Talk dirty: Jason Derulo and Peaches head up this week’s best rock and pop gigs

Peaches Christ Superstar at the Abbey will subvert the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical

Jason Derulo is at the 3Arena in Dublin on Wednesday – whatcha say?

Jason Derulo is at the 3Arena in Dublin on Wednesday – whatcha say?


A Certain Ratio

Sugar Club, Dublin Saturday September 15th 8pm €25

Manchester – so much to answer for. That’s the cliche, anyway. As usual, however, there’s a semblance of truth in that A Certain Ratio (the name comes from a Brian Eno song) belong to a particular time (1977-’79) and place (Wythenshawe, south Manchester) when musicians quickly tired of punk rock and gravitated towards a glitchy hybrid of funk, disco, dub and free-form trumpet playing that would quickly sort out the avid fan from the casual observer. In other words, ACR’s music is an acquired taste, one that has influenced the likes of Franz Ferdinand and The Rapture. Time for a reappraisal, perhaps? TCL 

Biffy Clyro

The Helix, Dublin Saturday September 15th 8pm €45.50 (sold out)

Waterfront Hall (Auditorium), Belfast Sunday September 16th 8pm £41.50/£37.50 (sold out)

It is rare enough that a rock band capable of selling out the likes of 3Arena have the courage to bring their music back to basics. In many ways, Scotland’s Biffy Clyro is harking back to the heady days of MTV Unplugged (notably so in that their latest album is so titled), so what the fans will receive in these acoustic shows is familiar material less-perfectly delivered. The band, by the way, commences its unplugged tour in Dublin because (as they recently informed “we’ve always had such joy there. To start in Dublin, on a Saturday night, it really is the benchmark for a good gig.” TCL

Sfiiinx, Dowry and Rachael Lavelle

MART, Portobello, Dublin Saturday September 15th €10

Sfiiinx is the latest creation from Irish vocalist, composer and producer Síobhra Quinlan. A chamber pop ensemble, Sfiiinx is a project that showcases Quinlan’s original material, and she will be debuting new material at this intimate, BYOB gig alongside cellist Yseult Cooper-Stockdale and drummer Dylan Lynch. She has called on multi-instrumentalist Dowry (Éna Brennan) and pianist Rachael Lavelle to act as support on the night, a selection that showcases some incredible musicians to keep an eye on. LB

Joe Henry

Ceol Beo, Leap Castle, Roscrea, Co Offaly Saturday September 15th 8pm €20

White Horse, Ballincollig, Co Cork Friday September 21st 8.30pm €20

A man well used to being justifiably praised for his songwriting, US singer, songwriter and producer Joe Henry embarks on a rare sequence of Irish dates. Visiting intimate venues across the country, as he promotes his latest album, Thrum, Henry will be supported on all dates by Belfast singer-songwriter Tony Trundle. The tour continues from next week at the Black Gate Cultural Centre, Galway (Thursday September 27th), Dolan’s, Limerick (Friday October 5th), and Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare (Saturday October 13th). TCL

Hey Troubadour

Whelan’s, Dublin Saturday September 15th 8pm €25

Pitched as “a celebration of the song born in a city of song”, Hey Troubadour gathers together a choice selection of musicians and spoken word artists to celebrate not only the city in song but also to raise funds for the charity Aidlink, which funds community-led projects. The performer list is strong: Glen Hansard, Mark Geary, Ailbhe Reddy, David Keenan, Harry Hoban, Stephen James Smith, Natalya O’Flaherty, Junior Brother and several more. MC is the super-funny Eve Darcy. Prior to the evening gig, a motley crew of performers will busk at Dublin’s Crampton Court at 2pm. TCL  

The Motives & Friends

Bello Bar, Portobello, Dublin Saturday September 15th 8pm €7

Bello Bar is one of Dublin’s finest music venues; it is also programmed by people whose fingers are so tight on the pulse that blood flow is severely restricted. Tonight’s line-up is a perfect example of how it works so well – from indie and alt to folk and rock, the likes of The Motives, The Elephant Room, Shane May, and AK & the 47z will provide yet another snapshot of how vibrant and interesting the Irish music scene currently is. TCL 

Peter Broderick

Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin Sunday September 16th 8pm €23

Portland, Oregon musician Peter Broderick is now well accustomed to Irish ways and mores – he is married to Irish songwriter Brigid Mae Power, and so is aware that we Irish are a breed of people that appreciate the source and power of good music. He began his music career as a session musician for the likes of M Ward and Zooey Deschanel, and then became associated with the Danish ensemble Efterklang, but is equally as regarded for his solo work, which is as striking as it is prolific. Special guest is the rising Irish traditional quartet Landless. TCL


Button Factory, Dublin Monday September 17th 7.30pm €26

From Ohio via California, Why? is a band that almost defies categorisation. From their most creatively successful album (2008’s Alopecia, viewed as the band’s classic work) to their latest, last year’s Moh Lhean, they have fused pop with folk and psychedelia with hip-hop to produce an overall sound that buzzes and pops with all manner of rhythms. Despite their status as a much-admired indie band, Why? remains a cult choice, if not something of an acquired taste. This said, they haven’t been around these parts for yonks, so time for a belated look-see, perhaps? TCL 

Clonakilty International Guitar Festival

Various venues/times/admission, Clonakilty, Co Cork Monday September 17th-Sunday September 23rd

The Clonakilty International Guitar Festival has been providing not-for-profit fun and games in the music department for almost 15 years, but they have pulled out several quality rabbits from the hat for this year’s outing. Highlights on Monday include local singer and songwriter Rawny, who performs as part of the festival’s free-admission Music Trail. Other goodies over the next seven days include Glen Hansard (Tuesday September 18th, 7pm €35; with support acts David Keenan and Stephen James Smith), Mama Kin Spender (Thursday, September 20th, 9pm €20) and Pillow Queens (Friday, September 21st, 11pm, adm free). Runs until Sunday, September 23rd. Visit for further details. TCL


Abbey Theatre, Dublin Tuesday September 18th €18

While our usual festival favourites Meltybrains, the masked crusaders of experimental music, have kept a low profile this summer, they’ve been keeping a little something something up their sleeve to impress us all with. Working with visual projection artists Algorithm, the Dublin group that runs on controlled chaos are prepping a show that will make up for their absence in Ireland this year. Tickets are still on sale for this show so snap ’em up and add them to the Fringe show pile. LB

Tank and the Bangas

The Sugar Club, Dublin Tuesday September 18th €25

Winners of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert 2017, Tank and the Bangas’ music shoots up like a rocket. The New Orleans group mixes funk with hip-hop, slam poetry with soul and comedy with sheer confidence. Even though the gig has downgraded in size from Vicar Street to The Sugar Club, this gig will be big. Tickets from the original gig are still valid but please note that seating is limited . . . but you’ll be up dancing so that shouldn’t matter. LB

Jason Derulo

3Arena, Dublin Wednesday September 19th €56.10

Jason Derulo is one of those pop acts that seems to have an inexplicable yet consistent stream of success, but his success is so low-level that you’d be pressed to name five of his songs. Going chart strong since 2009, when he released the Imogen Heap-sampling Whatcha Say, he’s built up a reputation as one of the best dancers in the crazy world of pop. Expect a massive production in a show that potentially reveals the secrets to his success. LB

Nick Mulvey

Empire Music Hall, Belfast Wednesday September 19th 7.30pm £19.50

Whelan’s, Dublin Thursday September 20th/Friday September 21st 8pm €22.50

Live at St Luke’s, Cork Saturday September 22nd 7.30pm €24

UK singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey wasn’t always a singer-songwriter – the one-time student of ethnomusicology has previous form as a master of the percussive instrument known as the “hang” (think a modified steel drum and you’re halfway there), which he played when he was a member of 2008 Mercury Prize-nominated experimental jazz act Portico Quartet. Since leaving that group six years ago, Mulvey has trod just as singular a path. His latest album, Wake Up Now, and his most recent EP Dancing for the Answer, continue deft experimental threads that are invested with assured singer-songwriter tropes. TCL

Peaches Christ Superstar

Abbey Theatre, Dublin Friday September 21st €26

Who among us hasn’t pined for a reworking of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar by the sex-positive, electro-grunge star Peaches on the stage of Abbey Theatre? No? Well, there’s the door. And for the rest of us, this almost sold-out event is already a Fringe Festival highlight and it’s more than likely going to change the way you enjoy this musical forever. Rather fittingly, the after party is taking place in Mother, Dublin’s finest and queerest disco joint. LB

Culture Night in the Digital Hub

Digital Hub, Dublin 8 Friday September 21st Adm free

As part of Culture Night, locations of interest will be opening their doors, inviting people in for a snoop or to experience something entirely new. The Digital Hub in Dublin 8 is turning its outdoor area, underneath St Patrick’s Tower, into a cultural hotspot. In association with the Dublin International Film Festival, there will be live music from the MISA’s sing-for-fun choir at 8pm, followed by an outdoor screening of Irish short films. LB

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