7 days + nights: 26th November - 2nd December
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26
Goldfrapp, Olympia, Dublin 2
Goldfrapp may officially be a two-person band, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone apart from a die-hard fan able to name the other half. Everyone knows frontlady Alison Goldfrapp, but the man behind the synthesizer is in fact one Will Gregory. So, as the band roll into town for the first of two shows tonight, let's celebrate all that is William Owen Gregory. Not only is he the band's keyboardist, he also takes on most of the songwriting duties. In the 80s and 90s, he performed with bands such as Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, The Cure and Portishead. He played oboe with Tori Amos and he also plays saxophone with the likes of Spiritualized and Michael Nyman. Let's hear it for Will Gregory.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 27
Now and Then, Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin 2
To describe opening a new gallery in this current climate as a risk is certainly an understatement. It requires unbelievable chutzpah, vision and self-belief, to put it mildly. Well, one man with sufficient determination/cojones is Oliver Sears, who has not only opened a new gallery in the prime location of Molesworth Street in the past year, he has also made it one of the hottest galleries in town. Sears is rounding off a most successful year with a showcase of some of the impressive Irish and international artists he has attracted. Entitled Now and Then, this exhibition includes works by Hughie O'Donoghue, David Hockney, Sean Scully, Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston, Patrick O'Reilly, Sean Hillen and Stephen Lawlor.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28
Unstoppable, On General Release
Its premise might sound dumb, and maybe it is, but Tony Scott's Unstoppable is one of the most efficient and entertaining mainstream films we've seen this year. When two halfwitted railway employees leave the engine of an 800-metre long freight train temporarily unmanned, it takes off at high speed without a driver and carrying a load of highly combustible chemicals. As the train hurtles towards a heavily populated area, a veteran engineer (Denzel Washington) and his rookie sidekick (Chris Pine) embark on a desperate bid to stop it. Slickly made and perfectly paced, Unstoppable entertains pretty much from start to finish. Denzel Washington is as effortlessly charismatic as ever, and Chris Pine, who so impressed as a young Captain Kirk in Star Trek, has the makings of a major star.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29
The War of the Worlds, The O2, Dublin 1
It's hard to imagine the perfect show to unite Jason Donovan, X Factor's Rhydian and an Atomic Kitten, but The War of the Worlds might just be bonkers enough. Throw in an 11-foot high 3D floating hologram of Richard Burton as the journalist George Herbert, a 3-tonne 35-foot tall martian fighting machine firing heat rays at the audience, a huge screen projecting a CGI-animated version of the movie in sync with the show and its live performances, and all manner of pyrotechnical special effects, and you might just have yourself a suitably unhinged homage to HG Wells' classic novel. Jeff Wayne's musical version arrives fresh from London success and is in Dublin for one night only before it travels up to Belfast.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30
Interpol, Olympia, Dublin 2
The boys of bummer are back -- minus showpony bassist Carlos Dengler, admittedly, but with post-rock figurehead David Pajo and Secret Machines leader Brandon Curtis playing bass and keyboard respectively. The bleakest record they've yet made -- no trifling achievement you'll agree -- the fourth album Interpol has seen the gloom-shrouded New Yorkers receive the first critical kicking of their career. Nevermind, their dapper goth-pop is still catnip to intense young men of a certain stripe and this week's three-night stand, which concludes tomorrow night, at Olympia will see them receive a raucous welcome.
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 1
Janelle Monae, Tripod
She may be small enough to put in your pocket, but Miss Janelle Monae has certainly made a big impression since exploding into our consciousness this spring. Monae really established herself here with her Electric Picnic debut, when she danced the cotton socks off all musicians around her. This is her first solo gig here and the girl has set a high bar for herself. But we reckon she's able for it. Earlier this week, it was announced that Monae will be supporting Amy Winehouse on a number of January dates in Brazil. Considering these will be Winehouse's first performances in more than two years, expectations will be high for the leading lady, but she may well be shimmy shuffled off the stage by her bombastic support act.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 2
Ellamenope Jones, Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2
Bearing quite possibly our favourite new character's name, Ellamenope Jones is an all-singing all-dancing entrepreneur and also the star of a new musical theatre piece by the always innovative Randolf SD theatre company. Featuring that most contemporary representation of avarice, the pyramid scheme, and described as "a story of greed and desperation with a contemporary gothic twist", this centres on a vicious businesswoman who tears a blaze across a fantastical Dublin. "She's a diva from the gutter who'll stop at nothing to get what she wants." This continues until December 11, has been written and directed by hotter than hot young director Wayne Jordan, with music composed by Carl Kennedy and stars Kathy Rose O'Brien as the titular Ellamenope.