Up Close and Personal

Jamie Lawson

Jamie Lawson

He’s taken the online world by storm and it’s very hard not to warm to him in person.

You’ll get to see what I mean this week as Jamie Lawson’s swinging by Set Theatre this week.

Though on the singer & songwriter circuit for some time this Southwest UK man saw his talents propelled into the spotlight when his song Wasn’t Expecting That was uploaded to YouTube in early January.

Straight away it seemed to capture the hearts of thousands, its subject matter and emotionally subtle performance proving widely popular and now just weeks later over two hundred thousand people have viewed the original posting. Some might also recognize it from the Today FM Gift Grub sketch on Brian Cowan.

With more fans coming on board, Lawson’s latest Irish tour is something different from what he’s been used to with first gig at Whelan’s, Dublin, tonight (Wednesday) a sell out in advance.

The tour continues in Set Theatre on Thursday and continues to Waterford, Galway, Dundalk, Limerick, Cork, Offaly, Killarney and Wexford, with some of those dates also sold out.

It’s been an exciting time for the singer who’s embarked on an exciting but rapid introduction to the Irish music scene following a series of radio, press and TV appearances in the last few weeks which included an appearance on the Late Late Show, supporting Ryan Sheridan in Kilkenny, he was also invited on stage by Declan O’Rourke at Set Theatre and he got added to the line up at the Ruby Sessions in Dublin.   

Tickets, €10, available from Langton’s. For more see www.jamielawson.com


As the annual chuckle fest had its somewhat subtle unveiling last week, comedy continues to be to the fore in Kilkenny.

Following last Monday’s launch of the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival one of its most popular regulars returns this Friday night.

David O’Doherty’s gigs are legendary, hugely funny, intelligent offered up with a wry grin.

Tickets, €16, from Langton’s.

And if you don’t catch him this week, rest assured that he’s back on the bill of the Cat Laughs across June 2-6.

The lineup was officially announced at the Rivercourt Hotel last Monday.

Tommy Tiernan, Andrew Maxwell, Eric Lalor, Ardal O’Hanlon, Colin Murphy are among the returnees while newcomers include the Rubberbandits who’s stint on Republic of Telly has seen their popularity soar. Not least for their track Horse Outside which has become something of a contemporary classic. Its followup I Wanna Fight Your Father

For the full breakdown see www.thecatlaughs.com


The Hub at Cillin Hill proved to be the most popular venue in the county last weekend as hundreds turned out for the General Election count for the Carlow Kilkenny constituency.

And now it seems the venue’s at the centre of another ticket scramble as Jedward’s gig gets closer.

The Brothers Grimes perform there as part of their Bad Behaviour Tour on April 9 and, such is the demand for tickets (€25), extra are being offered up this week.

This is a reserved seating show with all tickets having a row and seat number.

The gig comes just a month before they head to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in May. Single Lipstick, which helped them win the Euro Song competition earlier this year, is available in all physical and digital stores.

It’s been a rollercoaster rider for the two who found fame on the XFactor. Their take on Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby proved popular as their debut single while debut album Planet Jedward released last July entered the charts in the top spot and went on to become the year’s fastest selling record.

Though something of a surprise to many their popularity continues to soar but love them or not nobody can deny that this duo’s one of the hardes working combinations to hit the entertainment scene in a very long time. Constant TV and radio appearances, gigs and the like see them kept to the fore and their energy certainly shows no signs of waning.

Catch a little of it at The Hub, Cillin Hill, on April 9. Tickets available through Langton’s.

Babette’s Feast

Danish film Babette’s Feast is on the menu for Billy Byrne’s tonight (Wednesday).

The weekly film night was set up some time ago, just an idea that took off. It attracts quite a crowd each week who enjoy a different film, some nibbles and great chat both before and after the screenings.

Babette’s Feast is the latest to be lined up. Written by the man behind the story which inspired the 1985 Academy Award winning flick, Out of Africa, the story was the first Danish cinema offering of an Isak Dinesen story.

That’s not the only first it’s achieved, it was also the first Danish film to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film.

Telling the tale of two elderly religious sisters living in a remote area and forming a sect who after some years have a refugee from Paris (Babette) arrive at their door.

She stays to work in the home and, on winning ten thousand francs in the lottery, puts the money to creating a gastronomic delight.

Dirty Sanchez

This Friday The Dirty Sanchez crew will be performing in Kilkenny City.

The MTV antics of the now legendary party animals ave gained them an army of fans mad to see their craziness live. In Kilkenny you can expect the unexpected, the bits they couldn’t show you on TV. Catch it all at Da Vincis at McSorley’s (formerly known as Dempsey’s). The after party is hosted by Hedliners Residents (BarryD, Andy Smith, and the return of Dirty Ciaran) who between them will play the best in Electronic music dropping lots of party pieces and remixes. Limited Early Bird Tickets (€10) will provide access to the Dirty Sanchez Show and after party, while the standard price is €15 and booking fees may apply.


James Brown Tribute

The Godfather of Soul’s to be feted in one local venue this weekend. James Brown. Local DJs Cleveland Mike and Shane Tobler will be spinning the music at Billy Byrne’s on Saturday night. To say “get down” might be somewhat predictable, but entirely appropriate!

Year of the Hiker

Directed by Denise Quinn, Dawn Players Waterford present the John B Keane play The Year of the Hiker at the Watergate Theatre this Saturday night from 8pm. Telling of a father who returns home unannounced having been away without contact for twenty years, it’s a play dealing with relationships and the consequences of both separation and reunion and their effects on individual family members. Proceeds from the night will go to the Irish Pilgrimage Trust which serves people with special needs. For more see www.ihcpt.com For the show be at the Watergate Theatre from 8pm Saturday night.

Kilkenny Tango

For the first time in Kilkenny City, a professional Argentine tango teacher & dancer, is holding classes to help locals learn his native dance.  Raul Masciocchi, who has danced all over the world, and his dance partner Nore Gomez, have promised to inject us Cats with the senses of passion and drama they believe are synonymous with dancing Tango.  Raul is teaching an initial five week course of Tango classes, which are the result of a partnership between the Kilkenny based firm Kilkenny Tango and Stathams Events, the new underground event space developed at The Pembroke Hotel.   Currently taking place each Thursday from 7.15pm, the classes are followed by a Milonga, where participants have the chance to dance, socialise and practice.  For more details see www.kilkennytango.com.  Stathams Events will be playing host to a number of concerts and events over the coming months, including the acclaimed Irish cabaret artist and comediene Karen Egan in March.  See www.pembrokekilkenny.com for more details.    


He may not be the best known of the Jagger clan but he’s certainly carved out his own solid career over the years. Now Chris Jagger’s Acoustic Trio is set to appear at the Hole In The Wall on March 12. Together they present new tunes and old favourites, featuring a musical mix of folk, Americana, Hillbilly and western swing with just a touch of the Irish. Chris Jagger, brother to legendary Mick Jagger is an incredibly talented man, his feet are firmly rooted in the heart of Somerset. His career spans that of a singer, songwriter, writer and broadcaster. His new record The Ridge includes eleven new tunes interpreted by players of the calibre of Danny Thompson (bass) and John Etheridge (guitar). Also on the record are members of his trio David Hatfield and Eliet Mackrell. Chris’s dry, sharp wit and earthy approach to life, leave audience’s feeling comfortable and at ease as they listen to and enjoy the music and ambience at his gigs. Support on the night is from local lady Deirdre Doyle aka Deetrich. Tickets available from Rollercoaster Records are priced at €15. Doors from 8pm.


As American Idol enters its new phase and plannings underway for the latest round of XFactor on both sides of the Pond, one local venue’s to host a similar style event tonight (Wednesday). Kilkenny’s answer to the X Factor’s been organisd by Gabriella Barry for Ryan’s. Performers will strut their stuff before judges with prizes up for grabs.

All Ireland Talent Show

Kilkenny’s last hope for the All Ireland Talent Show bowed out on Sunday. Claire Mulholland was one of the acts selected for the Wildcard show but unfortunately she failed to secure enough of the vote to take a place in the next stage of the competition. But it’s far from the last chance for the Kilkenny College student who’s take on contemporary classics has seen her become a hit. Though shyness has kept her talents something of a secret among her friends and family, there’s no hiding that now and Claire’s sure to continue with her singing and instrumentation. Which is a very good thing indeed! Keep an eye (and and ear!) open, you’re going to be hearing more about this lady.

Simply Divine

If showband’s your thing then you’ll love what’s in store at Langton’s on Tuesday night. Simply Devine features Roly Daniels, Sandy Kelly and a host of great music from the genre. Unfortunately Dickie Rock who was to participate is now unable to attend but the music will continues to flow.


If you want to include information in Up Close & Personal or the Gig Guide you can contact me by ‘phone 086-8628626, email: edwinamgrace@gmail.com or leave a note at www.facebook.com/edwinagrace. All items must be forwarded by 6pm on Sunday to be considered for inclusion.

Gig Guide


KSPCA Fundraiser: Kilkenny’s Answer to the X-Factor, Ryan’s,

Movie Night: Babette’s Feast, Billy Byrne’s, 8:30pm.

Tomas Jackman, Lanigan’s.

Mighty Ghosts of Erin, Matt the Miller’s, 9:30pm.

Trad session, Sean Byrne’s, 9:30pm.

S.I.N. Night with Lancelot Link & late bar, The Field.

Card Night (25s), Shirleys, Kells.

O’Faolain’s Late Club.


Launch KMS production The Hired Man.

Jamie Lawson, Set Theatre, 8pm, €10.

Open Mic & Comedy Club, McSorley’s Front Bar (Dempsey’s), 9pm.

Na Fianna, Lanigan’s.

DJ, Biddy Early’s, 9pm.

Trad with Shananagans, The Field, 9:30pm.

The Dog House Sessions, Bridgebrook Arms, Thomastown.

Langton Club, 10pm.

Pete Fagan & DJ Eddie Hughes, Matt the Millers, 10:30pm, late bar.

O’Faolain’s Late Club.


David O’Doherty, Set Theatre, 8pm, €16.

Always Read The Label, Billy Byrne’s.

Hedliners: Dirty Sanchez, McSorley’s, 9:30pm, €15/10.

Live Music, PV’s, Kilford Arms.

Music, Ryan’s.

Brand New Cadillac & late bar, The Field.

Acousticats, Kyteler’s Inn.

Music, Rafter Dempsey’s, 9:30pm.

Firestar & DJ Eddie Hughes, Matt the Miller’s, 10pm to 2am.

O’Faolain’s Late Club.


Kieran Goss, Set Theatre, 8pm, €20.

Dawn Players: The Year of the Hiker, Watergate Theatre, 8pm, €12/10.

James Brown Tribute, Billy Byrne’s.

Kilford Karaoke, Kilford Arms.

Music, Ryan’s.

Music, Victor’s Bar, Club House Hotel.

Resident DJ, McSorley’s.

Langton Club, 10pm.

DJ Eoin, Matt the Miller’s, 9:30pm to 2am.

DJ Noel/Matty B, Left Bank.

DJ, Marble City Bar.

DJ, Biddy Early’s.

DJ Mark, The Field, til 2am.

Gold Soundz, Set Theatre, Free before 12:30am.

Pegasus Nightclub, Kilford Arms.

O’Faolain’s Late Club.


Thomas Moore Singing Competition, Watergate Theatre.

Tomas Jackman, Kyteler’s Inn.

Revolver & late bar, The Field, 9pm.

Derek Ryan Acoustic Sessions, Biddy Early’s.

The Bar Flies, The Pumphouse, 9pm.

O’Faolain’s Late Club.


Social Seniors Mornings, MacDonagh Junction, 10:30am.

The Briars, Na Fianna & late bar, The Field, 10pm.

Traditional music session, Cleere’s Bar.

After Dark & DJ Fast Eddie, Matt the Millers, 10:30pm, late bar.

O’Faolain’s Late Club.


Simply Divine The Show, Langton’s Ballroom, 7:30pm, €25

Kiwi Paddy ‘til late, The Field.

Langton Club, 10pm.


Alan Counihan’s Elemental exhibition, Butler Gallery, open 10am-1pm, 2pm-4:30pm daily until Sunday.

Kilkenny Cineplex has a wide variety of films to suit all ages and interests on show at a number of times each day.