Caribou lead the Irish gigs highlighter

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 13.27.44Caribou, Festival Big Top, Galway, tomorrow

There was a time a few years ago when Caribou were going down the Nile Rodgers over-saturation route, playing every festival on the circuit while still admittedly being pretty awesome.

Dan Snaith’s crew is the standout act in this year’s Galway International Arts Festival, with electronic psychedelia and deep house vibes never failing to go off. The epic Odessa, Can’t Do Without You and Sun may feel like comfort blankets now, but they haven’t lost their potency when you’re wrapped in the middle of it all.


Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 13.28.48The Wedding Present, Whelans, Dublin, tonight

This Whelan’s show by indie veterans feels like they’re drawing a line under a nostalgic period, after they toured their debut album George Best last year for its 30th anniversary.

They’re on tour this time playing the 1988 compilation album Tommy, made up of recordings made before the release of George Best, so they’re digging deep.

Frontman David Gedge says it’s like peering into old student diaries playing the older songs, but even if you’re not fully invested in the stories, the Husker Du-style indie power pop is still infectious.


Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 13.29.46Beardyman + Kevin Rowland, Monroe’s Live, Galway, tomorrow

No, it’s not some sort of avant-garde collaboration between Dexys frontman Kevin Rowland and human beatbox loop machine Beardyman, but a joint headliner, and one of the most interesting music bills at this year’s Galway International Arts Festival.

Beardyman aka English artist Darren Foreman (left) has a show that’s light on techno chin-stroking but heavy on showboating, comedy and tribute act to popular dance tracks through beatboxing.

Kevin Rowland’s DJ sets have become as flamboyant as Dexys live shows these days — as he plays all the music that inspired the pop misfits, from Bowie and T-Rex, to great Northern soul gems, Motown classics, reggae and dub. And as an added bonus, he sings along and swans into the crowd when he gets a chance.


Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 13.30.55Madness, Festival Big Top, Galway, tonight;  3Arena, Dublin, tomorrow,

Madness are a still a massive buzz for neutral fans — besides the die-hard ska fans, punks and skinheads that have stuck with them since their mid-70s Two-Tone days, Suggs and co have always embraced their crossover pop status.

And while The Specials and The Beat had an air of defiantly dancing with a political step, Madness have always embraced the wild abandonment of ska greats like Prince Buster (with their cover of One Step Beyond), or universal everyman odes like My Girl.

Formed in Camden in 1976, the Nutty Boys have gradually hit national treasure status in their native UK, even playing for the Queen’s jubilee celebrations at Buckingham Palace.

And with all-time classics like Our House, Baggy Trousers and House of Fun, you’ll be sore the next morning with all the daft dancing.


Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 13.31.58Iron Maiden, SSE Arena, Belfast Thursday

Just over a year after their last Irish gig in the 3Arena, Iron Maiden are landing their private jet Ed Force One up North this time for another metal pantomime session.

The English battlers are still touring their 16th album The Book of Souls from 2015 and it’s their biggest chart success yet hitting No1 in 40 countries — but remember in their heyday they sold millions when people still bought records.

If you have even the most casual draw to metal, Maiden are an essential band to tick off, with all-time classics like Run to the Hills, Number of the Beast and Phantom of the Opera part of heavy music folklore.


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