THERAPY? Whelan’s, Dublin, Tuesday; Empire, Belfast, Wednesday; Spirit Store, Dundalk, Thursday.
This Therapy? Tour is dubbed ‘Wood & Wire’, an acoustic project that sees the trio bring the noise without their amps turned up to 10 and all the levels in the red. Their early 90s albums Babyteeth, Pleasure Death and Nurse were lo-fi caustic industrial noise-fests held together with nihilistic movie samples, loops and guitar solos that sounded like modems before we had the internet.
By 1994, though, Troublegum was a new direction, a short, sharp shock of catchy punk that showed off their obsession with Stiff Little Fingers and Husker Du, and allowed their songwriting and introspective lyrics to be untangled from all the distortion.
In this light the acoustic tour doesn’t seem like such a detachment, and expect plenty of the band’s dark humour to remain intact.
JENNY GREENE & THE RTE CONCERT ORCHESTRA, 3Arena, Dublin, tonight,
We’ve probably got Jenny Greene to thank for the big interest in rave/classical crossovers in the last year or so.
Since her raved-about slot with the RTE Concert Orchestra at Electric Picnic last year, the 90s dance throwback was followed up by another show around Christmas at the 3Arena, and it probably sold a few extra tickets for Hacienda Classical. Then check out this year’s Electric Picnic line-up, with Pete Tong’s Ibiza classical just below the main headliners on the poster.
Nostalgia is a powerful draw during festival season, especially as Greene’s joyous run through rave chart hits included classics like Snap’s Rhythm Is a Dancer, Robert Miles’ Children and Grace’s Not Over Yet.
This time round, she’s keeping many of the classics, but it’s billed as 2fm Dance Classics so expect . And with the Sound Crowd 25th anniversary show fresh in the mind, Jenny is also planning to include Mark Kavanagh and Tim Hannigan’s classic in the set tonight.
Last year’s Picnic show was imagined as a once-off, but this is the fourth performance, and with Jenny’s weekly Saturday night Electric Disco an endless rerun of classics, expect this project to go for a long time.
Expect quite a few heads from the 3Arena to head across town tomorrow night as Jenny follows up the classics show with a set at District 8. We’re predicting her to dig a little deeper into the underground for her set at Dublin’s biggest techno club, but she’ll still have plenty of classics in her bag.
SVEN VATH, The Wright Venue, Swords, tonight,
The cult of personality is strong with Sven Vath, one of the most loved figures in techno. In an era when many of the biggest names in ‘serious’ techno are head-nodding autobots, ‘Papa Sven’ is still an instantly meme-able party machine with a set of vinyl bangers.
In the game for 30 years, the German legend is (in)famous for his Cocoon parties, the label he’s been been running since 2000, releasing records by heavy-hitters like Ricardo Villalobos, Legowelt, Anthony Rother and Adam Beyer.
We can’t promise he’ll be in a pair of outrageously tiny shorts (leave that til festival season), but there won’t be much time to sit down during this four-hour set.
TALOS, Button Factory, Dublin, tonight, 15; Dolan’s, Limerick, tomorrow; Roisin Dubh, Galway, Thursday
Corkman Eoin French is fronting a six-piece band to launch his debut album Wild Alee tonight, after a sold-out show last weekend at his spiritual live home of Connolly’s of Leap in West Cork. After this round of shows he’ll have to pick a bigger live circuit, as Wild Alee is one of the most fully-realised Irish debut albums of recent times.
Written and recorded between Iceland, Dublin and West Cork, the album has shades of James Blake – an emotionally wrought falsetto, heavily-reverbed, skeletal electronics and with acoustic guitar and piano subtly tying everything together.
As an extra bonus, support is from Bad Bones – the one-woman music and performance art project from electronic producer and singer Sal Stapleton, whose singles last year were accompanied by spectacular monochrome videos.
THE HANDSOME FAMILY, Vicar Street, Dublin, Thursday
The Handsome Family’s obsession with murder ballads began on their first album in 1995, the same year Nick Cave claimed the phrase for himself for his Murder Ballads LP.
But where Cave indulged his preacher man persona with high drama and Fire & brimstone, husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks drew on America’s underbelly of murder, the occult and urban myth, shoving their tales into the darkest corners of Americana, country and twisted blues.
Over the course of their 10 albums you’re never too far away from spilled blood, flies, double-crosses or dank motels, so they were the obvious choice to soundtrack the first series of True Detective.
It’s not all camp fireside horror tales though. Like Cave, there’s a wry wit underpinning it all, with latest album Unseen full of black humour and gothic folk.