5 Gigs in Kilkenny in May for your diaries

As the dust settles on the Kilkenny Roots Festival, here's five shows to catch this month.

Righto – the Kilkenny Roots Festival is in the bag for 2018, so here’s 5 gigs in Kilkenny in May for your diaries. Because, you know, live music!

1. Join Me In The Pines (Cleere’s, 11 May)

Bell X1’s Dave Geraghty released solo albums Kill Your Darlings and The Victory Dance before assuming the identity of Join Me In The Pines. He brought the first JMITP album, Inherit, to Cleere’s in late 2014 and he’s back this weekend with more new material. It’s an upgrade in sound, size and tempo for the new ‘Pines material and Friday night should be a cracker. Last of the tickets, €15.

2. Ryan Young w/Mark Nagle (Hole In The Wall, 11 May)

If our first tip for this Friday night isn’t your thing, you might like Scottish fiddler Ryan Young and guitarist Mark Nagle who are taking to The Hole In The Wall. Never experience a Hole In The Wall gig? Get that itch scratched and enjoy some top tunes as well. Last of the tickets, €10 at the venue or Rollercoaster. Kick off around 9pm.

3. Mick Hanly & Donal Lunny (Set, 25 May)

Two absolute stalwarts of the Irish music scene, whose careers have intertwined many times over the last 45 years. Sooner or later, they were bound to emerge in the guise of a musical duo.

Donal Lunny and Mick Hanly
Donal Lunny and Mick Hanly

The combination of songwriter Mick Hanly and multi-instrumentalist and composer Donal Lunny is a marriage made in musical heaven. Both have honed their musical skills to perfection and play with a freshness and enthusiasm that belies their years on the road.

Lunny was most recently seen as part of this year’s Kilkenny Tradfest. This should be special. Booking at set.ie.

4. Jon Dee Graham & William Harries Graham (Cleere’s, 26 May)

The father and son duo hit Cleere’s ahead of the June Bank Holiday weekend. Hailed by Jason Isbell as “the titan of American songwriters”, Jon Dee Graham released his first solo album just over 20 years ago, with Knoxville Station his latest offering. His son, William Harries Graham also has a new album and was recently included in Wired’s “50 people who will change the world” list. Tickets at Cleere’s / Rollercoaster.

5. Peter Bruntnell Trio (Cleere’s, 31 May)

It’s turning out to be a pretty good month for gigs in Cleere’s and this one is saved until the last day of month.

Peter Brutnell’s appearances in recent years at the Kilkenny Roots Festival have been glorious. If you’re missing that Roots festival vibe, you’re likely to find it in the back room in Cleere’s on a Tuesday night at the end of May.

More gigs in Kilkenny in May…

Between regular pub gigs and other venues, you could catch Divine Intervention in Matt’s this Friday, with Westmont College Orchestra at St. Canice’s Cathedral on Saturday Lunchtime.

Franc-Guitar-O (13 May), RockPaperScissors (16 May), more of The Sofa Sessions at Billy Byrne’s, Anna-Liese (18 May), the one and only Don McLean (30 May) can also be found in Kilkenny. Check the Facebook page for more gig listings.

Got one to add yourself? Email [email protected]


Ken McGuire

The one who kicked off KilkennyMusic.com back in the heady days of 2005. Now a radio head at KCLR, award-winning podcaster, producer, food blogger at Ken On Food, music nerd and everything else in between.

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