FREDDIE GIBBS, Button Factory, Dublin, Tuesday.
Freddie Gibbs last played Dublin in 2014, with a 2016 appearance at Forbidden Fruit cancelled after an arrest for rape — a charge that was eventually dropped with no evidence.
So it’s been a fucked up few years, even for a gangsta rapper. The Indiana MC replied with a gripping mini-LP You Only Live 2wice, the follow-up to his 2014 belter Pinata with Madlib, with Gibbs’ OG hustle flow rubbing up against dense fuggy beats, funk snatches and blaxpolitation dialogue.
Gibbs is a classic gangsta rapper with a debt to Tupac, Raekwon, Scarface and Ice Cube and he was 100 per cent on point at that Twisted Pepper gig — even throwing on a ‘Gibbs 1’ Dubs GAA jersey.
ROBERT PLANT, Ulster Hall Belfast, tomorrow; Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, Sunday
Robert Plant could spend the rest of his days dining out on Led Zeppelin royalties or nostalgia tours, but his late career has been one of total restlessness.
With his current band the Sensational Space Shifters, the 69-year-old explores epic folk and world music territories, forging ahead while reaching back further than Zeppelin, to trad standards, while reimagining classic rock juggernauts like Whole Lotta Love.
Mark Lanegan Band: Mandela Hall, Belfast, Tuesday; The Academy, Dublin, Wednesday
In the mid-90s, the idea of grunge outlier Mark Lanegan teaming up with techno kingpin Dave Clarke would’ve been a spit your tea out moment. But Lanegan’s features on Clarke’s new album Desecration of Desire are two of the LP’s highlights. The Clarke collab isn’t such a leap from his last few albums with the Mark Lanegan band – full of dark, gothic dirges and wispy electronics. His latest album Gargoyle is one the year’s best.
His real bullseye is his ragged voice, sombre yet utterly commanding, dishing out murder ballads with a killer instinct.