The best rock and pop gigs to see this weekend

Trinity College’s Summer Series kicks off, and Fleet Foxes hit the road for a short Irish tour


Summer Series
Trinity College Dublin 7pm €54.65/€44.05

Let’s hope that this fine sequence of open-air concerts receive the weather they deserve. Frankly, you’d be hard-pressed to improve such a line-up of bang-in-the-city-centre shows, and if the warm sun fades from open-gates time to final song, then we’ll be all the better for it. Tonight kicks off with James Vincent McMorrow, above, (support All Tvvins), continues tomorrow with Bell X1 (support Frightened Rabbit), Sunday - Pixies (support Fangclub), Monday - Two Door Cinema Club (support Circa Waves), and concludes next Tuesday with Alt-J (support Will Joseph Cook).

Lisa Hannigan
Whelan's Dublin 3pm/8pm €26.50/€21.50/€13 (sold out)

It doesn't happen very often that such a successful and acclaimed singer and songwriter as Lisa Hannigan breaks away from the standard album/tour/album treadmill to perform in venues the size of Whelan's. Today, Hannigan puts in the overtime, as she has two shows – an all-ages 3pm one, and a later one from 8pm. Both shows are sold out, which is no surprise for a singer whose latest album, At Swim, gradually creep up on you, its songs unfurling its often sombre tales slowly but compellingly. Seeing her deliver those songs, as well as selections from her previous two albums, Sea Sew (2008) and Passenger (2011), will be a treat rarely experienced.




Croke Park 6pm €144/€109/€89.50/€69.50 (sold out)

More than 20 years after they formed, Coldplay has long since developed into a different, often less interesting group. New EP Kaleidoscope (released next week) may just hold out hope, however, that Coldplay could still make music that stirred the senses – the lead track from the EP, All I can think about is You, is much closer to their earlier 'good' songs than long-term onlookers might have wished for. These days, however – and especially in venues such as this one – it's all about the anthems. Certainly, Chris Martin and friends have enough of them to last a couple of hours. Support acts Aluna George and Lyves will serenade the early arrivers.

Jesca Hoop/Rosie Carney
Mitchelstown Cave, Co Cork 7pm €30

The Clonmel Junction Festival manages to make do with what it has in terms of funding by weaving into its programme innovative events. One of these is using what’s available, and if there’s any venue more special and spectral in Ireland than Mitchelstown Cave, then we have yet to experience it. The line-up tonight is equally special – Manchester-based Jesca Hoop (above) delivers alt.pop par excellence, while special guest Rosie Carney is a Donegal-based singer-songwriter presently making lots of friends via her gentle, intelligent music. Advice? It’s cold in the cave, so dress appropriately.


IRISH TOUR Fleet Foxes
Opera House, Cork 7.30pm €40 (sold out) Also Wed, Cork (same venue); Fri, Dublin's Iveagh Gardens, 6.30pm €45

The creative mainstay of Fleet Foxes, Robin Pecknold, has recently emerged from self-imposed exile from the music industry (shortly after Fleet Foxes’ 2011 album, Helplessness Blues, he relocated from his base in the Pacific Northwest to New York City, where he studied at Columbia University, majoring in English). Clearly, time spent in the real world has been good for his system – the title of the band’s new album, Crack-Up, directly references the reasons why he decided to walk away for a few years – as there seems to be a renewed sense of vigour in the way Pecknold wields his pen these days. Please note Fleet Foxes play a further gig at Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens on Friday July 14th (sold out).

Joyce Manor & Martha
The Workman's Club Dublin 8pm €16

California band Joyce Manor (above) – so named after an apartment complex that co-founder guitarist Barry Johnson, regularly walked past – began as an acoustic duo, but quickly realised there was a punk/pop band wedged between the melodies and instruments. From 2011 onwards, they have released four albums that have marked them out as ones to keep a close eye on. Co-headliners Martha, meanwhile, is a UK power-pop act with cracking songs ready to rock your socks off. Irish band The Winter Passing open the show.

Lee Fields & the Expressions
Sugar Club Dublin 8pm €25

Now in his mid-60s, North Carolina’s Lee Fields has spent all of his adult life busting moves, throwing shapes and singing sweet (and sometimes sweaty) soul music. Due to his vocal and physical similarity to James Brown, Fields has been described as ‘Little JB’, but the main difference is that while he throws in occasional bursts of funk, he prefers to let loose with deep soul ballads. These start off slow and build up to something passionate and, dare we say it, profound, so prepare yourselves. As part of Beck’s Rhythm Series.