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.
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.
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.
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 currents.fm, 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.
My first playlist is all about the banging, diverse and intriguing stuff coming out of Cork, my hometown. From hard drum to doom metal - get a load of Cork Rising.https://t.co/br2zCakUmG
— Numbertheory 数论 (@numbertheory666) March 16, 2020
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.
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.
IRELAND's FEMALE ARTISTS / MUSICIANS / SINGERS
— PLAYIRISH (@PLAYIRISH) March 16, 2020
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.
Unfortunately, due to the current threat of Covid-19, we've decided to reschedule our entire Irish tour to late May. Dates are listed below and all original tickets will remain valid. We will be doing a Live Stream on YouTube at 4pm tomorrow playing songs new and old tune in ❤️ pic.twitter.com/CrYiqtyTMY
— The Scratch (@thescratchmusic) March 16, 2020
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.
— The Mary Wallopers (@marywallopers) March 15, 2020
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.
— Kearney Melia Barker (@KMBcork) March 16, 2020
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.