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Seeing Kilkenny's Jeremy Hickey in full flight behind his drumkit, solo on stage, is truly a sight to behold. His Rarely Seen Above Ground act has been inviting critical praise and exciting crowds for over half a decade now, with 2008's Choice Music Prize nominated Organic Sampler album being heralded to the heavens. An extraordinarily innovative musician in studio and on stage, he's a multi-talent with his finger in many pies. The R.S.A.G. day job, however, is utterly unmissable when it rolls into your town. His Rotate EP was a real summer treat, with another full-length on the way.
A brilliant promising indie-pop band that started causing a live stir last year, Gangs are a sharply-dressed outfit that want to shake the Dublin music scene up – a lot. "People are bored", says frontman Jordan Curtis. "We want to change that. We feel there's room for something different and we're it." They've backed up the ambitious manifesto with high-octane support slots for Palma Violets and Leaders Of Men. Currently working hard on new material, Gangs recently played an eclectic evening that boasted a burlesque performance as support (not by the band themselves you understand).
After a couple of well-received singles, Dublin three-piece Swords launched their debut album Lions & Gold this summer. It was described thusly in the pages of Hot Press: "There's the energy of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the soaring vocals of Florence And The Machine, Zola Jesus' gothic moodiness, and the pop-folk tendencies of Daughter all in the melting pot." Very fine company indeed. Produced by Karl Odlum, the record went on to be Dan Hegarty's 'Album Of The Week' on 2fm. No slouches in the live arena either, the Smalltown America act have performed on Other Voices and The Works, and wowed Electric Picnic.
Based in Dublin, Other Creatures are a trio that have been enchanting critics for just under a year. Their material to date suggests they are going places fast, drawing on a rich vein of US alt. rock that had its heyday over two decades ago and bringing something fresh to it. Songs such as 'Beet' and 'Soft And Sweet' recall a more blissed-out Pixies. They're honing their live chops with a host of support slots (Leaders Of Men, Gangs, Little Green Cars in Vicar Street) that suggest the darlings of the capital's scene see them as ones to watch.