ACTRESS & MOUNT KIMBIE, Button Factory, Dublin, Tomorrow, €20.
Expect a few hours of curveballs as Mount Kimbie and Actress form like a three-headed Voltron and go back-to-back in this rare team-up.
Actress, aka UK producer Darren Cunningham, has been one of electronic music’s great visionaries of the last decade, with his deconstructed techno explorations and his Werk Discs label. Production duo Mt Kimbie are post-dubstep outliers who’ll maybe try to offset Cunningham’s abstractions with leftfield hip-hop, future garage, deep house and jazzy electronica.
TOUTS, Duke of York, Belfast, tomorrow, £8
You could sneak Touts on a 1978 NI punk playlist and nobody would cop on that they’re three teenagers from Derry with a singer still at school.
Describing themselves as a “singer that can’t sing, a mod that can’t play bass and a drummer that can’t see”, they go straight to the punk source for inspiration, channelling the Clash and Stiff Little Fingers like they’ve never even heard a Green Day album.
Aside from their name, they’re already gaining on SLF with their song titles (Bomb Scare, Saturday Night Scumbag), and their last single sleeve was a petrol bomb. Like the best punk, it’s all done with an arched eyebrow and hooks around every corner. Touts in.
JOHN COOPER CLARKE, Whelan’s, Dublin, Wednesday, SOLD OUT
The only poet who could support the Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello and The Fall, John Cooper Clarke is holding court in Whelan’s, armed with his scrawled biro notes and his raspy horse-racing commentator delivery.
A true Manchester original, JCC’s comic timing, social commentary and manic surrealism has influenced two generations of artists trying to latch on to his northern wit — with his image of drainpipe jeans and back-combed explosion hairdo a blueprint for Russell Brand and hundreds of dandy indie bands.
The Bard of Salford generally performs new material on tour with an edge towards stand-up, but he’ll maybe throw in a few of his classic rants such as Evidently Chickentown and (I Married A) Monster From Outer Space.
TOTO, Vicar Street, Dublin, Wednesday & Thursday, SOLD OUT
Over the last decade Toto have become an even bigger meme than Lionel Richie, with their calling card Africa the great unifier on the ever-growing cesspit that is social media. Whether it’s YouTube videos of Africa played on a rubber chicken, an 8-bit version, Africa played in an empty shopping mall, a 10-hour loop or just the original’s five minutes of absurd soft rock glory, there isn’t a gig venue in the world on Wednesday and Thursday that’ll be filled with as much daft abandon.
Sure, Toto have second tier rockers like Rosanna and Hold the Line, and they’ve just released a new 17-song greatest hits called 40 Years Round the Sun, but everyone will be bursting at the seams waiting for that encore
EN VOGUE, Vicar Street, Dublin, Monday, SOLD OUT
This En Vogue gig is either a chance for veteran 90s R&B fans to get back in the game for throwback night out, or if you’re a younger fan, a chance to see who the teenage Beyonce had on her mixtapes. The California love-makin’, heartbreakin’, soul-shakin’ original Funky Divas deal out gritty fist-up R&B, New Jack Swing, straight-up pop and funk, with anthems like Free Your Mind and Whatta Man that haven’t lost any of their party sheen – and Don’t Let Go is still a real wind machine on the top of a cliff banger.
- Published in Irish Star