Erasure, Jeff Tweedy and Gus Dapperton: The best rock and pop this week

Tradfest kicks off on Saturday as The Oh Hellos and Rosborough play at Whelan’s

Tradfest: sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer's debut Irish performance is on Sunday at Dublin Castle

Tradfest: sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer's debut Irish performance is on Sunday at Dublin Castle


Saturday Jan 27

Tradfest 2018
Saturday, January 27th and Sunday 28th, various venues in Dublin city centre
The annual Tradfest continues this week with a really classy line-up of traditional music shows, but the non-traditional is just as good. Tonight sees Martha Wainwright, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Shirley Collins perform (unfortunate schedule clash alert!) in different venues – respectively St Patrick’s Cathedral, St Werburgh’s Church and St Michan’s Church. Tomorrow, Sunday (the final day of the festival), features the debut Irish performance, in Dublin Castle, of sisters Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer, whose early background reads like a dramatic movie but whose combined music turns personal travails into a shared guilty pleasure. See for details of all events. TCL

Sofi Tukker. Photograph: Luis Mora
New York duo grace the Button Factory. Photograph: Luis Mora

Sofi Tukker 
The Button Factory, Dublin, €18, Saturday, January 27th,
The New York duo Sofi Tukker, made up of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern, have succeeded in marrying bubblegum pop aesthetics and house beats with the impenetrable filth of a basement club. Look no further than their song Best Friend, featuring NERVO, The Knocks and Alisa Ueno, for a sample of their work. LB

Glenn Rosborough. Photograph: Jonny McGilloway/
Glenn Rosborough plays at Whelan's Upstairs. Photograph: Jonny McGilloway/

Whelan’s Upstairs Dublin 8pm, €13, Saturday, January 27th
Another display of talent from Derry, Glenn Rosborough’s influences are first-rate – Kate Bush, David Bowie, Prince, The Stooges – while his delivery is good enough to cut through the usual perceptions of singer-songwriters as being perhaps too worthy for their own good. Presently finessing his debut album, Rosborough will preview it as well as perform his latest single, Burn Blue. TCL

The Oh Hellos
Whelan’s, Dublin €21.99, Saturday, January 27th,
While most siblings can’t sit through one car journey without a squabble, The Oh Hellos – sisters Maggie and Tyler Heath – are getting along just fine. The Texan siblings have been making music as The Oh Hellos since 2011 and, five albums later, their indie folk shows no signs of in-house fighting; they’re just tackling bigger issues such as tribalism and nationalism on their single Torches. Gentle, poetic and, well, nice, their music is like a much-needed reassuring hug. LB

Cobalt Café, 16 North Great George’s Street 7.45pm €16.50, Saturday, January 27th
Pretty much every Nighthawks event sells out in jig-time, so you had best be quick off the mark for this one. Once again, the line-up is an example of how to programme an event that is diverse and adventurous without taking an eye off commercial appeal. The music acts include Jinx Lennon, The Crayon Set, Sive, and Eclectic Swingfolk. Comedy comes from Edwin Sammon, and spoken word/poetry from Erin Fornoff. All acts are quality, and the venue is lovely. What are you waiting for? TCL

Sunday Jan 28

The Weather Station
The Grand Social, Dublin €15
With Tamara Lindeman’s music, she has a way of making you feel like she’s sharing her woes and her secrets with you and you alone. As The Weather Station, the Canadian actress pours her soul into music and the honesty is stunning. Like Martha Wainwright, Lindeman doesn’t hold back on her stories, which can make for an all-too-real and familiar connection. Expect an intimate evening with an exceptional songwriter. LB

The Menzingers
Whelan’s, Dublin €22, Sunday, January 28th
“Where are we gonna go now that our twenties are over?” sings Greg Barnett on Tellin’ Lies, the opening track to The Menzingers’ latest album After the Party. The punk act ask the same questions anyone born before 1988 asks themselves every day. If you have a ticket to this sold-out gig, go and get all sweaty in Whelan’s but get home and be in bed before midnight because that’s what you do now that your twenties are over. LB

Monday Jan 29

Author Willy Vlautin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Author Willy Vlautin returns to Ireland for a number of Words & Music evenings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Willy Vlautin
Whelan’s Dublin 8pm €15.50 Also Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast Sunday, January 28th
US writer and musician Willy Vlautin, formerly of the highly lauded Richmond Fontaine and The Delines, returns to Ireland for a number of Words & Music evenings. Joined by Irish pedal steel player David Murphy, Vlautin will be performing songs from his esteemed back catalogue and reading from his latest (fifth) novel, Don’t Skip Out On Me. The author/songwriter will also be in conversation with Hot Press journalist, Roisin Dwyer. TCL

The Original Elvis TCB Band
National Concert Hall Dublin 8pm €55/€50/€45/€30, Monday, January 29th,
That’s a fairly long-winded title for such a taut bunch of musicians, but let there be no mistake about this – any band that features Taking Care of Business boyos James Burton (guitarist), Ronnie Tutt (drums) and Glen D. Hardin (piano) has to be taken note of. Forget about the “cabaret” Elvis Presley malarkey, too. This crack team hit the mark every time, with Burton, in particular, delivering notes as if they’re going out of style (he isn’t dubbed The Master of the Telecaster for nothing). A gig for the rock’n’roll connoisseur. TCL

Erasure play sold-out gigs at the Olympia

Olympia theatre Dublin 7pm €54.50, Monday, January 29th, (sold out) Also Tues/Wed, same venue (sold out)
Thirty-three years after they formed, Erasure’s Vince Clarke and Andy Bell show little sign of holding up the white flag and surrendering to either fatigue or lack of interest. Indeed, from their 1986 debut album, Wonderland, to last year’s World Be Gone, the duo has steadfastly ignored even semi-retirement age (Clarke is 57, Bell is 53, and has had his two hips replaced). The career continues apace, then, and with all three gigs sold out so it seems does the love from the fans. We predict a riot of glitter, sparkling electro-pop, and – sore hips notwithstanding – uninhibited dancing. TCL

Tuesday Jan 30

Jeff Tweedy
Jeff Tweedy: fans are in for a treat

Jeff Tweedy
Vicar St Dublin 7.30pm €40
There is a special place in some people’s hearts for Jeff Tweedy. From his involvement in highly respected bands such as Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, the Illinois-born songwriter has become something of a touchstone for anyone who likes the jagged intersection of raw folk and punk rock. Fans of his former bands are in for a treat, however, as this show – ostensibly plugging last year’s solo album, Together at Last – will see Tweedy generously flick through his back pages. TCL

Wednesday Jan 31

Ulaid & Duke Special
Whelan’s Dublin 8pm €22
You would have thought that such a standalone songwriter as Duke Special – who has a substantial back catalogue of singular solo work – would have given little thought to officially collaborating with other musicians, but Duke (aka Peter Wilson) made the right choice when he aligned his talents with the traditional group, Ulaid. Promoting last year’s album, A Note Let Go, expect familiarity and its direct opposite to sneak up behind you and hit you on the back of the head. In a nice way. TCL

Pale Waves
The Grand Social, Dublin €12.75, Wednesday, January 31st,
In their video for Television Romance, Pale Waves are a tapestry of Fred Perry shirts, The Cure hair and My Chemical Romance-inspired make-up tutorials and musically they’re an indie pop dream. The Manchester four-piece sound like they were reared on the emo-wave of the late noughties and 1980s post-punk nostalgia but by adding lashing of electropop to their songs, there’s something quite refreshing about them. Pale Waves emit heartfelt pop that has a dark side. LB

Thursday Feb 1

Gus Dapperton
The 20-year-old looks set to make his Irish debut something to remember

Gus Dapperton
The Workman’s Club Dublin 8pm €15.60
Word-of-mouth is spreading like, well, gossip about this Warwick, New York, indie singer, songwriter/performer. Originally slated for a Whelan’s show, the demand for tickets was such that the show was upgraded. Is Dapperton worth the buzz? We reckon so. What with the idiosyncratic style (skinnymalink frame, pudding bowl haircut, supersize-me spectacles) and songs that mix-n-match real-life scenarios with clever pop melodies, the 20-year-old looks set to make his Irish debut something to remember. TCL

Friday Feb 2

K4 Events & Tea Party presents Eli Escobar
Wigwam, Dublin €11.16 – €16.44
New York DJ Eli Escobar is going to work some magic this coming Friday by turning Wigwam’s basement space into a pulsating cathedral for anyone that worships at the altar of house and disco. With a hefty remix back catalogue boasting big names like Diplo, M.I.A., Britney Spears, Chromeo, Holy Ghost! and Amanda Blank, he proves that he can easily turn whip an existing frenzy into a total inferno. He’s far too generous really.

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