Irish gigs of the week

RUN THE JEWELS, The Limelight, Belfast, Wednesday, SOLD OUT & Olympia, Dublin, Thursday, SOLD OUT
The last time Run the Jewels played an indoor gig in Dublin I was so late I had to watch the gig through a pair of legs in the (very) sold-out balcony of Opium Rooms.

That was Christmas 2014, and since then El-P and Killer Mike have been bumped up from cult heroes to one of the most universally loved tag teams in hip-hop, and in Killer Mike’s case, a turnt-up activist with Bernie Sanders on speed dial.

The pair have released three albums for free — RTJ 1, 2 and 3 — and there’s not a dud track anywhere — from El-P’s dense, mechanical productions to the duo’s freewheeling wordplay, classic hip-hop bragging and political digs.

This sold out in around a minute so expect to be put through the wringer if you’re at the front.


BOOMTOWN RATS: Mandela Hall, Belfast, tonight, Friday 24th (£32) & Olympia, Dublin, tomorrow, Saturday 25th (€40)
There’s nothing that strips your Irish punk credentials more than a ‘Sir’ in front of your name, but Bob Geldof still has plenty of fire left.

His last big public spat was protesting Nigel Farage’s numbskull Brexit stunt on the Thames last year, and he’s still got John Lydon’s knack of speaking in quotes.

Dublin’s most famous new wave act are going on a victory lap to mark the 40th anniversary of their debut single Looking After Number One.

And well-worn classics I Don’t Like Mondays, Rat Trap and the still-prescient Banana Republic haven’t lost their ragged charm.


WE CUT CORNERS: Whelan’s, Dublin, tomorrow, Saturday 25th (SOLD OUT)
Dublin duo We Cut Corners were surely near the top of the pile for album of the year in the recent Choice Music Prize, but they’ll probably be happy with across-the-board praise for their third album The Cadence of Others.

Conall O’Breachain and John Duignan launched the album last November in the Button Factory, and they’ll only be gathering steam throughout 2017.

With clean, glinting guitars and piano, big emotional brush strokes and oblique lyrics, they’re not afraid to nail their point without settling for route 1 indie-rock.


WARPAINT: Vicar Street, Dublin, Sunday 26th (26.50)
Warpaint’s gig in the National Concert Hall was chalked down as one of the shows of last year, and we didn’t need to wait too long for a return.

The LA four-piece are an elegant blend of lightly psychedelic art-rock, electronica and downtempo funk — more for swaying in the aisles than freaking out in the front row.

Third album Heads Up veers in a R&B direction, but it’s their hazy, analogue take on the genre that’s far from the chart checklist.


THUNDERCAT, Vicar Street, Dublin, Monday (27.90)
Stephen Bruner aka bassist, singer, producer and cosmic traveller Thundercat has just released what’ll be one of the albums of the year in Drunk.

The LA artist’s third album is stoner’s wet dream — a hyper psychedelic funk and jazz fusion odyssey that contorts in all directions, with his virtuoso bass playing the only constant among the winding paths.

As with his live hook-ups with Brainfeeder label boss and collaborator Flying Lotus, expect him to be shredding with metal abandon in Vicar Street, twisting the songs into smithereens.


STORMZY: Olympia, Dublin, Wednesday 29th (SOLD OUT)
The young kingpin of grime’s second wave is all set for a boisterous sold-out show in the Olympia before his headline slot at Longitude. See here for a full preview…

  • Published in Irish Daily Star