THURSDAY MARCH 22ND
Footnotes @ An Spailpín Fánach (7pm, €5)
The Footnotes residents are joined by Out of Space maestra Aoife O’Neill and Lower Your Expectations resident Paul Byrne for a night of dancing upstairs in the South Main Street venue.
Lee “Scratch” Perry @ Cyprus Avenue (8pm, €22.50)
The Upsetting Upsetter takes a break from navigating the far reaches of time and space to visit Cork, landing the mothership on Caroline Street.
Niwel Tsumbu and Éamonn Cagney @ The Venue, Clonakilty (8.30pm, €10)
Longtime world-music collaborators bring their latest show to Clon, following over a decade of touring and multimedia work.
The At This Times @ The Roundy (9pm, €5)
Cork Improvised Music Club brings us another whopper collab in its monthly residency: Dan Walsh (umpteen bands) swaps his sticks for a soprano sax, joined by Phil Christie (O Emperor, The Bonk) on synths.
The Strawhall House Band @ DeBarra’s (9pm, €10)
Americana specialists play DeBarra’s while on excursion around the country to support new album ‘Six Days in May’.
FRIDAY MARCH 23RD
Intervarsities Battle of the Bands Final @ The Kino (7.30pm, €4)
Valiant musical warriors of the academic ranks converge upon the battlefield of the Kino on Washington Street in pursuit of the deadliest game of all: college-soc kudos.
John Smith @ Triskel Christchurch (7.30pm, €17)
With five album releases in 11 years, most recently 2017’s Headlong, Essex-born, Devon-raised and Liverpool-grown John Smith’s reputation as an outstanding guitarist, singer and songwriter now extends far beyond the UK folk scene.
John Blek @ Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh (7.45, €15)
Recovering from a quiet 2017, the leader of the Rats returns with third solo LP ‘Catharsis Vol. 1’, documenting dealing with illness and recuperation.
Cork Sound Fair – Night 1 @ St. Peter’s Church (8pm, check link for availabilities)
Crowdfunded/non-profit electronic festival kicks off with a night of local talents, including African Fiction, Static and Robert Curgenven, and Derry noisemaker Autumns.
SIGNAL x Cork Sound Fair @ The Roundy (8.30pm, €7)
A special collaborative edition of the Roundy’s new flagship night comes as part and parcel of Sound Fair this weekend. Upstairs on Castle Street: Let’s Set Sail (Dublin), Carriages (Dublin) and Lighght (Cork).
Hazel Gingell Humphrys @ Levis’ of Ballydehob (9pm, pass-the-hat)
The Levis’ crew showcase Ballydehob local Hazel, performing in her debut gig. Pass-the-hat.
David Keenan @ Coughlan’s (9pm, €12)
The Good Room presents a show from the erstwhile singer-songwriter on his ‘Strip Me Bare’ tour of Ireland, ahead of UK dates.
SATURDAY MARCH 24TH
Columbia Mills @ Cyprus Avenue (8pm, €13.50)
Much-fancied Dublin outfit returns to Cork, playing the Caroline Street venue while touring the country.
Cork Sound Fair – Night 2 @ Cork City Gaol, Sunday’s Well (8pm, check link for availabilities)
Sounds from Dublin and London, including Davy Keogh, Dream Cycles, Soft Stone and a closing set and Irish debut from Beatrice Dillon live.
Mark Geary @ Levis’ of Ballydehob (8pm, pass-the-hat)
Veteran singer-songwriter heads to Levis’ to perform a special Over the Shop Counter gig.
Sling Slang REPEAL Slam @ The Roundy (8.30pm, €5)
Cara Kursh’s slam poetry night takes a break from format to welcome a variety of female voices across genre and medium lines. Among those performing: Elaine Malone, Megan Cronin, Shaunna Lee Lynch, Chasmic, Jennifer Lipinsky, Ailish D and Kathy D’arcy.
John Smith @ DeBarra’s of Clonakilty (8.30pm, €15)
Night two of a two-night excursion to Cork sees the Liverpudlian singer-songwriter play DeBarra’s, with accompaniment from, among others, Irish percussion legend Graham Hopkins (Therapy?, My Little Funhouse, Glen Hansard, among others).
DJ Deece @ Cyprus Avenue (10pm, €8)
Deece Sessions mastermind and festival veteran continues a hot streak of gigs around the country with a stop at Cyprus Avenue.
Deep Blue Sessions @ AMP Venue (11pm, €8)
Deep Blue residents take to the decks upstairs in Hanover Street to help mark the end of exam season.
SUNDAY MARCH 25TH
BeatLab Social @ The Roundy (4pm, free)
Pull up with the laptop. Be assigned samples by the Cuttin’ Heads lads. Make noises in your DAW of choice. Be heard.
Niall McCabe @ Coughlan’s (8pm, €10)
Transatlantic soulman and collaborators finally round off a year-long soft-launch for their second album, ‘The Village Hall’, having resided in the venue weekly for three years.
While you’re here, check out Red on Red, your writer’s weekly podcast focused on Cork music and the personalities behind it, via Cork’s RedFM. This week’s episode drops tonight at 7pm, and this week, we’re talking to Kelly Doherty, aka Gadget and the Cloud, about Cork Sound Fair, her new album, and the journey from music journo to musical polymath. Listen, download and subscribe in your favourite podcast software.