John Blek and the Rats
Upstairs at Whelan's, Dublin, tomorrow (¤ 5)
This Cork band specialise in the most unlikely of genres -- a sort of ragged blue-grass, folk rock. But while Leeside will never be mistaken for the wilds of Appalachia, they give homage to their influences without ever sounding as if they're about to slip into pastiche.
Whelan's, 8pm, Monday, (¤19.50, sold out)
Ash sounded all washed up on their last album, 2007's Twilight of the Innocents. But a decision to concentrate on singles and abandon the long-player format has brought about a remarkable rejuvenation -- their A-Z series of seven inches is possibly the best body of work they've yet released, encompassing such unlikely genres as disco, electro-pop and funk. But chances are it will be oldies such as Girl From Mars and Uncle Pat which will have Dublin fans really stoked as the group kicks off their European tour.
Cyprus Avenue Cork, Monday (¤15)
A member of Canadian indie-pop collective Broken Social Scene, Collett celebrates his 40th birthday with a one-man jaunt around Europe. Though his solo accomplishments have been overshadowed his BSS work, he's actually put out seven solo albums of angsty singer-songwriter pop, the most recent of which was last year's Pony Tricks.
Olympia, Dublin, Wednesday, (¤49.20)
The wayward genius of alternative country has long suffered a terminal case of 'Prince' syndrome, releasing so much music, of such uneven quality, that the rakish genius of his early work has been thoroughly eclipsed. Still he's a mesmerising live performer, even if he does enjoy taking a meat cleaver to his hits.
Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy
The O2, Wednesday (¤59.50)
It's a heavy-rock apocalypse as cartoon goth Alice Cooper, a Phil Lynott-less Thin Lizzy and cheesy stadium rockers Def Leppard take over the O2. If you aren't wearing skin-tight leather trousers and a faded Iron Maiden tee, you'll probably feel like a gatecrasher.
Whelan's , Dublin, Wednesday (¤21)
Taking a break from recording her second solo LP, Hannigan continues a national acoustic tour. She'll be road testing new material, and performing songs from her Choice nominated debut Sea Sew.
Convention Centre, Dublin, Wednesday (¤44.20)
Gray reckoned 2009's Draw The Line was the best thing he'd ever recorded and was rather peeved that it tanked in this part of the world (it did very well for him in the US). Fans, of course, will hope he concentrates on his earlier career, particularly 1999's gazillion selling White Ladder.
Vicar Street, Dublin, Thursday (¤30)
It seems like only a few weeks ago that Ireland's beardiest rockers were throwing a big hooley to celebrate their 20th anniversary. They're back for a concert at a venue that has become their spiritual home. It's only one of two live shows they will be playing this summer, the other at Cork's Live at the Marquee festival.
Whelan's, Dublin, Thursday (¤18)
This avant-garde electro composer has broken boundaries in more ways than one. His last album, Black City, was released in a series of collector-edition formats including a 'hand-cast aluminum totem' with a link to a digital download of the record. Fresh from supporting Interpol on the continent he touches down for a rare Irish show.
Day & Night