Gigs round-up: April 22-28

OUT TO LUNCH feat. HIEROGLYPHIC BEING & JOHN HECKLE, Bar Tengu, Dublin, tonight, €12.50.
Bar Tengu is probably still dusting itself off after the impromptu Prince party by the Lumo crew last night, and tonight the Quays venue is hosting another musical shape-shifter.

Chicago producer Hieroglyphic Being calls himself an “experimental composer and environmental sound artist”, but that doesn’t go anywhere near scratching the surface.
Jamal Moss is a protege of Chicago house legend Adonis, but he takes it to the outer limits on his countless recordings and anything-goes DJ sets — from cosmic free jazz to industrial to first wave house. He might even play the Smiths while he’s at it.

Whether collaborating with Sun Ra Arkestra leader Marshall Allen and Greg Fox of black metal band Liturgy, or confounding Boiler Room zombies by playing Suicide in the middle of a set, Moss will keep you on your toes with a three-hour set.
Also in tow, he’s got Dublin-based cosmic techno producer John Heckle, who’s on Moss’s Mathematics label.


ONRA & MO KOLOURS, Sugar Club, Dublin, tonight, €15
The Sugar Club throws the lion’s share of classic call and response hip-hop gigs in the city — well-suited to the tiny dancefloor and 3ft high stage. Tonight though, this double header will be a bit more subtle, but no less intense.

Paris-based producer and self-professed J Dilla disciple Onra favours woozy, exotic collage samples over the crisp, brittle electronics that’s in vogue in hip-hop right now. He also has Madlib’s or DJ Shadow’s crate-digging obsession, weaving in crackly funk, jazz and dusty samples from Vietnam, India and further afield. As a primer, check out Chinoiseries part 1 & 2.

London-based Mo Kolours throws even more at the wall, and makes it stick like glue to your ears. For electronic pieces, the British-Mauritian producer pieces go off the grid, with odd time-signatures and delicately heaped-on rattly percussion. His own whimsical half-whispered vocals drift in and out like impeccably curated samples of soul records we’re not cool enough to know.


UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey, 3Arena, Dublin, tomorrow, €44-46
Despite the feelgood factor of UB40’s polished pop reggae, there’s been enough squabbling and bitching in the camp to take that shine off.

Original frontman Ali Campbell and vocalist/trumpeter Micky Virtue left UB40 in 2008, and rapper and toaster Astro followed them in 2013.
In the past few years we’ve had two versions of UB40 touring, meaning this crew have had to add “featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey” on the poster as a stamp of quality, while scorning the remaining bit-part players touring as UB40, who try to “replace us with in their attempt to trade off the reflected glory of the success of the original line-up”.

Handbags aside, die-hard fans have probably jumped ship from the pretenders, to catch the founding members land smash hits like Red Red Wine, Rat In Mi Kitchen, Here I Am and (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love with You. Sure it could never UB40 without Ali Campbell’s big daft grin and Astro’s cheesy “Red Red Wine makes ya feel so fine” rap.


OUGHT, Whelan’s, Dublin, Sunday, €15
If the mumblecore film genre was reincarnated as a band, it’d be Ought. The Montreal arty garage band are just the right side of shabby – taking their cues from Mudhoney, Wire and a bit of Mark E Smith sneering.

Their slacker indie credentials are cast iron – they started as a casual muck-about band at university, one or two things led to another, and now they’re two albums in.

Newest release Sun Coming Down starts off in a blase detached manner with Men For Miles, but stick with it and you’ll get to some serious discordant rackets on tracks like The Combo and Never Better. The weird thing is, they gradually evolve into The Fall over the space of the album. Let’s call that a good thing.


CHRIS CORNELL, Ulster Hall Belfast, Sunday, SOLD OUT & Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Monday, SOLD OUT
Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger is still one of the few essential iconic grunge albums – with its snarly Sabbath riffs, derailed feedback and Chris Cornell’s cryptic nihilism and feral roar.

1994’s Superunknown added a few psychedelic touches and MTV smash Black Hole Sun, but it’s been diminishing returns ever since. While Soundgarden is still regarded as his day job, he’s been moonlighting as an acoustic singer-songwriter, with a bit of wind machine bare-chested metal with Audioslave along the way.

These two ‘intimate’ acoustic shows will cover the less grungy Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Audioslave stuff, as well as his considerable solo catalogue and choice covers of his biggest influences.

Be warned though, I just watched his overblown acoustic take on Nothing Compares 2 U and had to close the YouTube window in a panic after 31 seconds, when he starts howling the first line.


MARK LANEGAN, Empire Music Hall, Belfast, Monday, £25 &  Academy, Dublin, Tuesday & Wednesday, €27
If you’ve got a bad case of Monday and midweek blues, there’s not much we can help you with, unless you fancy piling on the moodiness — Chris Cornell b2b Mark Lanegan would have you crying out for a Wizard of Oz singalong.

As on his tour just over a year ago, Dublin is the only city where Lanegan is playing twice – his gruff doom ballads go down well here.

His latest album Houston Publishing Demos was actually recorded 14 years ago, so it’s full of sincere windswept blues, rather than the heavy minor key synths and gothic pop touches on the more recent Phantom Radio and Funeral Blues.

Don’t expect much interaction beyond the odd ‘thank you’, but for sheer intensity, Lanegan is your man.