The xx, Ulster Hall, Belfast, Monday, SOLD OUT; Tivoli, Dublin, Wednesday & Thursday, €44
The xx live experience really does depend on context, setting and your frame of mind. At Lowlands in Holland last year I left a sweaty tent after being pummelled by a still-feral Iggy Pop, for the open air xx headliner and it was so slight it almost felt like silence.
Then again, their indoor shows are transcendent, and a summer show at Primavera 2012 in Barcelona really teased out their minimal ambience with their striking light show.
These Club gigs are the perfect setting for The xx’s wispy electronica and introspective melancholia — and you can also expect Jamie xx to ramp up the bpm in some sections, to make the Tivoli sound more like its usual District 8 club night.
SUPER SILLY, Button Factory, Dublin, tomorrow
Super Silly are the smoothest act in Dublin’s Word Up Collective – a sleek electronic soul and R&B quartet with a more laid-back groove than many of Word Up’s fellow rapper’s producers, leftfield pop acts and spoken word artists.
Hudis, Grvz, Glory and Solbas bonded through their love for gospel music so you can expect nothing but good vibes. They only started gigging for kicks last year, so the Button Factory is a serious jump from singing in their local church.
Quality support as well from rapper King David and electronic duo MYLK.
TOO MANY ZOOZ, Sugar Club, Dublin, tonight & Tomorrow, €20
You might know Too Many Zooz from their viral videos that have been shared millions of times of their performances on New York subway stations. The trio have dubbed their music ‘brasshouse’, playing a hyper horned-up dance music fusion on saxophone, trumpet and a makeshift drum kit.
You can pick out elements of ska, jazz, house, metal, punk and whatever else you can project onto them to lose the plot and try to dance with as much abandon as sax player Lee Pellegrino.
Go to this then walk up Grafton Street with a hangover and see our street performers – buskers singing Oasis songs and the lad who makes the Labrador out of sand every day.
BRYAN ADAMS, 3Arena, Dublin, Monday & Tuesday,
Ol’ raspy voice Bryan Adams is on a victory lap tour supporting his greatest hits album Ultimate, so if you had any inkling to go see him in the last decade or so now’s the time – no awkward shuffling to the bar during the new songs.
His cheesy Robin Hood ballad Everything I Do (I Do It For You) may have scarred grungers in the 90s by being at No1 for what seemed like a whole year, but he’s got plenty of good buzz rockers in his songbook. Summer of 69 is in everybody’s air guitar/karaoke arsenal, while big hits like Run To You, Cuts Like a Knife and 18 Til I Die mean you won’t be lost for words to sing.
Not sure he’s picked up many new fans over the last few years, so this is a surefire nostalgia fest, and I bet everyone will even dog the one he did with Mel C.
ED SHEERAN, Phoenix Park, Dublin, tonight & tomorrow, SOLD OUT
Well, has it been emotional for you? The last of the 405,000 Ed Sheeran fans are heaving into Phoenix Park this weekend for the final two gigs on his nine-date Irish tour.
We didn’t hear of many crazy rock star antics, although he did go for a round of golf in Donegal.
The Rolling Stones managed to throw him slightly in the shade this week with their Croke Park extravaganza, but there won’t be many complaints from Ed fans after the family-friendly atmosphere and the run-through of all his hits.