Lee “Scratch” Perry, Dolans Warehouse, Limerick, tonight, & Roisin Dubh, Galway, tomorrow & Cyprus avenue, Cork, Sunday.
LEE ‘Scratch’ Perry is 80 so this is one of the last times you’ll catch him live in Ireland. We can go on and on about how he changed the music landscape multiple times — helping to forge dub from splintered reggae and inventing the remix alongside fellow dub master King Tubby.
But these days it’s all about the cult of the batshit personality — the chief Upsetter as a reggae shaman, concocting word association rambles and diving into echo chamber wormholes.
This time though, he’s bringing a full live band to play his landmark Super Ape album on its 40th anniversary, so it’ll be a bit more conventional. ‘Conventional’ is all relative, mind you.
Machine Head, The Limelight, Belfast, Saturday, and Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Sunday
This is billed as ‘an evening with…” as if it’s some light-hearted roast with Ant & Dec cracking dad jokes. But there’ll hardly be an evening as intense as a Machine Head gig this weekend. Some 20 years since their pummelling debut album Burn My Eyes, the Oakland metallers are still knocking out primal slabs of metal, with enough groove and proggy touches to keep you on your toes.
After a few Judas lapses into nu-metal and rap at the turn of the millennium, they got back on the horse with The Blackening in 2007, and they’re still raging through it – with latest album Bloodtstone and Diamonds one of the biggest LPs of 2014.
ULRICH SCHNAUSS, Whelan’s, Dublin, Thursday,
Ulrich Schnauss has been skirting around the electronic margins for 15 years, at the more delicate and end of the spectrum.
The German producer’s albums are born out of a love for Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno and shoegazers like My Bloody Valentine – walls of sound with ornate flourishes and left-turn headphone odysseys.
On record it occasionally gets a bit too pretty – without the brittle edges of Fennesz or Tim Hecker – but his live shows swell into droney wormholes with just the right amount of dread.
Wolf Alice, Mandela Hall, Belfast, tonight, SOLD OUT & Olympia, Dublin, yomorrow, SOLD OUT
PEOPLE keep throwing the grunge tag at Wolf Alice, but you don’t sell out gigs these days sounding like Alice In Chains or Soundgarden. I’m not sure the grunge thing sticks — there’s a lot more shoegazer dream-pop going on with the London four-piece, one of the biggest hyped bands of the last few years.
They’ve got the battered Doc Martens and tracks like You’re A Germ are quality controlled feedback.