15 gigs you shouldn’t miss in May

15-gigs-mayIt’s getting dark later in the day, you can go outside without a jacket on and there’s even been the occasional smell of a lit barbeque hovering in the air. Summer’s getting close and that means – festivals!! There are loads of great gigs and festivals taking place over the month of May. A full list can be viewed here.

Here are a few of our top picks from that list.

Vantastival, Bellurgan Park, Louth, 2nd – 4th May

Only an hour from Dublin, this campervan and music festival started in 2010 and this year it features a host of excellent Irish acts. The Hot Sprockets, Tucan, Gangs and New Secret Weapon are just some of the amazing acts playing over the weekend. Headliners for the weekend are Hothouse Flowers and the awesome Fight Like Apes. Check out the video for their new single ‘Crouching Bees’.

Tori Amos, Olympia Theatre, 7th & 8th May

Always innovative, always brilliant and often unpredictable, the legend that is Tori Amos returns to Ireland to play two all seated shows in The Olympia. Amos has a new album, ‘Unrepentant Geraldines’, due for release around the same time as the gigs so expect some new tunes, such as ‘Troubles Lament’.

Jagwar Ma, Whelan’s, 8th May

Sounding ultra modern yet harking back to the glory days of ‘baggy’ at the same time, Australian act Jagwar Ma received universal acclaim for their debut album ‘Howlin’ when it was released last year. Noel Gallagher is said to be a big fan of the band while there are many who would take issue with Mr. Gallagher’s own output, he does have pretty impeccable taste when it comes to the music of others.

We Cut Corners, The Button Factory, 9th May

This duo combine their day jobs as teachers with making music and what amazing music it is. They’ve just released their second album ‘Think Nothing’ and it’s fantastic, making a mockery of so-called ‘second album syndrome’. Check out ‘YKK’ from the new album.

Le Galaxie, The Academy, 9th May

With all proceeds going to support Marriage Equality, Le Galaxie will bring their awesome live show to The Academy. Also playing on the night will be Ships and Daithí. An incredible line up for a great cause, sure you’d be mad to miss it!

 Dum Dum Girls, Button Factory, 10th May

Touring third album ‘Too True’, Dum Dum Girls have perfected the garage-pop sound that has become their calling card. Fronted by the exquisite voice of Dee Dee Penny, these ladies are sure to be a formidable live force. But don’t just take our word for it, have a listen to ‘Rimbaud Eyes’ from the new album.

Something Happens, Whelan’s, 10th May

Tom Dunne and the gang generally only get together around Christmas time to bang out a few old favourites but will be playing Whelan’s this month to celebrate their 30th anniversary. This gig will be extra special as it will see the band play their most well known album, ‘Stuck Together With God’s Glue’ in it’s entirety. They were on the Late Late Show recently and are still sounding great.

Morrissey & Marshall, Whelan’s, 15th May

Another Irish duo who are doing great things at the moment. Morrissey & Marshall supported Damien Dempsey on his recent tour and now they’re set to headline Whelan’s next month. Their debut album, aptly title ‘And So It Began’ is out now. Here’s ‘I’ve Got A Plan’ to get you in the mood for the gig.

Neutral Milk Hotel, Vicar Street, 16th May

Reunited after a 14 year hiatus, American alt-rockers Neutral Milk Hotel come to Vicar Street on the 16th May. Renowned for their quirky lyrics and eccentric sound, their album ‘In The Aeroplane Over The Sea’ is rightly regarded as an alternative classic. Here’s the title track from that album.

The Minutes, Whelan’s, 16th May

Having toured relentlessly for the past number of years, The Minutes have carved out a reputation as one of Ireland’s most formidable live acts. They will celebrate the launch of their second album ‘Live Well, Change Often’ with a show in Whelan’s – expect a night of loud, blues-tinged goodness. Here’s ‘Cherry Bomb’ from the new album.

John Cooper Clarke, Vicar Street, 17th May

The Bard of Salford, hero of Alex Turner and one time Sugar Puff salesman, Cooper Clarke’s gigs are part poetry, part comedy and always entertaining. Here he is doing something that isn’t ‘Evidently Chickentown’

Life Festival, Belvedere House, Mullingar, 23rd – 25th May

The Mecca for lovers of dance music, Life Festival has built up a reputation as fun loving festival full of good vibes. This year’s festival will host the likes of Four Tet, Jamie XX, a Groove Armada DJ set and the awesome Kormac, who will have his big band in tow. Check  out ‘Rainstorm’ by Kormac.

Let’s French Festival, The Village, 23rd & 24th May

This festival is organised by the Alliance Francais Dublin to promote French cultural heritage and combines a mix of French and Irish acts over the two days. This year Daithí and Le Galaxie will headline the event. Also playing is French/Irish band Classroom Battles. Check out their tune ‘Contender’.

Real Estate, Whelan’s, 27th May

American indie-rockers Real Estate bring their dream-pop stylings to Whelan’s in support of their new album ‘Atlas’. Renowned for their shimmering guitar melodies and escapist songs, Real Estate are a summer band if ever there was one. Check out ‘Talking Backwards’ from their new album.

Croupier, Twisted Pepper, 30th May

Staples of the Irish music scene over the past number of years, Wicklow band Croupier have sadly decided to call it a day. They’re playing one final show in the Twisted Pepper at the end of May which is sure to be an epic celebration of their short but brilliant career. As a goodbye present, the band has made their entire back catalogue available for free. It’s available here.


Mark O'Brien

comments to this article