The Bonk and Clara Tracey Launch New Dundalk Series COLLIDE

As home to the likes of Just Mustard, Jinx Lennon, Elephant and The Mary Wallopers, world-beating venues including The Spirit Store and forward-pushing movers like Pizza Pizza Records, it’s safe to say Dundalk more than holds its own when it comes to representing what is setting Irish music apart in 2023.

It’s a wonderfully independent spirit that runs through COLLIDE, a new, late-night series from An Táin Arts Centre and the Spirit Store. Beginning in winter 2023 and ending in spring 2024, the venues will collaborate on four downright unmissable bills featuring some TTA favourites.

And how better to shine a light on the island’s finest than uniting two of its most singular acts? On Thursday, 14th December, The Spirit Store hosts the opening night with The Bonk, supported by Belfast-based Fermanagh artist Clara Tracey. Having released two of the best Irish albums in the last year and a bit – Greater Than Or Equal To The Bonk and Black Forest respectively – the pair set the pace for what is an essential series tonight, Thursday, 14th December. Go here for tickets.

COLLIDE continues into 2024, with shows from Cork’s The Altered Hours with Alice Robinson on Thursday, 8th February, John Blek and David Kitt on Thursday, 7th March and Belfast’s Joshua Burnside with support from Sophie Coyle on 28th March.

We’ll be digging a bit deeper into those bills over the next while. In the meantime, head here to buy tickets for all for four shows.

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.