THERE ARE two kinds of Galwegians - one lives for the Races, the other cannot be far enough away from the Races. If you are of the latter persuasion, there is only one place to be on Ladies' Day - The Strange Brew Summer Shindig.
The Strange Brew Summer Shindig, now in its 12th year, takes place tonight from 8pm at the Róisín Dubh, with a thrilling line-up featuring some of the best emerging Irish indie and alternative rock band operating right now.
Headlining are the mighty Bitch Falcon - Lizzie Fitpatrick (guitar/vocals ), Naomi Macleod (bass ), and Nigel Kenny (drums ) - whose music mixes grunge and punk (witness the single 'Breed' ) but also alternative rock and melodic metal as heard on 'TMJ'. "An unforgettable name and a sound so heavy it could cause earthquakes," says GoldenPlec; “Whatever ‘it’ is, Bitch Falcon have it," said The Irish Times; while Nialler9 declared: “Kicks a whole load of tight rhythmic ass and that’s enough.”
SlowPlaceLikeHome is the musical moniker of Donegal-based producer/musician Keith Mannion. He has already released a series of EPs, and his debut album Romola, while this year saw the new double A-sided singles 'Tiger Lilly' and 'Friday' on special edition limited 10" vinyl. A new album is in the works. For live shows, Mannion is joined by Ciaran Patton (bass ) and Sean Reynolds (drums ), their electro-indie-rock draws on elements of Krautrock.
Stephen McCauley of BBC Radio 6 and Radio Ulster has declared Mannion "one of the finest producers in Ireland and one of my favourite artists anywhere on Earth right now", while NME said: "Sumptuous offerings, from a candid, yet bizarre musical source, Mannion twists the knife with his three-dimensional hooks".
Rural Savage are based in Galway, but their music is rooted firmly in Ulster. Led by Donegal's Farren McDonald, RS explore the reality of life in the border counties, and the darker aspects of Irish social and rural life, in music that is inspired by, and in the tradition of, Ulster punk (Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers, Rudi, Ruefrex ).
At this stage Oh Boland hardly need an introduction. The Tuam trio, fronted by Niall Murphy, and his slice o'life mini-dramas, backed by music that balances dissonance with melody, have long made them one of Galway's favourite bands.
They were We Are Ruffians, today they are Field Trip. What has not changed is that these four young Galwegians display an uncommonly assured, confident, and sophisticated level of ability for such a relatively new band. Their music mixes surf pop, power pop, and indie pop, with vocal harmonies, producing what Citóg's David Boland called "songs full of beauty, melody, killer riffs, and jostling reverberating guitars".
To get an idea of the crazy world of TPM, check out their new single 'Eat That Curry! Rub your Yoke and Get Freaky!' The band are brothers Charles and Andrew Hendy from Louth, influenced by "the dole, depression and anxiety". Today FM has called them "a mix between the Rubberbandits, David Byrne, and The Specials". Now you have to admit, that sounds good indeed.
Also playing are Dublin alternative baroque pop quintet, Elm, whose music "finds a perfect middle ground between intimate and cinematic," according to DublinConcerts.ie, through the use of guitar, cello, synth, and drums, and the haunting vocals of Dylan Walsh.
The bill includes New Pope, the solo project of Citóg's David Boland, who released the album, Youth, at the end of last year; Dublin indie band Search Party Animal, whose influences include And So I Watch You From Afar, Foals, and Two Door Cinema Club; North Carolina's Sunset Kings - Brandon Rougeau (guitar/vocals ), Nick Simon (drums ) and Stephen Luther (bass ) - playing what they call "their own unique brand of dirty rock'n'roll"; and Galway band Bob Skeleton have supported The Strypes, Paddy Hanna, and August Wells.
Admission is €5 and includes a free pint. See www.roisindubh.net
LISTEN TO A PODCAST WITH GUGAI, WHERE HE TALKS ABOUT THE SUMMER SHINDIG: