope of getting in.


Ryan comes on the small stage to rapturous applause and begins to treat us all to tracks from his new album “Prisoner”. Every single song is a winner but the standout track for me was “Shiver and Shake”.

We were also treated to two spontaneous made up songs “Let’s Get Divorced” and “Don’t Upset The Dancers” … Ryan tells us he loves playing Manchester as it’s where all his “favourite bands” come from.

I also read later his Instagram page that he felt it was one of his best ever gigs. Well Ryan it was also one of my best ever gigs… And it was free to get in!

Come back soon Ryan… Preston Guildhall beckons…

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