Here are my picks for the unmissable gigs around Ireland in the next seven days:
- Marina & The Diamonds @ Tripod, Dublin on Thursday 27th. The gorgeous Welsh/Greek songstress comes to Dublin with her unique pop sound. Inevitable Florence & the Machine comparisons abound, though the two differ more than many realise. One thing they do have in common mind you, both are enthralling popstars and unmissable onstage. Catch Marina here before she departs to America for the first half of the summer at least.
- Joy Formidable @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork on Thursday 27th & Academy 2, Dublin on Friday 28th. The Welsh act come with a fantastic live reputation behind them. Could be a great show.
- Declan O'Rourke @ Dolans Warehouse, Limerick on Friday 28th. The ever fantastic Irish singer-songwriter is back doing the rounds again. A friend of mine has seen him four times this year already - testament to the quality of his shows. Well... Either that or a creepy obsession...
- New Young Pony Club @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork on Friday 28th & The Button Factory, Dublin on Saturday 29th. The electronic quintet are doing the rounds on the back of a new album. I haven't totally bought into the hype just yet, but they are certainly a fun crowd. Good way to spend a Friday or Saturday night.
- Duke Special @ Black Box, Galway on Saturday 29th. Ignoring his appalling recent work, Duke Special put out some fantastic work a few years back. His distinct vocals and whimsical lyrics make him one of the most endearing singer-songwriters working in the country at the moment.
- The Rags @ Whelan's, Dublin on Saturday 29th. These guys are here more out of nostalgia than anything. I loved the Monsters & I Ep when I was younger and haven't heard anything since, though it showed tremendous promise.
- Teenage Fanclub @ The Academy, Dublin on Sunday 30th. The legendary Glaswegians are releasing a new album this year: get a sneak preview in Dublin on Sunday night.
- Sam Amidon @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork on Monday 31st. Yet another fantastic American singer-songwriter releasing work at the moment. This guy was recommended to me by James Vincent McMorrow and it's not hard to see why he is capturing the gazes of many - sounds really special.
Pick of the Week: It's a toss up between Sam Amidon (because he's fantastic) and Marina ('cos I reckon I've a chance...)