YOUNG FATHERS, The Academy, Dublin, Wednesday
Edinburgh trio Young Fathers have been stumping people for years – especially since winning the Mercury Prize in 2014 with their debut album. Critics had a stab at it by calling them rap, and there’s a vein of of Roots Manuva, dancehall and broken beats, but you’re just as likely to find hints of TV on the Radio, wiry post-punk, krautrock, gospel and lo-fi crumpled up in there too.
New album Cocoa Sugar is their most inventive yet – more sumptuously produced but with more avant-garde arrangements, field recording and outer limits blues. But whatever about the albums, it’s all about the live show, and Young Fathers are one of the most intense acts battering a stage.
GARY NUMAN, Limelight, Belfast, Wednesday; Olympia, Dublin, Thursday
After 40 years there’s still a sense that Gary Numan has never quite got due praise in electronic and industrial music circles – simply because he never really went away. Bar a few classic album tours, he’s been exploring the darker and more gothic side of electronic pop after being inspired by the likes of Nine Inch Nails in the 90s – with NIN’s Trent Reznor being a self-confessed Numanoid.
Numan’s new LP Savage is a high-point post-apocalyptic concept album that’ll form a big chunk of the show, side by side with his classic mechanised electronic pop like Cars, Are Friends Electric and Metal.
BELL X1, Vicar St, Dublin, tonight, tomorrow & Sunday
Bell X1 are toasting 20 years with a five-night run at the Olympia, and we’re hitting the money shot over the weekend. After playing their albums Neither am I and Music in Mouth on Wednesday and last night, they’re dishing out their only No1 and biggest selling LP Flock tonight, with its big hitters Flame, Rocky Took a Lover and Bigger Than Me. Tomorrow they’re doing a Greatest Hits set, and the ‘Acoustic-ish’ gig will probably be the same songs, toned down for the wind-down Sunday crowd.
Lee “Scratch” Perry, Monroes Live, Galway, tonight; Dolan’s, Limerick, tomorrow; Whelan’s, Dublin, Sunday
Even though dub originator Lee “Scratch” Perry is 82, you never get the idea that he’s a true heritage act. He doesn’t ham it up to the crowd playing a well-worn collection of classics – he’s all about the cult of personality – a reggae conduit from the outer limits.
His last trip over was a 40th anniversary live rework of his landmark Super Ape album, one of his many albums that changed the Jamaican music landscape and helped invent remix culture.
There won’t be as strict a theme this time round, so it’s back to anything goes.