Gig of the Week: Are you ready to Revelate? The Frames celebrate 30 years

Culture guide: Protex, Gary Numan, My Chemical Romance and Anything Goes

Gig of the week: The Frames

Saturday, May 28th, Royal Hospital Kilmainham , 5pm €55

The Frames have been an essential part of our lives for 30 years now, and though they’ve been scattered to the four winds of late, they’re reconvening for their 30th anniversary celebrations with a big outdoor gig at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. The actual anniversary was in 2020 but, you know, pandemic and all that. Still, it’ll be worth the wait as the band revisit their finest moments from three decades doing the business. Founding members Glen Hansard and Colm Mac Con Iomaire have been busy with their own successful solo careers, but they’ll be easily slotting back into Frames mode and delivering favourite songs from such acclaimed albums as Fitzcarraldo, Dance the Devil and For the Birds. “There’s something about stepping back into the furious belly of this beast where the low bells chime around the parish, where time is swallowed and years slip by, this place where most of my hearing went in the sound of working it out from soaring angst to occasional pride into unmoored middle age,” says Hansard.

Anything Goes

Until Saturday, May 28th, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin 7.30pm (Thursday & Saturday matinees 2.30pm) €40

All aboard for the romantic cruise of a lifetime as the feel-good musical sails into Grand Canal Dock for a night of song and dance that has been hailed as “the antidote to everything”. The show is based on the songs of Cole Porter, so you know you’re in for a night of quality tuneage, and the cast is led by the fab Kerry Ellis, with veteran luvvie Simon Callow also on board. The plot revolves around a cruise on the SS American, and it’s all hands (and feet) on deck as our heroes and heroines set off in search of true love.

My Chemical Romance

Tuesday, May 24th & Wednesday, May 25th, Royal Hospital Kilmainham 5pm €72.50

They were at the forefront of the emo movement in the early noughties, and their 2006 concept album The Black Parade was a Dark Side of the Moon for mopey teenagers. Now the New Jersey band have reunited after nine years, and although their fans are older, they’re still loyal, and a whole new generation of angsty teens are discovering the dark delights of MCR. Twenty years after their debut album, the band are out on tour, and stopping off for two shows in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, supported by Gayle, the pop singer-songwriter behind the global smash hit Abcdefu, and LA pop-punk garage rockers Starcrawler.

John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension

May 26th, National Concert Hall, Dublin, €39.50/€49.50

The final concert in the NCH’s Perspectives series will have prog-jazz-fusion fans frothing at prospect of seeing a real-life guitar god in action, the mighty Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. Rated as the greatest-ever axeman by the likes of Jeff Beck and Pat Metheny, McLaughlin made his mark playing with Miles Davis, then blazed a trail with his fusion band Mahavishnu Orchestra and his classical guitar collaboration with Al DiMeola and Paco De Lucia. Now 80, McLaughlin has suffered from arthritis, but credits yoga and meditation with alleviating the symptoms and allowing him to go back out on the stage. His current all-star band brings together top musicians from different cultures and traditions – get that chin ready for some serious stroking.


Wednesday, May 25th- Saturday, May 28th, Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, 8pm €18/€15

Here’s a walk through Dublin that will make Leopold Bloom’s odyssey look like a stroll in the park. Jack of All Trades productions have taken on Mark O’Rowe’s classic tale of three people swept up from their ordinary lives and thrown into a world of avenging angels, lovesick demons and singing serial killers. The protagonists – named simply A, B and C, must perambulate through a hellish urban landscape filled with nightmarish visions that seem strangely familiar. The story of this long dark night of the blackened soul is told in monologues that sparkle with wit, grit and poetic flair.

Galway Early Music Festival

May 27th-29th,

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics might seem an unlikely theme for this year’s festival of medieval, renaissance and baroque music, but it actually equates nicely with an age when minds were opening up to the wider universe of possibilities. This year’s events take place both live and online, and look at the connections between music and science, taking Pythagoras’s “music of the spheres” idea as the basic formula. Voyages with an Astrolabe (Fri 27th, St Nicholas Collegiate Church, 7pm €18/€15/€14/€6) is a musical celebration of inquisitive minds. Discovering Light (Fri 27th, St Nicholas Collegiate Church, 9pm) sees baroque flautist Teddy Hwang and harpsichordist Yonit Kosovske aim for the stars with some celestial sounds. There’s an Early Irish Harp Discovery Day showcasing the music of Carolan and his contemporaries (Sun 29th, Nun’s Island Theatre, noon, €10); and Athenry School of Music, Coole Music and Estonia’s Early Music Group of Kiili join gravitational forces for a special concert entitled Music of the Spheres (Sun 29th, Hardiman Hotel, Eyre Square, 1.30pm €5, children free)


Sunday May 29th, The Wild Duck, Dublin 4pm €12

The Belfast punk scene of the late 1970s was replete with loud, snotty and exciting bands – and Protex were one of the trailblazers, signing to Terry Hooley’s Good Vibrations record label and then moving on to Rough Trade and Polydor. Early single Don’t Ring Me Up garnered rave reviews, but the band didn’t get the success enjoyed by labelmates The Undertones. But you can’t keep an old punk down, and over the past decade Protex have been riding a wave of renewed interest in the band, and finally got to put out their unreleased debut album, the Chas Chandler-produced Strange Obsessions, in 2010. They’ve since released a second album, Tightrope, and have been touring Europe and the US, including a slot at SXSW in Austin, Texas. They’ve just finished their third album, Wicked Ways, so expect to hear plenty of new stuff along with the old favourites.

Gary Numan

Tuesday, May 24th, 3Olympia, 8pm,

With his latest album, Intruder, the Sith lord of synthpop has proven he’s still a force to be reckoned with, and his Irish Numanoids will be out in force when his tour hits Dublin. (He had to cancel some US dates in March after contracting Covid). In his 2020 autobiography (R)evolution, Numan revealed that his famously aloof image was little more than social awkwardness brought on by his Asperger’s – still, coming across like a cold, callous robot didn’t do his popstar standing any harm. We’re looking forward to sneering along with classic Numan hits Cars, Down in the Park and Are “Friends” Electric?

Bryan Adams

May 29th, SSE Arena, Belfast; May 30th, 3Arena, Dublin

If you thought lockdown was bad, spare a thought for the pop kids of 1991, who lived through an entire summer plagued by Bryan Adams’s ubiquitous hit (Everything I Do) I Do it For You. The theme song from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves embedded itself firmly at number one for 12 long weeks, and nothing could budge it. Thirty years later, we’re finally ready to forgive Adams – and we might even sing along with that power ballad (it’s burned into our cortex) as well as such classics as Run to You, Cuts Like a Knife, Heaven and Summer of ‘69. Adams has just released his 15th album, So Happy it Hurts, and the title track reflects his joy at being able to get back out on tour after a two-year hiatus. “The pandemic and lockdown really brought home the truth that spontaneity can be taken away,” says Adams. “The title song is about freedom, autonomy, spontaneity and the thrill of the open road.”