Irish gigs round-up

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 10.30.04SHAME | Whelan’s, Dublin, tomorrow, SOLD OUT.

With their debut album Songs of Praise, English post-punk outfit Shame sneer all over the BBC’s hallowed hymn-filled institution – and the sleeve with the lads holding baby pigs in a field, there’s a backhanded reference to another sacred text, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds.

But there’s nothing serene or particularly hymnal about this record, that bubbles up from the same well as The Fall or Fat White Family – swaggering black humour, fury and grotesque observations of modern England.

They have songs about suicide, scumbag sugar daddies, unchecked machismo and straight-up squalor. In fact, they were probably the last band the NME declared the saviours of rock’n’roll before the mag folded last month.


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DAVID KITT | Button Factory, Dublin, tonight, €18

In the eight years since David Kitt’s last album, Ireland – and indeed Kitt’s music – has morphed into something else entirely. In between 2010’s The Nightsaver and Yous, Kitt has immersed his deep house alter-ego New Jackson, with a series of essential EPs, club and early hours festival slots, and a debut album From Night To Night that was nominated for this year’s Choice Prize.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s recession and a country in flux feature as themes on Yous, along with personal soul-searching. It’s mostly acoustic, with subtle electronic brush strokes and violin from Margie Lewis, so expect a more delicate affair in the button Factory if you’ve been used to synths and 4/4 kicks over the last few years.


Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 10.31.24DUA LIPA | Olympia, Dublin, Monday & Tuesday, SOLD OUT

With up yours anthems like IDGAF and the ex-boyfriend-banishing New Rules (“One, don’t pick up the phone… Two, don’t let him in… Three, don’t be his friend”), Dua Lipa is a star who’s trading on empowerment along with sure-thing laser-guided pop bangers.

Born in London to Albanian parents from Kosovo, Dua was discovered by the now regular route of singing covers on YouTube, and appeared in a TV ad for X Factor before a few heavily-pushed singles landed her on the BBC Sound of 2016 list.

It’s led her to peddle a dance-pop confection made for daytime radio, X Factor auditions and remixes you’ll here in the gym, but it’s hitting the spot big time, and she was an early evening smash at last year’s Longitude. There’ll be plenty of fire emojis on Twitter for these two gigs.


Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 10.33.04VERNON JANE + THUMPER | Sugar Club, Dublin, tomorrow, €10

If your breakthrough single is a noisy jazz-punk racket called Fuck Me that gets signed to a Chinese label after blowing up on Reddit, you’re working way outside regular Irish music channels.

Dublin band Vernon Jane – led by the incendiary Emily Jane O’Connor – are an addictive mix of jazz virtuosity, discord, wilful Mr Bungle oddness and noise-rock violence, and the tiny Sugar Club stage will find it hard to keep them in check.

The gig is a double-headliner single launch, with their new one Fragile released today. They’ll be joined by Dublin noise-pop act Thumper, who channel Husker Du with their wiry breakneck wall of sound and wonky solos. They’ll be selling their new single AFL, so don’t walk past the merch table.


Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 13.57.00THE STRANGLERS | Ulster Hall, Belfast, tonight, £35.50; Olympia, Dublin, tomorrow, SOLD OUT; Big Top, Limerick, Sunday, €39

The Stranglers are back for unfinished business, after the lost weekend of Storm Emma forcing gigs to cancel when we were all snowed in.

The Stranglers’ more refined and sophisticated compositions already sounded like post-punk in 1977, so they don’t have to pretend they’re teenage shitheads on tour 40 years later. It’s a punk heritage gig without the morto.

Golden Brown – and other loose, inventive songs like Peaches and No More Heroes – elevated The Stranglers above the other gobby punk also-rans who had to keep pogoing for fear of dying off.

And in one of the best gig bonuses of the year, support is by Therapy?, the Antrim noise-punks who are back turning everything up to 11 after their acoustic tour Wood & Wire.


Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 13.55.47LE BOOM | Button Factory, Dublin, Tonight, SOLD OUT.

Dublin act Le Boom are a self-proclaimed “electro-indie-house-pop” duo with plenty of Le buzz around town, as they’ve just sold out the Button Factory. With as much loose-limbed energy as chk-chk-chk and ridiculously catchy hooks and punk-funk rhythms, they promise a sweaty dancefloor — and that’s exactly what you’ll get.



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