GROUPER: Unitarian Church, Dublin, tomorrow.
Promoter Skinny Wolves has had to close the returns wish-list for this one, as it sold out weeks ago and there really won’t be many returns. They also warned people there will be NO TICKETS on the door.
The church is a perfect setting for Liz Harris’s new album Grid of Points – her most minimal record yet, just solo piano with treated ambient vocal murmurs.
!!! (chk chk chk): Black Box, Belfast, Sunday
Sacramento act !!! (chk chk chk) were one band who nailed the disco-punk wave that emerged in the mid-2000s with the likes of The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, Le Tigre and Radio 4.
While most other bands in the scene folded and LCD became the biggest indie-rock hipster band on the planet, !!! have been shuffling and shaking and pogoing since their 2004 breakthrough album Louden Up Now, over seven LPs. Always an amazing spectacle live – fuelled by frontman Nic Offer’s twisted Tony Manero-isms, it’s a brash mash-up of foul-mouthed ranting (Pardon My Freedom), new wave electro-punk (Heart of Hearts) and the disco abandon of recent album Shake the Shudder.
PURSUED BY DOGS: Button Factory, Dublin, tonight
Dublin indie-electronica act Pursued By Dogs say they play “music you can both dance and cry to”, and it’s also an example of that melancholy minor key pop that would soundtrack a melodramatic break-up passage in a Hollywood movie. Their just-released debut album is full of blockbuster production and heart-on-sleeve emotion, notably on singles Talk, Iceland and A Tunnel.
The album sounds like it’s aiming for U2 levels of stadium grandiosity, so hopefully the club setting can do them the justice they think they deserve.
NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS: SSE Arena, Belfast, Wednesday; 3Arena, Dublin, Thursday
Poor Noel. Any other week he’d be the big cheese gig, but next to Ed Sheeran’s takeover his arena show is the equivalent to your mate’s band playing the local pub.
After his wee brother Liam hogged all the headlines last year with his debut solo album and a loud-mouth viral interview campaign that was a PR wet dream, Noel is quietly back on tour out to prove he was always the brains of the Oasis operation.
Neither Gallagher will ever shake off the Oasis shadow, but Liam is hanging on tighter than Noel, perpetually hinting at a reunion, while singing all the classics live.
Noel’s now on the third High Flying Birds album Who Built The Moon?, his most ‘experimental’ yet, recorded with David Holmes. He doesn’t rely on old Oasis tricks for new material, but he’ll still make a few concessions live, with tender renditions of Don’t Look Back in Anger, Wonderwall, Little By Little, and the odd request.