Arts Column with Conor Malone

Arts Column with Conor Malone
This week’s highlights

This week’s highlights

It’s very much a festival weekend with Sea Sessions in Bundoran and Celtronic in Derry. Elsewhere tonight, also in Derry, The Beach Boys play in Ebrington Square and hypnotist Adrian Knight continues his run at The Millennium Forum - he’s there until Saturday. Meanwhile, in Letterkenny, there’s a very interesting looking evening in An Grianan with Café Jerusalem.

Tomorrow, Friday, the June instalment of the Anything Can Happen cultural night The Revelry takes place in The Green Room at Voodoo, Letterkenny and Encore Performing Arts Academy present Encore at The Movies : Once Upon A Song at The Alley, Strabane.

Café Jerusalem

Those of you who were lucky enough to see An Grianan’s production of Bassam last year will no doubt remember it well - an extremely moving and powerful piece of theatre. The creative team behind Bassam, Israeli born writer Idan Meir and Palestinian actor Fadl Mustapha, have teamed up again to bring you Café Jerusalem.

Taking place in the relaxed atmosphere of An Grianan’s café bar and foyer, Café Jerusalem will feature a mixture of cabaret, song, laughter, music and drama, all with a strong Middle Eastern theme. In addition to the entertainment, there will also be a buffet full of Middle Eastern delicacies such as figs, falafels, olives, fruit, hummus, salads, flatbreads, red jewelled pomegranates, lemons and emerald vine leaves brimming with delicious fillings. My mouth is watering just typing it.

Café Jerusalem is at An Grianan, Letterkenny tonight at 8pm. Tickets are €15 or €12 each when you buy two or more. Ring An Grianan on 074 912 0777, book online at www.angrianan.com or and pay at the door.

Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys

We’ve being doing quite an entertaining line in bluegrass/roots/Americana this year at The Balor this year. It’s a trend that continues next week with international old time roots sensation Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys next up for a visit.

Hailing from Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast, this multi award winning act serve up old time roots music with an energy level that practically yanks you out of your seat by the collar. They’re a sight to behold on stage. Gordie’s on stage exploits have earned him the nickname ‘Crazy Legs. His thrilling dance style while simultaneously playing the violin is one of the more impressive sights you’ll see.

Musically, there’s a wonderful mix of great close harmony bluegrass vocals augmenting the blistering guitar solos of Peter Cann and the multi-instrumental talents of Thomas Webb and Mark Geddes. Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys are an international sensation earning standing ovations everywhere they go – a guaranteed rollickin’ old time rock ‘n’ rollin’ treat.

Celtronic

The 14th edition of acclaimed electronic music festival Celtronic got underway in Derry last night.

The festival regularly attracts thousands of music fans as well as the cream of the world’s best electronic music talent to the city of Derry.

Described as ‘Irelands answer to Sonar’, Celtronic takes place at a range of venues throughout the city. There’s a full line up of acts online at www.celtronicfestival.com. Highlights include Kolsch tonight at The Gweedore, Karen & Max Cooper at The Nerve Centre on Friday, AME & Magic Mountain High at St Columb’s Hall on Saturday and Chicago house legend Derrick Carter at Sandinos on Sunday.

Most of the events are very reasonably priced in the £10 to £12 range and there were a limited number of access all events tickets at a price of £40 on the go. Check out the website for further info and purchases.

Surf’s Up

It’s also a big weekend down in Bundoran with the annual music and surf extravaganza that is Sea Sessions. From relatively humble beginnings, Sea Sessions has grown into one of the summer’s main national music events. The main reasons for this are location – Bundoran seems to be just the perfect size to host a festival like this – and the organisers consistent ability to deliver a quality line up.

This year, you have Kelis, The Dandy Warhols and The Strypes as headline acts. There’s also a large home grown music contingent with the likes of In their thousands, Mojo Gogo and Rackhouse Pilfer also on the bill.

There is literally too much going on to even attempt to do it justice here, so have a look at seasessions.com for a complete run down of all that’s going on.

Sea Sessions takes place this weekend Friday to Sunday. Weekend tickets are on sale for under €100, making it one of the more affordable weekend festivals you can go to.