For many in the Irish music industry the lack of communication between the Northern and Southern scenes has long been the cause of astonishment, particularly when both areas are producing the most acclaimed and vibrant bands of recent years, despite the best efforts of the likes of Hard Working Class Heroes. It was a common cause for complaint at this year’s UnConvention event in Belfast, that bands from the city and elsewhere found it impossible to make contacts in the South – something echoed by their counterparts in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and beyond.
This summer, however, will see the taking of steps to remedy this situation when State.ie and AU Magazine join forces to present a series of collaborative shows between the best of new Irish talent from across the country. Although something that our Northern colleagues have been doing for sometime at its Club AU nights, the State Presents… gigs will give those particular bands a new home in the South.
Based in Laverty’s Attic in Belfast, Club AU was launched last August with the aim of building bridges across Ireland bringing the best in music to new audiences. State Presents…will aim to do the same at its new home at the iconic South County Dublin venue, the Purty Loft in Dun Laoghaire. Both ventures will exist as separate entities, coming together when the occasion demands.
Such an occasion will happen on Friday April 24th when the first State / Club AU event – in association with Forever Presents – takes place at the Purty Loft. The bill for the evening is the perfect indication of what the pairing hopes to achieve. Alphastates are due to release their second album on that very day, further proof of their status as purveyors of dreamy, alternative pop music. And So I Watch You From Afar, meanwhile, are being hailed as the most exciting band to come out of Belfast in years – particular State favourites who have managed to capture their explosive live show on their self-titled debut record. Completing the bill is Conor O’Brien from Villagers. Tipped as our band of the year way back in January, Villagers were recently nominated as the sixth most important Irish musical act of today in the Irish Times, despite only releasing one EP to date. Conor will be playing a special solo set for the night. Running till 2.30am, the night will be rounded off by State and AU DJ sets.
And this is only the beginning….Friday May 1st will see the triple bill of Escape Act, The Rags and John Shelly & The Creatures at the Purty Loft, while on May 23rd Club AU will repay the favour when Super Extra Bonus Party make the trip to Belfast to play on the usual high quality bands. These unique nights will continue to take place throughout the year, with details on both www.iheartau.com and www.state.ie.