Irish musicians and DJs take to stage with online gigs

Irish musicians and DJs take to stage with online gigs
Cork DJ Stevie G: among the many Irish musicians and selectors providing impromptu performances and mixes for those in self-isolation, and practicing social distancing.

Amid the greater upheaval in Irish society brought on by Covid-19 containment efforts, the country's musicians and music facilitators are using their creativity and ingenuity to keep spirits up for people in self-isolation, streaming live gigs and at-home performances across of social, video and audio platforms.

The wave of pub and venue closures that's taken place in recent days has naturally scuppered musicians' short-term plans for touring, with resultant door income, merchandise sales and further opportunities also taking a hit.

To counteract the effects, various artists, DJs and community groups have banded together to facilitate live streaming, going where the people are as self-isolation and social distancing begins in earnest for many.

As circumstances dictate, a lot of the musicians and DJs below are improvising and working from home, so bear that in mind, and expect many of the upcoming events to be about the vibes, rather than the look, or production values.

Live from HQ

In the wake of Dublin's St. Patrick's Festival cancelling its events, fiddler extraordinaire Colm Mac Con Iomaire was among the first to make arrangements of his own.

Streaming from his living-room on Facebook, and aided by some feline friends, Mac Con Iomaire gave a bravuro performance that came in for a rapturous reception from online commenters.

In light of their first gig in a while being cancelled, Limerick instrumental metallers Shardborne took to their practice space to perform their set, but not without some audio hitches: skip to 27:00 in the below video, then settle in for some quality Irish riffage, delivered in suitably raw fashion.

While not necessarily released live, Galway multi-instrumentalist Keith Wallace, a.k.a. Loner Deluxe and collaborator Cecilia Danell have provided us a timely response to the situation in the form of new single 'Viral Hit'.

It's been released via his own micro-label Rusted Rail, and this recent excursion aside, the enterprise has been home to some quality DIY music from the West of Ireland.

Digging through the crates

From the back bar of Sir Henry's, to the prime-time airwaves of RedFM, to helping countless local young musicians, rappers and producers get their start in music, Cork DJ Stevie G is without question a living Leeside legend, and a tireless champion of hip-hop in the city.

And while on downtime, he's excavating his record room and sharing his findings with the world, an admirable task for a man with thousands of pieces of wax in his personal archive, many of them signed by legends he's worked with over a long, illustrious career.

He's holding it down over on videogame streaming platform Twitch for now, and peep his Twitter for updates on going live.

Watch Live mix-self isolation party! from steviegcork on

From lockdown in Cork City, to a Corkonian living in China, DJ/producer Numbertheory has seen firsthand the realities of the crisis close to his new home.

Responding to where we find ourselves, he's created a mix of new music of Leeside origin to stream on new service, taking in everything from the city's doom metal scene, to slices of sonics from its nascent hard-drum community.

It requires a subscription, as the platform aims to incentivise support for DJs and selectors in a similar fashion to Patreon and Bandcamp, but is well worth the few bob.

Working from home? In need of something to help keep you focused during a long shift, or keep you company during quiet hours?

Dublin music blogger, DJ and promoter Nialler9 has you covered, and though getting an actual house party together for this isn't advised, there's nothing to stop you from bumping this throughout the day in the home office.

Available as a YouTube playlist below, it's also accessible to Spotify users. On the selector's own advice, hit shuffle.

Patrick's Day proceedings

The coming days have a whole bunch of homegrown musical highlights in store across the various online platforms, also, and checking them out is as easy as logging in.

Of course, with tomorrow (March 17) being St. Patrick's Day, there's more than a few events planned.

All day long from midnight, all-Irish online radio station PlayIrish, with some help from veteran DJ Kate Brennan-Harding, embarks on Mnásome, spotlighting the art and work of female heroes of our sonic past, present and future for 24 hours.

You can tune in over on their website, or on the Irish Radio Player app.

Tomorrow at 4pm, Dublin folk outfit The Scratch will be doing an early set on their YouTube channel, and it's easy to see why they've been taken to heart by so many, both on the folk scene, and in the Irish metal community from which they've come.

In lieu of supporting Lankum at their Paddy's Day excursion to Cork's Opera House, Dundalk folk/trad heroes The Mary Wallopers are providing the soundtrack to the evening's housebound proceedings.

They've built a makeshift pub in their own living room, and the session kicks off at 8pm on their YouTube channel.

Festivals and folk sessions at home

This is all likely to be the tip of a very large iceberg: Irish artists and DJs already have streaming events slated throughout the month, with Cork's Unemployable Promotions leading the charge on Wednesday (March 18), with Live at Home, a big gathering of folk artists and singer-songwriters.

Perfect for housebound hangovers, it kicks off at 6pm on Facebook Live, with live performances from the likes of Emma Langford, Sara Ryan, Jordan Run, Beyond The Wash, Paddy Dennehy, Eve Clague, Mide Houlihan and Dylan Howe (Rowan).

For more information on where to tune in, and how to support, check the Facebook event page.

Meanwhile, on Saturday (March 21), international arts group The Garden Collective move some of their cancelled Port-to-Port Festival online, in an event called Port-to-Port Connected.

Formed in Cork, and running events at home, as well as in their current headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal, the festival will continue the collective's stated aim of building bridges between the cultural lives of European cities.

Check out the Garden Collective on Facebook, and sign up at the embedded post below for information on where to tune in.

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