Irish music is in a very strong place at the moment, but it can often feel like artists aren’t getting the chance to properly showcase their talents. That is why events and festivals like Ireland Music Week are so important. Previously known as Hard Working Class Heroes, the annual event provides people with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with some of the up-and-coming musicians in Irish music at the moment.
This year, the festival took place across the dates of 1 October to 5 October 2019 and I decided to spend the weekend moving between various venues in Dublin city experiencing some incredibly high quality performers.
On the Friday night of the festival, I made my way to the Dublin music venue, Lost Lane, to see Cork band True Tides perform a set. The band have been generating massive radio play over the last year and their sold out show back in April was one of the highlights of the year, and that was reinforced with an energetic and captivating performance.
Another band that I saw on the Friday of the festival this year was ELM. This was my first time seeing the band perform and it was one of the highlights of the weekend. They are definitely a band that I will be paying more attention to as they continue to develop and grow as a band in the coming years.
Saturday night saw trad-fusion group Moxie take to the stage in Lost Lane for an exhilarating half an hour of live music that brought all the crowd in attendance to their feet.
This was my first time seeing the Mayo singer/songwriter perform live and her set on the Saturday night of the festival left me very impressed and intrigued to hear more. It was hard not to be taken by the vocal ability of Ford, which was expertly complimented by the musicianship of both her and her band on the night.
Not my first time time seeing ELKIN perform, and it certainly won’t be the last. This was another incredibly accomplished performance from the Dublin pop duo who are fresh from releasing their newest single, DIY.
After proceedings finished up in Lost Lane on the Friday night, I made my way across the The Grand Social to catch the end of the set by Dublin DJ, Peter Fleming. It was a compelling performance by CYNEMA as, through a mix of visuals and heavy electronic beats and melodies, the audience were carried on a musical journey.
Another artist that I was seeing for the first time, Sinead O’Brien performed on the Saturday night of the festival and stood out with her interesting and poetic songwriting.
If you’re going to brave a torrential rain storm on a Saturday night to go in to town to listen to some music, it better be something good. Thankfully, this was the case during Ireland Music Week when I went to see Laura Elizabeth Hughes performing in The Grand Social. This was another beautiful performance by the songwriter that left everyone in attendance hanging on every word.
Friday night presented me with the opportunity to see one of my favourite ever songwriters perform a set of new and old songs in The Button Factory. For years now, Ailbhe Reddy has been writing some truly phenomenal songs as she continues to build on a reputation as one of the most talented artists in Irish music at the moment, and all this was on show on the Friday.
Back in 2015, Wexford singer/songwriter Callum Orr was one of the first artists that I ever saw perform at the esteemed Dublin music night, The Ruby Sessions. Ever since I have been following his career with interest, and it was a pleasure to see him perform again on the Saturday night of the festival.
For years now, Kitt Philippa has had a reputation as one of the most talented and sophisticated musicians and songwriters in Irish music. It was a pleasure to see her perform for the first time on the Friday night of the festival in Lost Lane.
Until next year…