RUSANGANO FAMILY, Sugar Club, Dublin, tomorrow, €10
The debut album from Rusangano Family, Let The Dead Bury the Dead, has been a long time coming — with a trail of killer festival slots and support gigs behind them and heaps of goodwill from the Irish hip-hop community and neutral music fans alike.
Producer Mynameisjohn and rapper God knows were the initial fuse, with MC Murli the extra piece that has slotted in perfectly.
God Knows and MuRli are first generation immigrants from Zimbabwe and Togo, and their lyrics deal with identity crisis and equality while keeping the narrative personal, without soapbox preaching.
Mynameisjohn’s production isn’t just a background to the pair’s scattershot rhymes — veering between searing funk, ragga, soul and Afrobeat, putting a unique stamp on one of the Irish albums of the year.
STEFFI, Opium Rooms, Dublin, tonight, €15
District 8 may be grabbing all the blockbuster headliners in Dublin, but don’t forget Opium Rooms is plugging in quality DJs every week down the road.
Steffi is the resident DJ at Berghain’s Panorama Bar in Berlin, a quality control stamp that trumps any vote-canvassing poll by RA or DJ Mag. She also runs two labels, Klakson and Dolly — releasing underground deep house and hypnotic techno, similar to her own productions.
Her compilation Panorama Bar 05 is a good clue of what’ll be in her record bag tonight — warm, dubby, machine-driven house and techno that never goes for any cheap shot easy drops.
Reverberation Weekend, Grand Social, Dublin, tonight & tomorrow, €12 per night
The first Reverberation Weekend went down at the Grand Social last August, and they couldn’t wait another few months to go for round 2. Last August it was billed as Ireland’s first psych festival, and nothing else has come in its wake, so they’ve got the market cornered here.
Expect loads of droney, psychedelic and krautrock vibes, with surreal visuals, classic cult movies and fine food to keep you from straying out.
The awesome Twinkranes are the biggest draw for me, and you’ve also got the best collection of band names under any roof in Dublin this weekend, including Woven Skull, The Cosmic Dead, Wild Rocket and I Heart the Monster Hero.
OVERKILL, The Limelight, Belfast, tomorrow, £22 & The Academy, Dublin, Sunday, €27.50
Of all 17 Overkill albums, 14 have skulls on the cover, one has a load of crosses, one has the band in front of an inferno and the other has them pulling machine guns. As thrash metal signifiers go, the New Jersey veterans don’t veer too much from the classic template laid down by Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax and Metallica in the 1980s.
On the go since 1980, they hit their stride in the middle of the decade when the ‘Big Four’ were doing a job on the rock charts, and they’ve stuck to the script ever since. They don’t veer too much from short, sharp riffs, double bass kicks, flying solos and squawked lines from frontman Bobby Ellsworth — the only original member along with founding bassist DD Verni.
Latest album White Devil Armory could easily slot right beside their late 80s heyday LPs Under the Influence and The Years of Decay, which should suit veteran fans.
OVERHEAD, THE ALBATROSS, Workman’s Club, Dublin, Tomorrow (pay what you like)
Dublin post-rock act Overhead, the Albatross are releasing their debut album next month, and to drop a PR phrase, it really is ‘eagerly-awaited’. The six-piece even sold out listening parties for the LP Learning To Growl at the Workmans Club this week, so this should be a full house.
From their club gigs to festival tents, Overhead, the Albatross are an intense experience — classic post-rock shimmers, builds and releases, with nods to Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Mogwai and even Sigur Ros in their most serene moments.
This is a fundraising gig to help pay for their trip to Canadian Music Week in May, so you can pay what you like — but lay off the small change.
Tudor Cinema Club, Whelan’s, Dublin, Monday, €9 & The Limelight, Belfast, Tuesday, £6
Two Door Cinema Club really aren’t good enough to have a tribute band, so this is surely some sort of ‘secret gig’ thing.
It becomes even more of a done thing if you know the trio got their name from the Tudor Cinema Club — a picture house in their hometown of Bangor, Co Down.
They haven’t played a gig in three years so it looks like they’re having a few warm-ups before Glastonbury, where they’re bound to play that early sun-flared evening slot — cue close-ups of girls on their boyfriend’s shoulders and aerial shots.
They’re due another album soon, so expect some awfully, awfully polite, poppy indie coming your way.