The best rock and pop gigs to see this week
A 1980s time-warp festival and indie kids Frankie Cosmos
Friday, July 28th
Connolly’s of Leap, Cork, 8pm, €12, connollysofleap.com. Also Sat, Kasbah Social Club, Limerick, 9pm, €10, dolans.ie; Sun, Róisín Dubh, Galway, 8pm €14/€12, giaf.com
JFDR is the latest creative project from Iceland’s Jófríður Ákadóttir, who some of you may know from her stints in bands such as Gangly, Pascal Pinon and Samaris. With a firm Irish connection that she has established and consolidated over the past few years, Ákadóttir has built up a core fan base of listeners who have no problems grooving to ambient soundscapes and subtle guitar work. Expect more of the same at these low-key gigs, as Ákadóttir previews music from her forthcoming debut album.
3Arena, Dublin 8pm €54.65, ticketmaster.ie
We hear the radio ads for this gig on a regular basis, so can we safely assume that tickets aren’t selling in the same way they might have done 20 or 30 years ago? Back in the days of MT USA, ZZ Top weren’t a hard sell, especially when they left behind their original blues influences and slipped into sixth gear with hit singles such as Gimme All Your Lovin’, Legs and Sharp Dressed Man. What the band means now to most people is something of a conundrum, and you’d have to wonder whether several hit tunes will be enough to carry the day in such a large venue.
Saturday, July 29th
Punchestown Music Festival
Kildare, 2pm, €129/€69.50, ticketmaster.ie. Also Sun, July 30th
Those with a hankering for the 1980s can time-warp it back to when our television channels amounted to no more than five, when there wasn’t even mobile phones, and when the likes of Culture Club, Bonnie Tyler, Smokie, Boney M, Dr Hook, Village People, ABC, Tom Jones, Fine Young Cannibals and Deacon Blue were top of the pops. Welcome to a festival village atmosphere, complete with boutique camping and a rollerskate disco. Contemporary additions to the line-up include former Westlife singer Shane Filan and a fully recharged All Saints.
Hip-Hop Day Party
Wigwam Rooftop Terrace, 1pm, €5, eventbrite.ie
Every cloud has a silver lining, they say, and so while this year’s Bare in the Woods festival didn’t happen, it certainly didn’t prevent Word Up Collective and District Magazine from continuing with their plans to showcase socially conscious, instructive spoken word that takes its cues from hip-hop and poetry. From Bare in the Woods to a rooftop terrace – the line-up here includes the best of emerging voices; take a bow Clara Rose Thornton, Natalya O’Flaherty, Mango Dassle, Tebi Rex, Gracie Essie, JyellowL Felispeaks, Sasha Terfous, and Dagogo.
Sunday, July 30th
Beth Nielsen Chapman & Jim Lauderdale
National Concert Hall, Dublin, 8pm, €32.50/€30/€26, nch.ie
The idea of two great roots/folk songwriters for the price of one is appealing in these straitened times, and what better examples of the form than Beth Nielsen Chapman and Jim Lauderdale. The latter is a prolific “songwriter’s songwriter” with almost 30 albums to his credit. The former is a recent inductee into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and the writer of songs for artists such as Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Bette Midler and Bonnie Raitt. Separately, they’d be worth the admission price; as a pair, it’s a bargain.
Grand Social, Dublin, 8pm, €8, thegrandsocial.ie
There’s a lot to be said for the simple and effective fund-raising gig, but irrespective of how charitable you might feel, it’s always a bonus if the constituent parts amount to something. These parts have to feel right, too, and not as if they’re simply tagged together to fill space on a poster. Step forward, then, a gaggle of very cool, contemporary songwriters and musicians – each of which are hot tips for crossover success – that know what they’re about: female singers Farah Elle and ZaPho, indie rock band, Rabble Babble, and lo-fi math rock act, Tobi the Dog. All proceeds from this event go to the Abortion Rights Campaign.
Wednesday, August 2nd
Whelan’s, Dublin, 8pm, €13, whelanslive.com
Frankie Cosmos? Ingrid Superstar? What’s in a name, anyway? The daughter of American actors Kevin Kline and Phoebe Cates, Greta Kline has been delivering low-key, lo-fi alternative folk/pop for several years now, and is finally achieving a moderate level of recognition for it through highly regarded albums such as 2014’s Zentropy and last year’s Next Thing. Expect a batch of songs that charm and tug at the heartstrings in equal measure. Support acts include Ireland’s Squarehead and UK’s Trust Fund. Indie heaven.