Going out this weekend? Here’s the best of what to see and do

Our critical picks of the best festivals, exhibitions and gigs on around the country

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


Sea Sessions

Bundoran, County Donegal 1pm €124.90/€99.90/€49.50 ticketmaster.ie Also Sat/Sun, Donegal (Sat day tickets sold out)
This three-day event nabbed the IMRO Live Music Festival of the 2016, and is a firm favourite with the student community (no surprise, considering it starts on the final day of the Leaving Certificate), It is, therefore, geared to allow the loveable tykes to let off some long suppressed steam.

The event has always been good for established and emerging Irish acts, too, and while some of the headliners aren't from around these parts (Sigma, Dreadzone, Primal Scream), you'll find that the majority of the line-up across the weekend is quality homegrown fare. Personal tips? All Tvvins, Little Hours, Orchid Collective (above, Friday), Otherkin, Wyvern Lingo, Talos (Saturday), Bitch Falcon, Jack O'Rourke, Aine Cahill (Sunday). TCL

Blas Summer School

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, until June 30th. blas.ie
Now a linchpin of the traditional music calendar, this forensically curated summer school is a glorious melding of workshops, masterclasses, sessions, lunchtime and evening concerts, where the great, the good and the aspiring of the tradition gather with intent.


This year's guests include Goitse (above), Karan Casey, Niall and Caoimhín Vallely and sean nós singer, Gearóidín Breathnach. Weaving in, around and between the slated visitors are the students of the World Academy: breathing fresh life into tunes and songs and maybe, just maybe, raising the hackles of some audience members. Predictability is not Blas's middle name. SL

Tw!tch - Steffi Doms

Queens Students Union Belfast 10pm £10 twitchbelfast.com
Steffi Doms made her name as one of those at the helm of the Panorama Bar, the house-orientated space at the top of east Berlin's Berghain club. Before landing in Berlin and hooking up with the Ostgut Ton crew, Doms was a key figure in Amsterdam's underground scene through club nights and her work with Dexter on the Klakson label.

Aside from her DJ-ing work, her productions on albums like You & Me and Power of Anonymity are also worthy of note, with tunes like Sadness showcasing her moody, classical house takes. Tonight marks the start of a regular residency for Doms in Belfast and she's supported by her long-standing collaborator Virginia and the Tw!tch DJs. JC

Breaking Rainbows - Orla Barry

Crawford Art Gallery, Emmet Place, Cork. Exhibition June 24-August 26 (Performance Friday 23 June, 6pm. Booking via Cork Midsummer Festival:  corkmidsummer.com/crawfordartgallery.ie
The latest iteration of artist and shepherd Orla Barry's performance work and exhibition installation. In a series of vignettes utilising 300 kilos of wool from Barry's Co Wexford sheep farm (pedigree Lleyn sheep, in case you're wondering) and a succession of "aural landscapes", Barry teases out the tangled, often uneasy relationships between "wo/man and animal", artist and shepherd, human beings and the natural and agricultural worlds.

Her freeform narrative encompasses sheep farming lore, the singing competitions of Greek shepherds, gender stereotyping, consumerism and the strange marathon of the lambing season. Linguistically inventive, Barry has an eye and an ear for the surreality that lurks at the heart of the ordinary. AD

Dónal Lunny and Paddy Glackin

St. John's Theatre, Listowel 8pm €16/€14 stjohnstheatrelistowel.com
Two longtime collaborators, Lunny and Glackin can trace their musical lineage all the way back to The Bothy Band and beyond.

Lunny's distinctive percussive bouzouki style was responsible for luring many an errant listener to traditional music, while Glackin's Donegal-accented fiddle style mined many a deep emotion. Tonight sees them saddle up together again: a welcome chance to catch two grand masters close up and personal. SL

Jane Cassidy and Maurice Leyden

An Góilín Singers Club, The Teachers Club, 36, Parnell Square 9pm €3 goilin.com
A celebration of the songs of Ulster from Cassidy and Leyden, both of whom have released albums very recently. Cassidy's Silverbridge and Leyden's The Tern And The Swallow are able companion pieces, with the former rooted in Cassidy's own poetry with Leyden's collection focussed on songs of exile, emigration, conflicted love trysts and copious other picaresque conundrums. A singer's and listener's delight. SL


Phil Collins

Aviva Stadium Dublin 6pm €89.50 ticketmaster.ie
Back in the day, former UK gunslinger for hire Julie Burchill called Phil Collins the ugliest man in Britain, but the former Genesis drummer and vocalist had the last laugh as he went on to sell more than 100 million records and have more UK Top 40 hit singles than any other artist of the 1980s. As the years passed and levels of popularity waxed and waned, his music was picked up by US urban artists such as Kanye and Beyoncé, as well as being sampled by too many hip-hop/R&B acts to mention.

The latest tip of the hat to his influence? The drum intro of In The Air Tonight is prominently sampled on Lorde's new album. Special guests at this show include Mike & the Mechanics (fronted by his former Genesis band mate, Mike Rutherford, so expect a Genesis tribute) and Blondie (whose latest album, Pollinator, is a '78 throwback cracker). TCL

Pride Block Party

Tivoli Theatre Grounds, Dublin 4pm €20/€18/€15 twitter.com/MotherDublin
There ain't no block party like Mother's Pride Block Party. Taking over the Tivoli in the heart of the Liberties, the Mother crew come on strong with all the bangers and glitter canons you need for a colourful post-parade wig-out.

Topping the bill is Swedish pop star and Eurovision 2012 winner Loreen (above) who will be tearing things up with Euphoria, Statements, The Snake and other ones which are not Euphoria. There will also be performances from wild wild west party boy Daithi, Faune, Panti Bliss, Veda & Her Witches, the Mother DJs. Besides the stagecraft and music, there are also food stalls, interactive installations and other fabulous block party accroutements. JC

Strictly Deep

Hangar Dublin 10.30pm €18/€15/€12 flashmobdj.com
Italian DJ Alessandro Magani has got smarts. Over the years, the man known as Flashmob (an act which was originally Magani with Danny Minchella) has gained loads of accolades and admirers with modern dancefloor anthems such as Need In Me and Brick House for labels Get Physical and Defected. He's someone who has the perfect touch when it comes to creating playful, visceral, melodic tracks which appeal to both underground scenesters and mainstream pop kids. He's also looking to create his own stable and the Flashmob label has seen releases in the last few years from TTBP, Marco Dionigi, Julien Sandre and Boxia. Support tonight from Dublin producer and Lapsus, Beatdown and Deeptown mainstay Kaily and Adam Judge. JC

Jesse Rose

Wah Wah Club Dublin 11pm €8 twitter.com/mrjesserose
Jesse Rose is getting ready to hang up his headphones and tonight marks the final Irish hurrah for him as part of the 40-strong Thanks For Dropping By farewell world tour. The London DJ began making music as a teenager in the 1990s before going on to file over 100 memorable releases and remixes.

He bows out with his final album Alright Mate, which features folks such as Junior Sanchez, EVA, Seven Davis Jr, Alex Gopher and many more. As a club favourite, he was the man who made a mark at venues like Fabric in London, Panorama Bar in Berlin and elsewhere throughout his career. Support for Rose tonight from George Feely. JC


Tony Bennett

Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin, 8pm, €77/€55 (sold out) aikenpromotions.com
The 'legend' tag can be overused (hands up), but if anyone deserves it, it's the man who left his internal organs in San Francisco. Anthony Benedetto stands now alone, the last of the great American songbook singers, deserving his place alongside Sinatra (who named Bennett as his favourite singer) as one of the great male vocalists in the history of popular music. As well as a string of commercial hits stretching back to the early 1950s,

Bennett's duets with legendary (see what I mean?) pianist Bill Evans in the mid 1970s are justly revered, and he has lived long enough to work with everyone from Count Basie to Lady Gaga. As he enters his ninth decade, Bennett is bigger than ever, and though the voice may have grown frailer with age, the charm, the faultless phrasing and the ability to inhabit a song remain. His ability to sell tickets – this one sold out weeks ago – isn't doing too bad either. CL

When walking - Eithne Jordan

Butler Gallery, The Castle, Kilkenny. June 24-July 30 butlergallery.com
Over time, Eithne Jordan has perfected a fascinating form of low-key, realist painting that focuses resolutely on familiar, unremarked spaces and places. The peripheral and the ordinary are grist to her mill. People do on occasion appear, but mostly they are absent: she likes the empty hours of dawn and dusk. Awarded a residency, she has just spent a year based at the Tony O'Malley Studio on Bridge St in Callan, Co Kilkenny. The work in this exhibition stems from her exploration of the surrounding environment. Her usual way of working is to set off on foot with a digital camera to hand. She is not, she has remarked in the past, trying to take photographs that are an end in themselves, technically or aesthetically. They are her way of sketching. Pictorial possibilities open up when she looks over them. Around Callan, she found vernacular architecture and quirky expressions of personality – standard bungalows "made singular by … faux Georgian pillars or decorative stone cladding." AD