Live and di­rect

Jim Car­roll on the gigs to watch out for in the com­ing months

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

YOU don’t need a crys­tal ball or tea leaves to know that 2008 will progress in the much the same fash­ion as 2007 on the gig­ging front. Once upon a time, the first cou­ple of months of any new year were quiet ones for mu­sic fans with few live shows to en­tice you to leave your fire­side seat.

That has changed. Within the next six weeks, you can see block­buster acts such as Queens of the Stone Age, Smash­ing Pump­kins and James Blunt and a myr­iad of ris­ing acts.

The pub­lic ap­petite for live shows and the fact that many have gone from buy­ing CDs to buy­ing tick­ets means pro­mot­ers are more will­ing to take a punt on new acts.

Shows to add to your diary in the com­ing weeks in­clude a visit from Port­land, Ore­gon indie king­pins Menom­ena, who will be plug­ging their in­ven­tive Friend and Foe album at Dublin’s Sugar Club on Fe­bru­ary 29th.

One of the big tips for 2008, Duffy, will be play­ing that same venue on March 2nd and Belfast’s Aun­tie An­nies on March 3rd.

In Jan­uary, Fife new-school folkie Kenny An­der­son hits the road with his King Cre­osote band for dates at Gal­way’s Róisín Dubh (17th), Cork’s Crane Lane (18th), Lim­er­ick’s Dolan’s Ware­house (19th), Dublin’s Craw­daddy (20th) and Belfast’s Bunker (21th).

Fans of Richard Haw­ley’s ex­cel­lent al­bums will want to catch his Fe­bru­ary dates at Gal­way’s Róisín Dubh (14th), Dublin’s Vicar Street (15th) and Belfast’s Man­dela Hall (16th).

Af­ter spend­ing the last few years con­cen­trat­ing on the re­formed Pix­ies as they roamed the world again and again, Black Francis re­turns to the solo fray with a show at Dublin’s Vicar Street on Fe­bru­ary 9th.

The re­mark­able Sea­sick Steve plays his big­gest ever Ir­ish show at Dublin’s Tri­pod on Fe­bru­ary 23rd. That same venue will also fea­ture shows from new jack swing pi­o­neers Boyz II Men (March 2nd) and elec­tro-pop vet­eran Gary Nu­man (March 4th).

The big-ticket shows in­clude James Blunt’s stands at Belfast’s Wa­ter­front on Jan­uary 28th and Dublin’s RDS on Jan­uary 29th (he lists Dublin on his web­site as a UK date).

There’s also the re­turn of the Smash­ing Pump­kins (Dublin’s RDS on Fe­bru­ary 9th and Belfast’s Kings Hall the night af­ter) and, last but by ab­so­lutely no means least, Queens of the Stone Age. Their shows at Dublin’s Am­bas­sador on Fe­bru­ary 5th and 6th and Belfast’s Kings Hall on Fe­bru­ary 7th sold out ages ago.

Clock­wise from left: Gary Nu­man, Smash­ing Pump­kins, Queens of the Stone Age, Pix­ies

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