Electric WhatNic – Ronan Leonard’s guide of mostly free events in Cork City this weekend

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

first published in @The Evening Echo 2014-8-21


Ronan Leonard’s guide of mostly free events in the city this weekend

Electric WhatNic? Couldn’t get a ticket? Not able to get the days off? Got too many commitments with the children? Sure who wants to go anyway! It’ll probably rain anyway, you can’t get Murphys or Beamish, there are queues and there’ll be loads of Dublin people. Its way better to stay in Cork this weekend, so I’ve put together a guide of mostly free events in the city this weekend

We’ll start off with two free late night gigs on Thursday night, which is technically Friday!

One is the weekly ‘Midnight Ramble’ with rotating musicians held in the ‘round’, i.e. in the middle of the Oliver Plunkett with the crowd surrounding them in a complete circle, at the time of writing David Duffy and Davey Ryan, one of the hottest rhythm sections in town, are confirmed to be playing along with John O’Connor with several other guests to appear on the night.

At the same time around the corner, The Crane Lane will be hosting a show by ‘One Horse Pony’, who over recent years have developed their own fresh take on the blues, with a cosmopolitan line up that features guitars, harmonica, cello, bodhran and low whistle and very energetic live performances.

On Friday there is the opportunity to see the first ever performance of ‘The Private Life of the Jellyfish’, written and performed by Richard Clare, he describes it as “a one-man comedy show about a jellyfish that goes mad from loneliness”. That is a free event at 6pm in the TDC in Triskel Christchurch.

Later in the night I’ve selected three DJ nights to pick from, all of which are a bit different from the norm and well worth dipping your toes into. The Porterhouse on the Mardyke will be the site of ‘Balkan Boom’ with DJs Fiasco & Gary Baus, kicking off at 10pm this free night has a variety of Eastern European music, old time jazz and electroswing music, it’s regular haunt for the Cork swing dancing community but with plenty of floor space for the enthusiastic beginners.

At the same time up in Gulp’d Café in The Triskel will be one of the hidden gems of Cork nightlife, ‘Under A Plastic Cloud’, a free monthly night of alternative sounds of the sixties all played on original 45RPM records by Phil Hope and his guests.

As a late night option I’ll suggest Kickback, the much-loved clubnight that was recently revived by Mike D’Arcy in The Everyman Theatre. The music selection is very broad with the only constant of the tracks all being eclectic floor fillers. Held every Friday and Saturday the doors are 10pm and admission is €8.

For those who’d prefer some Live Music head along to The Papa Zitas, a fantastic Motown covers band who will be tearing it up in Reardens from 10pm, with free admission up till 11pm.

On the comedy front, while he’s remembered as Eoin McLove in Father Ted, Patrick McDonell is first and foremost a stand up comedian, and widely considered one of the most original on the Irish circuit. He plays in The Roundy on Friday at 9pm, tickets are €10, with support from Cork comedians, Kevin Goldsmith, Nicola-Marie O’ Riordan, Tadgh Hickey and Ben Buckley.

The following day in City Limits is ‘Rueben’ (as featured two weeks ago in Downtown), to any parent of a young child you’d recognise him from RTE Junior, but his stand up sets for grown-ups feature prop-less, silent comedy where he plays dozens of characters and mines every drop of comedy potential from all of them. Doors are 9pm, with admission at €15.

Cork’s cinema highlight of the weekend must be ‘Viva VHS’ which will be in Triskel Christchurch on Saturday at 8.15pm, prices starting at €7.50. Twisted Celluloid have pulled out all the stops and present a three-hour extravaganza saluting the king of 1980s home entertainment: the video cassette. Sourced from hundreds of tapes, there will be a collection of classic and cheesy trailers for obscure horror movies, senseless action thrillers, sex comedies, cult musicals, and martial arts exploitation flicks.

It’s pretty impossible to not get worked up listening to soul, funk and boogie music and those are the exact 3 foundations of the Soul Funktion night led by Fork and Aidan Quigley. The night starts at 8pm on Saturday night out in The Sextant on Albert Quay and will go on till 2am.

For those who might prefer something a little more Traditional, Coughlans on Douglas Street will feature a free concert with ‘Around The House’, comprising of award-winning musicians who are all staff or students of the Cork School of Music, who perform an exciting and innovative program of Irish Traditional Music.

We’ll start Sunday with more traditional music with the option of two afternoon sessions on either side of the river – both part of the Lee Sessions Trail – you can pop along around 3.30pm to Charlies on Union Quay, or Sin E on Coburg Street.

At 6.30 pm in the Franciscan Well is the Summer Sunday Swing, where they play plenty of swing music to either listen to while enjoying some great craft beer or dance along to on the dance floor.

For those who’d prefer something a little more sedate, Niall McCabe’s Sunday Soul Session in Coughlans is a weekly joy. Expect to hear anything from artists like Sam Cooke, Van Morrison, Marvin Gaye and some of Niall’s original material, which stands admirably amongst the covers he chooses.

Bringing the weekend to a close will be ‘The Wishing Well’ who will be playing a free gig in The Crane Lane at 11.30pm, they are building up quite a reputation for their 3 part harmonies mixed with sting instruments such as violin, viola and cello.


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