Gig guide: The best pop, rock and hip-hop concerts this week

Dionne Warwick pays a visit, while a queer communist group puts the ‘party’ in ‘political party’

Titus Andronicus

Titus Andronicus

 

Saturday, September 8th

Lucius

Lucius

St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, 7.30pm, €28/€20(sold out), ticketmaster.ie

Formed in Brooklyn, NYC, but now resident in Los Angeles, indie pop mavericks Lucius are the kind of band that basks in the reflected glow of hipsterdom yet manages to break free of the limited appeal that such radiance allows. We have seen the two female lead vocalists very recently in Ireland – Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig were featured singers at the Roger Waters gig at Dublin’s 3Arena at the end of June – but that doesn’t mean we’ll be wary of their swift return. Indeed, the band delivers a singular blend of music that we’re very much looking forward to – a mix, it has been noted, of Arcade Fire and Haim. Such blissed-out music in a cathedral, too? Bring it on. Tony Clayton-Lea

Inhaler

Whelan’s Upstairs, Dublin, 8pm, €11, whelanslive.com

Dublin band Inhaler will know all about the glare of the media soon enough, but possibly not for all the right reasons. With a singer in the band by the name of Eli Hewson, you can bet your bottom cent that some onlookers will be here (and at other gigs) just to get a look at Bono’s son. Fair enough, I suppose, but the music (or what we have heard of it) is a firmer reason to check Inhaler out. Debut single, I Want You, is a fine song that bodes well. Give them time and let them breathe, is what we say. TCL

Glitter Hole: The Fianna Fellatio Launch Party

The Complex, Dublin, €15, fringefest.com

As part of Dublin Fringe Festival’s diverse line-up, the DIY drag collective Glitter Hole are putting on one hell of a live event that meshes together disco, radical politics and pure craic. Fianna Fellatio is Ireland’s brand new queer communist party and this BYOB event will have a different performance to accompany the different intentions of their wild and varied manifesto. Good for a bop, this performance will evolve into a dance party like no other. Louise Bruton

Emma Blackery

Whelan’s Upstairs, Dublin, €20, whelanslive.com

Taking a leaf out of the Taylor Swift and Paramore guide to pop music, Emma Blackery creates upbeat songs with emotionally astute and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. The English singer-songwriter also moonlights as a YouTube vlogger, one that has more than 1.4 million subscribers, and her debut album Villains will no doubt benefit from her online success. This all-ages show is also a matinee performance that kicks off at 2pm, just in case you didn’t read the small print. LB

Sunday, September 9th

Titus Andronicus (Acoustic)

Whelan’s, Dublin, 8pm, €18, whelanslive.com; also Monday Derry, Bennigans Bar, 8pm, £10; Tuesday Limerick Pharmacia, 8pm, €5

Ha! The New Jersey band “specialising in punk solutions since 2005” (so their website has it) arrives in Ireland for a few somewhat quieter performance than they are used to. Ten years ago, their debut album, The Airing of Grievances, was described by Pitchfork as “violent, overblown and irreverent”, and the plaudits haven’t stopped since. Usually granite-tough with guitars and melodies to the fore, it will be interesting to hear how the stripped-back material will hold up. Pretty damned good, we reckon. TCL 

Gwenifer Raymond

Gwenifer Raymond

Whelan’s, Dublin, 8pm, €12, whelanslive.com

Have you heard the one about the eight-year-old girl who discovered Nirvana via a cassette of Nevermind her mother gave her, and who then went on to nab a PhD in astrophysics only to relinquish a career in this field for a left-of-centre life playing the blues music of the US Delta and Appalachia? Gwenifer Raymond’s love of Nirvana directed her to their cover of Lead Belly’s Where Did You Sleep Last Night, and from that point on there was no denying where her first love lay. Raymond’s 2018 debut album, You Were Never Much of a Dancer, has guided people towards her mix of primitive guitar playing and eerie Americana. The result is so bewitching it has to be heard to be believed. Alternative gig of the week. TCL

Monday, September 10th

Dionne Warwick

Vicar Street, Dublin, 7.30pm, €69.50, ticketmaster.ie

Aretha Franklin held many achievements – one such was that she was the most charted female singer in pop music history. Second only to Aretha is Dionne Warwick, who, at the age of 77, is still venturing out to perform rare shows. Now fully recovered after surgery on her ankle (following a fall at her home in 2015), Warwick remains a standard-bearer for the delivery of songs from a classic era in pop music – notably a batch of material written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. While there is no guarantee that Warwick will pay tribute to the memory of Aretha Franklin (we are guessing she will), there’s no doubt that songs of the quality of Walk On By, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie, and I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself will be aired. Two words: class act. TCL

slowthai

The Workman’s Club, Dublin, €14.35, theworkmansclub.com

Borrowing heavily from London’s thriving grime scene, Northampton man slowthai is putting an aggressive snarl and small-town frustrations into songs like Drug Dealer and T N Biscuits. Pushing out a steady stream of singles since 2016 and one EP, 2017’s I Wish I Knew, the 23-year-old doesn’t disguise his accent as he tows the line between brashly dark humour and harsh criticism of the society we live in. Expect a full-on and energetic show. LB

Heather Nova

Heather Nova

Whelan’s, Dublin, 8pm, €22, whelanslive.com

Heather Nova gigs in Ireland are as rare as hen’s teeth, so you may wish to acquaint yourself with this Bermudian singer-songwriter who spent most of her childhood sailing throughout the Caribbean and Atlantic waters and coasts on a boat built by her father. Such an apparently sublime upbringing infused Nova (real name Heather Frith, the daughter of a native of Nova Scotia) with an unaffected sense of wonder and positivity, two facets that connect all the way from her 1993 debut album (Glow Stars) to her latest, 2015’s The Way it Feels. Never glitzy, always classy, a super Nova your way comes. TCL

Incubus

Ulster Hall, Belfast, 8pm, £42, ulsterhall.co.uk; also Tuesday Dublin, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, 8pm, €55.65, bordgaisenergytheatre.ie

Despite the spookiness of the origins of the band’s name, Californian metal act Incubus has attained a considerable level of commercial success over the past 20 years, with more than 23 million record sales. Albums such as 1999’s Make Yourself, 2001’s Morning View, and 2004’s A Crow Left of the Murder . . . provided Incubus with a steadfast fanbase that knew the difference between them and acts such as Korn and Staind. The difference? Diversity, which co-founding guitarist Mike Einziger has stated is their “greatest asset and biggest flaw”. A treat for metal fans, then, and two swish venues in which to shake dandruff over people. TCL

Friday, September 14

Hilary Woods,

Hilary Woods

Sugar Club, Dublin, 7.30pm, €16, thesugarclub.com

Dublin singer-songwriter Hilary Woods is making music in recent years that could hardly be more removed from the kind she was involved in performing almost 20 years ago. Back then, she was the stoic presence in the riotously single-minded Irish band JJ72; latterly, she has delivered music influenced by much calmer approaches. Two well-received EPs were followed by this year’s debut solo album, Colt, which prompted this paper to note in its review just how good Woods is at “capturing tonal moments and captivating the listener with them”. TCL

Fatai

Whelan’s Upstairs, Dublin, €15, whelanslive.com

Ever since singer Fatai appeared on the first season of the Australian version of The Voice in 2012, she has been putting in the hours to lift her career off the ground. Perhaps a victim of the oversaturation of TV talent shows, she’s gone from signing with Mercury Records to becoming an independent artist in 2015, but she has found a huge online following reworking and covering songs like Sia’s Chandelier and Sam Smith’s Stay. LB

Wyvern Lingo

Róisín Dubh, Galway, €20, roisindubh.net

Fresh from a performance at this year’s Electric Picnic, Wyvern Lingo are the kind of band that you can see multiple times and find something new to marvel about them each time. From their flawless harmonies to the ease with which they rotate instruments and blend genres, the trio from Bray are one of Ireland’s finest live acts. Their debut album I Love You, Sadie is considerd one of The Irish Times’s best Irish albums of the year so embrace them . . . immediately. LB

Engine Alley

The Workman’s Club, Dublin, 8pm, €16.50, theworkmansclub.com

Back in the early ‘90s, Kilkenny band Engine Alley released their debut album, A Sonic Holiday, and disappeared from view relatively quickly afterwards. The usual problems undermined plans and ambitions, but if the band is little more than a memory, the album remains one of the best records of that time. The band’s long-awaited (missing, presumed lost) third album, Showroom, out this week, comprises material that was written more than 20 years ago but which was never released, and the band are playing rare shows as launching pads for it. A fine rock band then and now, and one that always has an eye on and appetite for something brilliantly odd, Engine Alley also play Kilkenny venue Cleere’s on Saturday, September 15th. TCL

Fuinneamh

Bellurgan Park, Co Louth, €120, fuinneamh.ie; until Sunday, September 16th

Just when you thought the outdoor festivals had drawn the curtains for the year, in comes Fuinneamh. Named after the Irish word for “energy”, Fuinneamh promises “ a festival of psychologically enthralling wonder and beauty”, with musicians, DJs, producers, artists and performers collaborating across the board. With local acts like Primary Colours, Colin Devine, Executive Steve and Niall Cleary performing, you’ll be needing a fair bit of energy to get you across the finishing line of the final, FINAL festival of the summer. LB

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