THE STRANGE BREW Summer Shindig, Galway city's annual celebration of all things indie-rock - from the idea of indie as a genre to the philosophy of independent music and labels - returns to the Róisín Dubh.
Now in its 15th year, the shindig takes place in the Dominick Street venue on Thursday August 1, starting at 8pm and featuring 12 acts - ranging from indie-rock bands, to electronic artists, to singer-songwriters, to folk musicians, to even an indie 'super-group'.
Fusing death-before-dishonour indie-rock, with the vibe and energy of surf-rock, Squarehead - Roy Duffy, Ian McFarlane, Ruan Van Vliet - headline the night. Expect to hear songs from the band's forthcoming album, High Time, which will be released on September 27 via Strange Brew Records.
Six years on from previous album Respect, and three records in three years plus constant touring schedule, the band took a much-needed physical and mental health break. Returning with High Time, it finds the Dublin trio at their most mature. As a taster, the band released the single 'Morning', last month."Morning is a Beatlesesque slow build set in the hazy middle ground between the sleep and waking state," said the band. "This netherworld is made all the more alluring by the presence of a new lover who is being pleaded with to join their partner back in half sleep. The song is an experiment with restraint, pace, and lyrical economy that mirrors the experience of regaining consciousness.”
Also playing is Paddy Hanna, the Irish singer-songwriter who won much acclaim for his second album Frankly, I Mutate, also released via Strange Brew. Odd, yet intelligent; challenging, yet accessible, Hanna is a left-of-centre talent whose music embraces chanson, country, late night ruminations, and left-field pop, with touches of Lee Hazlewood, Scott Walker, and Richard Hawley. He is currently at work on his third release, planned for release in 2020.Hanna fans will get two chances to see the artist as he will also appear in his guise as lead singer of Autre Monde, a kind of Irish indie 'super group', featuring guitarist Mark Chester (Ginnels ), bassist Padraig Cooney (Tieranniesaur ), and drummer Eoghan O’Brien (No Monster Club ). As The Irish Times said: "Autre Monde [have] chosen some of the most esoteric of early 1980s guitar music to mine: Television, ESG, Suicide and The Slits...they are conjuring a fresh sound out of well-worn strings".Junior Brother - Kerry singer-songwriter Ronan Kealy, his stage name comes from a character in the Jacobean play The Revenger's Tragedy - is another artist on the Strange Brew roster. His debut album, Pull The Right Rope, was released in May. The Irish Times said of the album, "The tales told here are full of wide-eyed wonders and keen observations...Junior Brother’s songs are the real deal"; while The Last Mixed Tape declared, "Pull The Right Rope is a shining example of how long-standing genres like trad and folk can be given new life. A true musical self-portrait."
The brilliant Anna Mullarkey is both a solo artist and a member of Galway folk-prog band My Fellow Sponges. A multi instrumentalist composer, performer, and producer, the Galway woman has been called "a sultry ménage of Björk/Billie Holiday/Philip Glass” by Irish Theatre magazine. Her compositions range from folk to jazz to electronica, and her music has featured on numerous documentaries. Another Strange Brew artist, she released the single 'Sometimes' in March. The song explored themes of personal growth, confusion, uncertainty, and self-acceptance.Bob Skeleton, the Galway band who describe their music as "midnight-pop" with shades of "West Coast cool and Mancunian mood", also play the shindig. The quartet opened their 2019 account with the release of the single 'After You' in March. It was their first entirely self produced track, and was mastered by Robin Schmidt (The 1975, Blossoms, Two Door Cinema Club ).
Field Trip, are another Galway band. They mix garage rock, indie-pop, and surf rock, and have a grasp of songwriting and arrangement it takes others years to master, play the next Bus King gig. Their five track EP Evening's Over (Citóg Records/Little L ) displays a keen sense of melody and harmony, with the stand out track being 'Plant The Seed', with its irresistible chorus and Teenage Fanclub-esque vibes.
Also playing are Proper Micro NV, Post Punk Podge, singer Sinead White, 9th & 10th, and Jack Lee. Admission is €10/5 and includes a free badge. Tickets are available from www.roisindubh.net; the Ticket Desk at [email protected], Shop Street; and The Róisín Dubh. See also www.strangebrew.ie