While the music world and its wife are gearing up in anxious anticipation for the Irish festival of the year – Electric Picnic – elsewhere, the beating pulse at the heart of gigdom goes on, kept alive by some outrageously good live acts from corners of the globe both near and far.
Kick-starting the gigging proceedings is Dublin based four-piece Mongoose who are travelling to West Cork to take centre stage at the Cornerhouse, Ballydehob on 25th August. Their most recent track Old Friend is like a jaunting car ride through a magical world of poesy in which James Joyce cavorts with Alice in Wonderland.
A vocal powerhouse with a line in charming yet incisive idiosyncrasy, Mongoose are an act unafraid of being true to their boundless, abstract and vibrantly coloured creative selves. A must for lovers of musical ingenuity and adventurous atmospherics.
The Cornerhouse in Ballydehob is a bit of an institution. A celebrated Munster music venue it’s been run by the same Levis family for over 100 years. One wonders if the Levis’ of B’dehob are releated to the family of the same name that used to run the former Levis’ pub in the Square in Rosscarbery? Details on the Mongoose gig over at the Cornherhouse website.
Next out of the traps is a gig that should prove to be quite the sensational double-headliner in Whelans on 30th August, when the musical talents of New Zealander Nadia Reid (Preservation) and American Julie Byrne (Not Even Happiness) collide. With both artists having silky, Galaxy-lush vocals and a penchant for emotive guitar sequences that bore through the soul, prepare for endless shivers and goosebumps.
Hitting the same venue on Sunday 17th September is Annelotte De Graaf who trades under the Amber Arcades moniker. Having produced what was undoubtedly one of this reviewers favourite tracks of 2016 Fading Lines, from the equally enchanting album of the same name, Amber Arcades has firmly taken her place in the realm of contemporary indie pop. If you like yours feisty with a swirl of dreamy magic, this gig is a must-see.
Tickets cost €16 through Ticketmaster & usual outlets nationwide.
Step back a day to Saturday 16th and you’ll find Icelandic five-piece (yes, they’re usually four but currently five) Amiina at The Workman’s Club. You might remember the name from a few years back when they collaborated with music manager, promoter, journalist and more, Wyndham Wallace on the track Hilli (At The Top of the World), a song that featured the late Lee Hazlewood.
Most recently they’ve pulled off quite the artistic coup with their Fantômas project. Originally the score for a silent movie dating back over 100 years to 1913, through the curation of Yann Tiersen it grew into something of a musical monster (figuratively and literally).
Wrapped around a villainous character central to the writings of Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre, Fantômas is like a late night ramble through the backstreets of Paris on a dark and somewhat murky night. It walks you through the lights and laughter into shady terrains and unlit alleyways that both agitate and fascinate.
Tickets are €16 and available via www.theworkmansclub.com and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
Thursday 21st September marks the welcome return of Norwegian singer-songwriter Siv Jakobsen who previously graced these shores when she supported Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Her gig upstairs at Whelans is book-ended by Ruby Sessions (19th) and Roisin Dubh, Galway (20th), and the Kasbah Social Club, Limerick on 22nd. Whistle-stop is the word.
Siv is one of Norway’s finest songsmiths, crafting songs of the most intimate and touching nature with instrumental backdrops the sheer tenderness of which tugs at the heart-strings. She is set to follow up her The Lingering EP with a debut album entitled Shallow Digger on 25th August. Having missed Siv the last time around, we’ve this one already on the to-do list and in the diary.
Ticket information on Ticketmaster
The story of my life, Talos is set to play Clonakilty International Guitar Fest on 24th September – one month too late for DervSwerve who will have been there/Clonak’d that and gone home by the time this gig comes around. Corkman Eoin French who is the man behind brand Talos is seen as one of the best Irish songwriters of his generation – his debut album, Wild Alee stunned when it was released earlier this spring.
Talos has been on a bit of a live-date roller coaster recently, playing showcases in London and Berlin, as well as performing at a plethora of summer festivals including Latitude and Indiependence with two dates at the upcoming Electric Picnic also in the mix. In case you need a reason to pitch up at any of his forthcoming dates, check out the spellbinding This Is Us Colliding release here.
Tickets for the Clon festival from the official website here.
Following his sold-out show last February, Mercury prize nominee Loyle Carner is returning to Dublin for a headliner at the Button Factory on Wednesday 27th September. The young Londoner, seen as the “new hope in hip-hop“, released his debut album Yesterday’s Gone to much critical acclaim and media drooling. The songs are powerful, the talent exceptional, the rest … will be history. See for yourselves.
Tickets are €18 through Ticketmaster & usual outlets.
To round off the occasion, we’ll leave you with a Giggery Pokery playlist so you can sample the sounds of the featured artists.
Oh, and in a piece of total shameless self-promotion, DervSwerve has been longlisted for two blog awards by the VbyVeryBlogAwards sponsored by Littlewoods Ireland – one for best music blog, the second for best blog post (for this little diamond – Female Artists Constitute Just 27% of the LineUp of the Top 3 Irish Music Festivals – Why?). You can read about the words and check out the full longlist here.