Easter weekend gig guide: Chelsea Wolfe, Talos, Todd Terry and more

Our critical picks of the very best of what’s on in the capital and around the country this weekend and beyond

Selected highlights chosen by Michael Dervan, Jim Carroll, Tony Clayton-Lea, Siobhán Long, Aidan Dunne, Peter Crawley and Cormac Larkin


RTÉ NSO/Matthew Halls

NCH, Dublin 3.30pm €20-€40 nch.ie
The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra spent many years avoiding the music of Bach until, in 2012, it chose to tackle the Christmas Oratorio. In 2013 the focus turned to Easter, and a major work by Bach has been performed in conduction with the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir every Good Friday afternoon since then. Today's St Matthew Passion is conducted by Matthew Halls with Ben Johnson as the Evangelist, Stephan Loges as Jesus and a soloist lineup that also includes Aoife Miskelly, Madeleine Shaw, Mark Wilde and Brendan Collins. The RTÉ Contempo Quartet give the now traditional performance of Haydn's Seven Last Words at 1.30pm, with readings by Cathy Belton. This concert is free to holders of tickets for the St Matthew Passion. MD

Visionaries and their words

Triskel Christchurch, Cork 8pm €15 triskelartscentre.ie
Lorcán MacMathúna, sean nós singer, composer and sonic explorer, brings his critically acclaimed rendering of the words of Plunkett, Connolly, Ceannt and Pearse to Cork back on the road. Featuring Lorcán Mac Mathúna (below), Íde Nic Mhathúna on vocals and concertina,Martin Tourish on accordion, Daire Bracken on both fiddle and guitar, Eamonn Galdubh on uillean pipes, saxophone, flute and bodhrán and Elaine O'Dea with spoken word. SL

Belfast Philharmonic Choir, UO/Jac van Steen
Ulster Hall, Belfast 7.45pm £10-£28 ulsterorchestra.com Under principal guest conductor Jac van Steen, the Ulster Orchestra's Good Friday themed programme opens with the Good Friday Music from Wagner's Parsifal. Soprano Sarah Tynan (below) is the soloist in Poulenc's Stabat Mater (a work whose quick completion the composer attributed to the Black Virgin of Rocamadour) and she is joined by baritone William Dazeley in Fauré's otherworldly Requiem. MD



Connolly's of Leap, Cork 8pm, €13
Eoin French's (below) training as an architect has influenced him as a songwriter – you can tell by how precise and deftly designed his songs are. As the constituent element of Talos, Eoin has been beavering away for several years in the search of perfection, and while it's always tempting to finesse and fine-tune until you're driven demented, it seems that the search has stopped – for now, anyway. Debut album Wild Alee is released next week, and tonight's gig is the calm before the storm. Talos also play shows this month in Dublin (Button Factory, April 21st), Limerick (Dolan's, April 22nd), Galway (Roisin Dubh, April 27th) and Cork city (St Luke's Church, April 28th). TCL


Enter Stage Left/SET in TIME

Lewis Glucksman Gallery, UCC, Cork Until July 9th and 23rd respectively glucksman.org
Works by artists who use or explore stagecraft in some way, playing on Brecht's idea that theatrical illusion "must be a partial one, so that it can be recognised as illusion." They include Ella de Búrca, Lothar Götz, Aoibheann Greenan, Barbara Kasten, Gareth Kennedy, David Noonan, Alexandre Singh and Althea Thauberger. SET in TIME includes 33 works on paper from the Serge Lifar Collection, with set and costume designs by many of the artists Sergei Diaghilev commissioned to design sets and costumes for the Ballets Russes between 1909-1929. It's an impeccable line-up: Georges Braque, Giorgio de Chirico, Jean Cocteau, André Derain, Max Ernst, Naum Gabo, Nathalie Gontcharova, Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Rouault and Pavel Tchelitchew. AD

And So I Watch You From Afar

Róisín Dubh Galway 9pm €18/€16 roisindubh.net
This supremely accomplished Northern Ireland instrumental rock band (below) has been quiet of late, but there is good reason for that. Following on from 2015 album, Heirs, the Belfast boys decamped for a while to Rhode Island, New England, for a brainstorming/recording session. While the results of these haven't yet been heard beyond the band's inner circle, you can bet your last new €50 note that such material will be previewed at this one-off Irish show. Expect a band digging deeper into the foundations of what made them brilliant in the first place. TCL

Matthias Meyer

Bar Tengu Dublin 11pm €12/€10/€8 facebook.com/thisismelodic
Watergate in Berlin is the club which Matthias Meyer calls home. Meyer has featured at the venue since 2010, where his deep, emotional house music has won many admirers. As a producer, experimentations on early tracks for Liebe*Detail led to subsequent releases for such tastemaker imprints as Poker Flat, Cecille, Noir Music and Defected. His recent Watergate 20 EP show that Meyer has really found his mojo when it comes to getting his sound on wax. Support from Mulljoy. JC

Listen at Arthurs

Arthurs, Thomas St, Dublin, 8pm, €10, listen.ie
Listen is a left field micro- festival of eclectic music and spoken word that is breaking out of the genre ghetto and making a monthly bid for freedom of musical expression. Composer and jazz musician Dylan Rynhart programmes a sequence of deliberately contrasting acts, so there's no danger of boredom, and as if to prove his disinterestedness, there's no jazz at all on this month's the bill. But there is new music from Dublin composer and pianist Martin O'Leary; contemporary Irish-Scottish trad from harp and voice duo Triona Marshall and Alyth McCormack; experimental spoken word from Dublin-based Cypriot poet Christodoulos Makris; and a performance from highly regarded uillean piper Mick O'Brien, including a collaboration with O'Leary. Listen without prejudice and you'll be grand. CL

Chelsea Wolfe

Whelan's Dublin 8pm €20 whelanslive.com
'Doom rocker'? 'Goth/folk singer'? Do yourself a favour and ignore such boxed-off stereotyping for this Roseville, California songwriter. Of European descent, Wolfe (below) has been making her presence felt for almost seven years; her official debut album, 2010's The Grime and the Glow, set out her stall, and subsequent albums (2011's Apokalypsis, 2012's Unknown Rooms: a Collection of Acoustic Songs, and 2013's Pain is Beauty) established her as an underground act slowly blinking into the light. When her song Feral Love was featured in Season 4 trailers of Game of Thrones, the fanbase increased, as did the syncing of her music on TV shows such as The Walking Dead and Live by Night. Ultimately? An acquired taste but one that's never dull. TCL


Button Factory Dublin 10.30pm €14/€12 facebook.com/shopninecrows
Everyone digs a good party and this one has all the makings of a fabulous night out. The occasion is the return of clothing store Nine Crows to their original pitch in the Temple Bar 'hood. Founded by Emma Fraser and Dean Ryan McDaid, Nine Crows has played an influential role in Irish fashion's recent growth spurts. The first of what may become a quarterly outing sees them joining forces with Drop Everything main mover Mary Nally to create a night influenced by the great clubs of old out foreign. The mainroom has Byron Yeates, Frank B and Breen turning things on, while the sideroom features disco vibes from Sally Cinnamon and Greg Spring. In a nutshell, "a celebration of friendship, strangers, lovers, music, dressing up, heading out and Ireland right now." JC



Theatre Royal, Waterford 8pm €21 theatreroyal.ie
Their name denotes "moon" or "era" in Irish, and Liam Ó Maonlaí's band of hardy musicians shed fresh light on many songs and tunes from our tradition, and bring new compositions to the party too. Connemara singer Eithne Ní Chatháin's otherworldly sits beautifully alongside concertina player, Cormac Begley's wide open vistas, thanks to his mastery of the piccolo, treble, bass and baritone versions of his chosen instrument. Hothouse Flower Peter O'Toole and piper Maitiú Ó Casaide complete what is a highly evolved collective of musical lateral thinkers. SL

Todd Terry

Number 22 Dublin 11pm €20/€15 numbertwentytwo.ie
It's not just the name on the bill which has legendary status in this case. Number 22 is formerly the Crystal Ballroom, McGonagles and System and has gone through a few strange incarnations since re-opening in 2016 such as a dinner-dance venue called Magistorium. The arrival of Todd Terry (below) would indicate that the bookers are now trying something new again. The New Yorker is house music royalty, someone who has put his mark on the culture via a plethora of releases and remixes. Take a listen to what he did for Everything But the Girl with Missing and The Jungle Brothers' I'll House You – two remixes which very much stand the test of time. JC


Arthurs, Thomas St, Dublin, 4pm, €10, arthurspub.ie
Drummer Conor Guilfoyle is in such demand as a teacher of other stick wielders – his book on odd meters has become a standard text internationally - that live appearances are rarer than they should be. Since the late 1980s, Guilfoyle has been a major force on the Irish jazz scene, both through collaborations with his brother, bassist and composer Ronan, and leading his own Afro-Cuban bands – Dig Dis, Saoco, Havana Son and the Night in Havana Orchestra. This impromptu trio with saxophone colossus Michael Buckley and bassist Derek Whyte is likely to be a robust exchange of views, to say the least. CL

Mister Saturday Night

Pyg Dublin 9.15pm €10 pyg.ie
New York-based Derryman Eamon Harkin and his sidekick Justin Carter (below) continue to reach new heights with their Mister Saturday Night venture. It's a series of parties and label releases which have combined the duo's infectious soundtrack for good times with a desire to bring a community of like- minded souls together. Support from Colin Perkins and Robbie Kitt. JC


Liam Ó Maonlaí

Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh 7pm Adm free siriusartscentre.ie

This maritime location plays host to Hothouse Flower Ó Maonlaí (left) as part of its Easter festivities, Cruinniú na Cásca. Ó Maonlaí's reputation for effervescent live performance, whether in company or solo, means that this is a date not designed for the faint of heart. Equally at home with trad, folk and world music forms, Ó Maonlaí's reading of such sean nós stalwarts as Sadhbh Ní Bhruinneallaigh is simply and utterly peerless. His bare feet, bodhrán, piano and songbook are the tools of his trade: so hang on to your hat – and your seat. SL

The Night Institute

The Foundry Belfast 9pm £10 thenightinstitute.com
The Burden brothers are going to work it out. As Octave One, Lenny and Lawrence Burden, along with a supporting cast of up to three other brothers at times, have been producing pristine, groundbreaking techno since I Believe appeared on a 10 Records introduction to techno's new school back in 1990. Since then, the Detroit siblings have released many fine cuts (many of those mid-1990s releases for 430 West still work wonders today), remixed a rake of tracks (including DJ Rolando, Massive Attack and Inner City) and taken their show around the world. Releases such as Summers On Jupiter have shown they're good when it comes to collaborations too, with contributions from Ann Saunderson, the vocalist featured on their classic Blackwater tune, and MC P Gruv. Support from The Night Institute's Timmy Stewart and Jordan with the Tw!tch DJs in Room 2. JC


Strange Attractors

Ronnie Hughes. The Model, Sligo April 16-June 22 themodel.ie
A major survey show of the work of Ronnie Hughes, long Sligo based, who has been working and exhibiting regularly since the beginning of the 1990s. Quite early on there was a decisive shift in his work from specific representational and symbolic content to a more general engagement with forms and imagery. There were echoes and associations to what we saw, but precise meaning was not the aim. Rather the paintings became systems or worlds of their own, open to myriad interpretations. They are always beautifully made and elegant – and occasionally funny – in form. Hughes resists categorisation and is wary of such terms as abstract, representational and, even, painter. But the work speaks for itself. AD

What Good is Looking Well When You're Rotten on the Inside?

An Taidhbhearc, Galway. Previews Apr 18 Opens Apr 19-21 8pm; Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray May 6 8pm

A few weeks before he died, Paddy O'Grady, a retired civil servant and a man of few words, decided to open up. Sitting down with a tape recorder, he emerged, finally, with 15 hours of fiction, absurdist political satires, his musings on life, love and death, ballads and professional reminiscences. What does anyone do with such a late surge of material? For his granddaughter, the theatre maker Emma O'Grady, it has become a kind of bounty, spurring fond and bittersweet discoveries of his plays, poems and short stories – none of which ever met an audience. Working with four directors – Jonathan Gunning, Catherine Ireton , Caroline Lynch and Andy Smith – O'Grady has used her grandfather's varied works to create a multifaceted solo performance about fractured personas, emotional inheritance and grief for wasted creativity. It is, of course, intended as a tribute to the man, but also as a warning to others about squandered ideas. Presented as part of the Galway Theatre Festival. PC

As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics

International group show. Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Dublin Until August 27 imma.ie
One hundred years of spirituality in visual art, more or less, in more than 180 artworks. From Wassily Kandinsky and Hilma af Klint's spiritually charged abstractions to such contemporary artists as Susan Hiller, Steven McQueen and Bruce Nauman, the show offers an open-ended dialogue on the multiple perspectives on art and the spiritual. AD


Mia Cooper/Katherine Hunka/Ioana Petcu-Colan/ Helena Wood

St Ann's Church, Dawson St, Dublin 8pm €20, €15/€10 and on tour until Sat 29th musicnetwork.ie
Music Network's latest tour brings together violinists from the first desks of four Irish orchestras – the RTÉ NSO's Helena Wood, the RTÉCO's Mia Cooper, the Ulster Orchestra's Ioana Petcu-Colan, and the ICO's Katherine Hunka (below) – is a credit to the influence of immigration. Only Petcu-Colan was born in Ireland, to Romanian parents who moved to Cork in the 1970s. At the heart of the programme is Ian Wilson's Quattro Stagione, specially commissioned for the tour. MD

Al Stewart

Vicar St Dublin 7.30pm €47 ticketmaster.ie; also Thurs, Cork Opera House, €40 corkoperahouse.ie
In the late 1960s, Glasgow-born Al Stewart epitomized the UK 'bedsit' singer-songwriter scene; he crossed over into the mainstream in the mid-'70s with albums such as Year of the Cat and Time Passages, but latterly has revisited the kind of material that made his name a byword for singer-songwriter quality. Interesting fact: Stewart played at the very first Glastonbury Festival in 1970. Attendance? 1,000. Ticket price? £1. TCL


Aine Cahill

Sugar Club Dublin 8pm €20 thesugarclub.com

Cavan singer-songwriter Aine Cahill (left) wasn't too well known outside of Ireland (let alone her home town) this time last year, but her summer 2016 debut appearance at Glastonbury proved pivotal in upping her profile. Cahill was plugging her first single, Black Dahlia, in a small tent in front of casual observers, one of which was a BBC producer, who promptly asked the singer to perform the song as part of the broadcaster's live TV coverage. While Black Dahlia is still an important part of her live show, it's the latest single, Plastic, that will be placed under the spotlight tonight. This is the first of two shows here (Cahill also plays Friday April 21st), but she will be playing more Irish dates over the coming weeks and months, so keep an eye/ear out for a more than promising talent. TCL

Mark Swords: The living and the dead

Temple Bar Gallery, 5-9, Temple Bar, Dublin Until June 17 templebargallery.com
Mark Swords mentions Joyce's story The Dead in relation to this new body of work. He likes its "sense of unease" and unease is integral to the work he has made, paintings that are slightly other than paintings, that are as much about disassembly and unmaking as about making per se. As ever he is fascinated by the way things are handmade and patched together in unexpected ways. The motifs are from his daily life and include "charity shop windows, graffiti, amateur posters and signage." AD

The Paul McLoone Show – Today FM Presents Live

Connolly's of Leap, Cork 9pm Adm free
Road trip! With what looks to be a regular enough sequence of shows that will take to the highways and byways of the country, Today FM's Paul McLoone kicks off the station's 'Presents Live' gigs with a humdinger of a line-up in a humdinger of a venue. Intimate is the word, people, as three Irish acts – HamsandwicH, Slow Riot (below), Jack O'Rourke – perform live (and quite possibly dangerous). Snappy chats, excellent music, great fun? Hosted by one of the country's best presenters? In one of the country's best music venues? And free admission? Ah, c'mon! TCL

Stockton's Wing

Draíocht Arts Centre, Blanchardstown 8pm €22/€20 draiocht.ie
After a very successful run of gigs at The Temple Bar TradFest 2016 in Dublin, and a headline show at the Fleadh in Ennis, Stockton's Wing have decided to return to play venues and festivals in 2017 to celebrate 40 years and perform from their vast and eclectic back catalogue. For children of the 1980s, the Wing were a touchstone, a band that straddled trad, folk and pop, and introduced many a newcomer to the intricacies of traditional tunes. Mike Hanrahan's vocal turn on the hugely successful Beautiful Affair, supported by his brother Kieran on banjo, the seemingly ageless Paul Roche on flute, Tommy Hayes on percussion and Steve Cooney on guitar and didgeridoo. SL


Limerick Racecourse 1pm €28 facebook.com/habitatstudent
All roads lead to Patrickswell for what is billed as an one-day student dance festival, though there's enough talent on the bill to interest those not currently in academia too. The event brings together such club runners from around the country as OBE, 909, Subtech, Touch of Techno, DIE, Techno & Cans, Sweatbox, Afterlife and Faint so they're certainly sure of a turnout. Heading to the races on this occasion will be such acts as Ejeca, Phil Kieran, The Night Institute's Jordan and Timmy Stewart, Jake Nolan, Hammer, Brame & Hamo, Long Island Sound, Meadbh O'Connor and many more. It's billed as "the ultimate end of year college blowout" which may come as news to those stuck in libraries studying for end of year exams. JC

The Workshop

Arthurs, Thomas St, Dublin, 8.30pm, €10, arthurspub.ie
In a world of head-scratchingly obtuse band names, Workshop is an unexpectedly helpful handle for this promising new quintet, the coming together of five thirtysomething Dublin musicians who, individually and collectively, have been responsible for some of the more interesting (and more obtusely denominated) domestic jazz projects of the past decade: bassist Cormac O Brien and Cape Town saxophonist Chris Engel have most recently been collaborating on their knotty duo Disquietude; keyboardist Darragh O'Kelly is the wayward, unpredictable harmonic force in electro-acoustic four-piece OKO; trumpeter Bill Blackmore is the first-call horn for everyone from Rhythm Method and Trihornophone to Jerry Fish and Bell X1; while Matt Jacobson is consistently one of the busiest drummers in town, running his own projects such as RedivideR and Insufficient Funs, as well as touring with Irish jazz supergroup Roamer. As the name suggests, Workshop will take compositions from all five as starting points for collective improvisation – where they end up, well, that's what it's all about. CL