The best rock & pop gigs this week: Depeche Mode, The Killers and Steps

Also playing are God is an Astronaut, Sylvan Esso, Rag’n’Bone Man, while BellX1’s Paul Noonan goes solo

Steps are back: Faye Tozer, Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Claire Richards, Lee Latchford-Evans and Lisa Scott-Lee

Steps are back: Faye Tozer, Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Claire Richards, Lee Latchford-Evans and Lisa Scott-Lee

 

Saturday, November 11

Finbar Hoban presents Elaine Mai
Upstairs at Bridge St, Castlebar. €8/10
In September, we awarded Elaine Mai with the honourable title of Best Tune of Electric Picnic 2017 for her remix of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. As one of Ireland’s best electronic artists, layering her own voice with gorgeous melodies and harmonies to swirl around you on the dance floor, this year has seen her go from strength to strength. Feast your ears on her The Colour of the Night EP as your pre-gig homework. Tickets are €8 in advance from the bar and €10 on the door. Louise Bruton

God Is An Astronaut
The Button Factory, Dublin. €25 . ticketmaster.ie

God is an Astronaut have been keeping busy touring across Europe
God is an Astronaut have been keeping busy touring across Europe

Going strong since 2002, God is an Astronaut, the ambient post-rock group from Glen of the Downs in Wicklow are one of Ireland’s most celebrated instrumental acts. Although they haven’t released an album since 2015’s Helios I Erebus, their seventh album, they’ve . In later years, they’ve become less reliant on visuals to enhance their live set and instead push themselves harder, making for an even more riveting performance. LB

Angelo De Augustine
The Grand Social, Dublin €13 ticketmaster.ie
Two fun facts about Californian musician Angelo De Augustine. 1) He recorded all of the tracks from Swim Inside the Moon, his second album, in his bathtub, 2) He’s signed to Asthmatic Kitty Records, the same label as Sufjan Stevens. Here’s another bonus fun fact for you, Stevens also animated De Augustine’s video for Crazy, Stoned and Gone. If gentle and sensitive acoustic music is your vibe, it doesn’t get more gentle, sensitive or acoustic than Angelo De Augustine. LB

Monday, November 13

Steps
3Arena, Dublin. €40-54.65. ticketmaster.ie

Steps are back: Faye Tozer, Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Claire Richards, Lee Latchford-Evans and Lisa Scott-Lee
Steps - a little older, just

2017 has been quite the year for the all-dancing and somewhat singing Steps. Tears on the Dancefloor, their first album in five years, entered the charts at number two in the UK and number 10 in Ireland. They’re as camp as ever and it’s a blessing that they haven’t been nabbed to represent the UK in the Eurovision because it would be a real pity to vote against a belter like Scared of the Dark. Watch out for the key change. It’ll get you. LB

Tuesday, November 14

Sylvan Esso
Tivoli Theatre, Dublin, €18. ticketmaster.ie
Sometimes, the perfect result can arrive from the most unlikely sources. When singer/songwriter Amelia Meath was in the band Mountain Man, she emailed a song of her’s, Play it Right, to producer Nick Sanbourne. Meath’s request was simple: here is my song, make it sound better. Within a year, the band Sylvan Esso was born. Four years and two albums later – the most recent being What Now – the Meath/Sanbourne combination is beguiling listeners from Amsterdam to Washington DC, with Pitchfork praising the pair for offering a “biting, withering take on pop music”.  Sounds right up our street. Tony Clayton-Lea

Wednesday, November 15

Daniel Romano
Whelan’s, Dublin, €16. ticketmaster.ie
To continue with our fun fact spree, here’s some Daniel Romano trivia for your next dinner party. The Canadian musician moonlights as a poet and a leather craftsman and often makes intricate guitar straps for his other musician friends. A man of many talents. Fond of a cowboy hat and a deep sense of irony, he delivers power indie pop with a country flourish. Known as a bit of a mad genius, expect this show to come with a performance. LB

Depeche Mode
3Arena, Dublin, 7pm. €91/€81/€70.45. ticketmaster.ie

Depeche Mode have repeatedly challenged expectations
Depeche Mode have repeatedly challenged expectations

From Basildon cherubs to industrial-electro imps, the life and times of Depeche Mode is truly one long, strange trip. What has been a mainstay of their (eek!) 37-year career is the quality of the music. Having long since replaced sparkling electro-pop (New Life, Just Can’t Get Enough, See You) with rather more dramatic goth-influenced electro-rock, there was a time in the 1990s when it seemed as if familiarity might undermine them, but they have repeatedly challenged expectations. New album, Spirit, will be filleted, and, you betcha, older material will be aired. TCL

Rag’n’Bone Man
Olympia theatre, Dublin, 8pm €28.90 (sold out). ticketmaster.ie

Rag 'N' Bone Man (Rory) by Deans Chalkley for Sony Records
Rag 'N' Bone Man (Rory) by Deans Chalkley for Sony Records

Rory Graham has the kind of blues/R&B voice that brings you to your knees. Hot on the heels of being named British Breakthrough Act at this year’s Brit Awards in February, he released his debut album, Human, to much critical acclaim – The Ticket described it as “a collection of ardent rap [and] sweet-spot blues/soul songs”. In the interim, Graham has ably consolidated his status as one to watch with a series of superb (and, yes, sweaty) performances, including a you-had-to-be-there gig at Electric Picnic. TCL

Thursday, November 16

The Killers
3Arena, Dublin, 8pm. €97/€73/€66.45 (sold out). ticketmaster.ie Also Friday SSE Arena, Belfast 8pm £62/£60 ssearenabelfast.com

The Killers
The Killers: back on form

Credit where it’s due, and all of that, but the latest album from The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful, released just over a month ago – sees them right back on form. It was a tricky enough five years from their previous album, Battle Born (the mediocre quality of which placed the band precariously close to the ho-hum bargain bin), but the past year or so has seen the Las Vegas band up its game to the point where they can unashamedly give their album a title that isn’t too far from the truth. TCL

Paul Noonan
Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co Kildare, 8pm. €27. riverbank.ie. Also Friday Róisín Dubh, Galway. 9pm. €28/€26 (sold out) roisindubh.net
Paul Noonan’s most well-known creative outlet is BellX1, which recently announced a series of shows in Dublin’s Vicar Street next March (21-25). In the meantime, Noonan strikes out on a rare solo tour, wherein he will be premiering new material, as well as more familiar songs from not only BellX1’s highly acclaimed back pages but also his fine 2014 album, Printer Clips. Special guest is rising singer-songwriter, Maria Kelly. These gigs are the beginning of a nationwide tour, which continues to the end of November. TCL

Atlantic Sessions
Anchor Complex, Portstewart, Co Derry. 9pm. £6. atlanticsessions.com
Now in its ninth year, Atlantic Sessions features over 60 Northern Irish musicians and songwriters performing alongside a music trail that will wind its way between Portstewart, Portrush and Portballintrae. Headline acts across the weekend include Ports, who will be accompanied by the Prima Quartet (tonight). Tomorrow, Friday, Joshua Burnside, Rory Nelis, and Gareth Dunlop hold court at The Atlantic Bar, Portrush (7pm, £10). Saturday November 18th sees double Ivor Novello Award winner and Grammy nominee Iain Archer perform at The Arcadia Portrush (4pm, £6). Two hours later at the same venue, electronic artist Ryan Vail will perform a full audio/visual show (adm free). TCL

Friday, November 17

Camille O’Sullivan
Olympia theatre, Dublin. 8pm. €29. ticketmaster.ie

Camille O’Sullivan. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images
Camille O’Sullivan. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images

We’ve all seen performers who think they can get away with delivering a version of Nick Cave crossed with Agnes Bernelle, but when you see Camille O’Sullivan do the same – and much more besides – you know you’re not only in a safe pair of hands, but also in the presence of someone that knows their craft inside out. Another notable aspect of O’Sullivan’s live shows is the quality of drama attached to the material – she acts as well as she sings, as anyone who watched her in the Dublin Theatre Festival production, Woyzeck in Winter, will surely attest to. TCL

Paul Brady
Opera House, Cork. 8pm €45/€42/€36. corkoperahouse.ie

Paul Brady. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Paul Brady. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

It is too easy, if not unfair, to overlook artists when they’ve been around for as long as Paul Brady. Now 70, he has been a robust music specialist since 1965, stepping across genres without putting a foot wrong. He shows no sign of slipping, either – his latest album of new material, the aptly titled Unfinished Business, is up there with his best work. This show is the start of a nationwide tour, which continues to the end of November and into December. See paulbrady.com for full details. TCL

Malojian & Sorcha Richardson
St John the Baptist, Church of Ireland, Drumcondra, Dublin. 8.30pm. €15. glasdrum.ie
The tagline for this double bill is “New Sounds In An Old Place”, and that’s exactly what you’re getting: music from songwriters that you may not have heard of, performing their songs in the beautiful surroundings of a church. If there’s a hint of Other Voices about this, then so be it. What is more important is the calibre of the music, and we can safely say that Lurgan’s Stevie “Majolian” Scullion’s latest album, Let your Weirdness Carry you Home, and Dublin-born, NYC-resident Sorcha Richardson’s latest single, Waking Life, most assuredly fit the bill. TCL

Cigarettes After Sex
The Academy, Dublin. €20.90. ticketmaster.ie
If you can’t listen to Cigarettes After Sex’s music in a darkened room and the way that the name intimately dictates, you may as well go and see the band perform in a semi-darkened room with a few hundred strangers, swaying together in appreciation. The Texan band’s self-titled debut album released earlier this year is a dreamy affair, twinged with sadness and desire. Due to demand, the gig venue was moved from Whelan’s to The Academy so act quickly if you want to be moved. LB

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