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