The best rock & pop gigs of the week

The might Foo Fighters, Stevie Van Zandt plugging his latest album and Jeff Buckley remembered


Saturday 17 Yurt City Charleville Demense, Offaly. Also Sunday 18

Following on from 2018’s Yurt City event in District 8, curators Boots & Kats are calling in some of the best local and international house, techno and house DJs and producers to Tullamore for an overnight camping event, with day tickets also available to buy. Usually the home of Castlepalooza, this venue is the perfect location for a small festival, with Mongolian yurts, chill-out areas and art installations promised to fill the castle grounds. The line up includes Mix & Fairbanks, Bobby Analog, Justyna Koss, Dan Shake, SHEE and Adamant. LB

VSN Productions Present: Rave The Planet Factory, Galway

Specialising in feel-good techno, VSN are hosting an event that will see resident DJs, special guests and up and coming DJs taking charge of the ceol and the craic all night. Aoife O’Neill, the Cork DJ who hosts Dublin Digital Radio’s Out of Space music show, is the special guest and newcomer Hannah Hession will be acting as support. To close the night, Galwegian and VSN head honcho Shampain will be playing toe to toe with O’Neill. LB

  Monday 19

Foo Fighters

Boucher Playing Fields, Belfast. Also August 21 RDS Dublin

Celebrating 25 years as the founder of one of the world’s most successful guitar bands – especially coming so soon after the success of his previous group, Nirvana – Dave Grohl holds a distinctive place in rock music history. Some might argue that Foo Fighters’ best days are behind them, but what has stood to them is the virtually unbreakable nature of their songs. The bond of melody with guitar has facilitated many a raised fist in venues larger than these, while the band continue to sell out shows, pretty much, wherever they play. Critic proof? Computer says yes. TCL

Tuesday 20

Stephen Robinson

Whelan’s, Dublin

The years pass and once-forgotten names crop up. Stephen Robinson is one such name, an Irish musician that had a stab at commercial success with Angel of Mons and then with The Laundry Shop (a particularly strong entity). As it can do, life gets in the way, yet some years later Robinson has materialised from the hiatus with a new album prepped and raring to go. This gig sees the instinctive songwriter, guitarist and producer once again hold forth, with songs that smartly reference the changes in his life. Special guests include Irish music acts Oh Bryan, and Stina. TCL

Thursday 22

Post Malone

RDS Arena, Dublin

Noted for his melting-pot style – anything from R&B and hip-hop to folksy-country and rock, sometimes a mix of it all – the 24-year-old performer has an economical, slinky way with tunes, of which many will be played at his first open-air headline show in Ireland. But seriously, who would have ever thought that one of America’s most commercially successful rappers and songwriters would one day be sitting down with US chat show host Jimmy Fallon and ripping into a version of The Dubliners’ Seven Drunken Nights? That happened about two weeks ago, but we’re betting our bottom farthing there will be a repeat of it here. TCL


The Soundhouse, Dublin

Psych rock from California? For some, it doesn’t get any better than that. And when they hear that Wand are behind the music, it’s even more of a joy. With a neat enough reference to witchery and wizardry, there is an equally nifty exploration of psychedelia with the kind of pristine pop as executed by Big Star. The band’s latest album, Laughing Matter, is featured on Stereogum’s Best Albums So Far 2019 (“Let it whisk you away and see if you don’t end up believing in magic”), so investigate at your pleasure. Special guests are UK band, Gang, and Dublin’s supreme psych-gaze group, Sun Mahshene (who we reckon got their name from a David Bowie song). TCL

Good Name Presents: Maija Sofia and Gadget and the Cloud Yamamori, Tengu

Promoted as “live electronic and noir folk music from two of Dublin’s upcoming bright lights”, anyone attending this event is in for a treat. Galway singer songwriter Maija Sofia is the noir folk element and in preparation for the release of Bath Time, her debut album, in November, she is racking up a busy schedule of gigs and festival appearances. Cork experimental electronic artist Gadget and the Cloud – aka Kelly Doherty – will provide sad songs for people to dance to. LB

Friday 23

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul

Vicar Street, Dublin

Stevie Van Zandt has been at shoulders of two of the most important cultural forces in American pop culture of the past 40 years – Bruce Springsteen and The Sopranos. Rarely does the man spend time in the spotlight, but when it comes to his own music it’s a different matter. Plugging his latest album, Summer of Sorcery, Van Zandt brings a live show to Dublin that will surely knock the socks of you: a dozen-plus ensemble that knows its way around every rock’n’roll instrument imaginable. Born to burn, simple as. TCL

Junior Brother Connolly’s of Leap, Cork Walking through the site of All Together Now at the August Bank Holiday, roaring laughter and cheers could be heard from across the site from the Road to Nowhere stage, thanks to the good humour of Junior Brother. Drawing people in with his charm, the folk musician from Kerry held their attention until the very end. His debut album Pull the Right Rope was released on Strange Brew Records in May and, with songs that back up his good reputation, he is fast becoming a must-see act. LB

Flipside x Hang Dai: DJ Fett Burger Hang Dai, Dublin A Chinese restaurant that specialises in duck by evening, Hang Dai turns the lights down and the music up at night. Norweigian techno DJ and the head of the Sex Tags/UFO record label will be strutting his stuff, playing the best tunes on the restaurant’s spectacular soundsystem that was designed by Toby Hatchett. Flipside’s Mark Murphy will be playing support on the night. An intimate venue for good time pals, it’s advised that you book your tickets in advance. LB

Stiff Little Fingers

The Academy, Dublin

Celebrating more than 40 years as a going concern, Belfast’s Stiff Little Fingers – which have in the ranks two original members, Jake Burns and Ali McMordie – may be slow to release studio albums, but like their Derry contemporaries The Undertones they have a handful of songs they can perform live that, across generations, can still shake the ribcage. Indeed, the band have released more live albums than studio works – 17 to 10 – which is testament to their continuing force as a live act. Fair play, etc. TCL

I Heart Jeff Buckley

Whelan’s, Dublin

Always a winner in terms of quality and performances, the venue’s I Heart band (which means some of the best non-touring musicians in Ireland) gathers for a very special commemorative gig: today is not only the 25th anniversary of the release of Buckley’s only studio album, Grace, but also of a performance of his at the venue. Expect to hear Grace played in its entirety, as well as other songs associated with him. TCL

2019 Unleashed Festival

Fibber Magees, Dublin. Also Saturday 24, same venue

Whenever there’s an opportunity to highlight the sustained interest in the Irish metal music scene we’re on it. Across two days, this festival continues to showcase some of the best emerging acts in the ever-broadening genre. Bands to keep an ear out for include Dublin’s Fornoth and Svet Kant, Galway’s Organ Blender, Cork’s Bailer and Worn Out, Belfast’s Ketos, and Waterford’s Holoscene Extinction, who will be getting the second day off to a good post-hardcore start. TCL

Saturday 24

Bodytonic & Lumo Present: Optimo + Ciel Jam Park, Dublin

Jam Park, formerly known as the Wright Venue, is the brand new music venue in Swords. Run by Bodytonic (the Bernard Shaw, MVP, Wigwam, the Back Page, the Square Ball), they want you to dance, eat and play. But mostly dance. Together with the Lumo DJs, they’re hosting an all day and night party – that’s 2pm until 10pm – with Toronto DJ, pianist and producer Ciel making her Irish live debut. The party will continue from 10pm until 3am in Wigwam on Abbey Street. LB

The Playing Fields Festival

Clane GAA grounds, Co Kildare. Also Sunday 25, same venue

If you’re looking around for a mini precursor to next month’s Feile ’19 (aka the Trip to Tipp at Semple Stadium), then you could do a lot worse than head to another GAA grounds in Co Kildare. Across the two-day event, the likes of The Stunning, The Frank & Walters, The 4 of Us, Jerry Fish, Declan O’Rourke, and the Dublin Gospel Choir provide the headline entertainment. Lower profile acts worth catching an earful of include Montauk Hotel, The 2 Johnnies, Empire Circus, and Sarloos. TCL

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