Gigs of the week: April 15-21

NENEH CHERRY (DJ set), Wigwam, Dublin, tomorrow, €15.
The last time Neneh Cherry was at the Middle Abbey Street venue it was still called Twisted Pepper and she was tearing the soundsystem a new one — showcasing her just-released album Blank Project.

The 2014 album with electronic duo RocketNumberNine reinvigorated Cherry, with its stark, metallic dubby productions another thrilling leftfield turn, after her 2012 album with free-jazz crew The Thing.

Cherry has been working with Four Tet, Loco Dice and Cooly G, and she covered MADVILLAIN’s Accordian on The Thing, so you’ve a few hints about where her DJ set might head.

In an interview with The Star last year she delved into her passions of “ruffneck” raw old skool hip-hop, Stevie Wonder, warrior dub, Robyn, Diana Ross, the Jackson 5 and her old band The Slits. So anything goes, but if you cross your fingers she might just play Buffalo Stance.  


MINIMUM MAXIMUM with DAVID KITT etc, Dublin Food Co-Op, tonight, €20
Nialler9 had us at BYOB — even before we scanned down the impressive line-up for his latest Minimum-Maximum gig. As part of Musictown, Niall Byrne continues his “series of special events in unique spaces”, this time settling on the Dublin Food Co-op in the Liberties in Dublin.

David Kitt splits himself between guitar and synths these days, but he’s giving his deep house project New Jackson a rest this time, playing a career-spanning set and songs from his upcoming seventh album.

Also on the bill are singer-songwriters I Have a Tribe and Katherine Phillippa and leftfield vocal duo Ae Mak. DJs from Lumo — Niall’s club night with Simon Roche and Gavin Elsted will finish off the night, playing literally anything to get you dancing.


MISSION OF BURMA, Opium Rooms, Dublin, Monday, €15
IT’S yet another classic reformed post-punk act on the live circuit — but they’ve been back together longer than their first era.

After splitting in 1983 after just one album, the Boston act got back for a reunion tour and another four albums in, they’re still a going concern. And it’s hardly a filthy lucre money-spinner, playing upstairs in a Dublin club on a Monday.

Big-name endorsements from Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Blur kept the legacy going in the mainstream, but they’re still making plenty of noise on their most recent album Unsound.


EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, Vicar Street, Dublin, Wednesday, 
Post-rock with track titles like Wilderness, Disintegration Anxiety, Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean and First Breath After Coma – serious capers for a midweek night out.

The Texan instrumentalists describe their own work as “cathartic mini-symphonies”, with epic builds, walls of sound and serene shimmering passages.

You’ll find yourself in Vicar Street with your eyes closed “taking it all in” at some points, but don’t worry, everyone else will be at it too.

New album The Wilderness, with tracks all clocking in under seven minutes, and even some gleaming guitar effects that recall Battles. But the epic, winding tracks will be the real money shots here.


R.A. THE RUGGED MAN, Sugar Club, Dublin, Wednesday, €17.50
Former Biggie Smalls collaborator RA The Rugged Man likes to play the also-ran underground card. It’s true he could’ve been a contender in the early 90s, but he sabotaged it all himself, getting dropped from his label Jive after sex assault accusations and a disastrous tour marred by onstage brawling. “I fucked up the whole shit,” he rues on A Star Is Born.

Rather than the usual MC prowess, New Yorker RA revels in how much you hate him, with self-loathing and self-deprecating rhymes and skits – even though his flow apes Method Man, hardly a humble role model.

Legends Never Die, his most recent album is another nasty piece of work – politically incorrect, boasting about being a white dude who’s ruining what black guys created, and actually being about his bad breath. He’s not a game-player though, but this outsider status is his calling card.

Get there early for South Carolina MC AFRO and New Jersey DJ Mr Green, who’ll probably be spinning some of his own Snoop Dogg productions.