This weekend marks the semi-official start of the Irish festival season, with Vantastival taking to the great outdoors in Louth. Meanwhile in the capital, a no less expansive event is taking place with the second year of the Meteor Camden Crawl Dublin. Spread across fifteen venues in the city, all curated by the likes of Nialler9, Dan Hegarty, Strange Brew, Young Hearts Run Free and our good selves, the festival once again features a plethora of names – both familiar and undiscovered. Tickets are on sale here and State will be on hand to not only report on proceedings, but also host our own shows at The Globe. To get you in the mood, here’s our preview of the weekend’s events.
One of the new developments this year is a stand alone opening night party (weekend tickets won’t get you in), taking place at Whelan’s this evening. There’s an early start (Windings kick off at 7pm) but with five acts in total it’s a packed night. Pick of the bunch has to be Montreal’s Dirty Beaches but we’ll also be seen to see if Big Deal (pictured) can live up to the hype. Tropics and New Young Pony Club complete the bill.
Day one of the festival proper and the individual nature of the curated venues is clear to see. The way the Crawl works means that some of the more prominent names play early slots, with Heathers launching a Rubyworks night at the Unitarian Church that includes the likes of Gavin James and Orla Gartland. Nialler9 takes over two floors of Sweeney’s for his own mini-festival of mainly electronica (White Collar Boy, Adultrock), with Owensie keeping it more organic.
As with last year, State will be hosting The Globe and we’re more than delighted with our guests. Unwinding Cables caught our eye at the end of last year with their passionate afro-punk and made the Faces of 2013 list, as did solo multi-instrumentalist Inni-K. Fight Like Apes, meanwhile, are old friends with a State history that goes back to our earliest days and we’re proud to host their first Dublin show of a busy summer. We’re also running a second Saturday show at 4 Dame Lane, with Leanne Harte and I’m Your Vinyl live, followed by a DJ set from Le Galaxie.
Elsewhere, there’s much to whet the appetite – from the Echo & The Bunnymen / PVT combination in the Button Factory, French indie pop outfit We Were Evergreen in the Grand Social, Altar Of Plagues offshoot Wife at the Village and the, shall we say, lively Kid Karate in the intimate surroundings of JJ Smyths. At that’s only day one.
Without the inconvenience of the camping experience, there’s no excuse not to get going early on the second day of the Crawl and there are some nice names on offer first up. Croupier play their second show of the weekend at the Button Factory, Overhead, The Albatross are at The Workman’s and there’s a double helping of the Fence Collective at Whelan’s from The Pictish Trail and Kid Canaveral. Over in the cozy environs of the Stag’s Head, Aoife Barry of Sweet Oblivion presents a night of suitably intimate music from Peter Delaney, Holy Roman Army and Soil Creep. State’s guests for the second night at the Globe are another mixed bunch – Belfast’s Amateur Historians, Owensie moving around the corner from Sweeney’s and the ever developing Notas.
There’s a strong international flavour to the Button Factory, with Lanterns On The Lake, Prince Rama and The Black Lips closing out the night. Upstairs At Whelan’s sees the brutal sound of Eagulls, while next door at The Village there’s the heavily fancied No Ceremony/// and recent State interviewees Three Trapped Tigers. Not to be outdone, the Irish scene is more than capable of holding its own and we’re especially looking forward to Come On Live Long, Liza Flume and Hunk at Sweeney’s, The Spook Of The Thirteenth Lock getting dark for Young Hearts Run Free in the Unitarian Church and Kool Thing teaming up with Mother Club in 4 Dame Lane.
See you over the weekend…