OK, OK, OK. It’s now truly festival week. It’s only four days until the fields of Curraghmore House at All Together Now festival are filled with festival people for the first time in three years.
The festival has promised that the traffic chaos from a number of years ago has been addressed, with a number of provisions including a new road, a new entrance, a revised traffic management plan, early entry tickets and more traffic staff on the grounds.
The stage times are all live on the app on Apple and Android phones too.
All going well, many of you will be down on Friday afternoon, and all set up and ready for some live music.
What follows is the list of 11 acts playing the festival that we really really can’t wait to see (and 1 cheeky addition).
London band Dry Cleaning are among the finest of the trending crop of “sprechgesang” spoken singing style of alt-rock music that has risen up of late.
That’s down to the interplay between band and “singer” Florence Shaw. With the music, referencing classic post-punk and alt-rock acts like Sonic Youth, The Fall and Gang of Four (and released on 4AD), Shaw’s spoken word lyrics and delivery are performed with a dry wit, a non-sequitur pattern, that allows forms of dialogue that become quotable hooks, drawn from everyday mundanity and imagined overheard snatches of conversation.
Live, Shaw cuts an eerie presence that only heightens the band’s unique sound.
And why not? A superb album from a shining songwriter and magnetic lyricist who as a “WOMAN-IN-HER-THIRTIES” has recalibrated herself from a member of an inoffensive indie-band to a frontwoman of a a big pop project with heart and smarts, conveying the quietly radical learnings of “doing the work” to become a more honest, true person to yourself and others.
And, Taylor has written that large on stages with big stage productions and a dance troupe supporting her and her songs of encouragement. Fresh from being nominated for a Mercury, this will be her biggest Irish set yet.
Friday, 11.45pm @ Something Kind Of Wonderful.
After the Whelan’s residency earlier this year, Gilla Band (fka Girl Band) felt firmly on a new and present path.
The announcement of a new album, Most Normal, in October, means that their All Together Now set will feature brand new songs from the band like ‘Eight Fivers’, a distilled take on the band’s wry industrial rock music.
There are few bands like Gilla Band, and it’s nice that one of the best live rock bands in the world, are one of our own.
Friday: Moving Still @ Ping Pong Disco, 10pm / Saturday: Nooriyah b2b Moving Still @ Jameson Circle, Midnight to 2am
Shorthand: Arabic electronic bangers by an Irish producer.
Moving Still is Jamal Sul, an Irish producer with a penchant for creating electronic jams inspired by his Saudi heritage. He also has a fine line in modern edits of classic refound records of the 80s disco era from the Arab world, and has releases on Dark Disku, Orange Tree, Nail Shop and more.
As you can see in the video below, from last year’s Nialler9 gig in Lucky’s, Sul utilises live synths and riffs this richly-detailed sonic palette into fully-fist pumping dance music from across the continents.
Kerry’s Cian Ó Cíobháin is one of the finest selectors in Ireland, having built his experience from years on Galway’s clubbing scene, and broadcasting his long-running radio show An Taobh Tuathail on RTÉ RnaG since 1999.
At All Together Now, a tasty prospect awaits as Cian teams up for a back to back with another fine selector in the form of Sean Johnston from A Love From Outer Space, a club night that Johnston ran with his influential clubbing partner Andrew Weatherall at the James Connects: The Circle stage.
The Mary Wallopers
Saturday, 5pm @ Something Kind Of Wonderful
This Dundalk trad band shouldn’t need any real introduction to anyone who clung to music during the pandemic. Their live streams from their gaff were a life raft for many of us, and the folk trio have gone on to light up stages all over the shop, even to the Queen’s country.
5pm is a perfect time for a rousing sing song with the Mary Wallopers at a festival I reckon.
Saturday @ Road To Nowhere, 11pm
Currently filling in for Giles Peterson on BBC Six Music, while holding a NTS residency, Nabihah Iqbal is the British Asian producer, musician, DJ and ethnomusicologist formerly known as Throwing Shade.
Dublin buzzer and top Dublin DJ Sally Cinnamon knows how to keep a party going on the decks. And it’s only right that All Together Now would recognise her wealth of knowledge and experience by giving Sally the closing slot on Saturday at the Belonging Bandstand.
Get a watch of her recent set at Lumo Club in Tengu on the live stream, or hit up her mixes on Mixcloud or Soundcloud for more.
Sunday, Main Stage, 7pm
Denise should be top of your must-see list at All Together Now.
The Limerick MC has blown up in a big way since it was last possible to traverse the fields of Curraghmore.
Ed Sheeran remixes and support slots? Tick. ✅
European and international recognition? Tick ✅
A big main stage festival set this weekend with the Narolane crew? Tick. ✅
Sunday, Some Kind Of Wonderful, 3pm
Eight piece London band caroline, might be the perfect tonic for a sore head on Sunday afternoon in Portlaw this weekend.
The band released their self-titled album on Rough Trade earlier this year, and their sound is somewhere between Belle & Sebastian and Black Country, New Road, with further influence informed by midwestern ‘emo’ guitar music, Appalachian folk, minimalist classical and dance music.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Sunday, Main Stage, 10pm
There’s an argument to be made that one of the biggest draws of All Together Now, alongside Nick Cave, Underworld, Groove Armada and Jungle, are Australian psych rockers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard.
A band as prolific as their name is long (with 20 studio albums in 10 years), King Gizz are known for constantly releasing albums of music rooted in psychedelic rock but not afraid to take diversions into metal, synth pop, blues-rock, boogie or acid-rock.
Live, the band rarely play the same set of songs meaning at their five sets at Primavera Sound in Barcelona this summer, their five sets featured no repeats.