Be there, see this, do this

The tried and tested, the younger guns, and a few sur­prises, for Christ­mas week

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - | CRITICS’ CHOICE - TONY CLAY­TON-LEA

Christ­mas may ar­rive but once a year, but Ir­ish mu­sic acts seem to be around quite a lot; at this time of year, it seems as if they pop up at venues around the coun­try in or­der to (surely not?) top up the cof­fers to off­set the cold post-De­cem­ber months. This year is no ex­cep­tion, al­though there are one or two sur­prises, which we will get to shortly. Let’s fo­cus on the tried and tested, the ones you may have been to be­fore, yet which still de­liver the goods.

Some­thing Hap­pens

Long-es­tab­lished Ir­ish group Some­thing Hap­pens have been around since the mid-1980s, and al­though they have never split up they no longer write new ma­te­rial (or re­lease repack­aged al­bums). They still per­form spo­rad­i­cally, though, usu­ally at se­lected open-air sum­mer fes­ti­vals and al­ways at Dublin venue Whe­lan’s at this time of year (Satur­day, De­cem­ber 28th). All of the orig­i­nal mem­bers are gain­fully em­ployed in var­i­ous ar­eas of the me­dia/mu­sic land­scape, so they re­main one of the very few Ir­ish acts of their, er, vin­tage, not to nec­es­sar­ily earn money solely from gig­ging. This gives them some­thing of an ad­van­tage. When you tie that into the fact that most of the songs on their 1988 de­but al­bum, Been There, Seen That, Done That, and its 1990 fol­low-up, Stuck To­gether with God’s Glue, cover a golden time in Ir­ish pop/rock, then see­ing them live (es­pe­cially in a small in­door venue such as Whe­lan’s) is still a ma­jor treat.

The Coronas and Deloren­tos

Some­what younger Ir­ish bands such as The Coronas and Deloren­tos gig much more, and reg­u­larly re­lease new mu­sic. In­deed, The Coronas have spent much of the past two months in Ire­land per­form­ing in all sizes of venues, aim­ing to reach out to their avid fan­base with some eye-to-eye con­tact (never a bad thing when, like this band, they have long-since out­grown small venues) as well as road-test­ing re­cently writ­ten ma­te­rial. The next week will see the band cap­i­talise on such strate­gies with ap­pear­ances at Dublin’s Vicar Street (Mon­day, De­cem­ber 23rd), Castle­bar’s Royal The­atre (Satur­day, De­cem­ber 28th) and Kil­lar­ney’s INEC Arena (Sun­day, De­cem­ber 29th).

Deloren­tos, mean­while, cap off a re­cent na­tion­wide jaunt with a spe­cial Christ­mas show at Whe­lan’s (Mon­day, De­cem­ber 23rd). It is the fi­nal date of their A Decade of S.E.C.R.E.T.’s Tour, which cel­e­brates the 10th an­niver­sary of their sec­ond al­bum, You Can Make Sound. Next year will see the band re­lease a new al­bum – the fol­low-up to 2018’s ex­traor­di­nar­ily good True Sur­ren­der – so you can ex­pect to hear new ma­te­rial, as well as tunes from their su­perb al­bums, Lit­tle Sparks (2012) and Night Be­comes Light (2014).

Pur­sued by Dogs and David Keenan

And what about those sur­prises, I hear you mut­ter. Well, one of Ire­land’s new­est un­der-rated groups, Pur­sued by Dogs, present a stripped-back show in MVP, Up­per Clan­bras­sil Street, Dublin 8 (Sun­day, De­cem­ber 22nd). Like the good sorts they are, tick­ets are a tri­fling ¤5, and all pro­ceeds to the Dublin Si­mon Com­mu­nity. As well as tracks from their 2018 self-ti­tled de­but al­bum, the band will be pre­view­ing new ma­te­rial, which will no doubt see the ac­tual light of day next year.

Another sur­prise? The past year or two has seen the emer­gence of Dun­dalk, Co Louth, as a ver­i­ta­ble hot­bed of mu­sic tal­ent. Two of the town’s no­table suc­cess sto­ries – David Keenan and Just Mus­tard – are see­ing out 2019 in the only way they know how: by play­ing hon­est-to-good­ness white-knuckle shows. Keenan, quite lit­er­ally, brings it back home when he plays two shows at the town’s fine Spirit Store venue (Sun­day, De­cem­ber 22nd/Satur­day, De­cem­ber 23rd), while Just Mus­tard kick out the feed­back be­fore Christ­mas Day at Dublin’s But­ton Fac­tory (Satur­day, De­cem­ber 21st) and af­ter it at Lim­er­ick’s Dolan’s (Satur­day, De­cem­ber 28th).

Af­ter all of these, who’s up for a silent night?

Some­thing Hap­pens, Whe­lan’s, Dublin, Satur­day, Dec 28th

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.