The most independent of the established ‘boutique’ festivals, the annual Wicklow weekender features well over 100 acts from across the board, from fledging bands and cult acts to universally acclaimed acts like Lisa O’Neill, Donal Dineen and Overhead, the Albatross.
They’re taking a break next year, but to mark their 10th edition they’ve promised some very special secret guests.
AUGUST WELLS, Hot Spot, Greystones, tonight, €10 & The Workmans Club, Dublin, tomorrow, €10 & Kasbah Social Club, Limerick, Thursday, €10
August Wells singer and songwriter Ken Griffin often gets compared with greats like Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker, and even Frank Sinatra, which sounds slightly hysterical until you hear his impossibly rich baritone.
The former Rollerskate Skinny frontman – along with pianist John Rauchenberger – craft ornate, soulful songs that hit the sweet spot between Scott Walker’s Scott 1-4 albums, Nixon-era Lambchop and Nick Cave at his most tender.
SUEDE, Festival Big Top, Galway, Saturday,€45
After their wilderness years in the noughties, Suede have proved their comeback wasn’t a shameless nostalgia cash-in – their two albums since then, Bloodsports and Night Thoughts have reached again for that vigour, decadent glam and sleaze of their 90s classics.
Brett Anderson is still the ultimate aloof indie hero too, and let’s be honest, most in the Big Top will be there to see him flailing his arms to Metal Mickey, Animal Nitrate and the rest of the early ones.
BELLY, The Academy, Dublin, tomorrow, €25
It was pretty cool seeing a queue of selfie-seekers waiting for Courtney Barnett last weekend after her late-afternoon set of grunge and alt-rock revivalism – so many at the festival wouldn’t even have been born in the early 90s.
I’ve a feeling it’ll be an, ahem, older crowd to see Belly, reunited after splitting in 1996. Belly -featuring Tanya Donnelly of The Breeders – were always a sweeter taste than Pixies and Nirvana and co, and jangly cult classics like Feed the Tree will be a mainline of nostalgia at the Academy.