by / October 6th, 2011 /

Top Story: HWCH 2011 Preview

Tonight sees the start of the 2011 Hard Working Class Heroes festival, the annual showcase of domestic talent and music industry convention. State will be covering the weekend in detail, but in the meantime Elaine Buckley, Josh Clarke, Daniel Harrison and Phil Udell offer their pick of just some of the 100 bands playing across Dublin over the next three nights…

Boy Lights Fire (Thursday, Workmans Club, 9.30pm)

Claiming ‘Take On Us’ by The Redneck Manifesto as the first music they ever performed, the North Eastern three-piece draw on other similar influences – taking the post-rock world as a starting point and giving it their own twist. (PU)

Cars Love Girls (Friday, Shebeen Chic, 12.45am)

Formed by two members of Republic Of Loose (brother and sister Bres and Orla), Cars Love Girls offer a similar opportunity to step outside the norm of guitar rock. Steeped in their shared love of Retro R’n’B and Pop, the duo’s sound developed from a vast array of influences including Prince, Prefab Sprout, Hall & Oates, The Time and Steely Dan. The result is their debut album Skip School, old school R’n’B with a contemporary bite. (PU)

Cars Love Girls by cars love girls

Cfit (Thursday, The Mercantile, Midnight)

Cfit played their first gig together as a full band at last Hard Working Class Heroes – and now 12 months on they return to the festival with a debut album in the form of Triage to their credit, which was launched upon a capacity crowd in Crawdaddy earlier this year. The band’s material – self-described as “woozy, bruised, melancholy anthems” – is intriguing to listen to; but even moreso to witness performed live. (EB)

Come On Live Long (Saturday, Grand Social, 8pm)

By combining the use of samplers, synths, ukeleles, guitars, keys and percussion Come On Live Long blend a common love for all things electronic with their folk roots to attain a sound that is both energetic and melodic. The results were heard on their impressive self-titled debut EP, with a follow up due later this year. (PU)

Daithi (Thursday, Grand Social, 11pm)

It might be too simplistic to describe Daithi’s music as electro-meets-mathrock-meets-Final Fantasy, but it gives you an idea of the ballpark he’s in, as dizzying, layered violin loops combine with pulsing rhythms. Something of an adopted Galwegian (originally from Clare), the young musician comes from a family steeped in traditional music, but his sound contrasts that background with more modern influences such as Foals. It’s the kind of thing that probably shouldn’t work, but work it does – as anyone who’s seen his dazzling live shows will testify. (DH)

Embrace E.P by Daithi

The Depravations (Saturday, Workmans Club, 8pm)

Their Mosey EP is a charming collection of breezy indie-folk songs with vintage surf-pop inspired harmonies: check the wistful ‘In The Garden’ or the irresistible campfire-strum-stylings of ‘Summer Rain’. With an album on the way, expect some new material too. (DH)

The Garden by The Depravations

Drunken Boat (Saturday, The Mercantile, 10.30pm)

Last year’s album Concrete Canyons was criminally slept on, a collection of subtly emotive slowcore-tinged songs with rough, Crazy Horse-like guitar textures and sporadic bursts of squall. (DH)

The Dying Seconds (Thursday, The Grand Social, 9.40pm)

The Dying Seconds have gradually evolved from a two-men-and-their-laptops setup into an exciting six-piece outfit who are a force to be reckoned with in a live setting. Their hauntingly powerful and uniquely melancholy sound has even earned them a personal endorsement from none other than Aaron Dessner of The National, after he saw the band perform in Whelan’s late last year. Excellent recent single ‘Mora Minn’ generated a lot of buzz online (aided by the fantastic accompanying video, directed by band member Jack Quilligan) and further fuelled anticipation for their forthcoming second album Glimmers (EB)

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Elaine Mai (Thursday, Shebeen Chic, 11.45pm)

The release of ‘Softly’ earlier in the year served notice of her talents: an exquisite, chiming track with hypnotic looped harmonies, it proved she has the songwriting ability to match her beguiling vocals. Word has duly spread since, with the Galway-based musician playing support to the likes of Julianna Barwick and Sam Amidon. (DH)

Softly by elainemai

Ginnels (Saturday, Shebeen Chic, 10.15pm)

The brainchild of Mark Chester from Grand Pocket Orchestra and No Monster Club, Ginnels deal in fuzzy, exuberant lo-fi goodness and infectiously sunny melodies. New EP Mountbatten Class is free to download online, with a cassette release on the way from Long Lost Records; it follows the release earlier this year of the self-titled debut album and the superb ‘Great Fall’ single. (DH)

Great Fall by ginnels

Henrietta Game (Thursday, The Mercantile, 11.15pm)

Having impressed us hugely with debut album Black Ship, we’re very much looking forward to the Henrietta Game live experience. Bands with a range of instruments seem to be making a return this year, yet this lot could be the pick of the bunch. (PU)

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