Briefly Up Close



Graignamanagh-based bonkers alternative group The Freakles play Billy Byrne’s this Saturday. The band’s live shows are renowned for their off-the-wall antics and bizarre bubble blowing and light-up costumes. Self-professed “innovators of electronic sleaze folk,” the unsigned band is back after a break from a Summer of Epic Victory tour which saw them play venues as far afield as Thomastown and Graignamanagh. The band’s debut album is slated for release early next year. “It’s gonna be totes amazeballs,” a source close to the band has said.

Kilkenny skate park

Many young people have been lobbying for a skate park in Kilkenny, and it’s a debate that’s gone on for some time and reared its head again at the recent Borough Council meeting. While that side of things continues, a number of people have been doing their bit to raise funds for the facility which still has to find a venue. The latest of these sees a garden party fundraiser at The Nixon this Saturday night.

Bench Warrant

One of Kilkenny’s most exciting groups plays Stoneyford for a good cause this weekend. Bench Warrant will take over Ennisnag Lounge in a bid to raise as much money as possible for Cois Nore cancer support centre. The new Kilkenny venture’s setting up on Walkin Street with a charity shop on John Street. The fun starts at 9.30pm.

Kilkenny Green Screen

The sixth season of Kilkenny Green Screen kick-starts this Thursday. Garbage Dreams: Raised in the Trash Trade is a film by Mai Iskander from 2009. It follows three teenage boys who were born into the trash trade and are growing up in the world’s largest garbage village on the outskirts of Cairo. It’s home to 60,000 Zaballeen, Arabic for “garbage people.” Far ahead of any modern green initiatives, the zaballeen survive by recycling 80% of the garbage they collect. When their community is suddenly faced with the globalisation of its trade, each of the teenage boys is forced to make choices that will impact his future and the survival of his community. This and other Future Proof Kilkenny films continue at the Hole in the Wall. Admission’s free but a €5 contribution is appreciated to cover costs.

Table quiz

St Michael’s National School in Danesfort will benefit from a table quiz at Sheridan’s Lounge, Ennisnag this Friday. Organised by the school’s Parents Association, it starts at 8pm with lots of prizes. Tables of four cost €20 and proceeds will help with the school’s extension.

Pierce Turner

Cleere’s hosts Pierce Turner this Friday. The singer, songwriter and performer is known for his penchant for the unexpected and the unorthodox. The Wexfordian’s love for music came from his family; his mother ran a record shop and led her own ban, while he and his siblings were all classically trained. His first professional job was as a musician with the pop showband The Arrows before he moved to New York, where he formed The Major Thinkers. Awards soon followed and appearances for his songs in film Snakes and Ladders, the HBO hit show The Wire. Christy Moore’s a fan and has even covered a number of his songs. To hear the man himself sing them, swing by Cleere’s on Friday. Tickets cost €15.

The Cripple of Inishmaan

Gowran Little Theatre take on Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple of Inishmaan this weekend. Set on the island of Inishmaan in the early 1930s, it’s at Gowran Parish Hall this Friday and Saturday from 8pm nightly. It’s €8 per ticket and please note that this production’s not suitable for younger audiences.

Blues Ark

They’re one of Kilkenny’s favourite bands to party to and this weekend Blues Ark are back in town. Ryan’s Bar hosts the session on Friday from 10pm. A few new tunes are guaranteed along with the usual roof-raising classics.

Ruby Revue

Kilkenny Musical Society this week give you two chances to enjoy a concert. On Thursday and Friday they present Ruby Revue at the Watergate Theatre. It’s a look back and celebration of 40 years of bringing top-class musical entertainment to Kilkenny audiences. The production will feature hits from various shows from the KMS repertoire including tracks from Calamity Jane, The Hired Man, Jesus Christ Superstar and Carousel, all performed by some of the best-known names from the society, including Brendan Corcoran, Olivia Smith, Pat Ryan, Donal O’Brien, John Byrne, Tony Murray, Michael Hayes, David Heffernan, Stephen Murphy, Niamh Dooley, Ursula Egan, Kevin Reade, Audrey Larkin, Kevina Hayes and Declan Taylor. They’ll be backed up by the KMS chorus and there’ll be a special appearance by Jesters Stage School. Kathleen Kelleher’s the musical director for the event which aims to entertain all ages. Tickets, €15/€10, from the Watergate Theatre.


The Irish Cancer Society and Action Breast Cancer will benefit from a fundraising night in Bennettsbridge this Saturday. O’Donnell’s Bar will see DJ Derek Collins spin the discs and punters can partake in a raffle and avail of a drinks promotion. Proud sponsors of prizes on the night include Jimbobs Bouncy Castle, Laurena’s Beauty Transformations, John Delaney Photography, Stone House Books, Avon, Glamorous Gel Nails and Beauty, Salmon Pool, Kilkenny Omniplex, Lorimat Jewellers, Kilkenny Reptile Village, Advance Timber Products, Crystal Ice, Moth to a Flame, Jerpoint Glass and PJ Cullen’s Centra.

La Grande Illusion

La Grande Illusion is the next offering from Kilkenny Film Club. The Set Theatre hosts the screening on Tuesday. The 1937 Jean Renoir directed POW classic can be seen from 8pm. Tickets cost €8.

Mayfair Ballroom Anniversary Dance

Memories at the ready! The Mayfair Ballroom Anniversary Dance takes place in Hotel Kilkenny on October 26. Dancing will be to The Marble City Sounds with guest performers from the showband era, among them Paddy Hanrahan (Nomads Showband), Sonny Cullen (Black Aces Showband) and special guest Paschal Brennan with the Joe Dolan Tribute Show. It’s a full show that kicks off at 9.30pm and runs to 1.30. Admission is €10 with all proceeds to Enable Ireland Kilkenny. Tickets can be booked by ringing 087 9582127. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night. The event is dedicated to the memory of the great Larry Cunningham, who sadly passed away recently. Larry performed many times in the Mayfair Ballroom during the showband years with his band The Mighty Avons.


If you want to include information in Up Close and Personal or the Gig Guide you can phone 086 8628626, email or leave a note at All items must be forwarded by 6pm on Sunday to be considered for inclusion.