Live Reviews

Jake Bugg is a big name. He has headlined the Other and the John Peel stages at Glastonbury, headlined Cambridge Folk Festival (which I missed due to a clash), and in Dublin he has played at the Olympia and Marlay Park. Therefore when it was announced that he would come to Whelans, fans were at the ready online. A first date sold out instantly, so a second one was added. That sold out too, but that was the one I managed to get a ticket for.

Performing as part of the 'Creativity Transforms Lives' programme (along with the likes of GoGo Penguin, Levellers and Beth Orton) at London's Roundhouse, Nadine Shah took the Friday night slot in an intimate, 'in the round' stage setting.

The decision to go and see Lau was made last summer, when I was at Beautiful Days. I had spent a long, rainy day watching bands and trundling through the mud. I walked into the tent where Lau were playing and it was packed. I suddenly felt very tired and when I saw a space in line with the stage where I could sit on metal rather than muddy grass I decided to have a sit down and a picnic. I had my back to the stage and could not see the band, but I could hear Lau's music reverberating through the tent. The crowd was loving it and it sounded brilliant. I knew I should have been out there watching them.

This series of gigs was Sigur Ros’ first in Iceland since their ‘Heima’ tour 5 years ago. Tonight was the first of four consecutive nights at Reykjavik’s Harpa centre, the central point of a four day art and music festival ‘Nordur Og Nidur’ (loosely translated as ‘Go To Hell’).

The live music scene in Dublin is healthy at the best of times, but goes into overdrive the weeks before Christmas. If time and money were no object you could go to top gigs for a fortnight straight. The Kíla Christmas show is something of an institution now and I cannot recall exactly how many I have been. I remember Whelans, Vicar Street and the Meeting House Square. For the last few years they have held it at the Button Factory, a great venue that unfortunately programmes tribute acts a lot of the time.

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