Whether in Dublin or Durban, Munster or Mumbai, St Patrick’s Day is a by-word for raucous celebration. Yet wherever you are in the world, there’s always a risk that the craic may quickly descend into Guinness-fuelled cliché. Anyone who’s ever been cornered in an ex-pat pub by a Leprechaun-hatted drunkard whose great-great-Grandfather hailed from Cork, while a petrol station compilation of rebel songs plays in the background, will understand where we’re coming from.
Luckily Diatribe Records, Dublin’s leading label for experimental sounds, is offering London-based revellers a radical alternative this year. They’ve curated the inaugural Éiríocht festival, a weekend of contemporary and improvised music set to dazzle Dalston’s famous Vortex Jazz Club on the 16th and 17th of March.
‘Éiríocht’ is an old Irish word for sprawling pagan festivals that take place “without restraint or cares” – and this event definitely looks like it fits the bill. Featuring a diverse selection of Irish artists and their international collaborators, organisers describe it as a timely reminder “of the need for, and the value of, an ease in crossing borders”, and invite attendees to “rage against the seemingly ineluctable shut-down [and] proclaim and delight in what Irish and UK musicians make together.”
The full line-up can be perused on Facebook, but here are five performances MusicMap particularly recommends checking out:
Colm O’Hara / David Lacey
Having previously collaborated with sax player Catherine Sikora for a 2013 release on the excellent Irish tape label Fort Evil Fruit, Colm O’Hara will be taking up his trombone for another bout with David Lacey, a percussionist with plenty of unorthodox items in his arsenal.
Olesya Zdorovetska / Keith Lindsay
Ukrainian artist Olesya Zdorovetska teams up with Dubliner Keith Lindsay for a performance that will combine installation art, poetic improv and modular synths.
TRE: Francesco Turrisi / Nick Roth / Kate Ellis
This stellar international trio will be performing arrangements of folk music from Armenia and Italy alongside new music by the legendary John Zorn.
The two-pronged sax attack of Chris Engel and Sam Comerford heads up this incendiary quintet, which is completed by the roving guitar of Chris Guilfoyle and the rocking rhythm section of Barry Donohue (bass) and Matt Jacobson (drums).
The crushed grooves and improvised scratching of Dublin’s DJackulate will bring things to the boil on Saturday night, with the 2017 CSM freestyle scratch battle champion and 2016 SMF Berlin Cut to Cut freestyle champion set to see Éiríocht festival out with a bang.
Éiríocht festival takes place at London’s Vortex Jazz Club on 16th and 17th of March. Advance tickets are available here.