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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: October 25, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

    If you only do one thing this weekend . . . get stoked

    Laurence Mackin

    Music: November and December are shaping up to be terrific months as far as live music is concerned, but first there is the small matter of the October bank-holiday weekend to get out of the way. If you’re anywhere near Cork, it’s got to be jazz, or this weekend you should also make an effort to track down the mercurial Tigran Hamasyan.

    Whichever part of the country you happen to wash up in this weekend, you are spoiled for choice. In Dublin, Kildare electro head Mmoths is delivering a rare headline show in Dublin, with guests Regal Safari Young Wonder. His spare beats and subtle grooves are winning an international fanbase – head over here for a cracking mix he did recently for The Fader. And there’s also his magic take on Villagers’ latest track The Waves.

    Rock odd-ballers Sparks will also be calling into the Button Factory on Monday, and are well worth spinning your bank-holiday weekend out for. This is a good opportunity to see this act in a smaller venue – expect them to play much bigger stages in the future (which would go some way towards explaining the hefty ticket price).

    It’ll be tricky to track down a ticket, but if you can beg, borrow or steal your way into the Dead Can Dance gig in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre then prepare yourself to do the time. Live, this band are sublime – take the chance if it comes your way.

    Northwestern soul: There must be something in the northwestern waters at the moment that has them all buck wild for a party – and haven’t they just the heap to choose from. The Sligo Live festival is up and running, with Joan Armatrading and Van Morrison top of a Knocknarea-sized heap of musical riches (a very small number of Van tickets are still available).

    In Carrick-on-Shannon, you might be one of just 250 people allowed into the Hunters Moon Festival (no previous moon-hunting experience necessary). This is a bonkers line-up of music, film and mysticism – and we hear Moose’s Oscillator Workshop is not to be missed.

    Horrorfest: This weekend sees the inaugural Bram Stoker Festival climb out of its coffin, and what a line-up they’ve pulled together. There’s crime writer Patricia Cornwell, discussing “From Stoker to Scarpetta”. Or actors Owen Roe and Donna Dent reading from the most frightening vampire and horror stories ever in the 12th-century crypt of Christ Church Cathedral. There’s a smartphone game that lets you hunt vampires and other characters around the city. And there’s Stoker, a new production by Paul Walker for Ouroboros Theatre Company based on the writer’s life and legacy. King of the crypt, though, might be Performance Corporation’s The Judge’s House, where visitors to Marsh’s Library are given headphones and enter into the mind of Malcolm Malcolmson, with only his worst fears for company. Performance Corporation are masters of site-specific theatre, and are so confident at what they do they’ll even let the odd amateur stumble into the show. Ahem.

    Belfast bound: The Belfast Festival at Queens is at full throttle until November 4th, with a huge selection to satisfy curious minds, from Liz Crow’s Resistance and Tinderbox’s Huzzies, to Dickens in the Dark and Lynne Parker’s Macbeth. There’s a Comic Con, John Cooper Clarke, the Royal Ulster Academy’s Annual Exhibition, a very impressive classical music lineup, and a wealth of film to choose from. Now, any other questions?

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