Limerick lads the Rubberbandits (above) struck again with a new track doing the rounds this week. ‘Dad’s Best Friend’ is rather darker than previous offerings, and the hard beats underline the fact that the duo aren’t all about comedy — they also have serious production abilities. With Michael Fassbender and U2 in with a shout, there isn’t a bad Irish presence at the Academy Awards on Feb 27, and Cavan band the Strypes have also been booked for the Oscar Wilde party, a post-Oscars Irish bash that will be attended by YouTube founder Chad Hurley and entertainment all-rounder Conan O’Brien. Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian has told Rolling Stone the band are working on a new album he says has been inspired by the Eurovision Song Contest, possibly to be released in the autumn. U2 will be the first musical guests when Jimmy Fallon takes over The Tonight Show from Jay Leno on US television on Feb 17.
In Cork, the Pavilion has announced its annual Dirty Weekender (Feb 13-16) will include hot Swedish producer/DJ HNNY and Manc marvel Andy Turner, as well as a flock of other local acts and out-of-towners. Fish Go Deep play their monthly residency at the same venue next Friday, and the duo’s compilation So Far So Deep Volume One is due for official release soon, as well as being currently available on Bandcamp. The Savoy has an impressive roster of international DJs on the way over the next few months: Duke Dumont (Jan 31), Kerri Chandler (Mar 7) and Laurent Garnier (Mar 15). Megastar Dutch DJ Hardwell has been booked for the O2 in Dublin on Feb 7. The Southport Weekender has announced an incredible DJ list for its 50th event, with the likes of Carl Cox (playing a jazz funk set), Kenny Dope, Moodymann and MCDE being just a tiny selection of the dance music gods spinning records at Butlins in Minehead from May 9-11.
At the time of writing, there was no word as to whether Damon Albarn would repeat his appearance at Latitude in England at sister-event Longitude in Dublin. One act confirmed for the capital this summer are Daryl Hall and John Oates, who bring such classic tracks as ‘I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)’ and ‘Maneater’ to the Olympia on Jul 15.
Offerings at Triskel Christchurch this weekend include The Railway Man, starring Colin Firthand Nicole Kidman; Daniel Auteuil’s Fanny; and From Up On Poppy Hill, a 2007 Japanese animation about a teenage romance. Cork Cine Club on Thursday has Shun Li and the Poet, an Italian film about a Chinese immigrant trying to pay back a smuggling gang by working in a bar near Venice. In Dublin, the Light House is showing Goldfrapp: Tales Of Us on Feb 4, a documentary with live performances from the electro star’s new album.
Miranda Hart may be all serious and soppy at the moment in Call The Midwife, but we shouldn’t forget the British entertainer made her name in comedy and is bringing her stand-up act to the O2 in Dublin on Mar 29. Des Bishop is also back on the circuit following a year in China, and will make the first of many domestic appearances at Vicar St on May 24.
Rough Magic has a well-deserved reputation as one of the nation’s finest theatre companies, and their new sex-themed comedy Jezebel goes on tour through February and March, taking in Half Moon Theatre, Cork (Feb 10 — 12); Draiocht, Blanchardstown Feb 14-15; Theatre Royal, Waterford (Feb 21-22). An exhibition of work by Cork-born artist Samuel Forde (1805-28), entitled Visions of Tragedy, is currently showing at the Crawford in Cork.