ICEAGE: The Workmans Club, Dublin, Tonight, €15
Danish band Iceage still look frighteningly young, even though they’ve been knocking punk into odd shapes for 10 years.
Frontman Elias Bender Ronnefelt left school at 16 to lead the band, and hasn’t toed the line since, snarling through four constantly-evolving albums, from the lo-fi hardcore of debut album New Brigade, to the gothic Birthday Party-meets The Stooges rage of their 2018 LP Beyondless.
I caught them at the Eurosonic rising bands showcase at Groningen in January – a weird booking as they’d been touring for nearly a decade – and they were a revelation, with Elias staring into the middle distance, walking into the crowd and eyeballing people, and the sax and violin player adding a dirgy Roxy Music edge. Elias has been known to kick phones out of punters’ hands if they’re not fully engaged, so maybe watch this one through your eyes and not your screen.
12 POINTS FESTIVAL, Sugar Club, Dublin, Till tomorrow, €59 or day tickets €20
The self-described “small but beautifully-formed” 12 Points Festival has been running since Wednesday as a showcase for the most exciting new acts in avant-garde jazz. The clue is in the title, with 12 acts playing full shows at the Sugar Club, with the final six acts over the weekend including Dowry (right), Elliot Galvin, Container Doxa, Kjetil Muletid Trio, The Rite of Trio and Doninic J Marshall trio.
Like reggae and dub, jazz is often relegated to heritage status by the mainstream, with all the greats from decades past generally springing to mind, but 12 Points is a chance to witness a dynamic and ever-evolving European scene. 12 Points alternates between Dublin and partner cities, with previous editions taking place in Umea, Sweden, Porto, Portugal.
FALSE HEADS: Whelan’s, Dublin, tonight, FREE
A recommendation from Iggy Pop goes a long way in rock’n’roll, and he’s been giving London punk trio False Heads the Iggy seal of approval on his BBC 6 Music show, saying: “If they come to your town, you might wanna show up.” You don’t have much of an excuse as it’s a very rare free gig in Whelan’s main room. They’ve also been called “one of the best bands in the world” by ex-Ramones manager Danny Fields, so you should at least be curious.
Think a punkier Queens of the Stone Age with hooks all sides and a classic snotty stance from frontman Luke Griffiths.
INHALER: Upstairs At Whelan’s, Dublin, tomorrow, €11
Having a famous parent in the music business will always guarantee your band will get all the coverage you need — but you’re also certain of a backlash from dubious critics, peers, struggling older acts and of course the general begrudgers.
When that famous parent in Bono, you’re really walking a tightrope, as slagging the U2 frontman is a full-on pastime for half the population.
Inhaler frontman Eli Hewson doesn’t make a meal of his famous da — and didn’t dare acknowledge Bono at the band’s first gig in Dublin’s Temple Bar Music Centre a few months ago, sneaking in and out.
The band do refer to their main influences — Joy Division and the Stone Roses, with the latter more obvious on the psychedelic, jangly pop of I Want You.
DIONNE WARWICK: Vicar Street, Dublin, Monday, €69.50
In a particularly cruel section of the New York Times’ Popcast show after Aretha Franklin’s death, the hosts played Dionne Warwick’s I Say a Little Prayer then segued into Aretha’s version — just to illustrate the improvement in the Queen of Soul’s cover.
Warwick was immediately tossed in the shade with Aretha’s version, and she was kind of overshadowed by Franklin for the next 50 years, with her feathery pop no match for gritty, sexy soul. The pair even had a feud that lasted decades — with Aretha firing shots as late as last year.
But second in the league to a musical miracle like Aretha Franklin is no booby prize — Warwick has had 69 singles in the Billboard top 100 in a career that’s been running since the early 1960s.
Warwick is most famous for her work with songwriting legends Burt Bacharach and Hal David, with sweet songs like Walk On By, Do You Know the Way to San Jose and This Guy’s In Love With You still held up as all-time classics.
EUROPE, Ulster Hall, Belfast, Tuesday, £31.50; Olympia, Dublin, €31-36
Europe could come out and play The Final Countdown 15 times and you’d still leave the gig fully satisfied with your night of air guitar, air synth and poodle perm flicking. There isn’t another hair metal band so defined by a single song – such a worldwide crossover that it was once the theme tune for RTE Sports Stadium on Saturday afternoons in the 1980s.
The synth line has almost become a meme after 30-odd years, so it’ll cast a huge shadow over the whole gig, which will surely be made up of hits from The Final Countdown album, as well as choice cuts from the Swedes’ other 10 albums of histrionic, symphonic hard rock.