6 Festive Gigs You Need to Get to in Dublin over Christmas
December 15, 2018 (No Comments) by Alannah Kenny

Well as they say, it’s almost that time of year again when Christmas is upon us once more. While the run up to it can be quite a stressful time, it’s important to try and cast the worries aside for a while and embrace the seasonal spirit. If you’re out and about doing some Christmas shopping in Dublin, make a day out of it!

the-masters-guide-to-12-pubs-of-christmas

There’s a variety of styles and a wide range of sounds in here to suit everyone’s style. We at the Sharpe have selected our top six festive gigs in the capital that will hopefully get you in the spirit this December without breaking the bank.

6) Féile Kíla

Kicking things off this festive season, we have the wonderful Irish Folk-Rockers, Kíla. This Dublin group originally formed in 1987 and the members continuing the legacy are; Dee, Seanán, Brian, Dave, James and the three siblings; Rossa, Rónán and Colm Ó Snodaigh. After all these years, there is a uniqueness about Kíla’s music that still stands out with their incorporation of other cultural sounds, including the Irish language and truly embracing Folk/Rock through their Celtic roots. Members came and went over the years and experimented in different groups or as solo artists but Kíla’s official first album as a unit was released in 1991 and it was an 8-track cassette entitled Groovin.

After two more albums were released, in 1997 they finally took a leap and created Tóg É Go Bog É which proudly showcased a distinctly Irish sound. Success came knocking as the group collaborated with big names in the industry like U2 and Shane McGowan, all the while performing at huge festivals such as Electric Picnic and Glastonbury. Their most successful year occurred in 2015 when they received an Emmy Award and an Annie Award nomination. That year they also collaborated on the soundtrack for Oscar nominated Irish film; Song of the Sea with Bruno Coulais after their fantastic work together on The Secret of Kells.

Now Kíla are celebrating their 30-year anniversary with a headline Christmas show called Féile Kíla at the National Stadium. With great consistency in producing albums and a selection to choose from, it will no doubt be a cracking show! Kíla’s latest album entitled Kíla – Alive Beo is available for download on iTunes now. For full details check out Eventbrite here.

Where: The National Stadium, 145 South Circular Road, Dublin

When: Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 at 19:00

Tickets: €25.00 pp

5) Glen Hansard

Glen Hansard is an Irish songwriter from Ballymun in Dublin. Largely recognised for his work with Irish indie rock bank The Frames, he is also an accomplished actor. Glen appeared in the BAFTA-winning film The Commitments and also co-starred in Once, which earned him a number of major awards, including an Academy Award for Best Song.

Glen’s first entry into music began when he tackled busking at the tender age of just 13. In a rather serendipitous turn of events, he found fame through film with his role as a guitarist in The Commitments. Hansard wanted to take the traditional route through the music scene as well with his band the Frames, who released multiple albums. They built a hugely loyal fan base and influenced a plethora of Irish acts over the years.

In 2006, Hansard went solo and took some time away from The Frames to pursue his own work. He went for a more acoustic feel and explored a softer vocal range to help pioneer a new, beautifully melodic sound. Glen is also one half of The Swell Season, which features pianist Marketa Irglova. Together in 2007 they wrote the music for the movie Once, the song “Falling Slowly” was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2013 the film was adapted for Broadway as Once, The Musical, winning eight Tony Awards including the top musical prize itself and an Olivier Award in London for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

A staunch speaker on Irish homelessness, Hansard was a prominent member of the Home Sweet Home Group, a coalition of activists and homeless. In 2016, the group broke into Apollo House in Dublin and occupied it to help the homeless people of Dublin.

Glen will return to Vicar Street this December with a band for his Christmas show. The gig will see him play tracks from ‘Between Two Shores’, the Grammy nominated ‘Didn’t He Ramble’ from 2015 and his solo debut of ‘Rhythm and Repose’ from 2012. Glen will have another album coming in 2019, for all the info on upcoming tour dates and news on his latest work, check out the official website here.

Where: Vicar Street, 58-59 Thomas Street, The Liberties, Dublin 8

When: Wednesday December 19th , 2018 at 19:30

Tickets: €35.00pp

4) Christmas Oratorio featuring Katy Kelly

December just wouldn’t be the same without some festive choral melodies and operatic, sensational performances of our favourite traditional carols! Fear not because Irish soprano Katy Kelly is on hand to provide just that this month. Kelly is a Dublin native and is celebrated as one of Ireland’s leading sopranos, having graduated from both the Boston Conservatory and the Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin. She made her first six-track recording on Moore’s Melodies in 2009 and she also featured in the Simply Christmas AIB Choral Society CD.

Over the years, Kelly’s talent truly blossomed as she performed in large productions like her 2010 performance at Carnegie Hall in Boston. She has also had regular National Concert Hall performances like “Countess” in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Inspector (Bobachina) at the Opera America Performance in 2011 and many more. As a result, she has been awarded many accolades including qualifying as a Regional Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera New England National Council Awards in 2011. Kelly has also represented Ireland in many European competitions, winning the IAWS John McCormack Bursary Prize.

To get a complete sense of her empowering music, one has to see her perform live also and be part of the atmosphere. However, for those that are curious, you can download the Simply Christmas CD now on iTunes to get a sense of her beautiful style in chorus. For information on the upcoming gig, click here.

Where: National Concert Hall – Earlsfort Terrace, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2

When: Monday, December 17th, 2018 at 20:00

Tickets: €25.00pp

3) Moya Brennan

For fans of the band Clannad or of Celtic Folk music in general, you’re in for a treat. The powerhouse lead singer of Clannad, Moya Brennan, is going to perform some festive numbers with special guests Hazel O’Connor and the Craobh Phiarais ui Ghregain joining her this December. The event will be hosted by Blathnaid Ní Chofaigh and will go all out from beginning to end. Brennan specialises in Irish Folk music and much like her sister, Irish legend Enya, Brennan’s voice absolutely captivates into silence.

In 1970 after she finished school, Brennan, her two brothers and two uncles formed Clannad together where their 1982 album Magical Ring saw them chart to success. Brennan recorded 17 albums with Clannad and together they won a Grammy, a BAFTA and an Ivor Novello award. Brennan also had a hugely successful solo career, featuring in the soundtracks of huge productions like Titanic and King Arthur. She has travelled with her career and one of her biggest performances was being invited to perform at the Speaker’s Luncheon on Capitol Hill in 2004 in front of President George Bush and the Irish dignitaries.

Brennan released her latest album in 2017 entitled Canvas and if you wish to listen to her enticing melodies, you can stream this album on Spotify. Click here for more on her upcoming gig

Where: Monkstown Parish Church, Monkstown Road, Dublin

When: Friday, December 21st, 2018 at 19:00

Tickets: €11.40 – €22.20

2) Dickie Rock Christmas Show

Prepare to be blown away with a true entertainment spectacle as our second last act, the legendary Dickie Rock, takes to the stage to perform all his hits live. The Northside singer’s career blossomed in 1963 when he emerged as a frontman in new Irish group The Miami Showband, who until 1972 had 13 top ten hits and 7 numbers ones. In fact, in 1965, they became the first ever Irish artists to grab the number one spot immediately with Every Step of the Way, at a time when a similar hysteria occurred for them as the Beatles.

Then in 1966, Rock was given the honour of representing in the Eurovision Song Contest in a solo performance at Luxembourg where he finished fourth. His song rocketed straight to the top of the Irish charts, sitting at the number one spot. In 1973 he went solo officially but still performed with the showband on occasion.

Rock’s success spanned globally and his most frequent ports of call were the USA and the UK where he sailed along in the charts, performed live and also participated in hundreds of TV appearances. In October 2009 a couple of years after the third RTÉ documentary about his life story and career was made, he finally received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Now in 2018 aged 71, he has proved he’s still got it and he will be guaranteed to pull out all the stops this December. A four-course cabaret meal will also be included in the price of tickets to see his show. To get into the festive spirit, you can download Rock’s 1989 album Come Home to Ireland For Christmas now. To pick up tickets, check out the Red Cow Moran Hotel website.

Where: Red Cow Moran Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin

When: Friday December 21st, 2018 at 19:00 (last meals at 20:30)

Tickets: €32.03 – €62.28

1) Damien Dempsey Christmas Show with Full Band

What would an Irish Christmas be without a Damian Dempsey gig! The native Donaghmede man has developed a cult following in Dublin and his end of year shows are said to be something of a sonic pilgrimage for fans. Damien masterfully mixes traditional Irish folk melodies with modern lyrics to deliver powerful social commentary on Irish society, looking at both the good and the bad.

Having grown up on the northside of Dublin and having something of a troubled childhood, the singer found solace through Bob Marley who inspired Dempsey during his darker times. His first EP, The Contender, was released in 1995 through the Ballyfermot College of Further Education record label where he studied musical performance and management.

Damien’s debut album in 2000, ‘They Don’t Teach This Shit in School’ quickly pushed him into a different category of Irish artists, he became known as an important notice for his prolific lyrics. In 2003, the next work titled ‘Seize the Day’ was released and sparked the beginning of a very successful period involving awards and a period of global gigging. Damien is an award-winning artist with a number of accolades under his belt such as the Irish Meteor Awards.

Another interesting project which Damien has embarked on is with Irish graffiti artist Maser, on a project entitled ‘They Are Us’. This was sparked by Dempsey’s lyrics, and involved the painting of his words on derelict buildings in Dublin. Dempsey’s charitable work continued in December 2010, when he and Oscar winning songwriter Glen Hansard recorded and performed the Irish folk classic, ‘The Auld Triangle’.

In 2013, Damien also made his acting debut in the Irish feature film ‘Between The Canals’. His music is gaining popularity in films, having ‘Sing All Your Cares Away’ feature in the BAFTA Award winning film ‘Tyrannosaur’. You can check out Damian’s website to get copies of his latest work and keep up to date on gigs in 2019.

Where: Vicar Street, 58-59 Thomas Street, The Liberties, Dublin 8

When: December 21st – 23rd, 2018 at 20:00

Tickets: €28.00pp

Overall, these shows are a great occasion to be had by family and friends alike over the festive season. It also provides people with the opportunity to see top Irish acts live in breath-taking performances that are a rarity. Many of these acts have loyal followings so move quickly to reserve your tickets!

Alannah Kenny
Interested in big events and likes to keep up to date with celebrity culture as a personal interest. An avid reader and movie lover, enjoys in depth discussions about anything related to dystopian fiction!

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6 Festive Gigs You Need to Get to in Dublin over Christmas
December 15, 2018 (No Comments) by Alannah Kenny

Well as they say, it’s almost that time of year again when Christmas is upon us once more. While the run up to it can be quite a stressful time, it’s important to try and cast the worries aside for a while and embrace the seasonal spirit. If you’re out and about doing some Christmas shopping in Dublin, make a day out of it!

the-masters-guide-to-12-pubs-of-christmas

There’s a variety of styles and a wide range of sounds in here to suit everyone’s style. We at the Sharpe have selected our top six festive gigs in the capital that will hopefully get you in the spirit this December without breaking the bank.

6) Féile Kíla

Kicking things off this festive season, we have the wonderful Irish Folk-Rockers, Kíla. This Dublin group originally formed in 1987 and the members continuing the legacy are; Dee, Seanán, Brian, Dave, James and the three siblings; Rossa, Rónán and Colm Ó Snodaigh. After all these years, there is a uniqueness about Kíla’s music that still stands out with their incorporation of other cultural sounds, including the Irish language and truly embracing Folk/Rock through their Celtic roots. Members came and went over the years and experimented in different groups or as solo artists but Kíla’s official first album as a unit was released in 1991 and it was an 8-track cassette entitled Groovin.

After two more albums were released, in 1997 they finally took a leap and created Tóg É Go Bog É which proudly showcased a distinctly Irish sound. Success came knocking as the group collaborated with big names in the industry like U2 and Shane McGowan, all the while performing at huge festivals such as Electric Picnic and Glastonbury. Their most successful year occurred in 2015 when they received an Emmy Award and an Annie Award nomination. That year they also collaborated on the soundtrack for Oscar nominated Irish film; Song of the Sea with Bruno Coulais after their fantastic work together on The Secret of Kells.

Now Kíla are celebrating their 30-year anniversary with a headline Christmas show called Féile Kíla at the National Stadium. With great consistency in producing albums and a selection to choose from, it will no doubt be a cracking show! Kíla’s latest album entitled Kíla – Alive Beo is available for download on iTunes now. For full details check out Eventbrite here.

Where: The National Stadium, 145 South Circular Road, Dublin

When: Saturday, December 22nd, 2018 at 19:00

Tickets: €25.00 pp

5) Glen Hansard

Glen Hansard is an Irish songwriter from Ballymun in Dublin. Largely recognised for his work with Irish indie rock bank The Frames, he is also an accomplished actor. Glen appeared in the BAFTA-winning film The Commitments and also co-starred in Once, which earned him a number of major awards, including an Academy Award for Best Song.

Glen’s first entry into music began when he tackled busking at the tender age of just 13. In a rather serendipitous turn of events, he found fame through film with his role as a guitarist in The Commitments. Hansard wanted to take the traditional route through the music scene as well with his band the Frames, who released multiple albums. They built a hugely loyal fan base and influenced a plethora of Irish acts over the years.

In 2006, Hansard went solo and took some time away from The Frames to pursue his own work. He went for a more acoustic feel and explored a softer vocal range to help pioneer a new, beautifully melodic sound. Glen is also one half of The Swell Season, which features pianist Marketa Irglova. Together in 2007 they wrote the music for the movie Once, the song “Falling Slowly” was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 2013 the film was adapted for Broadway as Once, The Musical, winning eight Tony Awards including the top musical prize itself and an Olivier Award in London for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

A staunch speaker on Irish homelessness, Hansard was a prominent member of the Home Sweet Home Group, a coalition of activists and homeless. In 2016, the group broke into Apollo House in Dublin and occupied it to help the homeless people of Dublin.

Glen will return to Vicar Street this December with a band for his Christmas show. The gig will see him play tracks from ‘Between Two Shores’, the Grammy nominated ‘Didn’t He Ramble’ from 2015 and his solo debut of ‘Rhythm and Repose’ from 2012. Glen will have another album coming in 2019, for all the info on upcoming tour dates and news on his latest work, check out the official website here.

Where: Vicar Street, 58-59 Thomas Street, The Liberties, Dublin 8

When: Wednesday December 19th , 2018 at 19:30

Tickets: €35.00pp

4) Christmas Oratorio featuring Katy Kelly

December just wouldn’t be the same without some festive choral melodies and operatic, sensational performances of our favourite traditional carols! Fear not because Irish soprano Katy Kelly is on hand to provide just that this month. Kelly is a Dublin native and is celebrated as one of Ireland’s leading sopranos, having graduated from both the Boston Conservatory and the Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin. She made her first six-track recording on Moore’s Melodies in 2009 and she also featured in the Simply Christmas AIB Choral Society CD.

Over the years, Kelly’s talent truly blossomed as she performed in large productions like her 2010 performance at Carnegie Hall in Boston. She has also had regular National Concert Hall performances like “Countess” in Le Nozze di Figaro, The Inspector (Bobachina) at the Opera America Performance in 2011 and many more. As a result, she has been awarded many accolades including qualifying as a Regional Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera New England National Council Awards in 2011. Kelly has also represented Ireland in many European competitions, winning the IAWS John McCormack Bursary Prize.

To get a complete sense of her empowering music, one has to see her perform live also and be part of the atmosphere. However, for those that are curious, you can download the Simply Christmas CD now on iTunes to get a sense of her beautiful style in chorus. For information on the upcoming gig, click here.

Where: National Concert Hall – Earlsfort Terrace, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2

When: Monday, December 17th, 2018 at 20:00

Tickets: €25.00pp

3) Moya Brennan

For fans of the band Clannad or of Celtic Folk music in general, you’re in for a treat. The powerhouse lead singer of Clannad, Moya Brennan, is going to perform some festive numbers with special guests Hazel O’Connor and the Craobh Phiarais ui Ghregain joining her this December. The event will be hosted by Blathnaid Ní Chofaigh and will go all out from beginning to end. Brennan specialises in Irish Folk music and much like her sister, Irish legend Enya, Brennan’s voice absolutely captivates into silence.

In 1970 after she finished school, Brennan, her two brothers and two uncles formed Clannad together where their 1982 album Magical Ring saw them chart to success. Brennan recorded 17 albums with Clannad and together they won a Grammy, a BAFTA and an Ivor Novello award. Brennan also had a hugely successful solo career, featuring in the soundtracks of huge productions like Titanic and King Arthur. She has travelled with her career and one of her biggest performances was being invited to perform at the Speaker’s Luncheon on Capitol Hill in 2004 in front of President George Bush and the Irish dignitaries.

Brennan released her latest album in 2017 entitled Canvas and if you wish to listen to her enticing melodies, you can stream this album on Spotify. Click here for more on her upcoming gig

Where: Monkstown Parish Church, Monkstown Road, Dublin

When: Friday, December 21st, 2018 at 19:00

Tickets: €11.40 – €22.20

2) Dickie Rock Christmas Show

Prepare to be blown away with a true entertainment spectacle as our second last act, the legendary Dickie Rock, takes to the stage to perform all his hits live. The Northside singer’s career blossomed in 1963 when he emerged as a frontman in new Irish group The Miami Showband, who until 1972 had 13 top ten hits and 7 numbers ones. In fact, in 1965, they became the first ever Irish artists to grab the number one spot immediately with Every Step of the Way, at a time when a similar hysteria occurred for them as the Beatles.

Then in 1966, Rock was given the honour of representing in the Eurovision Song Contest in a solo performance at Luxembourg where he finished fourth. His song rocketed straight to the top of the Irish charts, sitting at the number one spot. In 1973 he went solo officially but still performed with the showband on occasion.

Rock’s success spanned globally and his most frequent ports of call were the USA and the UK where he sailed along in the charts, performed live and also participated in hundreds of TV appearances. In October 2009 a couple of years after the third RTÉ documentary about his life story and career was made, he finally received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Now in 2018 aged 71, he has proved he’s still got it and he will be guaranteed to pull out all the stops this December. A four-course cabaret meal will also be included in the price of tickets to see his show. To get into the festive spirit, you can download Rock’s 1989 album Come Home to Ireland For Christmas now. To pick up tickets, check out the Red Cow Moran Hotel website.

Where: Red Cow Moran Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin

When: Friday December 21st, 2018 at 19:00 (last meals at 20:30)

Tickets: €32.03 – €62.28

1) Damien Dempsey Christmas Show with Full Band

What would an Irish Christmas be without a Damian Dempsey gig! The native Donaghmede man has developed a cult following in Dublin and his end of year shows are said to be something of a sonic pilgrimage for fans. Damien masterfully mixes traditional Irish folk melodies with modern lyrics to deliver powerful social commentary on Irish society, looking at both the good and the bad.

Having grown up on the northside of Dublin and having something of a troubled childhood, the singer found solace through Bob Marley who inspired Dempsey during his darker times. His first EP, The Contender, was released in 1995 through the Ballyfermot College of Further Education record label where he studied musical performance and management.

Damien’s debut album in 2000, ‘They Don’t Teach This Shit in School’ quickly pushed him into a different category of Irish artists, he became known as an important notice for his prolific lyrics. In 2003, the next work titled ‘Seize the Day’ was released and sparked the beginning of a very successful period involving awards and a period of global gigging. Damien is an award-winning artist with a number of accolades under his belt such as the Irish Meteor Awards.

Another interesting project which Damien has embarked on is with Irish graffiti artist Maser, on a project entitled ‘They Are Us’. This was sparked by Dempsey’s lyrics, and involved the painting of his words on derelict buildings in Dublin. Dempsey’s charitable work continued in December 2010, when he and Oscar winning songwriter Glen Hansard recorded and performed the Irish folk classic, ‘The Auld Triangle’.

In 2013, Damien also made his acting debut in the Irish feature film ‘Between The Canals’. His music is gaining popularity in films, having ‘Sing All Your Cares Away’ feature in the BAFTA Award winning film ‘Tyrannosaur’. You can check out Damian’s website to get copies of his latest work and keep up to date on gigs in 2019.

Where: Vicar Street, 58-59 Thomas Street, The Liberties, Dublin 8

When: December 21st – 23rd, 2018 at 20:00

Tickets: €28.00pp

Overall, these shows are a great occasion to be had by family and friends alike over the festive season. It also provides people with the opportunity to see top Irish acts live in breath-taking performances that are a rarity. Many of these acts have loyal followings so move quickly to reserve your tickets!

Alannah Kenny
Interested in big events and likes to keep up to date with celebrity culture as a personal interest. An avid reader and movie lover, enjoys in depth discussions about anything related to dystopian fiction!

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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