Nell Bryden performed at The Met on 12 July and gave us insight into why she loves Manchester.

Upon her return to Bury, Nell wanted to express her love for her fans, her journey, Manchester and The Met. Her recent endeavours have seen the multitalented performer release 2 albums in 2019 (Soundtrack to Little Wing – Part 1, Living Room Sessions), write her debut novel and tour the UK.

The BBC Radio 2 favourite gave us her undivided attention as she let us delve into her most recent experiences and why she enjoys coming back to the venue. Although American born, Nell has been living in London and has fallen in love with the culture, leading her to be granted full British citizenship. The newly honoured Brit followed her interview with a special intimate session that will be released across our social channels very soon!

More about Nell:

The BBC Radio 2 playlisted single “Smoke In My Heart” came off her long-awaited EP Soundtrack To Little Wing — Part 1, part of a companion album she wrote and recorded to complement her debut novel. The story of how this New Yorker has been building on her status as a distinguished singer-songwriter by writing her first novel is a real page-turner in itself. When her book Little Wing arrives, it will be accompanied by a full album, in a serendipitous fusion of two art forms: the one that we’ve always known and admired Nell for, and the hidden talent that she always wanted to pursue.

But it’s the Living Room Sessions album that presents Nell as — well — most at home. The recordings exude the live spirit of a band of crack musicians playing together that know each other like family members.

And that very same crack band of players joined Nell on tour in June and July around the UK. Their 15-date itinerary saw Bryden returning to her roots and following in the sonic footsteps of some of her biggest influences, such as Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin and Carole King. 

See our interview with Nell in our recent Have you been to The Met before? video. Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to see the full session!

Video Transcript

“I have, I love it here. I think the last time I was here was probably about four or five years ago. If I’m remembering this correctly I think that I was pregnant on this tour and so I did this tour up until I was eight and a half months pregnant so I remember having to, well actually I was holding the guitar very differently and like I was holding it off to the side like this. I had this big bump so it’s really, you know. I remember loving the show, it was a great crowd and it’s a wonderful theater, it’s very intimate and the sound is really wonderful. I love playing up north as well because everybody in Manchester is such a music fan already and this Greater Manchester area has lots of music and culture going on and so to in this area and playing music is like you’re with people that are really up for for a great time. It’s also people who really enjoy coming out and so I loved shows in this area anyway but The Met is my favourite venue in the north, it’s just this wonderful intimate little theatre where people are really listening.

For someone like me you know I write a lot of songs that have stories to them and I think that it’s important to get the lyrics across and to get the story and the characters across. That happens in a more intimate setting. I’ve been doing this thing called the living room sessions which is very much like this actually, where I invite my friends down to my place in London and we get a film crew in that I know and we just film lots of songs that are in a very stripped back acoustic setting. In that way you can hear the lyrics and the story quite a bit more so I decided to take that on the road with me this time and so the last time I was at The Met I was doing this really like Rock n Roll set. Tonight it’s much more Folky like sort of Americana which is how I really got into music in the first place it’s nice to come full circle back to my roots and do that, so I’m really looking forward to it.”