Briefly Up Close

Rachel Sermanni

Rachel Sermanni

Youth of a Nation Promotions presents Rachel Sermanni at the Hole in the Wall this Saturday night. The 20-year-old Scottish singer and songwriter is a storyteller with a voice that packs an almighty punch with her earthy folk melodies and dexterous fingerpicking. Her debut album, Under Mountains, is out and comprises 12 songs that are two years in the offing. It follows Rachel’s self-releasing of debut Black Currents EP earlier in the year which achieved peer and critical acclaim as well as going straight to number one in the Coalition Singles Charts where it stayed for two weeks.

Rachel’s also caught the ears of others and has gathered some well-known fans. She’s played support to Elvis Costello, Ron Sexsmith, John Grant and Michael Kiwanuka and was called “something special” by Elbow frontman and BBC 6 music presenter Guy Garvey.

Hear her for yourself at the Hole in the Wall this Saturday. Doors are from 9pm and tickets, €10, are available from Rollercoaster Records, and also from the door on the night.

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Black and amber

As Kilkenny head into the All-Ireland senior hurling final again, many venues are gearing up to screen the showcase with Galway this Sunday. Matt the Miller’s will be following the screening with live music from The Mighty Ghosts of Erin. And win or loose there’ll be party nights too to follow up on Monday night after the homecoming. Matt the Miller’s usual affair is blown up to encompass the black and amber with After Dark and DJ Eddie Hughes kicking off at 10pm and partying into the night.

Benefit gig

Two worthy causes will benefit from the talents of two acts this weekend. Billy Byrne’s hosts the Friday night gig which features music from COIN supported by The Dads. Entry’s €5 with proceeds being divided between the Susie Long Hospice Fund and Carlow Kilkenny Homecare Team. It starts at 8pm with Mexican food and raffle prizes also thrown into the mix.

The Guggenheim Grotto

They’re one of Ireland’s most talented yet understated groups and now The Guggenheim Grotto is making a welcome return to Kilkenny. In the six years since their first album hit the top of iTunes folk charts, Irishmen Mick Lynch and Kevin May have crisscrossed America to cultivate an audience one gig at a time. Along the way, they’ve toured extensively with Ingrid Michaelson, They Might Be Giants and Ani Di Franco, had songs used in major network primetime TV shows such as One Tree Hill and Brothers and Sisters, and garnished rave reviews from influential outlets such as Paste magazine, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. Currently living in Brooklyn, The Guggenheim Grotto have just finished recording their fourth studio album and will be showcasing new songs during their acoustic tour of Ireland this autumn. Hear them live at Cleere’s this Friday.

Feibhár Baldwin-Wall

Last week we told you of a young Kilkenny-based performer who was looking for your support to get further in a competition. Delighted to update you that Feibhár Baldwin-Wall got that support in droves and is now through to the final of Clarehall Shopping Centre’s Search for a Star. Thirty-six hopefuls battled it out for a part in the finale before judges Mary Byrne (X Factor and Celebrity Bainisteoir), Paul Harrington (Eurovision) and 98fm’s John Barker. Together they’ll select a winner who’ll get €1,000, a professionally recorded EP and one-to-one mentoring with Paul Harrington. Our 18-year-old singer and songwriter’s now in with a stellar chance to win the prize having secured the public vote. You can follow Feibhár via Facebook.

James McLure double bill

The Barn Owl Players present the James McLure double-bill of Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star, a set of comedy one-act plays set in southern America. Written in the late 1970s, both of these plays have entertained and at times shocked audiences around the world. And although each play can be, and often is performed as a stand-alone one act, they interlock in numerous ways and are more often performed together. Tickets (€12/€10) are available from the Watergate Theatre.

Disco Inferno

Following the success of this year’s gay pride event there’s now a new monthly LGBT club night in Kilkenny. Out for the Weekend will host a themed party at The Nixon on Watergate. To kick things off you’re invited to the first, Disco Inferno, which takes place this Saturday from 9pm. Relive the glory days of disco with a live Discolicious performance from Captain Anchor while DJ Iano spins disco anthems and classic hits all night. Admission’s free and there’ll be drinks promos available. Friends of LGBT people are also welcome to join in the fun.

Line dancing

If you’re looking to socialise in a different setting while also keeping fit, the Brog Maker has something you might enjoy. Every Monday night the venue hosts line dancing, offering a great way of exercising while having a bit of fun. It’s a challenge for your brain and for the coordination of your body and a bit of craic to boot.

Guerrilla Days

It opened at the Watergate Theatre last night (Tuesday) but you’ve still a chance to see Guerilla Days in Ireland tonight (Wednesday) from 8pm. Adapted and directed by Neil Pearson, the production is considered one of the greatest biographical accounts of the War of Independence ever written, and its author Tom Barry one of the most brilliant and controversial figures. This thrilling production is a world first in its presentation of Barry’s account.

Teen disco

Back to school has some advantages, one of which sees the return of the teen disco. Kilkenny Rugby Club hosts the event this Friday. Due to demand the night will host a UV Party with special guest Robo Glo being introduced to Kilkenny. Tickets are available from the usual sources.

Big Heart Walk

Kilkenny’s taking part in World Heart Day on Sunday. Each September hundreds of walks are organised throughout the country with thousands of walkers of all ages out in force. You can join in one at Kilkenny Castle Park from midday to help celebrate the event with the Irish Heart Foundation and to help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.


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.

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