OUT TO LUNCH WEEKENDER, Yamamori Tengu, Dublin, tonight-Sunday, €35 per day, €65 for weekend (€5-8 for opening party)
Over the last two years or so, Out To Lunch have been Dublin’s most consistent promoter for booking leftfield electronic artists, and their first summer weekender invites back a few past DJs and live acts, as well as a few very special guests.
The Out To Lunch nights at Tengu generally veer well away from the big room RA list of festival blockbusters, for an experimental edge that’s missing elsewhere in the city.
The weekender starts tonight with an opening party and a five-hour set from Lovefingers, and then it gets more serious tomorrow and Sunday – four rooms over three floors from midday to 3am. There’s over 20 acts including Ben UFO, DJ Sprinkles, Traxx, Mr Ties, Laurel Halo, Lolz, Simon Conway, Barry Redsetta, Kenny Hanlon and a four-hour afternoon DJ set from Steve Davis (above). Yeah, that Steve Davis.
And if you’re worried about staying that long in the one building, have you ever had the food in Yamamori? Sorted.
PLUTONIC DUST, Sugar Club, Dublin, tonight, €10
Dublin electronic act Plutonic Dust are disco with a small ‘d’, coming at it from oblique angles with a dubby, analogue vibe.
Recalling acts like Metro Area, Chromatics and 80s Euro coldwave cult classics, it’s all warm bass pulses, scratchy punk-funk guitar riffs, echoey synths, handclaps and beautifully detached melancholy from singer Veronica Moran.
New single Kill For Gold sounds like it could easily sneak onto an Italians Do It Better compilation, definitely a good thing.
MASTODON, The Limelight, Belfast, Sunday, £27.50 & The Academy, Dublin, Monday, SOLD OUT
After their last Academy show, Mastodon drummer Bran Dailor did one of the most earnest “we love you Ireland” spiels ever seen on stage, promising to try and fit in more Irish gigs any time they were free and in the general vicinity.
The Atlanta prog metallers have stuck to it, hitting the Olympia and Cork’s Academy last year, and adding these two sold-out shows, with no new album to hawk.
2014’s Once More Round the Sun felt like an intermediate album, with smoother edges, more clean guitars and melody among the sludge — but still as dense as their breakthrough proggy concept albums Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye.
And for an even more hands-on buzz, guitarist Bill Kelliher is offering a one-hour group lesson before the gig — email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
BATTLES, Roisin Dubh, Galway, Monday, €33.50
This’ll be the fourth and fifth Battles gig in Ireland in less than 12 months, and chatting to powerhouse drummer John Stanier for Buzz recently, he said, “Yeah it’s totally crazy how many times we play Ireland — way more than anywhere else”.
It’s true, the New York avant-rock act are revered over here — when they played a few tracks from their first EPs at the sold-out Button Factory in March the crowd treated the songs like all-time rock classics.
Their latest album La Di Da Di is another leftfield triumph — insistent modular synth layers, intricate cyclical guitars and stuttering drum rolls that keep you on your toes for the whole show.
SICK OF IT ALL, Dolans Warehouse, Limerick, Tuesday, €20 & Voodoo Lounge, Dublin, Wednesday, €22.50
In some tattooed corner of the internet there’s an army of fans moaning that Sick of It All never got their dues in the hardcore punk scene. The Brooklyn brawlers lacked the wit of Black Flag, the stylistic swerves of Bad Brains or Husker Du’s pop sensibility — but they’ve perfected the route 1 rage approach with vicious precision.
They’re on tour to mark their 30th anniversary, and brothers Pete and Lou Koller’s crew are sticking to the same path as always — uncompromising drop-tuned riffs and songs that are generally about two subjects – being from New York, and being New York hardcore.
WHITE DEMIM, Whelan’s, Dublin, Tuesday, €18.50 & Limelight 2, Belfast, Wednesday, £16
Behind the oh-so quirky videos, cool collage album covers and Urban Outfitters thrift store chic, White Denim are really just a bang-on classic garage rock band with a few noodly trimmings — but that’s no bad thing really.
It’s a tough tightrope to walk — for every White Denim there’s a hundred bands that sound like the dregs of Kings of Leon.
The Texas act throw in enough psychedelia, soul and jazzy inflections to keep you on your toes, and new album Stiff is a joyous pogo from start to finish.