Aisling Kraus gives the lowdown on the highlights of the Dublin gig scene in the coming weeks.
San Fermin / The Workman’s Club / Saturday 21st November
The invention of Yale alumnus, composer and songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone, San Fermin is a unique eight-piece “touring enterprise” based in Brooklyn. The band was born out of a single concert in 2012, organised by Ludwig-Leone to showcase some new compositions and ultimately leading to an instant record deal. They have since produced two albums filled with a captivating blend of orchestral instrumentation and swooping classical arrangements with perky pop elements and thoughtful, emotive songwriting. Ludwig-Leone and San Fermin have received rave reviews for performances both inside the recording studio and on the stage, which have earned them supporting slots for stellar names including St. Vincent and Arctic Monkeys.
Saint Raymond / The Academy / Wednesday 25th November
Nottingham-born indie pop singer-songwriter Callum Burrows blasted his way into the music industry under his nom de musique, Saint Raymond, at just eighteen years of age, when his Escapade EP was released on Gabrielle Aplin’s label, Never Fade Records. Burrows’ gigging routine rapidly took a leap from low-key local shows and open mics in Nottingham to opening for such major acts as HAIM and Aplin herself, backed by a band. His unusual merging of uber-catchy, summery acoustic guitar hooks with Afro-beat rythms and often sombre lyrics earned the support of BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe. Saint Raymond’s debut album, Young Blood, was released in July 2015.
Dune Rats / The Academy 2 / Thursday 26th November
Three-piece garage rock outlet Dune Rats have been creating a noisy stir on the thriving Australian alternative rock scene since their formation less than five years ago. In this time, the trio released three EPs and two singles with Inertia Access before releasing their self-titled debut album on their own Ratbag Records label in 2014, supported by extensive Australian and global tours. Their tongue-in-cheek, stoner-esque track names, lyrics, album art perfectly suit their sunny, sloppy, guitar-driven tunes and smirky vocals: ideal headbanging material.
O Emperor / The Sugar Club / Thursday 26th November
Irish five-piece rock unit O Emperor saw its early days as yet another school-boy rock band. The members honed their performance skills early, playing pubs and clubs in their native Waterford city. The band wrote, self-recorded and produced their debut album, Hither Thither, released in 2010 on Universal Records Ireland, and the record was subsequently nominated for Irish Album of the Year in the Choice Music Prizes. This was followed up by a sophomore record in 2010, and numerous Other Voices appearances. March 2015 saw the release of new EP Lizard. O Emperor embody a variety of alternative rock styles, at times acoustic and mellow, and in other tracks employing the use of synths and heavy psychedelic guitar distortion.
East India Youth / The Button Factory / Thursday 3rd December
William Doyle’s music career began with self-describedly “tweedy” indie band Doyle & the Fourfathers. Finding himself growing less inspired by guitar music, Doyle turned to electronica to launch a musical rebirth leading ultimately to the origins of East India Youth. The Bournemouth, UK-born artist and producer released his dramatic, game changing debut album Total Strife Forever on Stolen Recordings in early 2014, only to be nominated later that year for the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize Album of the Year Award.