Cork FreeSessions article for St Patricks Weekend first published in The Evening Echo 2014-3-13

5 Days & 19 Gigs in 700 words!

The hard months after Christmas have finally passed, hopefully we’ve all cleared the credit card bills and can enjoy the first bank holiday of the year, but with our wallets in mind Ronan Leonard has compiled a list of free live music events in the city this weekend perhaps you’ll want to check out some of the bands, and maybe some of the pubs you haven’t been into in a while!

Thursday 13 March

Let’s start the festivities with a bit of classy swing and soul, well-cut suits and great performances from Oceans Eight at The Old Oak at 9pm, they put on a great show every time. For a bit of sonic and sartorial contrast at 10pm in Bradleys on Barrack Street there will be a gig by the Audible Joes, a punk band who claim influences like Stiff Little Fingers, Nirvana and Johnny Cash. Whilst in The Pavilion at the same time will be a double bill from two of the finest new bands from Cork in recent years, The Careers and Grave Lanterns.

After that why not ramble down to one of my favourite gigs of the week which is the
Midnight Rambles in The Oliver Plunkett, where a rotating bunch of some of Cork’s best Americana/rock players such as John Blek & The Rats, hold court in the middle of the bar. You never know what you will hear, but you can be sure it’ll be great!

Friday 14 March

Blind Lemon, a fantastically tight and varied blues rock band will be rolling into BDSM on North Main Street at 8pm. Down in Sober Lane on Sullivans Quay, the one man musical tornado that is Pat Fitz will be playing from 9pm with his usual mix of classic and contemporary songs. While at 10pm Crazy Chester will be bringing their classic rock sound to Coughlans, recently voted the best live music venue in Ireland in the IMRO awards. You can expect some Beatles, maybe some Byrds but no Snakes!

Saturday 15 March

One Horse Pony released an album of their high-energy acoustic blues last year, and they will be in Costigans on Pembroke Street at 9pm. Meanwhile on the other side of the river, there will be a night of guitar, sax and two great vocalists when Tomas McCarthy and Clodagh Kearney hold court in Brú on MacCurtain Street at 9.30pm

Sunday 16 March

Fuaim, will be playing an afternoon trad set in Sin É on Coburg Streeet at 3.30pm; a little later El Coche Fantastico, am ensemble of great musicians who play a variation of classic songs will play in The Mutton Lane at 7pm. One of the most fun tribute bands you can catch Mac Fleetwood will be taking to the stage at the Crane Lane at 9pm and then Rattlesnake County will be playing some great country and rock music in The Woodford from 10pm.

Monday 17 March

Ok, deep breath… if you manage to get to all of these you deserve a medal!

One of Ireland’s favourite traditional ensembles, the Ceili Allstars will be in The Bodega at 4.30pm; while around the corner another trad group, G’wan, will be on at the same time in The Vicarstown on North Main Street. If you are in the mood for some bluegrass meets punk, you’ll really enjoy Railyard Ghosts in Fred Zepplins on Parliament Street who will be starting around 6pm. One of the newest pubs on the block, El Fenix on Union Quay, will be hosting one of the hottest sessions in Cork, John Synnott’s Honky Tonk Sessions from 5pm.

Next door later in the evening Two Time Polka who playing an amazing combination of Cajun, rock and roll and R’n’B, will be playing in Charlies from 9pm. Get there early to get a good spot and if you are still going and want to toast St Patrick a little more the fantastic 8-piece band (Pontious Pilate And) The Naildrivers will be bringing everything to a close in The Crane Lane from midnight with their great covers of Ska and Rock legends such as The Specials, Madness and The Clash.

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