Hard Working Class Heroes 2011: Our Top Ten Acts at Ireland’s Famous Unsigned Festival


Category : CrunchLists, Features, Industry Buzz, Interviews, Live Reviews


There’s no doubt that the Irish music scene is flourishing with remarkable fresh talent at the moment. Over the past few years we have seen various independent record labels such as The Richter Collective, Wingnut Records, Blue Stack Records and Rusted Rail spring up and fly the flag of some of the best new bands in Ireland.

Hard Working Class Heroes has been the showcase festival of Ireland’s most promising unsigned acts for the last ten years and with my hangover just about starting to abate I’m sticking down what were the top ten acts of the weekend (in no particular order). With 100 bands in 6 venues over the last three nights of the weekend my feet did not thank me. Ok here goes:

1. Squarehead

Squarehead are just after realeasing their debut album on The Richter Collective entitled: Yeah Nothing to huge critical success and one one of my favourite albums of the year . They blew the arse out of an unassuming HWCH on Friday on the Button Factory’s racious sound system!

I Wanna Hold Your Hand by Richter Collective

2. Elaine Mai

Elaine Mai has spent over the past year playing all over the country and wowing audiences. With new recordings to be released shortly I could not wait to catch her on Thursday in Sheebeen Chic. I was not disappointed.

IOU by elainemai

3. Last Days of 1984

Being an Animal Collective fan I wasn’t going to miss the sounds of Last Days of 1984, with summery electronic tunage that put  The Workmans Club last night in a very happy mood. Expect to hear a lot from these guys next year.

Last Days of 1984 – River’s Edge by bbc_atl

4. Ghost Estates

With a brilliant moniker to match their top performance at The Button Factory last night Ghost Estates are another critically acclaimed band whose rise over the past year or so seems destined to continue for quite a while.

Forever Or Never by GHOST ESTATES

5. Moths

At only 18 years old, producer and remixer Moths or Jack Colleran to his Mam has been making some of the most exciting electronic music this year.  He delivered further on his mammoth potential with an eye-opening ambient electroncia set at The Workman’s  Club last night. Did I mention he’s only 18!

Summer by MOTHS

6. Tieranniesaur

Tieranniesaur (part of Popical Island) are a mixed bag of treats and definitely delivered on their quirley avant garde tunage to a rocking albeit sometimes confused crowd at the Workmans last night.

08-Tieranniesaur – Here Be Monsters by popical_island

7. The Depravations

Hailing from Galway, The Depravations create beautiful love songs that will melt any heart. They certainly melted my considerably immeltable heart at The Workman’s Club last night. Could be huge.

Oh My Love by The Depravations

8. Le Galaxie

Le Galaxie are one the most exciting live electronic acts around and are filling voids left by the likes of Daft Punk and Kraftwerk. They delivered yet another interactive and fun live set on Friday night at The Workman’s.

02 – Beyond Transworld by Le Galaxie

9. Kid Karate

Another great two piece act, Kid Karate put on another one of their usual gritty and sweaty live shows and really got the crowd going in The Mercantile.

Black + Beige by Kid Karate

10. The Funeral Suits

The Funeral Suits have released two incredible singles over the past year and their album recorded with renowned record producer Stephen Street is due soon. Their set The Button Factory on Thursday night just made the wait that bit harder.

Funeral Suits – Health by Funeral Suits



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