SWANS, Button Factory, Dublin, Tuesday, €25.
A real Swansong here, as Michael Gira has called time on the current incarnation of the revered avant-rock act, with Dublin among the final run of shows. Swans have existed in various forms since 1982, with the band’s industrial no-wave early gigs recalled through trauma-tinted glasses — illegal volume levels, busted eardrums, vomiting and Gira trapping punters inside by locking the doors.
After a split from 1997- 2010, Gira reemerged with five co-Swans to create four epic albums and a shamanistic live show that redefines what’s humanly possible with guitars, drums and other things to batter. Here’s one final chance to see the most powerful live band on the planet.
LIFE FESTIVAL: Belvedere House, Co Meath, TodaySunday, €159 (weekend camping); €146 (Sat & Sun); €80 (Sun)
Getting in a week before the almighty clash of Forbidden Fruit, Kraftwerk and Open Ear over the bank holiday, Life Festival promises another weekend of fullon electronic music and one of the biggest parties of the year. On the go in various guises since 2006, Life has grown from 500 psytrance fans at Charleville Castle in the first year, to Ireland’s most high-profile camping weekender for dance fans.
With six stages over the three days, there’s a big emphasis on techno and deep house, and some of the biggest names on the planet. If you’re heading down, try not to overdo it tonight as Ricardo Villalobos (pictured) is repeating his afternoon slot from 2010 — playing at 1pm on the Main Stage tomorrow (not a misprint!)
Elsewhere, other choices include Resident Advisor’s consistent No1 DJ, Dixon; Dublin techno battering ram Sunil Sharpe; cold wave supremo Veronica Vasicka, dub and reggae icon David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan; the king of drum & bass Goldie; dark industrial techno maestro Regis; Russian techno queen Nina Kraviz and poppy breaks and drum&bass crew Rudimental.
DAMO SUZUKI, Grand Social, Dublin, Tomorrow, €15
Damo Suzuki’s legacy as an icon was already sealed by 1973, as the singer of eminent krautrock act Can in their trio of early albums Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and Future Days. The Cologne pioneers had dragged the onetime Japanese busker off the street, and the risk paid off.
Damo’s beautiful non-linguistic lines floated between the band’s cosmic jams and tape loops like an added instrument, transcending lyrics and any explicit meaning. Now, he goes on tour by himself, hooking up in different cities with local bands, or ‘sound carriers’, for improvised happenings.
His sound carriers in Dublin include members of Girl Band and Meltybrains? As the Math + Math = Maths, and support comes from Afterwardness, featuring members of Female Hercules/Pet Lamb and Idiots.
TROPIC OF CANCER: The Mezz, Dublin, Tuesday, €15
Tropic of Cancer is one of electronic music’s most revered cult acts, and this first Irish show will get plenty out on a school night. An all-encompassing art project by Camella Lobo, her albums are full of melancholy woozy passages, with hints of shoegaze, goth and minimal synthpop.
Tracks like Plant Lilies At My Head can feel like a comedown, but they’re more like a comfort blanket, with barely-discernible lyrics wafting just out of reach.