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Saturday 23 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
4 events for... music lovers seeking something a little different
From trad sessions to new Irish music.

JANUARY MAY BE cinema season, but there’s also plenty of live music happening around the country. Whether you’re craving an intimate trad session or hoping to catch a bright young thing before they make it big, music lovers are spoiled for choice.

Whelan’s Ones To Watch 2018

OTW18-p-v2 Whelan's Whelan's

When: January 18th-21st

Where: Whelan’s, Wexford Street

Every year, Whelan’s hosts a four-day showcase for up-and-coming Irish acts. Over the last few years, the likes of Aine Cahill, Le Boom, Wyvern Lingo, Girl Band, and others have performed there.

This year, there are scores of acts lined up for the four days including 80s pop-inspired quartet The Girl Talk and self-professed indie pop rascals Brand New Friend.

Day tickets are €5 or you can get a four-day ticket for €10. Every ticket comes with a complimentary pint of Hop House 13. If you fancy catching the next big thing before they headline the main stage of Electric Picnic, you know where to go.

Ruby Sessions

When: Every Tuesday night

Where: Upstairs in Doyle’s, College Green

By now, you’ve probably heard of Ruby Sessions, an acoustic club hosted in Doyle’s every Tuesday night. Over the years, they’ve hosted intimate performances from heavyweights like Ed Sheeran, Mumford and Sons and Paolo Nutini, as well as homegrown heroes like Glen Hansard, Hozier, The Corrs, and Damien Rice.

You never know who is going to pop in, and that’s part of the magic. Ruby Sessions has been going strong for sixteen years now and is back for 2018. If you have yet to stop in, make this the year you rectify that.

This Is The Kit


When: January 16th + 17th

Where: Cyprus Avenue, Cork (January 16th) and Whelan’s, Wexford Street (January 17th)

This is the Kit is British songwriter Kate Stables’ folk project. Last year, Stables released her fourth album Moonshine Freeze, which was hailed by The Irish Times as a “five-star stone-cold instant classic” and The Guardian as a “fascinating take on alt-folk”. High praise indeed. If you like PJ Harvey and Sufjan Stevens, you’ll love This Is The Kit.

Stables comes to Ireland for two dates next week. She will perform in Cyprus Avenue on January 16th and Whelan’s on January 17th. Should you have yet to acquaint yourself with her musical stylings, watch her NPR Tiny Desk concert from last month.

De Barra’s Folk Club

When: 9.30pm, January 15th

Where: De Barra’s Folk Club, Clonakilty

If you have a hankering for a good old-fashioned musical session, the majestic De Barra’s Folk Club in Clonakilty should be on the top of your list for places to go. Every Monday night, the pub hosts a lively trad session featuring world-class musicians. Cosy, intimate, and authentic.

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