The 20 best intimate Irish indoor concerts by Christmas


Meet me at sunset

From Monday October 10 to Tuesday October 25.

Created by the good people behind the inventive Hibernacle team, this intimate concert series takes place across two venues (Orlagh House, Rathfarnham and Claregalway Castle, Co Galway), featuring a range of mainly Irish songwriters. Paul Noonan and Dani Larkin perform at Orlagh House/Claregalway Castle (Monday October 10/Tuesday October 11); Brooklyn-based Mick Flannery and EW Harris play Orlagh House/Claregalway Castle (Monday Oct. 17/Tuesday Oct. 18); and Gemma Hayes and Cathy Davey will perform at Orlagh House/Claregalway Castle (Monday October 24/Tuesday October 25).

Richard Hawley

Monday 10 October, Ulster Hall, Belfast; Wednesday 12 October, Róisin Dubh, Galway; Thursday 13 October, Dolan’s, Limerick; Saturday 15 October, St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny; Sunday 16 October, Opera House, Cork.

Sheffield’s Richard Hawley knows his way around Ireland, and Ireland knows how good he can be, so his domestic tour looks like a perfect match. The shows will feature the full gamut of his often seductive and consistently high-quality solo work, from his 2001 debut, Late Night Final, to 2019’s Further.

Little brother

Friday 28 October, Button Factory, Dublin.

In the context of Irish songwriters, the Junior Brother of Co Kerry (aka Ronan Kealy) is, let’s be honest, singular. This year saw the follow-up album (The Great Irish Famine) to his 2019 debut (Pull the Right Rope), and while there were no sudden musical departures, there were undoubtedly a progression in Kealy’s storytelling processes. Singular? Let’s change that to unique.

Robert Plant presents Saving Grace

Tuesday 25 October, Ulster Hall, Belfast; Thursday 27 October, Everyman Theatre, Cork; Friday 28 October, Town Hall Theatre, Galway; Sunday 30 October, Knocknarea Arena, Sligo; Monday 31 October, 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin; Wednesday 2 November, Wexford Spiegeltent Festival.

The unique embodiment of overtly masculine rock ‘n’ roll has blossomed into a tough yet tender singer and songwriter, and that frankly suits him.

tradition now

From Wednesday 26 October to Sunday 30 October, NCH, Dublin.

Over five evenings and two onsite venues (The Studio and Main Hall), artists of the caliber of Paddy Keenan, Ceara Conway, Luka Bloom, Treehouse, Soïg Sibéril and The Unthanks explore innovation in traditional Irish music. Expect old, new, and surprises in between.



Friday 4 November, St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny

This show kicks off an extensive national tour for Conor O’Brien and his incredibly superb songs. This is an acoustic-based tour, so expect new arrangements of classic Villagers songs from 2010’s debut album, Becoming a Jackal, to 2021’s much-admired fifth studio album, Fever Dreams. The tour runs throughout November and into December. More details on dates and ticket prices at

Addicted to cowboys

Thursday 17 November, NCH, Dublin.

Does anyone remember the first time they heard Cowboy Junkies’ rendition of Velvet Underground’s Sweet Jane? The Canadian band’s cover (which, according to the songwriter, Lou Reed, was his favorite version) was featured on their 1988 album, The Trinity Sessions, and since then they have consistently maintained a sonic presence as hypnotic as steel. In other words, you’re in for a treat.

The Mary Wallopers

Thursday 17 November, National Stadium, Dublin.

“The Clancy Brothers meet John Lydon” might be stretched a little, but there’s no doubt that this Dundalk band has shrewdly entered the space that’s long been vacant since the Pogues sobered up. A national tour will follow from Thursday, December 1.;

autumn air

From Thursday 17 November to Sunday 20 November, The Yard Bar, Walsh’s, Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

Autumn Air’s 2021 event has proven you can pair well-known names with a compact environment and so it continues with The Scratch, Paul Noonan, Jerry Fish, Bronagh Gallagher and yet-unannounced ‘special guests’ performing in a space that defines the word “intimate”.

Andy Irvine and Paul Brady

Sunday 20 November, Waterfront Hall, Belfast; Monday/Tuesday 21/22 November, Vicar Street, Dublin.

Recognition of the classic status of the 1976 Andy Irvine / Paul Brady album continues as its main protagonists once again embark on a series of concerts to perform songs such as Arthur McBride, The Streets of Derry and Plains of Kildare. Irvine and Brady will be joined on stage by Dónal Lunny and Kevin Burke, both present on the original album. Other elements of their respective careers will also be played.

Christy Moore

Wednesday, November 23; Tuesday, November 29, rue Vicar. Dublin.

Christy Moore is the guvnor, the boss, the maestro of intimate performer and performance, and for decades he captivated people not only with his story-driven songs, but also with his command and control of the room in which it occurs. If for some reason you can’t attend these shows, there are other dates at the same location in December and January.

Blonde Soda

Friday 25 November, Róisín Dubh, Galway; Saturday 26 November, Dolans Warehouse, Limerick; Friday 2 December, Set Theatre, Kilkenny; Thursday 8 December, Cyprus Avenue, Cork; Friday 9 December, Vicar Street, Dublin.

This show is the start of a series of five shows across Ireland, culminating in triumphal style in Vicar Street, Dublin. Frankly, it couldn’t happen to a better and/or classier band. With a debut album, Small Talk from last year, now making way for a follow-up in 2023, these shows will blend old and new, but with the band’s signature polished traits.

Marcus Mumford

Monday 28 November, 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin.

Released without his “Sons”, Marcus Mumford’s visit to Dublin cleverly coincides with the recent release of his first solo album, Self-Titled. However, since the album is less than 38 minutes long, we can safely say that the songs of his most well-known group will be generously distributed throughout the show.

DC Fountains

From Wednesday 30 November to Friday 2 December, Vicar Street, Dublin; Saturday 3 December, Leisureland, Galway; Monday 5 December, Live at The Big Top, Limerick; Tuesday 6 December, Millennium Form, Derry; Wednesday and Thursday 7 and 8 December, Ulster Hall, Belfast.

And it’s a jolly pre-Christmas treat for fans of this intense, tough, smart band as they return to the old turf for a mostly sold-out streak of shows (all but the Ireland gigs du Nord – go our friends in the north!).


Glen Hansard

Saturday 3 December, NCH, Dublin; Thursday and Friday 8 and 9 December, St. Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.

In March this year, Glen Hansard decided to postpone all of its previously announced shows outside of Ireland. Now that The Frames’ anniversary gig and its collaborative work with the Footsbarn Theater are done and dusted off, these sold-out shows (with maybe another to add, we suggest, in cryptic fashion!) are the only chance you’ll ever have. will have to see him play in Ireland this year.

The Coronas

Sunday 4 December, Ulster Hall, Belfast; From Wednesday December 14 to Sunday December 18, 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin; Wednesday 28th December, INEC, Killarney, Co Kerry.

These shows arrive after a full tour of Germany and the United States (as well as select dates in Canada and Australia and a stopover in Dubai). With a new album, Time Stopped, to attack, it is reassuring to see that they are not letting the post-Covid grass grow under their feet. Pandemic? What pandemic?

Gilla Group

Friday 9 December, National Stadium, Dublin; Thursday 15 December, Empire Music Hall, Belfast.

There’s intransigence and there’s Gilla Band, the quartet from Dublin that brings the extremist noise to some sort of cohesive conclusion. Or, as Rolling Stone noted, their “excellent, relentless music sounds like it was recorded in a meat locker under a fallout shelter.” Regardless of opinions, they remain a fascinating live music unit.


Saturday and Sunday 10 and 11 December, Vicar Street, Dublin.

Those who weren’t quick enough to snag a ticket to these two sold-out shows won’t be relieved to know that these are the only live performances by this most ingenious contemporary/traditional Irish band. Using drone beats here and prog/punk/folk forms there, the quartet (Ian Lynch, Darragh Lynch, Cormac MacDiarmada and Radie Peat) resolutely resists categorisation. Path to follow.

Mick Flannery

Saturday and Sunday 10 and 11 December, Róisin Dubh, Galway; Tuesday and Wednesday 20 and 21 December, Whelan’s, Dublin.

What a year it has been for Mick Flannery. Last year’s duet album In the Game (with Susan O’Neill) took off like a proverbial rocket, while his solo shows continue to be received with equal awe and admiration. These shows are as up close and personal as it gets, so be advised to do your best to navigate your way through them.

Damien Dempsey

Thursday 15 December, Black Box, Galway; Friday 16 December, Live at the Big Top, Limerick; Saturday 17 December, The Haven Hotel, Dunmore East, Co Waterford; December 19, 20, 22 and 23; Vicar Street, Dublin.

Damien Dempsey’s Christmas concerts in Dublin’s Vicar Street are now an annual therapeutic pilgrimage for his fans, which was effectively and emotionally highlighted in Ross Killeen’s 2021 documentary Love Yourself Today. Indeed, the title track will tell you everything you need to know about the mutual respect and connection between Dempsey and his tribe, and if you manage to land a ticket (all Vicar Street shows are sold out), then consider yourself like a lucky little elf. .

#intimate #Irish #indoor #concerts #Christmas

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