Going out: The best of what’s on this week

The best gigs, galleries, events and days out around the country this week

 

Monday

Kris Kristofferson
Olympia theatre Dublin
8pm €58.50/€55.40/€44

Perceived as more a country singer-songwriter than anything else, the fact is Kris Kristofferson is Americana’s rugged answer to Leonard Cohen. In other words, think wise, witty, world-weary and truthful. Kristofferson’s third and final show here, by the way, sees all proceeds going to ISPCC ChildLine. 

Spandex Blues
Smock Alley Boys’ School.
Jan 25-30 8pm €15/€13
smockalley.com

Besides the occasional Spider-Man musical disaster, or some very confused ComicCon fans in the audience for George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman, the theatre remains one of the few art forms not currently overrun with superheroes. Generally, capes are for screens, masks for television, and a serious regard for “darker versions of the comic books” for self-deluding men-children. But perhaps the limited green-screen potential of the stage might allow the genre some much-needed earth-bound introspection: What kind of father issues does Thor harbour? How would Wonder Woman define the superhuman condition? And just what difficulties are there in maintaining those clingy costumes?

Perhaps Diane Crotty’s new comedy will supply some answers. She plays E, a Dublin-based super-villain reeling from a heist gone wrong and the inevitable friction it causes among her family – inconveniently, all superheroes. Staged by the aptly named Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, it asks its own humorous questions about the “realistic consequences” faced by such kindred super-nemeses. If only Eugene O’Neill’s psychodrama had the foresight to think along similar lines. A Long Day’s Journey into Flight, anyone? 

Tuesday

Jason Derulo
3Arena Dublin
8pm €40.50

It isn’t the first time that a talented songwriter has decided to keep their tunes for themselves. The likes of Sean Kingston and Lil Wayne may regret such a decision but US pop star Jason Derulo is not for turning (except on a coin – he’s a pretty good dancer, too). 

Julie Merriman: Revisions
Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Charlemont House, Parnell Sq North
Until April 10
hughlane.ie

Julie Merriman’s work has consistently and inventively centred on drawing and this show stems from a year-long engagement within Dublin City Council departments, meeting with staff in Housing, Architects and Engineering and exploring their use of drawing. The medium she chose is unorthodox: typewriter carbon film, which produces a “slippage” that she likes. 

Dublin Guitar Night
JJ Smyths, Aungier Street, 8.30pm, €10,
jjsmyths.com

Hugh Buckley’s excellent Guitar Night is rapidly turning into an institution on the Dublin live circuit, blithely ignoring genre boundaries and presenting a smorgasbord of six string delights to the city’s guitar scene on a monthly basis. One hundred Irish and international guitarists have played the session since its started three years ago – this month it’s the country-tinged Clive Barnes, the surf-soaked Mushburgers (Eamon Colgan, Shane Latimer, Cormac O’Brien, Shane O’Donovan) and the Celtic-fringed Robert Doyle. 

Wednesday

John Grant
Mandela Hall Belfast 8pm £25/£22.50
mandelahall.com

John Grant has progressively improved with each of his three solo albums, and in a live setting there are few that can touch him. A scabrous sense of humour? A bunch of emotive tunes? Sit back and enjoy, is our advice.

Water for the Tribe
Paintings by Jan Pleitner.
Kerlin Gallery, Anne’s Lane, South Anne St, Dublin
Until Mar 10

German artist Jan Pleitner’s (born in Oldenburg, based in Düsseldorf) first solo at the Kerlin. His garishly coloured, scraped, speedy canvases are, he says, influenced by science fiction. The show’s title derives from Frank Herbert’s Dune. But he doesn’t make illustrations. Rather than being abstract and “anti-image” he is, he asserts, continually trying to unearth or discover “an unknown image”.

Bilingua: The Music of Eithne Ní Uallacháin
St. Patrick’s Cathedral 8pm €32.99
templebartrad.com

A timely celebration of the legacy of this late singer and member of Lá Lugh, Eithne Ní Uallacháin. Following last year’s superb commemorative album, tonight’s show promises to be a highlight of this year’s Temple Bar Tradfest. Anchored by the singing voices of Karen Matheson of Capercaille and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh of Danú, along with Pauline Scanlon, a raft of musicians will join the fray, including Eithne’s husband, Gerry O’Connor and son, Donal O’Connor, both sublime fiddlers. 

Thursday

The Corrs
3Arena, Dublin
8pm €45.05
Ten years away from the game is a long time, so it’s debatable whether the return of The Corrs will have any noticeable impact on any but the band’s core fanbase – and whether the love they once engendered is durable enough to fill the 3Arena. Forgiven, not forgotten? We’ll see. 

Strict
The Friary, Cork 9pm Adm free
facebook.com/luchadorcork

The weekly musical mix from the Luchador DIY music team will ensure a fairly eclectic blend of tunes soundtracking North Mall. While you’ll have your tried and tested indie and alternative music standard bearers, there will also be room on the playlist for such souls as Kendrick Lamar, William Onyeabor, The Upsetters, Gang Of Four and other signifiers of a decently catholic music collection. Probably better for your well-being than staying in with Spotify, to be honest. 

Julie Fowlis
St Patrick’s Cathedral 8pm €27.99
templebartrad.com

A native of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides, Julie Fowlis is a multifaceted singer and musician, as adept at interpreting contemporary as well as traditional songs, and a mean whistle player to boot. Her cover of The Beatles’ Blackbird is a joy to behold. Recent success singing the theme tune to the Disney/Pixar film, Brave hasn’t hurt either. Expect a decidedly warm and intimate performance, even in such a labyrinthine setting. 

The Family Tree
The Wiley Fox, Dublin 10pm Adm free before 11pm/€10/€8/€6
facebook.com/thewileyfox

The Family Tree celebrate their first birthday with a headline show from Ritzi Lee, the Dutch techno trooper who is part of the Belief System and Underground Liberation crews. He’s joined by a selection of local worthies including Oli Drakeford (Paradigm), Stephen Dylanson (TMM Records, Wunderground), Tommy Holohan (TomFoolery) and Luke Xander. 

Tudo É Som: Brazil, Jazz and the Genius of Hermeto Pascoal
Triskel Christchurch, Tobin St 8pm, €15/€12
triskelartscentre.ie

Phil Ware’s residency at the Triskel – courtesy of Music Network – continues this week with further testament to the Dublin pianist’s imagination and catholic tastes: a heavyweight international line-up comes together to celebrate the music of one of the great geniuses of world music, the incomparable Hermeto Pascoal. If you don’t know Pascoal’s impossibly complex, improbably joyous music, do your ears a favour. 

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