It doesn’t get much better than getting to see some live music in Dublin! I ain’t just saying that because it’s my hometown… it was officially honoured by the travel bible Lonely Planet.
They mentioned that searching for music in Dublin was not hard, thanks to the overwhelming amount of choice around the city. This is something I can vouch for. Everywhere from Workman’s Club to the Button Factory have a consistent streamline of talent, any day of the year.
The music in Dublin is apparently so noteworthy, that they had it up there alongside Havana, New York and Seville – which is quite an honour. Below you can read what they said (even a shoutout to Stoneybatter, where I grew up!)
The trad scene, as it’s known, is more vibrant now than it has been in 50 years, with a wealth of young musicians experimenting and invigorating this uniquely Irish sound: a toe-tapping fusion of fiddles, pipes and acoustic guitars.
You’ll find some of the best regular sessions in a triumvirate of northside pubs: the Cobblestone in Smithfield; Walshe’s in Stoneybatter; and McNeills on Capel Street.
They also commented on why music in Dublin is really making headlines. As well as the thousands of concerts, festivals and trad sessions that go on in Dublin and all around Ireland every year, of course Ireland has been mentioned thanks to the amount of musical talent we produce.
After years of hard graft, Irish hip-hop is finally going mainstream in the most thrilling way. Combining heavy beats, local accents, political issues and a very Irish linguistic mastery, these artists are carving out a new musical identity for the city.
If that last piece of info doesn’t make you think of some of the fantastic artists in Ireland right now, I don’t know what will. In light of this Lonely Planet nod, I’ve included some of my fave Irish artists that you NEED to check out.
Wastefellow (in featured photo) is definitely the Irish artist on this list that I have seen the most often, but really no gig ever feels the same.
Diol curates really unique performances with unexpectedly fire vocals, trippy visuals and sometimes help from the extremely talented Brendan, from the Cloud Castle Lake group.
I was extremely late to the Kojaque party, but I am now firmly here to stay. This Dublin rapper has made an impressive advance in the Irish music industry and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
There’s something so special about him and I think one of the main things, is his ability to sound both authentic and current, and of course the absolutely poetic and relatable lyrics that he comes out with.
Politicksis with Luka Palm is my favourite song, but I’m also a huge fan of the stunning videos that he creates to complete the story of his music. They will also be at Electric Picnic, so you gotta check them out there.
I wanted to mention the fantastic Booka Brass Band because I’ve seen them a few times and they are the kind of music in Dublin that Lonely Planet was talking about.
Their stage presence is unbelievable and it’s hard to believe that they actually bloody fit on the stage. There are 8 of these guys all playing various instruments and always giving it their all. Their gigs are SO much fun.
They have found great success in Ireland and internationally, including playing shows at Glastonbury Festival and being invited to play for The President himself. Catch them on August 20th in Whelan’s, and yes, they too will play Electric Picnic.
More Music in Dublin, by Dubliners
If anyone has any more Irish artists that they love, please share in the comments – I do love discovering new tings.