SLEAFORD MODS, District 8, Dublin, tomorrow.
Just as we’re welcoming back Shane Meadows’ Northern misfits to our screens in This Is England 90, Sleaford Mods do away with the bittersweet baggy nostalgia to give us a riled-up taste of austerity-hit England in 2015.
On paper, a Sleaford Mods gig in Dublin would’ve been a hard sell a few years ago – a fortysomething Midlands Englishman ranting with region-specific pointers, over a scant laptop punk drumbeat. But you forget how easy it is to translate squalid nihilism, bad drugs and two fingers at anything that moves.
Their formula hasn’t changed much over their eight albums since 2007 – rickety beats, rudimentary bass and the odd bleep, with Jason Williamson going through things he hates, veins popping out of his forehead. Boris Johnson, Russell Brand and Ed Milliband are just a few on his shit list, but he’s just as likely to snarl about crap indie clubs, Minnie Mouse and Victoria’s Secret.
Williamson calls it “minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class and under”, and we won’t argue.
SOUNDS FROM A SAFE HARBOUR, various Cork venues, tonight-Sunday
Curated by Bryce Dessner of The National, this new music and arts festival nearly out-cultures Culture Night. With a loose theme of waves, water and movement, it’s a weekend of “music, art and conversation” that’ll stimulate your brain cells as well as your dancing feet.
The centrepiece is the Irish premiere of Wave Movements, Dessner’s avant-classical piece co-written by Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, but there’s a noon to midnight programme over the weekend with many highlights. Wild Beasts, Rusangano Family, Donal Dineen and Nialler9’s Vinyl Love are just a few of the ticks.
CHRISTIAN LOFFLER, Fringe Spiegeltent, Dublin, tonight
With a grasp of icy melancholy that recalls his countryman Pantha Du Prince, German electronic artist Christian Loffler is the music highlight of this year’s Dublin Fringe. Like Pantha Du Prince’s albums Black Noise and Elements of Light, he deftly builds compositions from chimes, delicate tics and slowly-shifting tempos. And with song titles like A Forest, Ash & Snow and Alpine Sketch, you’re halfway inside his head before hearing his lush pieces.
Support is from Dublin’s slow-motion space disco don Lasertom.
Original version in Irish Daily Star