Last year’s HWHC was a resounding success, with three solid days and nights of quality music spread over the nucleus of a few select venues in the city centre. Well, it’s back once more, and we’re raring to go as we’re sure you are too. It wasn’t easy considering the calibre of acts in the line-up, but we’ve made a few selections we think might be worth you’re time on this year’s jaunt.
Thursday – The New Theatre – 8.10pm
Pickett came to our attention earlier this year with his thoughtful take on Americana on ‘By The Time I Get To Wilmot’, an album that called to mind the likes of Dylan and Drake. We caught a brief set by Pickett at Castlepalooza earlier in the summer, a taster of what we can expect perhaps? We’ll wait until the night to find out if we have the man alone or with the full band accompaniment – either way, the songs can’t fail to impress.
The Altered Hours
Thursday – The Workman’s Club – 8.40pm
This five-piece from Cork have honed their live show to a lean, volatile sonic assault. Swirling psychedelia and garage-flavoured drones merge and collide, augmented by primal howls and deep intonations that complete the soundscape. Their Sweet Jelly Roll single came out on Anton Newcombe’s A Records label this year, a hypnotic, swathed slice of ethereal shoegaze-y magic. Get along to The Workman’s to catch one of the best live acts around.
Thursday – The New Theatre – 8.50pm
Niall released his first solo album ‘Finds’ in 2009; since then he’s been busy honing his live sound. His songs touch on folk, rock…even a touch of disco infiltrates the melodic explorations. His ‘Before The Night Goes’ EP was released this year, so here’s hoping for a chance to hear this new material alongside those initial finds.
Thursday – Meeting House Square – 11.20pm
It’s been a busy year for The Vincent(s), with the band seemingly playing…everywhere. Swampy garage blues with a pummelling rhythm section grinds and rumbles from the stage when these lads are in full flow. This one promises to be a dark, sleazy delight.
Thursday – Meeting House Square – 12.ooam
Halves are an incredibly accomplished band who have raised their game this year with the release of their fantastic second album ‘Boa Howl’. Their live shows are sensory feasts, a swirling mass of textures and dynamics. With a midnight appearance on Thursday night we’re hoping that Halves can get their hands on some of the spectacular lights they had at Castlepalooza to really make their show take off.
Thursday – The Button Factory – 10.00pm
It’s been a pretty outstanding week for Andrew Hozier-Byrne; it will probably come as a bit of a surprise as to the sheer level of attention that his first single will have brought him. ‘Take Me To Church’, with a powerful and haunting video from Feel Good Lost, received 150,000 views in 24-hours. Upon listening to the song, it will be come as no surprise as the emotive song grabs you from the offset. Even better, his short four-track EP is packed full of brooding lyrical gold. Head along and experience the depth to his live-show.
Friday – Meeting House Square – 8.00pm
Cat Dowling impressed at this year’s Castlepalooza, with a main stage set culled from ‘The Believer’ album that created an undeniable buzz. The singer and her band flow from calm seas to tumultuous guitar squalls, with Dowling bridging the gap between crowd and stage. After that gig we can’t wait to see her in a more intimate outdoor setting.
Friday – The New Theatre – 8.10pm
For all your electro-pop needs, you need look no further than Limerick group Cove. Their eponymous EP released earlier this year remains one of the most exciting listens so far this year. The biggest challenge for the band now is how to successfully translate their highly polished studio sound to the live stage. If they can pull that off, then this band have the songs to put on a serious live show.
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Friday – Meeting House Square – 10pm
After a Granby Park gig that had its fair share of technical mishaps, Dublin’s best off-kilter disco-electro band will be looking to get back to their A-game. When these guys get it right – and they usually do – they get it right in the most spectacular fashion. With a well placed 10pm set in Meeting House Square you’re almost guaranteed the most fun set you’ll see all weekend.
Friday – The Button Factory – 10.00pm
The purveyors of wonderfully dreamy electro-pop look set to return to the live scene after a summer of working on a new album. Expect plenty of those new tracks to sneak into the set alongside old favourites such as Islands. The delightful on-stage antics of frontwoman Sorcha Brennan is another reason, if ever there was one, to pop in and scrutinise what this enthralling act has to offer after a summer spent squirreling away at new tunes.
Friday – Twisted Pepper – 10.00pm
One-third of Ships (playing Saturday, 9.20 at the Button Factory), Simon Cullen is a Dublin-based producer who is making a name for himself. If it’s funky, beat driven flows your after; then Lasertom is your man. From the (frustratingly) limited content available to us online, it’s cleat that Cullen likes his flowing rhythms and pays particular attention to detail in his production. Having caught him at the Temple Bar Art Gallery 30th birthday last week, he’s sure to put on another impressive performance.
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Friday – The Workman’s Club – 10.40pm
Another band who have been working away at a new album throughout the summer are the noise-rock girl group September Girls. The band have been releasing a constant flow of steadily improving tracks all summer long, as well as putting on several impressive festival performances. Their raw, rugged sound, refined slightly on recent releases, is complimented by a shedload of harmonies. All of this make this band well worth checking out.
Saturday – The Workman’s Club – 8.40pm
Popical Islanders Dott were one of our favourites at last year’s HWCH, with their too-brief, sweet set of surfy lo-fi in The Workman’s. These are sounds for an Indian summer – Spector-esque, Shangri-La’d pop tunes. We’re hoping for a double dose this time around.
Saturday – The Workmans Club – 10.oopm
The Notas are a band we’ve been keeping tabs on for a long time. At Castlepalooza the North Dublin sextet became serious contenders for band of the weekend when their electro-tinged indie went widescreen in a way we’ve never seen before. Here’s hoping that widescreen sound comes back to blow the roof off The Workman’s.
The Boxing Plot
Saturday – The Workman’s Club – 10.40pm
They might only have a handful of tracks available online, but everything we’ve heard so far from The Boxing Plot has been nothing short of spectacular. The band draw loose comparisons with early Bloc Party and Interpol with their severe and brooding songs, but The Boxing Plot have their own totally unique and fresh sound. Aside from their cracking tunes, Harry Ó Cléirigh’s intense stage presence is yet another reason why this act is a must-see. With the band due to release some new material in the near future, this is the ideal chance to catch one of the most exciting and enigmatic bands around.
Come On Live Long
Saturday – Meeting House Square – 11.oopm
Come on Live Long are serious contenders for album of the year with the fantastic ‘Everything Fall’. They’re an accomplished live band who we’ve seen numerous times on this year’s festival circuit but they never quite reached the level of excellence shown on record. So could this year’s Hard Working Class Heroes be their moment? We certainly believe so.
Saturday – The Workman’s Club – 11.20
Indie-rockers Bouts have just released 6.0 the first single from their upcoming debut album, and if it’s a precursor of things to come, then we may have one hell of an album on our hands. Their wildly energetic live performances are quite something in themselves, and while the band’s vocals can sometimes be questionable, the ferocity of the guitars more than makes up for any lyrical weaknesses.
Sunday – Bad Bobs – 12.00am
One song. That’s all we have to go on for Tvvins right now. Well not quite. We’ve got one song and two very good reputations. Conor Adams of Cast of Cheers and Lar Kaye of Adebesi Shank have combined forces for Tvvins. Two Worlds has us hooked with its vocoder vocals, tribal drums and pulsating synths.