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Gig of the Week: Tune up your ukes — the Ukulele Hooley is back with a twang

Plus Dún Laoghaire Folk Festival, Liam Gallagher at RHK, and Pat and Faye Shortt’s new show

Ukulele Hooley

Saturday, August 27th, and Sunday, August 28th; various times, prices and locations around Dún Laoghaire;

Covid-19 forced the organisers of the annual ukefest to cancel the event for two years, but fans of the tiny but perfectly formed four-string instrument will be delighted with the return of the hooley to Dún Laoghaire. Ukulele virtuosi from around the globe will descend on the south Co Dublin seaside town for two days of twanging, plucking and strumming, culminating in a big free concert in the People’s Park. Among the ukemeisters are Christopher Davis Shannon, Sage Harrington, The Ukulele Uff Trio and Dublin Ukulele Collective. There’ll also be the return of the Bus Busk, and there’ll be lots of workshops for anyone who wants to improve their uke skills or get started on one of Ireland’s most popular musical instruments.

Dún Laoghaire Folk Festival

Today until Sunday, September 11th; various times, prices and locations around Dún Laoghaire;,

After a low-key inaugural event in 2021, the latest folk festival on the calendar takes off like a rocket this year, with a packed line-up that includes Christy Moore, Richard Dawson, Ichiko Aoba, Cassandra Jenkins, Lemoncello, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, A Lazarus Soul, Martin Hayes, Tandem Felix and Niamh Regan. Other highlights include Macdara Yeats’s tribute to Tommie Potts, 50 Years of the Liffey Banks, and the folk supergroup Usher’s Island, featuring Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Paddy Glackin and Mike McGoldrick. Also look out for Fire Draw Near, a live podcast with Ian Lynch of Lankum, and It’s a Fine Thing to Sing, a showcase of singers and songs from the Inishowen peninsula. Most of the events take place at the Pavilion Theatre, but the whole town will be buzzing with the trad and folk vibes.

Well by Pat and Faye Shortt

Thursday, August 25th, to Saturday, August 27th; 3Olympia Theatre, Dublin, 7pm; from €32.50;

The funniest father-and-daughter comedy duo in the land have already written and performed two online shows. Now they’re hitting the big stage with their latest show, about the misadventures of a country’n’Irish duo who also happen to be father and daughter. They’re aiming for the top — no, not the Grand Ole Opry but, even better, a gig in the local hotel. Will it all go horribly wrong? Yer darn tootin’. Look out for many of the duo’s mad characters to make guest appearances on the rocky road to disaster.

Butler Gallery Summer Party

Saturday, August 27th; Butler Gallery, Kilkenny; 6-10pm; €65/€35;

How’s this for an arty party? Attendees at the Butler Gallery’s annual summer party can enjoy drinks, food and chat with good friends in the lovely historic walled garden of Evans’ Home, listen to live music and even get a private viewing of the gallery’s collection, including the main gallery’s exhibition, Kevin Atherton: The Return. For friends of the Butler Gallery, it’s a free event, but for the rest of us philistines it’ll be well worth the cover charge, and sure won’t we all go home fierce cultured (and well fed and watered)?


Liam Gallagher

Saturday, August 27th; Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin, 5pm; from €69.50;

When the Oasis juggernaut finally creaked to a halt, in 2009, the feuding Gallagher brothers went their separate ways, Noel going supersonic with his new band High Flying Birds, and Liam struggling to lift off with his band Beady Eye. But when Liam went out under his own (household) name, the faithful came flocking back, and he capped his megacomeback with two triumphant shows at Knebworth in June. Now he’s arriving at Royal Hospital Kilmainham, and the fans will be out in their bucket hats to hear classic Oasis hits and tracks from Liam’s chart-topping solo albums, including his latest, C’mon You Know. Gallagher has tweeted that he’s “buzzing” to be playing the RHK, and promises fans “it’s gonna be biblical”. One thing we know — we’re gonna party like it’s 1999.

IFI Family Festival

Friday, August 26th, to Sunday, August 28th; IFI, Dublin; various times and prices;

Take the kids to the cinema this weekend and show them there’s a world beyond Marvel and Star Wars. The IFI Family Festival will have a heady mix of shorts and features from around the world guaranteed to fire up any child’s imagination, and there’ll be lots of fun off-screen too. The festival opens on Friday with the amazing stop-motion feature Oink, directed by Mascha Halberstad, with some porcine-themed activities before the film, including art with Mags Harnett, veggie treats and a visit from the RTÉ Home School Hub presenters Ray Cuddihy and Emer O’Neill. Saturday sees a showing of Laura’s Star, about a girl who befriends a fallen star, and Last Film Show, about a boy who dreams of making his own movies. Sunday features a double bill of classics from the Studio Ghibli founders Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, Panda! Go Panda! and Rainy Day Circus. After all that, the galaxy far away will seem a bit dull.

Totally Terrific Tomato Festival

Saturday, August 27th, and Sunday, August 28th; Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin 14; 9.30am-5pm; €6/€9/€12;

There’s a whole lotta horticulture going on at Airfield this weekend, as the Totally Terrific Tomato Festival returns after being shelved for two years, in its new home in Dublin’s popular urban farm and gardens. Now is the chance to ketchup on what’s happening in the world of tomatoes, in the company of Airfield’s head gardener, Colm O’Driscoll, and some expert guest speakers, including Dr Emma Feeney of UCD and Jason Horner, the Irish co-ordinator of the Gaia Foundation. If you don’t like tomatoes, you’re bunched, but if the idea of tasting some of the myriad varieties of tomato — and maybe even a new variety — your mouth water, then you’ll be in tomato nirvana.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist