It’s that time of year again when music industry figures, assorted hipsters and some very fine acts descend on Dingle for Other Voices.
The pick of this year’s crop include the gifted American tunesmith John Grant, great Dane Agnes Obel and Scottish post-rock pioneers Mogwai with one of next year’s great white hopes, Aesgir from Iceland, playing the now regular venue, St James’s Church. Of the many Irish acts invited to play, Lisa O’Neill, I’m Your Vinyl and Nana Nanu are likely to go down a treat.
With tickets notoriously difficult to secure, many will want to keep abreast of developments with live screenings on RTE’s website.
With the brand well-known outside Ireland and Other Voices events having been held in London, New York and Derry, it’s grown enormously since the first instalment back in 2002.
The fun kicks off this evening. See othervoices.ie for more information.
First Fortnight — the Dublin multi-arts festival that challenges perceptions about mental health — returns in January with a typically eclectic programme.
On the music front, three of the country’s most talked of young bands play the Button Factory, Temple Bar, on January 11 — Come On Live Long, Heathers and Vann Music. Elsewhere, Neil Watkins’ controversial, confrontational play, The Year of Magical Wanking, returns for a three-night stand in the Project Arts Centre on January 9, 10 and 11 and there will be special nationwide screenings of the Jennifer Lawrence-Bradley Cooper Oscar-winning film, Silver Linings Playbook.
The latter was acclaimed on release last year for its accurate, sensitive portrayal of mental illness. First Fortnight takes place between January 2 and 16 and a full programme — which includes Banter and Anti Room discussions — |is available on |firstfortnight.ie.
Swords have one of the best visual identities of Ireland’s crop of emerging bands and that was evident again with the striking video for new single Buildings, directed by rising star Bob Gallagher, which was released this week.
The Dublin-based synth-rock trio offer proof that clever ideas, smart people and lots of hard work can yield impressive results. The faintly bacchanalian video for early song Chasm did their cause a world of good last year.
Their debut album, Lions & Gold, was released during the summer and the band have been busy since with a show at Electric Picnic and a fine performance on the RTE arts programme, The Works.