7 Days + Nights: 22nd - 28th October
Friday, October 22
Bowling for Soup, The Academy, Dublin 1
There's something oddly endearing about these Texan poppy punksters (with the emphasis decidedly leaning towards pop rather than punk). Unlike so many sulky, scowling musicians, these boyos just seem to be having a great time of it all and do their best to make sure you do too. They're on a mini-European tour at the moment and have put together quite the line-up to ensure value for money. Special guests tonight include US band The Dollyrots and fellow Dallas natives Forever the Sickest Kids. And British rockers A will be coming along for the ride. What's more, this is a 14+ gig, so all of you younger rock 'n' rollers will have your chance to show your devotion too.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23
The Collector's Eye, Gallery of Photography, Dublin 2
Get thee to Temple Bar's Gallery of Photography for a rare opportunity to view some of the earliest photographic records ever made in Ireland. This truly fascinating display includes an eclectic range of work, from fanciful 1910's early flight through to dramatic images taken by soldiers in WW2.
With over 100 original vintage images on display, the exhibition charts one man's passionate journey through photographic history. And the man himself, Sean Sexton, is quite the character. He's also the first face you meet, as his boyhood portrait is hanging at the entrance to the exhibition. Born in Co Clare in 1946, Sexton emigrated to London and acquired his first Irish historical photographs in 1973. His collection is still growing and now includes over 20,000 images, documenting every aspect of Ireland's past and illustrating the development of the photographic art form.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24
Dulra, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin 1
Nothing brightens a Sunday morning quite like a spot of ecstasy, so why not head to the Hugh Lane Gallery on Parnell Square at noon today for a rejuvenating immersion? The ecstasy providers will be musical ensemble Dulra, who are currently on the road to celebrate the release of their new album, Ecstasy. Dulra focuses on Irish songs of the 16th-19th century, putting their own contemporary twist through compelling new arrangements. Fronted by vocalist Catriona O'Leary, the group also features Adrian Hart (fiddle), Emer Mayock (flute, whistle, uilleann pipes), Kate Ellis (cello) and Mel Mercier (bodhrán and bones). Dúlra is the Irish for 'elements' and the name expresses the group's commitment to peeling away cluttering layers and finding the core of the music. Curiously enough, although they are an acclaimed international group, Dulra have never performed in Ireland before. Did we mention this concert is free?
MONDAY, OCTOBER 25
Red, General Release
Based on a comic book series and only mildly inventive, Red would probably not have managed to pull off its jokey action mood without an A-list cast of veterans. But in the hands of Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Bruce Willis, it turns out to be a lot of fun. Willis is Frank Moses, a retired black-ops CIA agent who goes on the run when a hi-tech hit squad arrives at his house to kill him. It turns out someone important wants him and some old associates of his dead, so Frank reforms the old team to do battle with very powerful enemies. Director Robert Schwentke keeps things ticking along nicely, and there are some decent action sequences, but Red is best when Willis and Mirren, and most particularly John Malkovich, are hamming it up for laughs.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26
Lady Gaga, The O2, Dublin 1
On Madam Gaga's last visit to Ireland, the audience was treated to green vomit, fake blood, dancers in gimp costumes and, by way of show-stopper, a huge tentacled sea monster. This time, we hear she's packed a flaming brassiere -- and fully intends to use it. Whether the latest leg of the Monsters Ball tour will reference her recent interest in soft-core prison lesbianism, pervy nuns and evening wear fashioned from bits of lamb chop is any one's guess. What we can say with certainty is that it will be stuffed to overloading with the best plastic pop this side of Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27
Wexford Opera Festival, Wexford
Puccini's opera of the bohemian life in 19th-century Paris, La bohème gets deliberately short shrift in Wexford on Wednesday, with a condensed version being performed in the ShortWorks strand of the Wexford Festival Opera at 3.30pm. It's followed at 8pm by Bedrich Smetana's 1870s Czech comic opera Hubicka (The Kiss), a story of love, high principles, stubbornness and reconciliation, directed by Michael Gieleta. Meanwhile, there's more bohemia on the fringes of the festival, with everything from walking tours to kids' activities to gigs filling the streets around the opera house. There's a lighter take on musical theatre thanks to Wexford Light Opera Society's Hits from the Musicals, and for those who prefer their drama spoken to sung, there's a production of Hugh Leonard's Da.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28
Mark Ronson and The Business, The Academy, Dublin 1
One Mark Daniel Ronson will be rocking into town this Thursday, but it is unlikely that one lardy beehived chanteuse will be among his extended posse. Ronson crashed into wider consciousness earlier in this decade thanks to his association with Lady Winehouse and his producing work on her album Back to Black. This led to a ridiculous amount of awards, attention and musical collaborations. But, with his own record label on the go and a number of successful acts on his books, he has carved out quite the music career in his own right. And he will be in the 'hood with his band The Business to celebrate the release of his third album, Record Collection.