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Gig of the Week: Treaty – Songs, with Christy Moore, Lisa O’Neill and more

December 6th to 12th, 2021: The best of the week’s culture events, right around Ireland


Treaty: Songs
Saturday, December 11th, National Concert Hall, Dublin, 8pm, €20 in person/€10 livestream,
In December 1921, a group of representatives gathered at the NCH's Kevin Barry Rooms to debate the Anglo-Irish Treaty. Now, 100 years later, some of Ireland's leading lights of music are gathering at the venue to perform songs inspired by the treaty debates and other related events. John Spillane, Karan Casey, Gemma Dunleavy, Maija Sofia, Duke Special, Lisa O'Neill, Jonathan Nangle, Crash Ensemble and special guest Christy Moore will perform new works interpreting this pivotal moment in Irish history, which still resonates in Irish life today. The event is part of the Decade of Centenaries 2012-2023 programme, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. If you're still not comfortable attending in person, the event will be livestreamed so you can enjoy at home.

Thursday, December 9th, to January 2nd, National Stadium, Dublin, 11am & 6.30pm (Sat & Sun mats 3pm), €16-€31.75
Can we bring the kids to the panto? Oh, no, you can't! Oh, yes, we can! With conflicting advice coming from Government regarding Covid and keeping our kids safe, it's no wonder we feel we're in some sort of mad panto written by Samuel Beckett. Alan Hughes, who produces and stars in this year's panto at the National Stadium, has criticised Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly for saying pantos can go ahead – just don't bring the kids to them. Hughes assures parents that going to Aladdin will be just as safe as going to visit Santa (which the Minister has okayed, by the way), and that all safety protocols will be in place to ensure families can feel secure in their pods. And they'll be treated to the best traditional panto around, with Hughes reprising his ever-popular role of Sammy Sausages, Rob Murphy sashaying back on the panto stage and terrifying dads as the hilarious Buffy, and Jake Carter starring as Aladdin.

Ash 25th Anniversary Tour
Thursday, December 9th, to December 17th, various venues, various times, various prices,
Last year, the Downpatrick trio released their anniversary hit compilation Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years of Ash, charting the band's numerous hits, including Girl from Mars, Goldfinger, Oh Yeah, Shining Light, Burn Baby Burn and A Life Less Ordinary. The band were mere teenagers when they started out back in the mid-1990s, and the scary thing is they still look impossibly young and fresh-faced today. The band will be getting a belated chance to continue their 25th anniversary tour, starting with a date in Dolan's Warehouse in Limerick (December 9th, 8pm, €30) followed by an appearance at the Róisín Dubh in Galway (December 10th, 8pm, €30.50). Want a quick hit of youth elixir? An Ash gig will do the job.

Saturday, December 11th, Sunday 12th & Monday 13th, Vicar Street, Dublin, 7pm, from €35
The Dublin band had just finished recording their new album Fever Dreams when the pandemic hit, but rather than simply shelve the record, Villagers mainman Conor O'Brien used the lockdown time to refine the album's tracks. When it was released last August, eager fans snapped up this instant slice of karmic escapism. "I had an urge to write something that was as generous to the listener as it was to myself. Sometimes the most delirious states can produce the most ecstatic, euphoric and escapist dreams," said O'Brien. Now, the band is back out on the road, bringing that ecstasy, euphoria and escapism to fans, with three nights at Vicar Street to properly see in the festive season. The first two nights are sold out, and the third night is selling out fast, so don't miss this chance to catch the magic of Villagers in full live glory.


Saturday, December 11th, Dolan's, Limerick, 8pm, €14; Sunday 12th, Connolly's of Leap, Cork, 7pm, from €16.77
Remember those gig posters that used to say "direct from Las Vegas. "? Now, alt-folk six-piece Moxie can put "direct from Dubai" on their poster for their current tour. The band have just returned from the UAE city, where they represented Ireland at Expo 2020. The band's Irish-Arabic crossover song Is Ainm Dom was chosen as the official song of the Irish Pavilion virtual experience at the expo. While in Dubai the band performed 100 gigs, winning over international fans with their vibrant, multicultural blend of contemporary folk, rock and electronica.

NCH 40th Anniversary Concert
Friday, December 10th, 7.30pm, €29.50,
Back in 1981, president Patrick Hillery officially opened the National Concert Hall, and since then this magnificent venue has been a cultural hub of Irish life, hosting memorable performances from some of our finest musicians, singers, ensembles and orchestras. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the NCH, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of chief conductor Jaime Martín will perform a fitting selection for the occasion, starting with the world premiere of a work by renowned Irish composer Brian Byrne, specially commissioned by NCH and RTÉ. There will also be a performance of Eitilt, by Irish composer Anne-Marie O'Farrell, another specially commissioned work that was first heard at New Music Dublin earlier this year. And what more uplifting way to end than with Dvorak's New World Symphony, whose achingly beautiful memories will evoke that universal place called home.