Big names and local voices - the sound of Cork music in 2023!

From globetrotting headliners like The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and Florence + The Machine, and pop performers like Mimi Webb, to punk legends like Henry Rollins and Hugh Cornwell, and emerging Cork bands like Cardinals, Mossy and The Cliffords, a big year lies ahead for Leeside music. Mike McGrath-Bryan takes a look at gigs in the first quarter - and the big names headed for Indie, the Marquee and Musgrave Park.
Big names and local voices - the sound of Cork music in 2023!

HamsandwicH will feature among the concerts in Cork in 2023, when they play Indiependence.  Picture: Dara Munnis

Cardinals

Saturday January 7, Cyprus Avenue

One of Cork's biggest venues kicks off its 2023 with a debut headlining set from the promising, folk-influenced Leeside shoegazers, whose double A-side single 'Amsterdam/The Brow' will make an impression on fans of '90s alt-rock. Support from Northside dream-poppers Mossy and kosmische-inspired duo Stummel.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

The Cardinals play Cyprus Avenue on Saturday, January 7.
The Cardinals play Cyprus Avenue on Saturday, January 7.

Cork Rising

Friday January 20 & Saturday January 21, Cyprus Avenue

A two-day showcase of a new generation of Leeside artists sees Arthur Valentine, Letterbox Kid, The Neon Cars, Syano & Rex Arcum, Sam HeaLy, Straif, Ebben Phlö and Hánt take to the Cyprus Avenue stage in a two-night celebration of the scene that young artists have built in the post-Covid climate.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

Overhead, The Albatross in Cork at the end of this month. 	Picture: Conor McCabe Photography
Overhead, The Albatross in Cork at the end of this month. Picture: Conor McCabe Photography

Overhead, the Albatross

Friday January 27, Cyprus Avenue

Dublin post-rock quintet return from a five-year hiatus for a Cork excursion as part of early touring for new material, following their exceptional debut long-player Learning to Crawl - expect innovative and soaring instrumentals.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

The Cliffords

Saturday January 28, Cyprus Avenue

Indie-pop three-piece are coming off a big 2022, which saw them win the UCC Battle of the Bands and join First Class and Coach among others on the billing at Upstart Festival in Glounthaune, as well as packed-out Cyprus Avenue and An Spailpín Fánach headliners and the launch of debut single ‘Antihero’. Supporting here are fellow Leesiders Skies Behind and Gerron.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

Vieux Farka Touré

Wednesday February 1, Cyprus Avenue

Malian guitarist returns to Cork to perform from his deep back-catalogue, including 2022 collaborations with US psych-rock exponents Khruangbin, and his critically acclaimed new album, ‘Les Racines’.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

Myles O’Reilly

Wednesday February 1, Coughlan’s

Filmmaker and former Juno Falls man has returned to writing and recording music in recent years, working on ambient project [Indistinct Chatter] and 2022 solo album ‘Cocooning Heart’ - gigging for which takes him to the back room on Douglas Street.

Tickets from coughlans.ie.

Outsound & Hashmaker

Thursday February 2, Cyprus Avenue

Local rock ‘n’ roll is well-represented in a double-headliner that sees grungers Outsound take to the Caroline Street stage, as well as ‘shamcore’ five-piece Hashmaker - the latter of whom are, as of writing, the only band in history to have written a concept record about a Leeside incursion from 50ft lobsters, including the destruction by said lobsters of metal venue Fred Zeppelin’s.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

Lloyd John

Thursday February 9, Cyprus Avenue

Alt-popper Lloyd John has undertaken a lot in a few short years, and built a substantial body of work, including sold-out headliners in Cork and Limerick, singles that have racked up over 1.5 million streams, and radio play across the board - now he’s setting off on his debut headline tour, including a stop on Caroline Street.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

Stars

Sunday February 5, Cyprus Avenue

A headlining appearance from Canadian indie-rock outfit Stars sees them airing new tunes from ‘Capelton Hill’, a concept album that looks at the mundanities of daily existence in a small town through a filter of North American indie and Britpop influences.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

Ultan Conlon and John Douglas

Friday February 10, Coughlan’s

Songwriter Ultan Conlon readies himself for his fifth solo album in 2023, but before any of that, welcomes a collaborative run of gigs with John Douglas, one of Scottish outfit The Trashcan Sinatras, and frequent live collaborator with wife Eddi Reader.

Tickets from coughlans.ie.

Skinner

Friday February 10, Winthrop Avenue

A self-described ‘slouch-punk’ from Dublin whose no-wave and post-punk inflections and their broader alt-rock tempers exist in reaction to the realities of adolescence and adulthood in post-2008 Dublin.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

David Gray

Wednesday March 1, Cork Opera House

UK singer-songwriter and hitmaker David Gray’s twelfth album ‘Skelligs’ trades in his hallmark pop bombast for a contemplative exploration of sound and collaboration inspired by the Kerry coastline - this Irish tour sees him and his live band replicate the album’s six-part harmonies.

Tickets from corkoperahouse.ie

Talos, AKA Eoin French performs in March. 	Picture: Niall O’Brien
Talos, AKA Eoin French performs in March. Picture: Niall O’Brien

Talos

Friday March 24, Cyprus Avenue

Following his immediate sell out of Live at St Luke's in 2022, Corkman Eoin French and crew announce a Cyprus Avenue show for March 2023, playing songs from new long-player ‘Dear Chaos’.

Tickets from cyprusavenue.ie and the front bar of the Old Oak.

Henry Rollins

Monday March 27, Cyprus Avenue

The legendary frontman of US hardcore progenitors Black Flag and the Henry Rollins Band; one of the stars of Sons of Anarchy; a DJ, writer and poet - Rollins’ latest spoken-word tour takes in a Leeside stop, as he mulls over and discusses the events of Covid-19, and their impact on the world.

Cork singer Cian Ducrot.
Cork singer Cian Ducrot.

Cian Ducrot

Saturday April 1 & Sunday April 2, Cyprus Ave

Born and reared in Cork, and a product of the MTU Cork School of Music, crossover pop sensation Cian Ducrot has struck it lucky on streaming and social platforms, with over 72million streams to his name, and has a double-header of hometown gigs to cap it all off.

Tickets sold out.

Hugh Cornwell

Saturday April 23, Live at St Luke’s

The singer and songwriter behind punk legends The Stranglers returns to Ireland in a solo capacity, playing stripped-down versions of ‘Golden Brown’, ‘Peaches’, ‘Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’ and more - plus new material from his most recent solo full-length, ‘Monster’.

Tickets from uticket.ie

Live at The Marquee

Throughout the summer, Monahan Road, Cork

The summer gigging season’s current location at Monahan Road is set for an ongoing stay of execution, after announcements that the site would be part of ongoing residential developments at the Docklands.

Highlights include UK pop-rapper Aitch (Wednesday June 7); Irish indie veterans Bell X1 (Saturday June 10); UK pop star Mimi Webb on her ‘Amelia’ tour (Friday June 16); the bauld Christy Moore on his annual Marquee excursion (Saturday June 17); and DJ Jenny Greene revisiting ‘90s dancefloor classics with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Friday June 23).

Tickets from ticketmaster.ie

Live at Musgrave Park

Throughout June, Musgrave Park, Tramore Road

While long-standing Marquee promoters Aiken get to work on their summer spectacular, rivals MCD continue to build up their offering over at the home of Munster Rugby.

Singer-songwriter George Ezra headlines at the stadium (Sunday June 11); pop hitmaker Paolo Nutini gigs out new material influenced by post-punk and kosmische exploration (Wednesday June 14); hopefully a visit from the Chemical Brothers after a number of postponements (Wednesday June 21); noughties alt-pop icon Florence + The Machine (Monday June 26); and the triumphant return to Cork of former Féile headliners The Prodigy (Wednesday June 28).

Tickets from ticketmaster.ie

Indiependence

Friday August 4 - Sunday August 6, Deer Farm, Mitchelstown

Names like The Coronas, King Kong Company, Belters Only, HamsandwicH, Inhaler, and Cian Ducrot are among the headlining artists at the 2023 instalment of Mitchelstown’s late-summer weekender, with former BBC Radio presenter Annie Mac among the DJs making appearances.

Weekend camping (from €169) and non-camping (from €149) passes are available on Ticketmaster.

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