The Irish Music Rights Organisation — or plain old IMRO for short — are back for their 17th annual showcase tour of the country, with the Belfast leg touching down at The Limelight and Katy Daly's this coming Wednesday.
Recent tours have seen performances by bands such as The Flaws, The Immediate, Declan O'Rourke, Leya and our very own Oppenheimer, all of whom have gone on to score record deals.The latest batch of hopefuls include Belfast indie rock quartet Panama Kings, who'll be headlining the Limelight alongside Ed Zealous, Pocket Promise and Dublin-based solo act, Si Schroeder. Next door in Katy Daly's, electro folksters Cashier No 9 take top billing, while former Leya frontman Joe Echo, A Plastic Rose and A505 support. Doors open at 8.30pm and admission is a mere £3.
On Thursday, The Empire Music Hall hosts another Gifted night and things have come full circle for headliners Dirty Stevie who played their 'farewell' gig there several years ago — here's the proof that you can't keep a good band down. During their brief hiatus, it's good to see that the band have lost none of their legendary self-confidence — they have no qualms about billing themselves as the best thing to come out of Belfast since George Best and the DeLorean DMC-12. Joining the comeback kings at the Botanic Avenue venue will be hotly-tipped Thrones of Roll, whose energetic stage show and unique sound have helped secure their reputation as a 'must-see' local band.
It's a good week for live music at Auntie Annie's with the return of UITA on Tuesday with a strong line-up including Serpentine Smile, Eskimos Fall and Supermodel Twins. Then on Thursday night, nominees for Best Irish Band and Best Live Performance at the recent Meteor Awards, Fight Like Apes are launching their new EP, the title of which namechecks the star of the 1970s hit tv show Kung Fu, David Carradine. The martial arts theme continues on the EP called Do You Karate? while other songs include Canhead (an ode to fish and chips) and there's a handy guide to interesting names for hats, free with every CD.
The Square Peg in Warrenpoint is bracing itself for a Big Rock Night on Saturday, as three of Ireland's finest noise merchants play a gig originally cancelled due to a power failure. Payola and Million Dollar Reload join Dynamo, who might just do their best Ballylumford impression if the power goes down again.