Five of the best to see at Quarter Block Party

Event co-founder Caoilian Sherlock tells Ellie O’Byrne about some of the highlights of the Cork festival this weekend

Five of the best to see at Quarter Block Party

The Bonk

Friday, 11.30pm, Kino

Last year’s Choice Music prize for best album was awarded to Cork-Waterford quintet O Emperor following the band’s split, but the individual band members haven’t laid down their instruments.

Vocalist and keyboard player Phil Christie continued to head up side-project The Bonk, who are now, Sherlock says, ready to take things up a notch with headline slots.

“The Bonk played at the second year of Quarter Block Party and we’re delighted to see them emerge as a headline act,” says Sherlock.

We’re excited to see what they’re bringing to the Irish music scene.

Pretty Happy

Saturday, 8.15pm, Spailpín Fánach

Young pretenders to the Cork music throne Pretty Happy are a three-piece made up of Mayfield-born brother and sister Arann and Abbey Blake and drummer Andy Killian.

They’re developing a reputation for the energy of their live shows and Abbey Blake’s emerging distinctive pedal-driven electronic guitar style.

“They’ve blown my mind over the past year and I think they’re one of the best new acts to come out of Cork,” Sherlock says.

You can really see them develop their sound over the past few months. I’ve been listening to ‘Schmuck’, their new single, and it’s really brilliant.

Acid Granny followed by Post Punk Podge & The Technohippies

Saturday, 10.45pm, Kino

An electrified shopping trolley followed by a fiddler with a post bag on his head sounds like an evening of novelty acts, but a double bill of Dublin’s Acid Granny and Limerick post-punk heroes Post Punk Podge & The Technohippies promises something deeper: angry bangers with political edge for the election night that’s in it.

Cork hip hop producer Jar Jar Jr opens the evening with a DJ set.

Hip hop producer Jar Jar Jr
Hip hop producer Jar Jar Jr

“One of my favourite things about Quarter Block Party is that you can take possibly the two weirdest bands in the country and put them on back to back, and people kind of expect that from us at this stage,” Sherlock says.

I’m hoping it will be a weekend of celebration because of the election outcome too.

PING PONG

Sunday, 3pm to 11pm, Kino

On Sunday, bombastic street theatre duo the Lords of Strut take over the Kino for an all-day celebration of the camp, the retro and the ridiculous.

“PING PONG is the idea of Cian Kinsella, who’s one half of Lords of Strut,” Sherlock says. “It’s a Night Club slash arts space slash ping pong tournament.

"Lords of Strut will do a show at 3pm and then from 4pm until 7pm, there’ll be an all-day ping pong tournament with DJs, and then we’re going to take the ping pong tables away and it will be a really psychedelic Night Club and arts space until eleven.”

Elaine Howley

Sunday, 4pm, Coughlan’s Bar

Howley is best known for her role as lead vocalist with Cork-based psych-rockers The Altered Hours. Her solo offerings, Sherlock says, are subtle and rewarding and very much worth a look for the Sunday afternoon wind-down of Quarter Block Party.

“Elaine plays a sampler and sings,” Sherlock says.

I saw her support Fixity over the last Jazz weekend, and it was probably my highlight of the wholefestival.

- Quarter Block Party takes place in various Cork venues until Sunday

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