We asked Tony Clayton-lea to pick his top-five must sees at next weekend’s Liss Ard festival in Co Cork. In the end, he managed to narrow the list down to 11 – and that’s just for starters . . .
don’t mind – Circle (from his 1967 album Come Out Fighting Ghengis Smith), and One of Those Days in England (from his 1977 album, Bullinamingvase). Six years ago, Galway’s Julie Feeney wasn’t a name you’d hear being bandied about in too many circles outside Irish contemporary classical music. She burst fairly quickly into the rather grubbier rock/pop music scene, however, with her 2005 debut album, 13 Songs (the winner of the inaugural Choice Music Prize), and her 2009 follow-up, pages (which received a Choice nomination). That she’s been a busy bee in the interim is a given – imminent works include her debut opera (of which we’ll get a sneak preview during the Dublin Theatre Festival in October), choral arrangements of her songs (for a 10-day national tour in November), and a crowd-funded new album that has recently been completed and which is scheduled for release in October. And we won’t even begin to list her other plentiful talents – there really isn’t room. What three words appear on the front of her favourite T-shirt? Little Miss Clever.
Oh, anything . . . Doesn’t matter. It’s all good. Really.
Portland, Oregon, you have a lot to answer for, and thankfully, one such issue is Chromatics, a once self-professed noisy and chaotic quartet that has morphed into one of the most accomplished electronic acts of recent times. Although newer fans would know them from Tick of the Clock (their inclusion to the soundtrack to the movie Drive), they really landed four years earlier with their third album, Night Drive, which replaced noisy/chaotic with synth-pop. Radically rehauled and revalued, the band have since gone on to bigger and better things, notably with their latest album, Kill for Love, which blends insomniac fug with gorgeous melodies, and killer hooks with lively words.
Chromatics doing their lonely, lovely version of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m on Fire.
AND PLEASE DON’T MISS
If there was a contest for the nation’s favourite female singer-songwriter, then surely Lisa H would walk away with the gong. Some people don’t like her, apparently. These people are daft – Hannigan is effortlessly one of Ireland’s most gifted singer-songwriters. More people probably know award-winning writer Howard as Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, the fictional Dublin southsider who just can’t get the hang of this recession lark. Howard tweaks and fine-tunes his characters for maximum laughs, so prepare to giggle your way through his readings. Joan Wasser has a voice that could melt granite, and if she performs her version of The Smiths’ This Night Has Opened My Eyes (from Setanta compilation album, The Separate, Orchestral Variations, Vol 1), then we predict world
peace. We like Joe Dunthorne too; not just because he apologises for being on Twitter, but because he wrote Submarine, which was made into one of our favourite movies of recent times. If we’re lucky, Dunthorne will be reading from his excellent most recent book, Wild Abandon. Twins Louise and Ellie McNamara have graduated in the past five years from Leaving Cert ingénues to aren’t-they-quite-good? contenders. Expect to hear a batch of new songs from their forthcoming album, Kingdom.