Folk opera, Kraut-psych and punk thuggery: this week’s rock/pop highlights

Get thee to Micah P Hinson, Ulrika Spacek, The Stunning, Jenny Hval, The Fontaines, Vitalic, The Mountain Goats, Duke Special, Session Motts and Future Proof with Nialler 9

Micah P Hinson is in Galway on Friday, Cork on Saturday and Dublin on Sunday

Micah P Hinson is in Galway on Friday, Cork on Saturday and Dublin on Sunday

 

Micah P Hinson
Róisín Dubh, Galway Friday October 6th 9pm €14/€12 roisindubh.net
Cyprus Avenue Cork Saturday, October 7th 8pm €15
cyprusavenue.ie
Whelan’s, Dublin Sunday October 8th 8pm €16.50
whelanslive.com

American singer-songwriter Micah P Hinson has been through several stylistic changes in the past 10 years, but his latest album, Presents the Holy Strangers, is something different altogether. Describing it as a “modern folk opera”, Hinson relates the life story of a family, from birth to death and all points, trials and tribulations in between. Prepare for a full run-through of the concept album, as well as songs across the back catalogue. Support on all dates is one of our favourite Irish artists, Paddy Hanna.

The Stunning
Olympia Theatre, Dublin Friday October 6th 7.30pm €28 (sold out) ticketmaster.ie

Thirty years is a good innings for any rock band, and so the Wall brothers, Joe and Steve, can confidently congratulate each other on keeping the show on the road (as well as with their other band, The Walls, of course). Fondly remembered by an Irish audience weaned on Trip to Tipp festivals and the like, The Stunning has nonetheless continued recording and releasing music – such as latest single Brighten up my Life – that has attracted a much younger demographic. Which means there will be people much younger than 50 years of age at this celebratory 30th anniversary gig. Kudos, guys, kudos.   

Jenny Hval is at the NCH on Friday
Jenny Hval is at the NCH on Friday

Jenny Hval
National Concert Hall (Studio), Dublin Friday October 6th 8pm €20 nch.ie

It isn’t every month that a female songwriter releases an album influenced by 1970s exploitation/horror movies, vampires, menstrual blood and Virginia Woolf, but Norway’s Jenny Hval did that just over a year ago with her sixth studio album, Blood Bitch. In doing so, Hval admitted to Pitchfork, she could tell “a different story about myself and my own time: a poetic diary of modern transience and transcendence”. Expect a lucid performance of music that this paper (in a review of Blood Bitch last year) described as “soft-synth drone, spoken word, musique concrète, and an undertone of the gentlest black metal you’ll ever hear.”

Ulrika Spacek
The Workman’s Club, Dublin Saturday October 7th 8pm €15 theworkmansclub.com

It is no secret that we at Ticket Towers have a weakness for any band that bows in front of Television and The Only Ones, and while we would be doing a disservice to London-based Ulrika Spacek to claim them as nothing other than Tom Verlaine’s and Peter Perrett’s number one fans, we nonetheless have a sneaking suspicion that copies of Marquee Moon and Even Serpents Shine have found their way into the band’s record collection. This noted, expect the wooziest, druggiest, downright coolest gig of the week.

Ulrika Spacek are at the Workman’s Club on Saturday
Ulrika Spacek are at the Workman’s Club on Saturday

The Fontaines
Button Factory, Dublin Saturday October 7th 7.30pm €10 buttonfactory.ie
Crane Lane Theatre, Cork Thursday, October 12th 9pm €10
cranelanetheatre.ie
Brewery Corner, Kilkenny Friday October 13th 8pm

Ten months ago in Dingle, The Fontaines played a few gigs on the Other Voices Music Trail. They stood out from quite a few other bands because you could see they were hooked by a particular spirit and approach; not only that, but they got the approach and the spirit bang-on. On Saturday night, the band launches its second single, Hurricane Laughter, and if you’re after a spot of sonic punk-thuggery, you’d do an awful lot worse, etc.

The Fontaines launch their second single, Hurricane Laughter, with an Irish tour
The Fontaines launch their second single, Hurricane Laughter, with an Irish tour

Vitalic
District 8, Dublin Saturday October 7th €16.44-€21.92 district8dublin.com

It’s 12 years since the release of Vitalic’s OK Cowboy and Pascal Arbez, the French electronic DJ, is yet to cause a stampede as vicious as they ones caused by My Friend Dario or La Rock 01, with people practical throwing themselves onto the dance floor. 2017’s Voyager isn’t as hectic as previous offerings, leaning more into the disco side of things, but prepare for your feet to become a different entity to the rest of your body if you attend the District 8 gig.

The Mountain Goats
Button Factory, Dublin Sunday October 8th 7.30pm €22 (sold out) buttonfactory.ie

It is over 25 years since John Darnielle founded The Mountain Goats, and you can still hear genteel gasps of admiration from their staunchly loyal fanbase. The band (effectively a vehicle for Darnielle’s inventive, wry songwriting) remains a lo-fi music entity and so continues a below-the-radar trajectory. Lovers of idiosyncratic, quasi-conceptual songwriting (latest album, Goths, is about Darnielle’s teen years listening to the likes of Joy Division, The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Sisters of Mercy) need look no further.  

The Mountain Goats are at the Button Factory, Dublin on Sunday
The Mountain Goats are at the Button Factory, Dublin on Sunday

Duke Special
Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Co Mayo Wednesday October 11th 8pm €18/€16 thelinenhall.com
Visual, Carlow Thursday October 12th 8pm €15
visualcarlow.ie

Innovative and adventurous, and often inspired by the works of artists he admires, Northern Irish songwriter Peter Wilson always goes to where the fancy takes him, and his latest album, Hallow, sees him once again stepping out of apparent comfort zones. Eschewing original lyrics for a song suite based on the work of Belfast poet Michael Longley, the album takes serene flight across topics as authentic as truth, love, friends, tragedy and art. The Duke’s nationwide tour continues into next week until October 29th. Visit dukespecial.com/tour for full details.  

Future Proof #5 presented by Nialler9 & Homebeat in association with O’Hara’s
Bello Bar, Dublin Wednesday October 11th €8-€13 bellobardublin.com

The Future Proof series is an excellent way to discover new Irish acts, hand-delivered to you by Nialler9 and Homebeat. Get to know folk duo Ye Vagabonds, who are known to share a story or two between songs, Belgian multi-instrumentalist and composer Éna Brennan, known as Dowry, who uses the looping technique to lure you in and the totally submersive SYLK!, who serve up rolling, electronic songs with a side dish of haunting. Grand.

Session Motts
The Workman’s Club, Thursday October 12th 8pm €10 theworkmansclub.com

Eye-catching name aside, Session Motts successfully combine dreamy pop and rock, while nodding back to the sounds of Pulp, Suede and Pet Shop Boys, creating vibrant stories within songs. Lead vocalist Keeley Moss has done a wondrous job at penning songs like Chip Shop Fights, Plundered Past and their most recent single Back in the Day, using witty turns of phrase over flowing synths, cutting guitars and dancing beats.

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