Dun Laoghaire Folk Festival 2022 | 5 Gigs Not To Miss
After a highly successful introduction in 2021, the Dun Laoghaire Folk Festival returns on Monday 22nd August with an even bigger and better line up than its predecessor. Last year’s inaugural event was a lower key affair yet still featured names such as the legendary Christy Moore (returning for 2022), Lisa O Neill and Villagers among others. This year the event has stepped up with more shows and artists than before as the south Dublin based festival continues to expand in its sophomore outing.
With a stacked line up across three weeks at the Pavilion Theatre, it can be tricky to navigate which artists to make a priority when you first take in the list of names playing between August 22nd and September 11th. Luckily, HeadStuff is here to guide you in the right direction with our own select picks of the events that you don’t want to miss when the festival rolls around.
It goes without saying that aside from those made the cut below, there’s exceptional talent far and wide on stage throughout the coming weeks so chime in below with your own comments on who you want to see and why.
Without further ado, here are HeadStuff’s picks for those can’t miss evenings at the Dun Laoghaire Folk Festival 2022.
Richard Dawson (with special guests Landless)
Monday 22nd August, Pavilion Theatre
There’s perhaps no more intriguing way to kick off a modern folk festival than with the deconstructed avant-garde approach that Richard Dawson brings to the genre. The Newcastle bard’s progressive style incorporates influences as wide ranging as Islamic devotional singing and Kenyan folk, wonderfully complimented by a dark wit which makes Dawson’s studies in social anxiety easier to swallow.
His most recent LP 2020, a brutally honest portrait of Britain in its present state, will be the main source Dawson draws material from throughout this special solo set, however you can be sure to hear older crowd favourites such as ‘Ogre’ and ‘Soldier’ in a intimate performance at the Pavilion.
Dawson will be supported by Irish quartet Landless, who will be singing a a variety of unaccompanied four part harmonies from Irish, Scottish, English and American traditions. There is a rare, haunting beauty to these old ballads so be sure to make it in for a stirring opening act.
Cassandra Jenkins (+ Iona Zajac)
Wednesday 24th August, Pavilion Theatre
Cassandra Jenkins produced one of the defining albums of 2021 when An Overview On Phenomenal Nature arrived last February. The lush arrangements on the New York songwriters sophomore outing make up a gorgeous palette of dreamy folk, ambient synthpop and sensuous jazz, and these compositions are sure to sound even finer in a live setting.
Especially exciting is the prospect of hearing cinematic soundscape ‘Hard Drive’ in person – the most epic five minute musical journey of 2021 is guaranteed to be a setlist highlight.
The opening gig of the night will be courtesy of Scottish multi-instrumentalist Iona Zajac, whose melancholic melodies and intricate finger picked acoustics will welcome fans for an evening of mellow vibes.
Lemoncello (+ Clara Mann)
Friday 26th August, Pavilion Theatre
The harmonic string laden bliss of Lemoncello rounds out a stellar first week as Laura Quirke and Claire Kinsella headline the Friday night on their return to DLFF. The duo have only grown in stature since their festival appearance last year, with the duo’s intimate blend of baroque folk, traditional Irish balladry and orchestral instrumentation captivating listeners nationwide. Ahead of a widely anticipated debut album release later this year, there’s never been a better time to catch the pair’s notoriously charming live set.
The tenderly plucked guitar of Clara Mann is starkly contrasted with a supremely powerful voice that gifts the Bristolian’s character based narratives a lived in storybook quality, akin to the iconic tales spun by the one and only Laura Marling. Mann will be performing tracks from her debut Consolations EP as well as her glorious new single ‘Thread’ before Lemoncello take to stage on Friday evening.
Tandem Felix (+ Naima Bock)
Sunday 4th September, Pavilion Theatre
One of Ireland’s major music highlights in 2019 was the full length debut of Tandem Felix with Rom-Com, a joyously dour collection of alt-country slacker anthems. Frontman David Tapley will be playing a solo show to the cap festival’s second week off, as Tandem Felix continue the build toward their long awaited second LP.
Former bassist of UK psychedelic punk-punks Goat Girl, Naima Bock released her debut solo record Giant Palm in July to wide acclaim. Mixing her Brazilian heritage with European folk styles, the result is a unique hybrid that makes for one of the most curious folk debuts of the year.
You’ll have the chance to hear it live on a night that pairs two singular folk artists together for one unmissable double act next month.
Niamh Regan (+ Niamh Bury)
Tuesday 6th September, Pavilion Theatre
Since coming to prominence with her stunning debut album Hemet during the 2020 lockdown, Niamh Regan has gone from strength to strength in the past two years with nominations for the RTE Choice Prize and RTE Folk Awards. Even more prestigiously, Hemet was named one of HeadStuff’s Best Irish Albums Of 2020 by Shane Croghan back in December of that year.
As well as Hemet‘s sublime compositions you can expect to hear the four fine tracks from her latest EP release In The Meantime, released back in March.
The Galway storyteller is the standout headline act in the final week of the festival. She will be supported by rising Dublin folk artist Niamh Bury.
To check out the full line up, visit the Dun Laoghaire Folk Festival website for a full list of artists and events.