Judge him for yourself
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