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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: August 4, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend . . . join the KAF

    Laurence Mackin

    KAF: The Marble City is the destination of the weekend, with the Kilkenny Arts Festival letting its cats out of the bag from tomorrow for 10 days. I’ll be down there tomorrow night playing a live soundtrack to The Cabinet of Dr Caligari with 3epkano and Eric Sweeney on the pipe organ, before legging it back up the town to catch Trio VD. We’ve had this band on the blog before, but they’re always welcome in these parts. This is jazz, but perhaps like you haven’t heard it before. It’s frenetically fast and polished, but with enough riffs to keep a metal fan hot in their leather. This could well be the gig of the festival – and it will definitely be one of the loudest. Outstanding, sir.

    Chris Bussey plays the drums so fast his sleeves spontaneously combust

    If you like your music with more of a classical edge, William Butt will be performing Bach’s solo Cello Suite No 1 on Saturday afternoon, with Christopher Rousset and the Irish Baroque Orchestra in action in the evening. On the theatrical front, New York company Banana Bag and Bodice have been getting a large degree of the pre-festival hype for its scabrous Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage. Meanwhile, Cork supremos Corcadorca are bringing Request Programme to Kilkenny; is there anything Eileen Walsh can’t do? Find out for yourself.

    One of the strongest strands at the festival is, unsurprisingly, its visual-arts strand, and it’s usually a struggle to fit in all the shows. If you’re looking for priorities, Jacco Olivier’s large-scale work looks fascinating. He photographs as he works, combining painting and filmmaking, and the combined piece becomes a projected animation. Ann Craven’s work hinges on repetition, but the execution hums with colour and flair. And if you want to have your voice heard, there is a free, informal brunch in Cleere’s with the artists on Saturday afternoon. For more information, click here.

    Jazz: If, however, you find yourself on the east coast this weekend, then a cracking session has started up in Drogheda. On Sunday afternoon, the Brewery Tap bar has started offering live jazz sessions. Last weekend, Andreas Varady showcased his astonishing skills, and this weekend guitarist Mike Nielsen will be continuing things in fine style, with accompaniment. The set starts after 4pm and it’s free in. Disclosure of interest time: my brother is involved.

    Joyce: Back in the capital, Sweny’s Pharmacy is hosting a series of Joyce readings. It’s a Monday to Friday event, with the public reading out their favourite bits between 1 and 2pm, but on Saturday at 11am John Singleton will be declaiming from Ulysses. Admission free, lemon soap optional.

    Theatre: TheatreClub Stole Your Clock Radio What the F**k Are You Gonna Do About It? You’re going to pop along to the Project Arts Centre on Saturday night and demand it back, that’s what, and get your head around this explosive bit of theatre, featuring film trailers, TV debates, broken records and dope dance moves. Kaboom.

    And to begin the weekend on a burst of arty optimism, here is a video of Metropolis II, a kinetic sculpture that Chris Burden has been working on for four years, and is due to open this autumn in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A beautiful film, and a brilliant piece of art – what appears to be a simple idea has lead to a monumental, complex construction that must be a thrilling experience. Start your (toy car) engines.

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