ANNA CALVI: The Empire, Belfast, Thursday, £20; Tivoli, Dublin, Friday week, €25
Anna Calvi, Hunter missed the deadline for the 2018 Mercury Prize, but she’s a cert for her third album to get a third nomination when it comes round again next year.
Celebrity disciples include Brian Eno and Nick Cave, and Cave’s worship makes more sense – Calvi indulges in gothic drama and a dark poeticism, with a stunning operatic voice and art-rock guitar virtuosity that rivals St Vincent.
Hunter (Calvi’s first album in five years) abandons her previous oblique strategies to tackle gender and sexuality head on, with some stunning results – Don’t Beat the Girl Out of My Boy is one of the most gripping songs of the year.
PEACHES: Abbey Theatre, Dublin, tonight & tomorrow, €26
NSFW electro-punk queen Peaches takes her one-woman show Peaches Christ Superstar to the Abbey as part of the Dublin Fringe. Full preview here.
50 CENT: 3Arena, Dublin, tomorrow, 70-76
Some 15 years after his debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ had him going toe-to-toe with Kanye West in the world’s biggest rapper league, 50 Cent hasn’t anywhere near the same clout — but he’s still filling arenas.
The album went on to become the 10th biggest selling hip-hop album of all time in America, with singles In Da Club, P.I.M.P. and 21 Questions impossible to avoid for years. A 15-year anniversary tour is stretching it, but I’m not sure he’d still be in the 3Arena if he waited until 2023 for the proper 20-year milestone.
OPTIMO & DAVID HOLMES: The Dockers Club, Belfast, tomorrow, 15
This is a dream set-up if you’re up for a night that’s as far from the cheeseball Insta-DJ circuit as you can get — with three auteur selectors playing in a tiny community club in the heart of Belfast’s docklands.
Even as a Hollywood soundtrack producer, Belfast man David Holmes maintains that he only enjoys playing intimate clubs with zero compromise to making you dance to the latest trends. Glasgow duo Optimo are kindred spirits, with a DJ and label policy of joining the dots between all strands of club music, from techno to hip-hop, industrial, krautrock, psych, without being wilfully obscure — you’ll definitely dance.
MITSKI, Tivoli, Dublin, tomorrow, €20
Iggy Pop may be in his 70s but he’s still got his rock’n’roll faculties — so rock heads took note when he revealed last year he’d been down a YouTube rabbit hole watching Mitski videos.
In fairness, an endorsement by Lorde makes more sense, and Mitski has just supported the teenage New Zealander on tour this year.
Singer-songwriter Mitski Miyawaki has just released one of the most well-received albums of the year in he fifth LP Be the Cowboy — a collection of dark and elegant pop songs, with detours into goth, disco, ambient and even country rock.