JENNY HVAL, National Concert Hall, Dublin, tonight.
Jenny Hval released one of 2016’s most stunning records – and surely Blood Bitch is the only record to be filed under ‘concept album about menstruation and female vampires’.
Even if it’s a dark opening gambit, Blood Bitch is a beautiful collection of delicate, avant-garde pop music from the Norwegian artist, full of melancholy goth and heavily reverbed soft-focus vocals.
Hval is appearing as part of the NCH’s Perspectives series, which has also invited revered artists such as Kamasi Washington, Magnetic Fields and Kristin Hersh this season.
HMLTD: The Workmans Club, Dublin, tonight.
There’s a whiff of PR and journo hysteria off this London bunch, recalling the time everyone lost the plot about Fischerspooner during the electroclash years at the turn of the millennium.
HMLTD are the billionth band to be called the saviours of rock, with a hyper mash-up [aesthetic] that flings everything at the wall, from straight-up glam and punk, to new wave synthpop and dubstep drops — and more of it sticks than you’d think.
They’re also one of the most visually striking new bands doing the rounds, taking early Roxy Music’s feather & fur aesthetic and adding more slathered make-up, brighter hair and fake blood. Should at least be the least boring hour at any Dublin venue tonight.
VITALIC, District 8, Dublin, tonight
Sometimes you just want a techno or electro set to go easy on the light and shade and just bang from start to finish, and Vitalic will deliver on this promise every time live.
French producer Pascal Arbez crossed over from the underground techno scene in 2002 when his mental petrol bomb of a track La Rock 01 appeared on 2 Many DJs’ first Mix CD As Heard on Radio Soulwax Pt 2, then destroyed every other electroclash and mash-up mix for a few years.
Since then, Arbez hasn’t veered too much from the snarly aesthetic, with occasional hip-hop flourishes and sloganeering from the likes of Miss Kittin.
He brought the filth down a notch on his 2012 album The Rave Age, with a few misplaced proper ‘songs’, but his latest album Voyager is full of all-in-the-red bangers.
LUSH! Classical, SSE Arena, Belfast, tomorrow
Sooner or later we’ll be hitting peak ‘orchestra-playing-dance-classics’, but until then, here’s another run-through of Lush! Classical.
The first edition last year celebrated 20 years of Lush! the North’s first ‘superclub’, that planted house and techno in the northwest, initially as Kelly’s in Portrush. The event featured the Ulster Orchestra along with DJs Seb Fontaine, Dave Seaman, Steve Anderson and Lush! Founder Col Hamilton.
Lush! 21 will be remixed and bumped up – with Fontaine, Seaman, Anderson and Hamilton joined by Paul Oakenfold, in his only show in the North this year. You’ll know the tracks – club and chart classics like Insomnia by Faithless, Another Chance by Roger Sanchez and Brothers In Rhythm’s Such a Good Feeling.
It’ll be a shameless nostalgia fest, but it’ll hit the bullseye if you were there the first time round.
SESSION MOTTS: The Workmans Club, Dublin, Thursday, e10
No matter what they sound like, they’re getting a bonus point already for a name like Session Motts — and the rest of us get a bonus as they’re a quality left-field pop band.
The Dublin-based trio a new wave dreampop confection with just the right amount of melancholy to keep the tweeness at bay.
Their most recent single Plundered Past is a genuinely brilliant electronic pop, sounding like Les Rhythm Digitales remixing Belle & Sebastian, with acoustic strums beefed up by tightly wound synths and effortless vocal melodies. Chip Shop Fights is another subtle synth workout, but they can slow it down on Forest of Your Fears and still hold your attention.
- In Irish Daily Star, October 6, 2017