Ireland Music Week: 10 acts to see before they are famous
The event formerly known as Hard Working Class Heroes is a showcase for Irish music talent
Ireland Music Week: official music showcases from more than 50 Irish acts
Remember Hard Working Class Heroes, the Dublin-based music industry event that proudly flaunted Irish music talent to indigenous and international industry professionals?
Well, Ireland Music Week is HWCH renamed, organised by the same people (still overseen with a beady eye for attention to detail by its director Angela Dorgan) with the same remit. Running from Oct 1st to 5th, besides the official music showcases from Irish acts (50-plus) taking place in various city centre venues, there’s also conferences, workshops, masterclasses and conversations.
In an optimistic effort to focus the mind on what music acts to check out, here are our Top 10 tips.
Friday, October 4th
Kyoto Love Hotel 8pm, Grand Social Ballroom
Tipperary duo Joe Geaney and Laura Sheary thoughtfully channel The xx and a few other notables with a downtempo template that is as woozy as it is wonderful. Has pop music from Tipp ever sounded so determinedly fit for purpose? We think not.
8.30pm, Button Factory
Formed from the ashes of The Wondervillains, Belfast trio Beauty Sleep recently released their debut album, Be Kind, and immediately ushered in new uses for the usual superlatives. Expect dreamy indie pop/dance to take you off into the night.
10.30pm, Lost Lane
From a classical music background to a truly gorgeous pop/folk/ambient style of songwriting, Northern Ireland’s Kitt Phillipa performs a week before the release of their debut album, Human. Expect to experience a lump in the throat, a tear in the eye, and a selection of songs that will pull the figurative rug from under you.
11pm, Workman’s Club
In contravention of the rule that any band with six members has two that don’t need to be there, Thumper present a pop-sonic assault that – genuinely, seriously – has to be seen and heard to be believed.
11.30pm, Grand Social Loft
One of 2FM’s Rising Acts for 2019, Irish hip-hop is all the better for the inclusion of JyellowL, a socio-political aware performer who – when he isn’t studying politics at UCD – is currently prepping his 2020 debut album release.
Saturday, October 5th
Laura Elizabeth Hughes
8pm, Grand Social Ballroom
We all know that singer-songwriters are 10 a penny, but Hughes can easily make a claim for having that little bit extra to add to the mix, and being a little bit different from the norm. Gentle yet steely, formidable yet tender, Laura’s a keeper.
Robert John Ardiff
9.30pm, Grand Social Loft
Formerly of Dublin band Come on Live Long, Ardiff has for the past year or so been quietly making solo music. Some of this will be used in director John Carney’s Amazon Video romcom anthology, Modern Love, which premieres on October 18th. We’ll hear it first, though. Lucky us.
Mango x Mathman
10pm, Button Factory
Irish hip-hop that is as free to roam as the soaring winds careering off the Cliffs of Moher, that’s Mango x Mathman. Socially conscious and party political? Add in sweat and passion and you’re only halfway there.
10.15pm, Workman’s Club
Is this the indie/alt/art-rock/post-punk supergroup of Irish Music Week? A new collaborative adventure in low-key hi-fi, Paddy Hanna (no mean songwriter in his own right), Mark Chester, Eoghan O’Brien and Padraig Cooney keep the Popical Island flame burning. We can look forward to a debut album early next year.
Midnight, Lost Lane
We are hoping that many of the non-Irish delegates will stay up late enough to have a look-see at Kerry’s Junior Brother. The songwriter’s 2019 debut album, Pull the Right Rope, is full of alt.folk songs that carry audiences along, and which ache for the right kind of crossover success.
Ireland Music Week runs from Tuesday, Oct 1st to until Saturday, October 5th. irelandmusicweek.com