Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 Preview: 8 Must See Acts



Hard Working Class Heroes takes place in venues across Dublin this week.

Running from Thursday, October 6th to Saturday, October 8th and it will showcase well over 100 of Ireland’s most promising emerging acts. One of HWCH’s biggest draws (and festivals of its ilk) is rambling around, seeing acts you have previously been unfamiliar with. That said, there are a couple of names that immediately jump out and come highly recommended with the much sought after BarryGruff seal of approval*.

The full line-up / stage times for Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 is here. And as always, feel free to share your own recommendations in the comments section below. *May not be much sought after.

Eoin Dolan: Thursday, 19:40 – 20:10 @ Tengu Downstairs

Galway-based singer-songwriter Eoin Dolan is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the finest finds from the past 12 months. Dolan has a real flair for twinkly and whimsical, good old fashioned pop gems, with a healthy dose of Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett and Lennon/McCartney (moments) threaded through the fabric of his sound. His brand of surfy psych-pop is totally charming, entirely irresistible, easy-going and timeless. Dolan’s self-titled debut album was released last month, for a taste of that & what to expect at HWCH, check out ‘Dear Brian’; a playful blend of woozy, soothing sounds, sinuous melodies, SFA-esque synth work, giddy-pop-playfulness and reverb-drenched vocals. Not to be missed.

New Pope: Thursday, 21:40 – 22:10 @ Tengu Downstairs

Galway-based New Pope – fronted by Dave Boland – deal in truly beautiful, timeless and carefully crafted acoustic folk sounds. Passing with a whisper rather than a roar, New Pope’s songs are delivered with warmth and tenderness, as Boland’s distinctive vocal creates a warm, lush atmosphere – and an overwhelming sense of sense of nostalgia. Last year’s YOUTH EP & LP are wonderful and New Pope were excellent at Electric Picnic this year, and if that doesn’t entice you? Check out the layered, lush and beguiling beauty of ‘Love’ below:

Slow Riot: Friday, 20:10 – 20:40 @ The Hub

Limerick trio Slow Riot‘s ferocious, tense and searing post-punk, has marked them out as one of Ireland’s most promising guitar bands in sometime. Taking classic post-punk influences – Gang of Four, Television, Wire – and infusing them with more contemporary ones such as Girl Band and Future of the Left, they create an irresistible and thunderous modern take on a classic sound. Still need convincing? Check out the intense, insistent and menacing ‘Trophy Wife’ below. Peerless.

Whenyoung: Friday, 22:30 – 23:00 @ The Workman’s

Whenyoung are London-based, Irish trio who’ve got quite the flair for urgent, driven and fiery punk-flavoured garage-rock. They sound brash, fiery and driven by a furious intensity and with their debut single ‘See How They Run’ / ‘Show Me How’ earlier in the year, they have made one hell of a first impression for themselves. Not only is their sound blisteringly ferocious; it is catchy, hooky and totally irresistible!

AS Fanning: Friday, 20:20 – 20:50 @ Tengu Downstairs

Formerly the front-man of the criminally underrated Dublin band The Last Tycoons, A.S. Fanning is his new solo project. One of Fanning’s finest attributes has always been his profoundly brilliant songwriting and storytelling abilities, which enables him to depict a vivid, yet dark vision – and his single ‘Carmelita’ captures this perfectly. Opening with a rich organ hum and scratchy acoustic strum, he regales dark tales which are perfectly complimented by Fanning’s world-weary and distinctive Dublin-accented, vocal.

ADULTROCK: Friday, 23:30 – 00:00 @ Tengu Upstairs

Under his ADULTROCK guise, Gavin Elsted (Super Extra Bonus Party & fellow Newbridge compañero) flexes his dance music muscles, crafting magnificent dancefloor-ready, hypnotic and melodic electronic jams. His most recent EP Push and Pull came out in June through Bodytonic Music, and it is excellent. For a taste of it and Friday night, check out the EP’s title track below. An enticing proposition.

Oh Boland: Saturday, 19:30 – 20:00 @ The Hub

Galway trio Oh Boland – Niall Murphy, Éanna Mac Donnchadha and Simon McDonagh – are the best in the business when it comes to raw and unpolished, noisy garage pop. Their debut album Spilt Milk has just been released and its lead single, ‘Jane Russell’ captures everything about their brilliance in under three-minutes. A ragged, raw and unpolished, blast of lo-fi garage-rock, ‘Jane Russell’ trashes, screeches and rumbustiously rumbles along. Supremely catchy and mashed with earworm hooks, they eek out a space between brash and beautifully catchy they create perfection through imperfection.

Galants: Saturday, 20:20 – 20:50 @ The Workman’s

Dublin foursome Galants serve up fuzz driven helpings of guitar heavy, melodic indie with a shoegazy side.To date they have released a number of impressive singles, one of which is ‘This Is Heaven’; a warm fuzzy number, sonically charged with layers of shoegazing goodness, jangled hooks and melodic exchanges that recall some of Creation Records reverb-soaked finest moments. They’ve a new EP coming this Autumn too, so keep an eye out for that in the future.

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