Hard Working Class Heroes Time
Here are Hunt & Gather’s top picks for HWCH 2014!
Button Factory 20:00
What better way to begin your HWCH experience than with the vivacious and whimsical folk-pop of Paddy Hanna? With the sprightliness of Wilco (when they’re upbeat) and the vocal sincerity of The War on Drugs, your entertainment is assured.
Meeting House Square, 20:45
Planet Parade are a duo that mix organic and electronic sounds, melting them together to make effortlessly gorgeous and floaty songs. These guys are HWCH veterans, having played in 2009, and met with gushing reviews. In 2011 they were featured on Other Voices, and last Friday they played Nialler9’s secret Block T gig. They are a band with an impressive track record and a gorgeous repertoire.
The Late David Turpin
The Workman’s Club, 21:20
Featuring collaborations from Conor O’ Brien of the Villagers, Cathy Davey and Stephen Shannon, the release of his album in 2013 (inspired by a near-death experience) was met with universal critical acclaim. The Late David Turpin marries silky, narrative vocals and lavish, maybe ironic, Destroyer-like instrumentation; each song is a journey, don’t miss out.
The Workman’s Club, 22:40
If you didn’t find The Late David Turpin soothing enough, remain in Workman’s for Carriages. Their music is cozy and familiar; they utilize field recordings from Dublin city in their music, which succeeds in creating a unique and enthralling finished product, borne of innovation and solid musicianship.
Bad Bob’s, Midnight
Myles Manley is a Dublin-based songwriter from Sligo, and not one who cares to hide his idiosyncraices. His songs mix trenchant melodies and jagged instrumentation; Myles’ sense of humour seems to translate into his vocal performances too, similarly eccentric to that of Isaac Brock. If you want a sense of this, a quick tour of his website will suffice, his face is emblazoned on the menu..
The Button Factory, 21:20
Somerville’s music strikes a lovely, fuzzy balance between electronica and more traditional genres. Bluesy tones, folk influence and a careful use of electronic beats lend to her gentle and unique sound. Her aesthetic, aurally and visually, is considered; she presents herself as a folk singer from a modern Connemara and succeeds in creating a refreshing and special reflection on rural Ireland.
The Workman’s Club, 22:40
A Buffalo Woman concert is a very special experience indeed, somewhere in between a party and a strange cult gathering. The music is like Frank Sidebottom doing disco. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, as the lead singer sashays, arms in the air, through the crowd and tells anecdotes about getting too drunk and biting people. A good excuse to get truly silly and groovy.
Twisted Pepper, 22:00
CLU present fantastic audio-visual performances that blend the graphics and music of a Sega Megadrive with science fiction. Comprising of visual artist Kevin Freeney and musician Sean Cooley, the live show blends the interests of the two, while both aspects remain equally impressive when separated.
I Have A Tribe
Button Factory, 22:00
Reminiscent of Villagers with his hushed, clipped voice, Patrick O’Laoghaire’s sound also fuses experimental electronic subtleties into his wistful folk. Alone with only a guitar or piano on stage, O’Laoghaire’s performances are emotionally charged and intriguing.
The Workman’s Club, 20:40
Affleck’s music is distinctive and charming. The sound of their self-described “dark electro pop” is sparkling and warm, and they have enough skill to take fun risks with style that don’t fall flat, resulting in interesting pop songs that satisfy. Great falsetto harmonies, catchy synth riffs, and great choruses are to be expected.
Meeting House Square, 21:40; Twisted Pepper, 16:30
With a set straddling both acoustic sublimity and electronic eccentricity not a million miles from the stylings of St. Vincent, Elaine Mai’s two performances on Saturday are a highly enticing prospect. With both subtle master classes in understated songwriting and the more dancefloor-oriented numbers from her recent “Known/Unknown” EP in her repertoire, Mai’s performances showcase her brilliantly versatile skills as a singer, an arranger and a producer. Her uncanny knack at harmonising vocal lines belies her status as a one-woman act. Mai is an individual of huge talent, scope and ambition, and her sets are not to be missed.
The Workman’s Club, 22:40
To those in the know, Meltybrains? are the shit. If you aren’t yet in the know, then get thee to Workman’s a little bit after half past 10 this Saturday evening. Meltybrains? will be there. And Meltybrains?, as we know, are the shit.
With a style of music than is damn nigh indescribable, for the simple fact that it seems to encompass everything, the experimental quintet sound like little or nothing else on offer from any other act in the contemporary music scene. Mixing elements of modern classical, post-rock, techno, ska, metal, and hip-hop (and a boatload more), Meltybrains? are utterly captivating. Fresh from a summer of shows on the festival circuit, the 5-piece should be able to melt a few more brains once they take to the stage on Saturday night.
The Mercantile. 21:20
Dublin 3-piece GALANTS are starting to generate rather significant levels of buzz in the wake of their recent single “Howling”. Taking inspiration from the indie-pop and shoegaze legends of yore, with isolated strains of classic rock thrown into the cauldron, the group manage to meld their various influences together in a way that simultaneously is able to imitate and to innovate. GALANTS are most certainly a group to watch, and one who could easily find themselves much higher up the bill, or even better, to have outgrown HWCH entirely when the festival rolls around again next year.
The Mercantile, 22:00
Another band with no direct parallels in the contemporary scene, The Vincent(s) are a band that you simply have to experience directly at one point or another. A rollicking, explosive mix of stoner rock, psychdelia and even jazz (they’ve an ace sax player), The Vincent(s) are a heavy, bass-driven concoction of elemental, maniacal musicality. With distinctive vocal stylings and an assurance of intense, no-holds-barred mayhem in a live setting, this is as good a band as any to give your time to come Saturday night. You almost certainly won’t have cause to regret it, apart, maybe, from a blaring headache the following morning.
Grand Social, 22:50
Wild Promises have a sound perhaps more mainstream than any number of other acts at this festival. This, of course, shouldn’t preclude them from inclusion on any lists of acts to try and see on Saturday. They come to the indie-pop-rock triumvirate with fabulous musical insight, and some gentle subversion of generic conventions. To be sure, “Ballymore” would sound perfectly at home being shouted back at them from the crowd in any stadium or mega-dome, but by no means mistake these Dubliners for just another rip-off of the stadium-filling acts who have gone before them. They know what they’re doing, and they do it bloody well. Catch them now before they blow up.
Words: Brian, Cathal and Cara