For The Turnstiles: Dublin Music Sessions Feature

The purpose of this article is to celebrate the rich variety of Session concerts which take place on a weekly or monthly basis in Dublin. It is an incomplete list due to the sheer number of different Sessions nights. The organisers spend massive amounts of time and considerable financial risk in bringing together musicians, bands, poets and fans for usually a special night’s entertainment. Learn more about nights like The Glor Sessions, The Brownbread Mixtape, Communion, The Song Room and The Apollo Sessions & more here!


Weekly Sessions


The Glor Sessions Poet and host Stephen James Smith kindly answered a few questions about The Glor Sessions.

When and where is The Glor Sessions?
Every Monday in the basement of The International Bar, 23 Wicklow Street Dublin 2:

What has been your favourite moment at The Glor sessions?
Hard to name but one, so I will have to just name a few things I love about it. 1. the energy created in the room, be it the banter or intimacy. 2. The surprises when I throw it open to the floor, from real genius to just plain madness. 3. Taking it to different festivals such as The Electric Picnic, Festival of World Cultures and The Dublin Writers’ Festival to name a few. 4. just get your ass down and see for yourself….

Any Spinal Tap or bizarre moments you want to share?
There have been many it is the nature of the night, but once there was a guy who collapsed down the stairs just opened the door and shouted it was hilarious and still talked about. That is just the tip of the rather large iceberg though.

Name the one artist, band or poet who impressed you the most!
Poet John Cummins, he just got up very unassuming and stormed the stage in his very tranquil way. He had us all in the palm of his hands and took us on a magic journey. Again though I am very lucky to attract a lot of great acts that have wowed us in a similar fashon.

Using youtube, soundcloud or any other media pick one track or poem which best sums up what your night is about!
Here is a playlist of soem vids from the night so see for yourself:

Sell yourself with links!
It is Dublins only weekly night of music, spoken word poetry, story telling and madness and all for free. It is a proper sessions where folks listen, the quality is high, while it’s is not for the faint of of heart but stick with us and you will come out feeling rewarded with words making you laugh and cry. Simple miss it and miss out!
live ustream streaming:
my site but it is currently crap!


The Lazy Band

The Lazy Band are currently holed up in Bewleys Cafe Theatre on Grafton st, Dublin playing a FREE gig every monday evening at 8 PM. It’s a lovely little room with a full bar too!



The Ruby Sessions 10 years & still going strong!

The Ruby Sessions is an acoustic club held weekly every Tuesday night in the intimate setting of Doyle’s (across from the gates of Trinity college) of College Street, Dublin.
Experience 4 excellent artists play an original acoustic set for 20 minutes
each. Doors : 9pm
Admission : 6euro at the door.
Profits are donated to the Dublin Simon Community.




Bankers Singer-Songwriter Night

I’m not too sure if this still is going!




The Song Room – Promoter and Singer-songwriter Hamlet Sweeney answered a few questions about The Song Room.

When and where is The Song Room?
The Song Room lives in a bar called The Globe at 11 Georges st, Dublin 2 every Wednesday evening from 8.30 until 11.30.

What has been your favourite moment at The Song Room?
Very, very hard to say! Too many special moments to just pick one from. I always smile when I think of Brendan from A Band Called Wanda jumping onto the bar top with a trombone or Farrago blowing minds with their rhythms, no instruments or voices, just 5 drummers!

Any Spinal Tap or bizarre moments you want to share?
I once booked a touring Russian cultural act who really, really wanted to play. I knew it was a risk but I thought why not. The first part of the act turned out to be a rather stunning girl in a dress small enough to be a belt with a great jazz voice. So far so good. For the 2nd part these guys started playing Irish trad songs in a metal style through busking amps. The whole room was just looking wondering what the hell was going on. It was kinda odd. Then for the finale came a woman out form the ladies toilets in full North Russian traditional costume! You know those Russian dolls that get smaller and smaller inside each other? She looked like the smallest one and sang a capella songs in Russian with a huge voice. Then she started walking out into the crowd and started spinning around, it was actually cool. But very strange!

Using youtube, soundcloud or any other media pick one track or poem which best sums up what your night is about!
There are a few videos here from The Amazing Few and Felix Sonny Boy Wilson playing at the Song Room

Sell yourself with links!
Click or email for any info.

The Amazing Few – Fairy Omar [Recorded at The Song Room]


The Zodiac Sessions

The Zodiac Sessions is a singer / songwriter showcase in Bruxelles Bar, Dublin. It starts at 8:30pm and finished at about 1am.





Songs from a Cafe Host: Magdalene Buckley

Music session dedicated to singer-songwriters, every Thursday 8:00-10:30 at Brick Alley Cafe, East Essex Street, Temple bar, Dublin 2



Saucy Sundays

Saucy Sundays is a new live music session happening in the The Grand Social (AKA Pravda). It will run from 4pm until 11pm every Sunday with a line up of fantastic musicians from all round the country.

This is the brain child of Singer/Songwriter Lisa Mc Laughlin and Joey Sauce (The Hot Sprockets). With the aim of bringing fantastic music to your Sunday Afternoons..


The Apollo Sessions – Fiach tells us about The Apollo Sessions

When and where is The Apollo Sessions?
Every Sunday in the Bleeding Horse, Camden Street. Usually kicks off about 9pm.

What has been your favourite moment at The Apollo sessions?
There’s been lots but I’ll always remember the performance of Bill Danoff. He co-wrote Country Roads and Afternoon Delight. The whole crowd sang along at the top of their lungs, complete with Anchorman sound effects.

Any Spinal Tap or bizarre moments you want to share?
Not at the Apollo Sessions but years ago I used to run an open mic in the Mezz and the ceiling caved in under a waterfall. It was about a foot away from the sound-desk. Somebody had left the shower on in the hotel upstairs and when the pressure had built up too much the ceiling collapsed. We found a wheelie-bin outside and stuck it under the waterfall. Mental night!

Name the one artist, band or poet who impressed you the most!
The standard is very high every week. A few of our regulars are very impressive songwriters: Eric McGrath, Maire Digan, Garret Baker, Andy O’Neill, Smith….the list goes on.

Sell yourself with links!

Using youtube, soundcloud or any other media pick one track or poem which best sums up what your night is about!
This is the Bill Danoff performance of Afternoon Delight. You can hear some people don’t know all the words but they don’t care, they’re getting involved. That’s the kind of thing that makes the Apollo Sessions great craic.


The Sunday Roast

Free Music & Free Roasties on a Sunday evening in The Merantile on Dame Street



Monthly Sessions

Communion – Here promoter Pixie tells us about the new home of Communion, Dublin.

When and where is Communion?
The last Saturday of every month at The Grand Social (Friday March 25th excepted)

What has been your favourite moment at Communion?
Pete Roe opening at the re-launch in January

Any Spinal Tap or bizarre moments you want to share?
Vaguely recall Anthony Furey back-flipping onto stage in a gold morph suit and accidentally pulling the drapery down onto our heavy duty Max Benjamins. Smooth.

Name the one artist or band who impressed you the most!
The Hot Sprockets – they always put on a sick live show

Sell yourself with links!
Twitter: @communiondublin


Clockwork Apple

Every month since 2008, Clockwork Apple has picked 3 bands that have something a bit special about them to play Whelans’ upstairs venue, whether that’s an ability to make people dance, sing, smile or simply rock out!


The Next Clockwork Apple is Friday 11th March


The Brownbread Mixtape – Poet Kalle Ryan talks me through The Brownbread Mixtape

When and where is The Brownbread Mixtape?
The Brownbread Mixtape is a themed monthly event that takes place upstairs in The Stag’s Head pub. Our show is always on the last Wednesday of the month and features a variety of music, poetry and our own sketch comedy.

What has been your favourite moment at The Brownbread Mixtape?

It’s really hard to single out one particular moment as a favourite. There have been many cool things along the way. First of all seeing the show grow by word of mouth to an audience of 100 strong every month has been really inspiring and exciting.

One really cool moment was the first time we ever played My Blood is Boiling for Ireland (the alternative Irish national anthem). It got such an instant and powerful reaction. Now we close every show with it!

Any Spinal Tap or bizarre moments you want to share?
There have been a few mad moments alright.
One night the guitarist in Wilco (Pat Sansome) attended the show. Being a massive Wilco fan, that was both weird and wonderful.

Also, one evening there was a very persistent Tuba player outside below the window who was starting to infringe on the silent moments for the performers, so in the end we opened up the windows and got the audience to roar/sing Happy Birthday to him. It seemed to stun him into silence.

Also, we have a raffle every month and in September of last year we had this mystery prize where the winner was asked up to the stage to open it. He let everyone know his name was Jeff Nelson and the crowd spontaneously started chanting his name. For the rest of the night he was namechecked in poems, intros, songs and the audience continued to chant his name. EleventyFour was in the audience that night and was so taken with the incident that she wrote a hilarious song about him where she imagined him as this superhuman figure. She performed it the following month to an incredible response!

Name the one artist, band or poet who impressed you the most!

Impossible! By naming anyone you end up excluding so many brilliant performers

MUSIC : Of the many musicians we have had on the stage, Pearse McGloughlin continues to write truly great songs and deserves all the accolades he gets. His Twine EP last year was an absolute knockout. Great music from a songwriter who is only getting better.
Also: Elder Roche – A top-drawer songwriter who consistently delivers magnetic performances. Transports you to another place
Enda Reilly – A golden voice and guitar playing of the highest order. A true folk artist and a massively positive energy about him.
And: Bill Coleman, Leanne Harte, Fiach, Miss Paula Flynn, EleventyFour, Rook and the Ravens and tons more

POETRY: The spoken word and poetry scene is really thriving at the moment and there are so many exceptional poets right now. Colm Keegan certainly stands out as one of the very best. His poems are raw, honest and genuinely powerful. His poem “Ireland Is” (which he wrote specifically for a brownbread mixtape show) is one of the best snapshots of the Zeitgeist in Ireland right now.
Also: Stephen James Smith – Lyrical, insightful and human poems you can embrace. A terrific performer and a larger than life individual. Catherina Behan – Truthful, personal and elegant poems delivered with real poise.
And: Karl Parkinson, Dave Lordan, John Cummins and loads of others

COMEDY: Dare I say it, our own resident Brownbread Players sketch troupe have really excelled at creating completely original and hilarious new sketches (performed in the style of a live radio show ala The Goons). We are really proud of the work we have done. The sketches are one of the most enjoyable, interactive parts of the show and have consistently received a massive response from the audience.

Using youtube, soundcloud or any other media pick one track or poem which best sums up what your night is about!

We have a really actively updated YouTube channel that features over 120 videos of music, poetry and comedy performances from our shows. We would love it if your readers checked us out and subscribed. Support Irish music and the arts!

Here’s a video to sum up the night– An entire brownbread mixtape show timelapsed into 90 seconds:

There is an incredible energy and camaraderie in the live music and spoken word scene at the moment and I tried to capture that in a poem called The Reformartists which references The Glor Sessions, Nighthawks, our own show and the spirit all over this amazing city:

Thanks to Stephen, Fiach, Pixie, Hamlet & Kalle for answering the few questions. There really is something special and enriching that happens at the above gigs. If you’ve been to them you know what I’m talking about!


About Peter444

For The Turnstiles is the Folk Column for 4FortyFour! I'm an experienced maths teacher moonlighting as an unqualified freelance music journalist! I'm also behind the 2UIBestow website. If you're all about folk send me a message mixtape4melfi::at::gmail::com
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5 Responses to For The Turnstiles: Dublin Music Sessions Feature

  1. Sean O'Neill says:

    Since 16th Feb, I’ve been hosting and open mic / showcase night in a new theatre space (downstairs from Le Cafe des Irlandais). Matchbox Theatre is an intimate venue and has a bar license too. It’s on Wednesdays. 8:30 till after midnight.

    There’s a nominal admission charge to honour the bar license terms and conditions.

    Welcome to The 50cent Sessions

  2. Peter444 says:

    Thanks Sean for letting me know about the new night. I did come across it on Facebook a few weeks back but it slipped my mind when I was putting the article together. Best of luck with the night!

  3. brownbreadmixtape says:

    A really great snapshot of Dublin’s session gigs right now. There is an amazing feeling of possibility and positive energy. Long may it continue. Thanks for asking us to be a part of the feature Peter, its a terrific piece.

  4. Pingback: Dublin Music Sessions Feature on 4fortyfour blog! | the brown bread mixtape

  5. peter says:

    Yeah the Dublin sessions are all aout passion energy alright. The next one will have to be about the country wide session nights!

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