The 12 Gigs Of Christmas, first published in Downtown/The Evening Echo 2013-12-12

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Well hello again, it’s my annual attempt to pick out 12 gigs to catch in Cork over the Christmas period. I’ve tried to pick something from every live music venue in the city; I’ve erred towards original music and because of the economy I’ve made a lot of the gigs I recommend are free! There is so much on that I could have written a completely different list three or four times, so check all the venues listings for their full line-ups!

Wednesday 18 December – Coughlans Bar on Douglas Street have become one of Ireland’s most respected venues and are hosting a Concert in Aid of Suicide Awareness featuring some of the bands who have played there over the course of 2013 such as Anna Mitchell, who has a much anticipated album coming out next year; John Blek & The Rats, who should feature in many people’s best record of 2013 polls; and many other musicians such as The Hard Ground, Jack O’Rourke and Mide Houlihan. In short this will be like a Christmas Staff party for a lot of the local music scene (without the photocopier!). 9pm €5

Thursday 19 – Cyprus Avenue
Generic People, the long-running electronic duo somewhat disappeared in 2013, but after a lot of rehearsal, development and production will be the debuting their new full live band. Some are already predicting this will raise the bar once again on Cork’s thriving electronic music scene. 9pm  €10

Friday 20 –  Bradleys Bar, Barrack Street
Gene And The Pools – Like buses, Cork has been waiting for a great 1960’s style Garage Rock band, and suddenly we have a handful of them, but this quartet really are the ‘nugget’ of the bunch. With original songs that stand up against the classic songs from that era they cover, this band should been seen if only to see the ‘Pako’ in action! 9pm FREE

Saturday 21 – City Limits Comedy Club
Stepping away from live music for a night, let’s focus on Karl Spain & Fred Cooke, two of Ireland’s favourite comedians, between them they have a host of appearances on television such as The Republic Of Telly and The Fear, they will not let you down! 9pm €18

Sunday 22  – The last chance for some to get to town for some shopping, dare I suggest an early evening session of songs and perhaps a catch-up with someone you bumped into that you haven’t seen since last Christmas! The Oliver Plunkett have one led by John O Connor and Anna Mitchell, who seem to know every duet and harmony combination possible. (6pm, FREE)

Monday 23 – While their styles are completely different, both of these acts have a lot in common such as charisma and charm; Brian Deady has had a very successful year with highlights including supporting Chic in The Cork Opera House and appearing on The Late Late Show (which of course means he has finally ‘made it’ in Ireland), he plays The Pavilion at 9pm (€8). On the same night Don for Chickens, a vocal led solo performer who entertains and enlightens at the same pace, will be holding court with his anti authoritarian and comedic verse in the Sin é on Coburg Street at 9.30pm FREE.

Friday 27 – Does anyone from Cork need to be told about The Franks And Walters? But it’s almost a tradition to catch their Christmas gigs and why not take the opportunity to try a relatively new venue who are leading the movement of ‘Rocking The Burbs’! The White Horse, Ballincollig. €15

Saturday 28 –
While these, strictly speaking are two separate concerts, they are on in the same building; Declan Sinnott, one of Ireland’s most in-demand producers and Christy Moore’s chief collaborator, and a fine songwriter and singer in his own right, will be playing in the Triskel Christchurch (€16). Then in the TDC area will be a live performance from Andy Stott, an electronic act who pushes boundaries whilst also producing music to make people dance; he will be joined by local acts such as EIII, Art Bastard and Drievs (€17)

Sunday 29 – Another choc-a-bloc line up of Cork bands, while three of them, The Vincent(s), Shaker Hymn and Private Underground Residence, are established bands and worthy going to see in isolation, I’d like to take the opportunity to highlight The Careers; they have only been gigging a few months and already have a buzz about them that I haven’t witnessed for a long time in the city. The Pavilion, FREE

Tuesday 31  – Fast.Like.Fun have got quite the reputation for one of Cork’s tightest, bravest and rocking-est bands… this trio have got the songs, attitude and potential to make serious impact internationally. They will be playing Cyprus Avenue and I do not anticipate a subtle ringing in of the New Year! Doors 8.30pm €7

Monday 1 January – finally we’ll start the year where so many local music fans nights out end! The Crane Lane, the home of late night music most nights of the week, will be putting on an evening concert for those whose New Years resolution is to see more live music! Warsaw Radio, Della Lupa, Kokopelli & Edd Mann will be playing a gig at 8.30pm, Free

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