Judge him for your­self

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Listings - TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

HAMELL ON TRIAL Róisín Dubh, Gal­way Tues 9pm ¤10 091-586540; Spirit Store, Dun­dalk, Co Louth Wed 9pm ¤15 042-9352697 Enough of the fes­ti­vals, al­ready! What we have this week is some­thing sin­gu­lar and spe­cial: Ed Hamell, above, aka Hamell on Trial: a bald guy with spi­dery sta­ple marks on his skull, a cult singer-song­writer more in­flu­enced by punk rock than Nick Drake.

The US-born son of an Ir­ish­woman, 40-some­thing Hamell has been work­ing away on the fringes of com­mer­cial suc­cess for years. He be­gan play­ing gui­tar in 1968, and grav­i­tated from pre-punk to UK punk to US hard­core to be­come what he is to­day: an anti-folk singer who com­bines lyri­cal wit and vit­riol with an acous­tic gui­tarsling­ing style best de­scribed as un­whole­some. Sam­ple song ti­tles? Go Fuck Your­self and I Hate Your Kid (ac­cord­ing to Hamell, his most uni­ver­sal song). The pitch? War­ren Zevon as en­vi­sioned by The Stooges. Our ad­vice? Miss him at your peril. Can’T see ThaT? CaTch This Mer­cury Rev Kilkenny, Tues­day

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