Bone Machine to perform their firebrand renditions of Tom Waits classics in Bray

Bone Machine play the music of Tom Waits at Mermaid Arts in Bray.

Tom GalvinBray People

While a live appearance from the great Tom Waits is a rare thing these days, a Tom Waits tribute act is a rare thing too, such is the distinctiveness and aloofness of the legendary songwriter and performer.

Named after one of Waits’s darker works, Bone Machine are a band of internationally renowned touring and recording musicians that really rip into Waits’s songs with energy, performing a firebrand and punk-jazz set that will most likely leave you with misaligned chakras.

The band comprises Jack Healy on vocals, Martin O'Malley on guitars, Shane Fitzsimons on bass and Ger Farrelly on drums and keys. From the early Waits songs, like ‘Martha’ and ‘Downtown Train’, to the eerie and more unsettling tracks on Bone Machine itself, such as, God forbid, ‘The Earth Died Screaming’, this band bring the heart and soul to performances “brimming with a ramshackle sophistication and honesty”, all interspersed with those oddball, quirky and – let’s use that term again – unsettling Waitsian monologues and funny anecdotes that he is universally celebrated for on stage.

Rip Rense, the American film and music journalist, described the Bone Machine album as “made of clattering sticks, rusted farm equipment, choking demons, newspaper clippings, thundering stomps, Biblical myths, phantoms, marching skeletons, madmen, murders, lost friends and a little rain.”

So if you think you can handle that and more, the Mermaid Arts Centre is the place to be on Saturday, May 27 at 8.00pm. Tickets are priced €21 and booking is available now at: