Going out for Christmas? Catch Damo, Jack L, Jerry Fish and Nialler9

Rock and pop highlights for the week include Talos, Rofi James and Mango + Mathman

Damien Dempsey does two nights in Vicar St on Saturday and Sunday

Damien Dempsey does two nights in Vicar St on Saturday and Sunday



Vicar St, Dublin 7.30pm €32.50 (sold out) ticketmaster.ie; also Sunday December 23rd, same venue

Between seeing Dublin songwriter Damien Dempsey barely holding back the tears (and the anger) on RTÉ’s genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? and the release of his latest album, Union (which features depth-charged duets with the likes of John Grant, Kate Tempest, Sinead O’Connor and Imelda May), 2018 has been an emotional one for him. Dempsey’s strengths, however, lay in the battling of such poignancy, as well as having a persona that is as gentle as it is no-nonsense. TCL

Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny 8pm €25 watergatetheatre.com; also Friday December 28th, St Iberius Church, Wexford €27 7.15pm

Equal parts musician, showman, rock star, preacher and smooth singer, Jack Lukeman has been at the entertaining game since 1995. He has just completed a full UK tour as support to The Proclaimers, so these shows are ideal opportunities to see him as a headline act. If you can’t make them, you might catch him next Saturday, December 29th, at Crescent Concert Hall, Drogheda, Co Louth; Monday December 31st, Everyman Theatre, Cork; Friday January 4th, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Co Laois; and Saturday January 5th, Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. TCL

isín Dubh, Galway €20.90 roisindubh.net

Wrapping up a successful year touring his stunning debut album Wild Alee, this is the final date of the Cork musician Talos’s tour, which saw him play gigs in London, Cork, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto and Dublin. With the release of his new pop-leaning single See Me in November, Talos, or Eoin French to his friends and family, is already putting the wheels in motion for his second album, which should hopefully arrive in 2019. LB

The Workman’s Club, Dublin €7-€15 theworkmansclub.com

To finish off the musical year on a high, Nialler9 has curated a gig that features four Irish acts that you must play on heavy rotation on Spotify. On the bill for the night, we have dark-electro act Bad Bones, Dublin-based electro-indie group Tanjier, otherworldly alt-pop Cork group Happyalone, and a performance of Fried Plantains Collective’s spoken-word and hip-hop show Black Jam. LB

The Loft, Galway 9pm €8 sevenbridgestreet.ie

This Galway band have been putting in the hard work over the past two years, traipsing around the country supporting the likes of The Coronas, Picture This, Wild Youth, The Riptide Movement and Hermitage Green. They return to this venue – a home from home, effectively – for the launch gig of their new single, I Tried, which is from their latest EP, Helium. If you’re not in the Galway area for this one, fear not – Rofi James kickstart 2019 with a show in Dublin’s Cobblestone Pub on Friday January 11th. TCL

Live at St Luke’s, Cork 8pm €20 liveatstlukes.com

Dundalk, Co Louth native David Keenan’s star has risen so much this year that he seems assured of stratospheric lift-off in 2019. A recent example of how such a thing could happen was his performance three weeks ago at St James’s Church, Dingle, as part of Other Voices. Coming on like a precocious eight-year-old, Keenan overturned any niggling doubts the audience may have had by delivering a set that was equally fine-tuned and on a knife’s edge. Frankly, we haven’t seen anything like it for some time. In other words: go see. TCL


District 8, Dublin €16.64 district8dublin.com

Some people might consider Belgian DJ and producer Charlotte de Witte as a new kid on the block, but if you’re on the lookout for some new techno to sink your teeth into, she has plenty of sets available online for you to enjoy. You can look up her Brussels Boiler Room set on Soundcloud or check out her BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, which features original songs and tracks from Cleric, Amotik and Mooz. LB


Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Co Donegal 9pm €10 balorartscentre.com

We first set eyes on Makings about 18 months ago at a Battle of the Bands-type event as part of Vantastival; they may not have won but their fusion of hard knocks and electro-pop was enough to make an impression. They have been hard at work since then, this year releasing new material (exceptional electro tunes such as Blackhole, Pulse and Beck N Call) as well as receiving new members into the group. This show is part of their annual Huckster’s Ball, which features a full show by the group, special music guests, and DJs. If you’re a Southerner, take heart – Makings also play at Grand Social, Dublin on Saturday December 29th. TCL

The Bernard Shaw, Dublin Adm free thebernardshaw.com

The Father Ted Day in the Bernard Shaw is more than just a tradition at this stage – it’s a pilgrimage for those that need to exit their family home. Partake in the tea-tasting competition from 7pm, have a bop at the My Lovely Horse Disco from 8pm, try to win the Father Ted Quiz at 9pm or enter the Lovely Girls Competition at 8pm. Fancy dress is not just welcomed but encouraged. Ah, go on. LB


Dolan’s Upstairs, Limerick 8pm €21 dolans.ie

Jerry Fish is one of the country’s most valued showmen, a creative hustler who knows how to impart an understating of what it means to have a good time. Life, however, can be too fast-paced sometimes – even for Mr Fish – and so the man’s intimate “Piano Tour” takes it down a note or two by presenting his best-known material in a calmer fashion. You’ll still have a blast, of course, but this time you’ll have the pleasure of Jerry “Lee Lewis” Fish taking centre stage. Mr Fish also pays visits to Cork’s Live at St Luke’s, Sunday December 30th, and Crescent Concert Hall, Drogheda, Co Louth, Friday January 4th. TCL

Wigwam, Dublin €11.40- €14.10 wigwamdublin.com

“Stand up for the man of the year, Mango they call me a badman.” As the winners of 2018’s Irish Tatler music men of the year, Mango x Mathman have rightly prophesied their success – and long may it reign. If you haven’t seen the MC and DJ in action, tear yourself away from your telly and join them in the basement of Wigwam for a sweaty, bassy affair. Support on the night comes from DJs Shampain and Ed Fay. LB

The Bernard Shaw, Dublin Adm free thebernardshaw.com

Promising some house, Afro, electro, breaks and “lots of weirdness in between with a healthy side of cranberry sauce”, Santo from the label Orange Tree Edits, Andy from the Night Neighbourhood and Oisin from Sauce are turning this night into a reunion as they return from the very far-flung places of New York, London and . . . Stoneybatter. Besides, it’s time that you left the house and stretched the legs a bit. LB


Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick 8pm €25 dolans.ie

One of Ireland’s most admired songwriters, Mick Flannery is using the month of December to clear the decks in his early 2019 schedule to make way for a long journey to the west coast of the US – Seattle and Portland. We suspect the Clare-based singer-songwriter will be writing and recording songs for his sixth album (a concept one, we are led to believe), which means performances at these gigs might include a few brand new songs. Also Saturday December 29th, The Crown, Wexford; Sunday December 30th, Róisín Dubh, Galway. TCL

Grand Social, Dublin 8pm €10 thegrandsocial.ie

Fair play to #4Bands, a collective featuring Meekau Ju, Sun Shakers, Regroovanation, and Shakalak – they rehearse together, record together and put on collaborative events. The quartet of groups first co-headlined in October at Dublin venue the Underground, and their first outing in 2019 will be at a bigger venue. Tonight, though, it’s bye-bye to 2018 as each group (all highly proficient in the areas of soul, Afrobeat, funk, psychedelic R&B and hip-hop) showcase what they have to offer. While it is undesirable (if not unfair) to mention just one group, we have a duty to point out that Shakalak is the music project of one of Ireland’s finest spoken-word artists, John Cummins. TCL

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