Xeno & Oaklander: Bello Bar, Dublin, tonight (€13).
An analogue synth item since 2004, Liz Wendelbo and Sean McBride create impeccably realised coldwave pop that sounds like a remastering of a whole early 80s European scene.
Where much cold- and minimal wave from the vaults has charming rudimentary edges, The New York-based pair map out clean, precise lines with zero distortion, and French native Wendelbo’s wispy heavily accented vocals. It’s all about the austere beauty, with accompanying visual installations in the live show.
Support from Dublin electronic duo I Am the Cosmos, whose last EP Nothing But Love took an uplifting analogue house direction.
GOMEZ: Olympia Theatre, Dublin, tonight (sold out)
Gomez are one of the original bands to fall foul of the ‘Mercury curse’ — after winning the prize for Bring It On in 1998 then treading water two decades, ignored by music press tastemakers. They must’ve been counting down the years for this 20th anniversary tour.
If you’re a Gomez fan this is the only show you’ll need — easing into their earthy blues-rock and smudgy vintage electronics, with serious raspy voices they’ve probably grown into by now.
SEUN KUTI & EGYPT 80: Sugar Club, Dublin, tonight & tomorrow (€30)
As the son of legendary Nigerian Afrobeat icon Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti has bigger shoes to fill than most – especially as he’s now fronting his late father’s band Egypt 80 and taking on many of Fela’s political and human rights activism.
Seun (35) has been singing with Egypt 80 since he was 14, carrying the torch of raw funk and jazz and fierce protest music – notably on his new album Black Times.
Fela Kuti never played his recorded music live, but Seun does delve into his father’s impossibly rich back catalogue.
YO LA TENGO: Olympia Theatre, Dublin, tomorrow (€30)
The last time New Jersey trio Yo La Tengo played Dublin it was at the National Concert Hall to showcase their Stuff Like That There album, dissecting pop and country classics by The Cure, The Parliaments, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.
The title of new album There’s a Riot Going On suggests a return to the noise-rock and feedback of other paths they’ve taken in their 30 years, but it’s a more content and hazy affair, with gentle psychedelia. Still, I wouldn’t rule out any 10-minute feedback freakouts.
THE GO! TEAM: The Button Factory, Dublin, Thursday (€20)
The most notable thing about this gig is the Dublin live return of Kildare’s finest Super Extra Bonus Party – unless you’re still into the hyper-cute cheerleader chants, shrill raps and sugary electronica of Brighton chancers The Go! Team. In fairness, their new album shows the odd bit of restraint, taking cues from 1960s Motown and doo-wop. But remember, restraint is all relative with these folks.
SEPB return with their first Dublin headliner in eight years on May 12 at Bello Bar, so this is a warm-up of sorts, after a hectic-looking NYE home gig with crowdsurfing and rafter-swinging. Their anything goes shtick of electronica, post-rock, hip-hop and leftfield pop was always pulled off with a joyous disregard for convention – especially live, and more especially their 2007 Choice Music Prize win that put the right noses out of joint. A very welcome comeback.
- Published in Irish Daily Star