While not without it’s criticisms (what the fuck doesn’t?) there is nothing to brighten up the onset of a dreary Irish winter than Hard Working Class Hereos. Now in it’s tenth year, HWCH, has introduced me and many others to a lot of great new Irish artists and bands year on year.
Anyway HWCH returns to Dublin tonight & runs till Saturday with shows taking place in The Button Factory, The Mercantile, The Grand Social, Meeting House Square, Twisted Pepper and The Workman’s Club. While I wholeheartedly suggest people venture into uncharted territory in the hope of new musical discoveries, I still have a number of suggestions.
Weekend tickets priced €45 and nightly tickets are €20 (+ fees). Here’s the full schedule.
SertOne (Meeting House Square | 9:20-9:50):
With out doubt one of Ireland’s most promising talents; prodigious, prolific & easily one of my favourites. SertOne’s latest EP, Shapes In The Sky, (his fifth release in just over a year & a half) demonstrated every bit of this brilliance. Armed with an astonishing array of head-nodding beats and slick samples he takes us on a journey through a subterranean world of 8 bit sounds, beats and a hip-hop influenced grooves. The live show is every bit a winner too, this Portadown-born producer is surely destined for great things.
Spies (The Grand Social | 10:30-11:00):
Dublin based five piece indie band specialize in an epic kind of indie, dramatic almost & full of feeling, emotion. If you were looking for comparable acts it would be somewhere between Interpol and The National. Both times I’ve caught Spies’ live show, I didn’t leave disappointed.
Kid Karate (Meeting House Square| 8:40-9:10):
Dublin ragged rock/punk duo Kid Karate are long time favourites round these parts. Over the past two year’s they’ve become such a formidable force. As a live band, few come anywhere close to their shows of gritty riff-laden rock n roll, or in terms of volume and energy. The have an unearthly knack for scuzzy rock n roll jam filled with furious riffage and thunderous drums, not to mention throat zapping vocals. Kid Karate’s debut album will soon be upon us, this is one show not to be missed!
Ghost Estates (Meeting House Square| 10:00-10:30):
Ghost Estates have already carved out their place on Ireland’s musical landscape. With three songwriters in the band, stylistically it’s diverse, taking in a mix of new wavey sounds, reach for the sky guitar anthems and straight up indie rock. This amalgam has seen them arrive at their own distinct sound of hazy electronica edged indie which send a shiver down the spine. It is said two heads are better than one, well, judging by Ghost Estates’ debut, three are certainly better than two. There self-titled debut is the best Irish indie album in a long, long time!
Conor Mason (The Grand Social | 7:50-8:20):
With three albums under his belt, Mason has now found his space on the musical landscape, not dissimilar to that occupied by luminaries Matthew Jay or Elliott Smith. His latest album, Standstill, is a masterpiece in song writing, flowing gently by, amid a sea of soft lilting vocals, whispering lyrical poeticisms and subtle instrumentation. His music is permeated by an air of richness, comforting tranquillity and shrouded in melancholy. One definitely not to be missed.
The Mighty Stef (Meeting House Square | 10:40-11.10):
Consistently one of the most impressive Irish musicians over the past few years, three great albums, the last of which was ambitious and brilliant projects yet. A fiery folk-punk attitude and a predilection for the darker side of life have always permeated his songs but of late, some more uplifting nuances are coming through. Live, The Mighty Stef is different class, he approaches every show with the same intensity and dedication, punters are never left short changed.
There’s plenty more on show too. I hope to swing by and see, if possible that is; Biggles Flys Again, The Casanova Wave, White Collar Boy, Faws, Heritage Centre, CLU, Solar Bears, REID, Girl Band, Jogging, The Depravtions & We Cut Corners.