Carla Dal Forno, Grand Social, Dublin, Tuesday 14th, €12.50
Australian singer-songwriter Carla Dal Forno is one of the newest sign-ups to Blackest Ever Black — a label that immediately sets out its stall with its name.
The Blackest Ever Black catalogue is rife with gothic pop, dark ambient, industrial and metallic techno and electronica, and Dal Forno’s debut You Know What It’s Like has all these elements.
The LP is a hypnotic, simmering mission statement over just 30 minutes, a heavily reverbed minor key movement with stark acoustic strums and woodwind snaking between ambient hiss and synths.
Her vocals are often submerged under meticulous production tics, but beautifully nod to Nico and Jenny Hval.
ALL TVVINS, Roisin Dubh, Galway, Saturday 11th, SOLD OUT & Sunday 12th, €22.90.
A few years ago you wouldn’t have predicted members of Adebisi Shank and The Cast of Cheers playing the 2fm Xmas Ball, but then again, no one saw All Tvvins coming when those two bands split.
Conor Adams and Lar Kaye have smoothed out most of their avant-garde edges for a gleaming pop debut album IIVV with hooks around every turn.
20 YEARS OF HOMEWORK, Hangar, Dublin, Friday 10th, €12
In between all the fake news and code-breaking about Daft Punk touring and clickbait posts about their OMG huge live mega live show (playing the Grammys with the Weeknd), this is the best you can do for the time being.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the duo’s debut album Homework, the Building Society crew are devoting the whole night to the Robo-Frenchmen.
For diehards this is their defining pinpoint moment, before the cult of personality and pop domination took over. Homework is still one of the most essential electronic music records ever, mixing a pop and funk sensibility on mega-hits like Around the World and Da Funk, with acid freakouts and white noise techno on belters like Revolution 909, Rollin’ & Scratchin’, Burnin’ and Alive.
They’d explore filtered space disco and pop on Discovery a few years later and go full-on prog rock and disco with Random Access Memories, but Homework is still their best calling card. Every track off it will surely be played at Hangar, and they’ve got very little filler anyway. Surely the easiest night for any DJ in Dublin this weekend.
TRIVIUM, The Academy, Dublin, Saturday 11, SOLD OUT; The Limelight, Belfast, Sunday 12th, SOLD OUT
Florida metallers Trivium blast Iron Maiden’s Run To The Hills from the PA during the pre-gig huddle, and they’ve covered the actual song Iron Maiden and Metallica’s Master of Puppets for Kerrang! compilations, so they’ve no problem wearing their biggest influences like a faded gig T-shirt.
Since their 2003 debut album Ember To Inferno they’ve ditched most of their early thrash leanings and metalcore screaming, for a classic Maiden-flavoured, melodic sound on latest LP Silence In the Snow.
MIKE & THE MECHANICS, Mandela Hall, Belfast, Saturday 11th, £35.50; Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Sunday 12th, €40.05
There won’t be a bigger dad-rock gig in Ireland this year — you could probably use Woodie’s Christmas vouchers at the Olympia bar.
Phil Collins caused a big rumble among the middle-aged when he announced his Aviva show, but he’s still got plenty of ironic currency among younger fans.
Phil’s former Genesis bandmate Mike Rutherford makes no concessions to irony, though — their 2011 album The Road sounds like session musician pop-rock but they’ve got some smashes in the vault including the pop prog of Silent Running and their famous tear-jerker The Living Years.
Word Up Collective #12, Bello Bar, Dublin, Thursday 16th, €5
Dublin crew Word Up Collective put a big stamp on last year’s live circuit with their monthly showcases of rising stars in hip-hop, R&B, spoken word and pop, with acts like Soule and Katie Laffan appearing in quite a few 2017 ones to watch lists.
While Damola, AikJ, Soulé and Sam Ojo have taken their Word Up knowledge and left the fold after a serious kickstart, this 12th Word Up gig marks some new starts, with a single from Tebi Rex (above), Everything You Say Is a Poem, and sleek R&B from Super Silly, socially conscious hip-hop from JyellowL and King David.
- Published in Irish Daily Star