The Kino, in its former guise as an arthouse cinema, was the go-to place in Cork for interesting films. It has since been revamped as a music venue, and over the weekend the Washington St premises played host to some of the most invigorating acts in Ireland — and one from England — as part of the Sudden Club Weekender.
The event felt sorely needed, too, as there seems to be a dearth of and support for music venues in the city of late. It’s testament to the promoters of the Southern Hospitality Board that they’ve roped in two of the most exciting acts in the country for the weekend. And, with no bar, the BYOB (no glass!) suggestion just added to the DIY feel of it all.
Rusangano Family, led by rappers God Knows and Murli, are simply incomparable in the energy stakes. With a diverse mix of sounds laid down by DJ Mynameisjohn, the Limerick-based trio’s combination of quality music and genuine showmanship marks them out as the nation’s leading hip-hop outfit.
Meanwhile, Altered Hours have been knocking around the scene for years,honing their Pixies’ palate into a raucous, heaving confidence.
On Saturday, the cinema screen behind them projects trippy images and makes them appear as widescreen as the local devotees already know them to be. Despite a slow start and some plodding new songs, ‘Dig Early’ and ‘Grey on Blue’ sound bigger and more exhilarating than ever.
Rozi Plain on Sunday headlines a more relaxed affair, supported by the charming newcomer Anna Mieke Bishop (a cello is used only for percussion) and local band the Shaker Hymn. The latter ply a well-worn, guitar-toting path, but the melancholic opener ‘I Don’t Ever Want To See The World’, a slacker’s reply to emigration, and ‘Do You Think It’s Clever’, a rock song that can hang with the best of the year, point to an interesting future.
Rozi Plain closes the weekender with a delightful show. The London singer/guitarist is a regular visitor to Cork and the likes of ‘Humans’ and ‘Jogalong’ arrive like old friends.
She dedicates the latter to the two promoters, who are taking a break from SHB after an impressive year of shows.
Cork will be all the poorer without events such as this.
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