Gigs of the week: May 20-26


Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 18.59.38YESTIVAL, Tivoli Theatre, Dublin, tomorrow, €15/20
This time last year we were in the middle of the marriage referendum campaigns, and there was only really going to be winner.

It seemed like every musician and artist in Ireland supported the Yes vote, while the No campaign had a couple of GAA stars as their public faces.

One year on, we may as well mark the anniversary with a massive party, that takes over Dublin’s techno haunt the Tivoli.

Yestival has the best club line-up of the weekend — with the deliriously NSFW electro-punk queen Peaches (above) over for a live show, along with the Rubberbandits, Panti, Veda and Shirley as supergroup SugarRush, Jonny Woo, Prodijig, Kojaque, Adam Matthews, Arveene, Will Dempsey and Tonie Walsh. And of course Mother DJs will be in the middle of it all.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 19.02.14LISA O’NEILL, Whelan’s Dublin, tonight, €16.50 & Seamus Ennis Centre, Fingal, tomorrow, €18
Cavan singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill’s assured and singular take on leftfield folk has landed her Choice Prize nominations in the past, and her third album Pothole in the Sky is a cert for another nod.

She’s playing 13 Irish dates this summer, and this album launch in Whelan’s is her biggest solo show to date.

Pothole in the Sky is her strongest album yet — an intense and haunting collection full of black humour, notions of mortality and her place in the universe, as she says of the title track: “I’m young and my life is tiny in the greater scale of things. If a star blinked, it would miss me, yet I can say, ‘Stars, you’ve been lovely to watch for so long’.”

This launch will not be as intimate as her open mic folk nights in Dublin’s Cobblestone, but there’ll be a pin-drop atmosphere nonetheless.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 19.05.58THE UNDERTONES, Academy, Dublin, tomorrow, €25
It’s 40 years since a few Derry punk brats learned a few chords and called themselves The Undertones — becoming one of the most catchy, infectious and downright loveable bands of the era.

Where Stiff Little Fingers were tangled up in barbed wire and suspect devices, The Undertones realised that simple aspiration, yearning and camaraderie were equally as important to kids stuck in the middle of the Troubles.

Songs like Here Comes the Summer, Jimmy Jimmy and My Perfect Cousin are beautifully naive pop songs, while Teenage Kicks is still one of the greatest singles of all time.

As with The Who singing My Generation 50 years later, a cynic may sneer at Paul McLoone singing about teenage angst, but only the biggest killjoy would hammer that point home.

There’s still no sign of original frontman Feargal Sharkey for the 40th anniversary — but his punk days were buried after his pop single A Good Heart and a career as a music executive.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 19.06.50SING ALONG SOCIAL (PRINCE), MVP, Dublin, Sunday, €5
The Sing Along Social has got to be the best and simplest idea for a lazy, hazy Sunday — stick 100 people in a cool pub with a classic album and witness the daftness. Since last October there’s been one for Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana, the Spice Girls, power ballads and of course a David Bowie wake.

This Prince one has taken a while, but these songs aren’t getting old. It’s a safe bet they’ll be sticking to the all-time classics, and even if everyone brings their A-game and is one per cent as cool as Prince, the night will add up to something special.

Originally printed in Irish Daily Star