14 of the best rock and pop concerts and festivals to catch this week in Ireland

Summer Series at Trinity College features Grace Jones and Bryan Ferry whiule Flaming Lips and Madness pitch up in Galway’s Big Top

 

Saturday, July 21

Walking on Cars
Festival Big Top, Galway €43.55 giaf.ie
Dingle five-piece Walking on Cars are taking on a pretty big stage at the Galway International Arts Festival but with their increasing success, it will be soon all they’re used to. Soft-rock and gentle intentions, their debut album Everything This Way went to the number one spot in the Irish charts and they’ve been leaving a string of sold out shows behind them. Support on the night comes from the very cool and incredibly talented Wyvern Lingo. LB

Sunday, July 22

Paddy Hanna and Sinead White
Roisin Dubh, Galway €10-12.50 roisindubh.net
Recently included in the Irish Times’s best overlooked albums list of 2018 and making the cut for one of the 10 best Irish albums released so far this year, Paddy Hanna’s Frankly, I Mutate is an album you should probably get into now. Like, right now. And another hot tip is to get to know is Sinead White. A regular collaborator with Daithí, White is a one of a kind singer so add her to your list of Irish acts to fall in love with. LB

Monday, July 23

Grace Jones
Summer Series at Trinity College, Dublin 7pm €60.45 ticketmaster.ie
Having recently celebrated her 70th birthday, Grace Jones remains a unique proposition, beholden to no one except herself. A pioneer of the art/funk/punk/fashion/music hybrid (duly noted by the likes of Annie Lennox, Roisin Murphy, Bjork, and many others), Jones has been an admirably divisive presence for over 40 years. While new music has been scarce (her previous studio album, Hurricane, was released ten years ago), there’s little doubt her fans won’t mind – the songs from her heyday of 1977-1986 will do just fine, thank you very much. The special guest act is Irish trio, Wyvern Lingo, whose self-titled debut album of this year is bringing them to a much-deserved wider audience. TCL

Adrian Moffat & RM Hubbert
Róisín Dubh Galway 9pm €15/€12.50 roisindubh.net Also Tuesday Grand Social Dublin 8pm €18.50 thegrandsocial.ie; Black Box, Belfast 8pm £13.50 blackboxbelfast.com
“Sex and death. Love and life. Family, fortune, faith, and fear. Guitar, voices, cello, sax, wolves. Leggings and jeggings, the multiverse and marshmallows.” So goes the lengthy but true enough tagline for Here Lies the Body, the recent album from Scottish duo Adrian Moffat and RM Hubbert. Outlining the loosely themed story of what occurs when mothers abandon their families (“still a taboo subject,” says Moffat), the album’s music is as multi-layered as the lyrics. Special guest is Scottish singer Siobhan Wilson, who will be performing songs from her excellent debut album, There are no Saints. TCL

Tuesday, July 24

Steve Earle & The Dukes
Vicar St Dublin 7.30pm €42 ticketmaster.ie
Since his breakthrough 1986 album, Guitar Town, Steve Earle – the American songwriter, singer, author, and activist – has never bothered to endear himself to those he can’t reach with his art. Once an outsider, always an outsider? Perhaps, but Earle’s forthright political views – which he outlines as much in interviews as in songs – has certainly sidelined him. Not that he cares. The man who thinks that Noel Gallagher is “the most overrated songwriter in the whole history of pop music” (he has a point) keeps on keeping on because he’s the real deal. His bandmates, The Dukes, are no slouches, either. TCL

Wednesday, July 25

Rag’n’Bone Man
Rag’n’Bone Man: voice is bigger and bolder than his ego

Rag’n’Bone Man
Summer Series at Trinity College, Dublin 7pm €44.90 ticketmaster.ie
Former care worker, Rory Graham, stepped into the limelight last year after winning BRIT awards for British Breakthrough Act and Critics’ Choice, and since then he has continued impressing in his unassuming way. Ironically, perhaps, his voice is bigger and bolder than his ego, with songs such as Human, Wolves, Perfume, Bitter End, and Skin impressing despite over-familiarity. Special guest is emerging soul/pop singer and songwriter, Grace Carter, whose instinctive channeling of Nina Simone and Lauryn Hill can be found on her recent EP, Saving Grace. TCL

Thursday, July 26

The Flaming Lips
Heineken Big Top, Galway 7pm €49.50 giaf.ie
Thirty-five flippin’ years? Yes, the mighty Flaming Lips formed in 1983, but it wasn’t until 1997 album, Zaireeka, and 1999 album, The Soft Bulletin, that the band started to gain attention outside their avid fan base. Since then the band has captivated/confused (delete where applicable) with a sequence of albums and, particularly, live performances where, well, who knows what will happen. Special guests are Irish band, Le Galaxie, whose most recent album, Pleasure, is one of the year’s best, and who share an affinity with the headline act in terms of performative and immersive sonic experiences. (As part of the Galway International Arts Festival.) TCL

New Jackson, R.Kitt and Barry Redsetta
Electric, Galway €8 giaf.ie
The Kitt brothers are a pretty vital part of the Irish music scene. While David Kitt tapping into his singer-songwriter needs  under his own name, he moonlights as New Jackson, the house and techno aficionado who will soundtrack the later part of your night. His younger brother Robbie, or R. Kitt, is part of the Dip collective and he’s joining the line-up, alongside DJ Barry Redsetta, at this special gig as part of the Galway International Arts Festival. LB

Wood Quay Summer Sessions: First Music Contact Presents…
Wood Quay Amphitheatre, Dublin FREE  facebook.com/WoodQuaySummerSessions
As the fourth and final part of the Wood Quay Summer Sessions, First Music Contact are calling in the heavies with the R&B group Super Silly and the dreamy indie band Pillow Queens to fill your lunchtime hour. With food trucks on site to keep the hunger at bay, concert ticket giveaways and some damn fine music from Irish groups, you could do a lot worse for yourself. LB

All Our Exes Live in Texas
DeBarras, Cork €17.90 ticketmaster.ie
Australian group All Our Exes Live in Texas are going on a mini Irish tour, playing Cork on July 26th, Galway’s  Roisin Dubh on July 27th, Limerick’s Dolan’s on July 28th and Dublin’s The Workman’s Club on July 29th. Their folk-pop comes equipped with ukuleles, mandolins, accordions, feminist leanings, sharp wit and four-part female harmonies that will leave you speechless. With plenty of shows across the country to choose from, make sure you set a date with these Exes. LB

Friday, July 27

Bryan Ferry
Summer Series at Trinity College, Dublin 7pm €60.45 ticketmaster.ie
Returning to Ireland within the space of a few months (he was last here in April when he played a classy, hits-laden gig at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre), warm nights and Bryan Ferry would seem to be a good match. Whether he’ll catch the mood of the balmy moment by veering towards Roxy Music Phase 2 (post-Brian Eno smooth pop a specialty) instead of Roxy Music Phase 1 (perfect pop-art with a retro-futuristic bent) is anyone’s guess. What is on the cards, however, is a batch of songs (predominantly from 1972-’82) that still stand up to scrutiny. The special guest act is Ultan Conlan & the Night Owls, who will be plugging their latest album, Last Days Of the Night Owl. TCL

Madness
Heineken Big Top, Galway 7pm €59.50 giaf.ie
It is no surprise whatsoever that Camden Town’s Madness collected an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection. Awarded for their run of hit singles that landed from the late-’70s to the mid-’80s, the group could have left it that and they’d still have a legacy second to none. But, no, not the self-termed Nutty Boys, who in 2009 released one of the best ever albums about London - The Liberty of Norton Folgate, which the (now defunct) magazine, The Word, described as “Peter Ackroyd writing for The Kinks.” If you miss the Nutty Boys in Galway, be aware they are performing at 3Arena on Saturday, July 28th (special guests The Lightning Seeds). TCL

Dublin Quay Fest
Various venues, Dublin; various times; adm free to all events; facebook.com/dublinquaysfestival
The second outing of the Dublin Quays Festival takes place in several venues (Workman’s Club, Liquor Rooms, Sin É, Grand Social, Wiley Fox and Sound House) along each side of the River Liffey, and if last year’s inaugural event was anything to go by then you are in for an admission-free treat. The line-up includes very fine music (Pillow Queens, Bird of Olympus, Sleep Thieves), skillful DJ action (Claire Beck, Nialler9), and extraordinarily talented spoken word artists (including Natalya O’Flaherty, who you have to see/hear). Runs until Monday, July 23rd. TCL

Farah Elle, who is playing Knockanstockan Music & Arts festival
Farah Elle, who is playing Knockanstockan Music & Arts festival

Knockanstockan Music & Arts festival
Blessington Lakes, Co Wicklow 2pm €150/€135 Also Saturday, July 28th/Sunday, July 29th knockanstockan.ie
After taking a breather last year, this superb independent music and arts festival – which features Irish acts throughout - returns with an even bigger bang. Frankly, it’s difficult to know where to start, and we’re bound to insult those we haven’t got room for, but our tips across the weekend include Cathy Davey, Bitch Falcon, Shrug Life, Shakalak, Bantum, Farah Elle, Vernon Jane, Moon Looks On, Pillow Queens, Donal Dineen, Roe, and Orchid Collective. We could list at least a dozen more, but take it from The Ticket: quality is assured. The festival also features comedy, performance art, art trails and all manner of family-friendly activities. TCL

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