Going out: best of what's on between now and the New Year

What's on this weekend. Plus, two weeks’ worth of suggestions for meeting with friends/escaping from family/ building special memories over the festive season

Le Galaxie: part of the spectacular New Year’s Festival taking place on St Stephen’s Green

Le Galaxie: part of the spectacular New Year’s Festival taking place on St Stephen’s Green

 

PICKS of the FORTNIGHT

Self-proclaimed “bockety pop collective” Popical Island are hosting their fifth all day session in Whelan’s on Saturday, Dec 19th. Expect high energy indie rock and pop from the likes of Me and My Dog, No Monster Club and Ginnels. The showcase event  runs from 3pm to 11pm and your €10 ticket let’s you come and go as you please. Check out Popical Island on Bandcamp for a primer on the flamboyant hipsters.

If you don’t hear Jimmy Stewart shout “hello, Bedford Falls,” it can’t really be Christmas. Which is why you should get down to the Irish Film Institute in Dublin to catch a screening of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas flick It’s a Wonderful Life - a feel-good classic will make even the most hardened Christmas crank smile, then cry and then smile and cry at the same time.

The Opium Rooms are wasting no time in getting back into the groove with Dave Clarke rocking up on December 26th. There’s a whole lot more to Clarke than the John Peel-applied Baron of Techno moniker might suggest. Clarke celebrated the 500th broadcast of his White Noise radio show during 2015, while he continued to tour and play at such clubs as Fuse and Berghain and festivals such as Tomorrowland, Awakenings and Glastonbury. Support in the main room is from DeFeKT and Niall Clearly, while the Subject gang run things in the Garden.

For something a little more traditional, Scoil Gheimhridh Ghaoth Dobhair kicks off on December 27th. This boutique winter school in Bunbeg, Gweedore, Co Donegal is a fitting bookend to the year, with a bespoke programme of workshops, sessions and concerts. This year’s roster includes local fiddle legend, Danny Meehan, Altan’s Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Dermot Byrne, Buttons and Bows and Téada with Seamus Begley in full flight (for the new year’s eve concert). With Mount Errigal as a backdrop, this is our music at its absolute best. See scoilgheimhridh.com.

Back in the capital there’s a host of nights to choose from for New Year’s Eve. The Turning Pirate NYE Mix Tape 2015 takes place in Vicar Street. This annual event continues to be one of the best of the NYE bunch in Dublin, if not Ireland. This year it has the likes of Lisa Hannigan, Booka Brass Band, Niamh Farrell of HamsandwicH (the band also has its own gig in Whelan’s on the same night), Ye Vagabonds, Two Fools, Old Hannah, The Young Folk, and more to be announced. MC is comedian Karl Spain.

Over in the Grand Social, they have three rooms on the lash until the wee small hours of 2016. Hidden Agenda host the main room with a live set from the exceptional Terriers plus New Jackson, Barry Redsetta and DJ Deece. Subject call on John Heckle, Tr One, Sias, Lee Kelly, Mode_1 and Galactic Beat Club for their space, while Sim Simma keep it sweet and rootsy on the terrace with Shabba Franks, Johnny Hammond, Slim Tim and guests.

Bargain of the night, however, has to go to the New Year’s Festival taking place outside on St Stephen’s Green with tickets just €7.50 a pop including booking fees with all proceeds going towards the National Centre for the Blind of Ireland. Despite the buttons price, the line-up is more than decent, thanks to Le Galaxie, All Tvvins and Wyvern Lingo on the bill. See ticketmaster.ie for details.

Across town the 3Arena is hosting its own NYE party, with a lineup that cares not a jot for consistency. On the bill are The Coronas, Fatboy Slim, Kíla, Ryan Sheridan and Little Hours. Tickets are €34.50 from the usual merchants. Down in the depths of the Powerscourt Townhouse, Pygmalion are working with Heineken Sound Atlas to bring a taste of Space Ibiza to the city centre venue. Playing on the night will be Marc Houle, Ryan Crosson, Hito and Hybrasil. Expect some whopper visuals to go with the tunes. For tickets, see Pygmalion’s Facebook page or follow @Heineken_IE.

Up in Belfast, Queen’s Students’ Union has a tasty offering. One of the big Belfast highlights for many this year was the AVA festival in May and here they are joining forces with Shine for this New Year’s Eve cracker to round off the club’s year-long 20th anniversary celebrations. Paul Woolford is the big draw, a man who had another champion year not least with his roughneck Special Request work. Support on the night from Space Dimension Controller, Psycatron, Schmutz and Jordan with Belfast Underground Radio broadcast live from Room 3 with Holly Lester, JC Williams, Deep City Groove and Dilly. That should keep all and sundry happy as another year kicks off.

FRIDAY 18TH

Bitch Thieves
The Workman’s Club Dublin 8pm €10 theworkmansclub.com
That’s Sleep Thieves (cinematic, late-night, dreamy-weird) and Bitch Falcon (sledgehammer, Sabbath-like rock) to you,
mate. These bands let loose in separate gigs two weeks ago during Dingle-based Other Voices, and so while we’re not exactly sure what the resultant interweaving mash-up might sound like, we can safely say you won’t have heard anything like it all year. Their Xmas pressie to us? We’ll be having that, thanks.

Periodical Review #5
NCAD Gallery, 100 Thomas St, Dublin and Pallas Projects, 115-117 The Coombe, Dublin Until Jan 15 and 16 respectively.
ncad.ie/about/gallery, pallasprojects.org

Pallas’s Periodical Review is not a conventional exhibition, more an exhibition-sized, three-D magazine in which artists get the opportunity to present aspects of their work you would not necessarily see in a gallery setting. Included are Rachael Campbell-Palmer, Liam Crichton, Mark Curran, Cian Donnelly, Caroline Doolin, Brian Duggan, Gabhann Dunne, Glenn Fitzgerald, Gemma Fitzpatrick, Timothy Furey, Eileen Gray, Seán Grimes, Siobhán Hapaska, Jacqueline Holt, Kevin Lindsay, Eilis McDonald, Lucy McKenna, Eva Rothschild and Gary Shaw. Anne Kelly, Daniel Jewesbury, Gavin Murphy & Mark Cullen selected.

Gerry Cullen & friends
An Góilín, The Teachers’ Club, Parnell Square 8.30pm €3 goilin.com

Cullen, a founding member of The Voice Squad, quite possibly the best male acapella ensemble ever to grace the tradition, joins members and visitors to An Góilín singers circle for their annual ‘Puddin’ Night’. It’s safe to expect some seasonal favourites alongside some surprise interlopers.
 

SATURDAY 19TH

Young Hearts Run Free
MVP, 29 Upper Clanbrassil Street Dublin

The Young Hearts crew hold their last bash of the year,w ith DJ Dandelion (right) leading the charge that’s a “mish-mash of Bernard Cribbins-meets- Mos-Def-meets-Gene Clark”. It’s all supporting the Simon community, and it’s all tremendous fun, Ted.

The Emigrant Disco
Yamamori Tengu Dublin 10pm €12/€10/€6

Christmas means those who’ve gone away for various reasons are back and those who’ve stuck around want to party, so The Emigrant Disco brings home birds and wild geese together. Over three rooms, you’ve Space Dimension Controller, the DIP DJ crew, the mighty Papa Lou from Discotekken, the indefatigable Joma from Telephones and The Locals, Jon Averill and much more at play. Sounds like a night for dance floor hugs all round.

Maurice Lennon and Cormac Begley
St. John’s Arts Centre, Listowel 8pm €12/€10 stjohnstheatrelistowel.com

An intriguing pairing of fiddle player Lennon (founding member of Stockton’s Wing) and West Kerry concertina player, Begley, as they embark on a brief festive season tour. Begley’s collection of concertinas is a sight to behold, not to mention his erudite insights into the evolution of the instruments (in between some sweet tunes, of course).


SUNDAY 20th

Lindstrøm
Pygmalion Dublin 7.30pm €10/€5 facebook.com/hplindstrom/

Norwegian producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm has earned his cosmic disco spurs with a smashing series of epic, widescreen tracks over the years. Whether it’s one of his many collaborations with fellow traveller Prins Thomas or singer Isabelle “Christabelle” Sandoo on the Real Life Is No Cool album or releases under his own steam such as I Feel Space, Lindstrøm is a producer with the right touch when it comes to crafting infectious, alluring sounds. He plays live at this pre-Christmas hop with support from Decent Perks AKA Colin Perkins and DJ Deece.

Dublin Songs and Stories Chapter 3
Sugar Club, Dublin 7.30pm €10 sugarclubtickets.com

The Dublin history blog Come Here To Me are here collaborating with the Sugar Club for a night of chats, craic and singing, and all in aid of Inner City Helping Homeless. On the night you can expect contributions from the likes of Robert Ballagh, Frank Murray, Emmet Kirwan, Solas Art and Stephen James Smith, with music from from Landless, Owensie and an acoustic performance by Lethal Dialect. All of Dublin is here, so.

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