What's the only thing better that St. Patrick's Day? When St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday, of course.
This year, that means that as most people have the day off, the celebration of our national day will stretch from tomorrow evening and right through to Sunday. How much Irishness is too much Irishness, do you happen to know?
To help you decide what you do over the weekend, we've rounded up the 9 best gigs happening around the country over the next few days.
NATHANIEL RATELIFF, BRIAN DEADY, ALL TVVINS @ THE ACADEMY | THURSDAY
This Jameson Bow St. Sessions gig is for competition-winners only, but what a line-up! The swaggering, bluesy American rocker headlines a bill that includes soul star Brian Deady and energetic electro-pop-rock Dubs All Tvvins. If you have a ticket, count yourself lucky.
CAT POWER @ VICAR STREET | THURSDAY
The woman known as Chan Marshall always offers something different with her live performances. Her last album was 2012's 'Sun', so she may be road-testing new material or drawing on her extensive back catalogue. Either way, it should be an enjoyable evening.
LEE 'SCRATCH' PERRY @ ROISIN DUBH | THURSDAY
How about a birra reggae of a Paddy's Day eve? Lee 'Scratch' Perry may not be the traditional way to celebrate an Irish holiday, but the 80-year-old Jamaican can still get a party started, which is really what you want.
THE RIPTIDE MOVEMENT @ OLYMPIA THEATRE | FRIDAY
This gig promises to be a big one – not least because of The Riptide Movement's reputation as a killer live band. (That'll be the hundreds of hours they put in on Grafton Street during their busking days, then). The Dubliners will surely bring something big to the table on such an important occasion.
KILKENNY TRADFEST | UNTIL SUNDAY
The Kilkenny tradfest runs across St. Patrick's Weekend in the Marble City, with a variety of eclectic gigs. Everyone from Paul Brady (St. Canice's Cathedral, Thursday), Eleanor McEvoy and Ed Sheeran's new bessies Beoga are on the bill, there's also an extensive music trail of free gigs running in various venues around Kilkenny over the coming days.
DAVID HOLMES @ THE SUGAR CLUB | FRIDAY
The Belfast man takes a trip south of the border and away from his film-scoring ways for a mammoth 5-hour-set at Dublin's Sugar Club. No explanation needed.
YOUNG BLOOD @ NATIONAL CONCERT HALL | SATURDAY
This is one way to celebrate all that is good about Irish music, and the right time of year to do it, too. A host of up-and-coming names on the Irish scene – from Choice Music Prize winners Rusangano Family to hip-hoppers Hare Squead to Katie Laffan and performance poets Stephen James Smith and Emmet Kirwan on the bill, it's shaping up to be quite special.
ASLAN @ THE BIG TOP, LIMERICK | SATURDAY
If there's one thing you can rely on Aslan for, it's generating a feel-good vibe at their gigs. Keep the party going through Saturday with the rock stalwarts at Limerick's Big Top, where Christy and co. will provide the singalong soundtrack to Crazy World, This Is, Time and many more of their mega hits.
THE STRYPES @ SPIRIT STORE, DUNDALK | SUNDAY
They haven't gone away, you know. The Cavan band beloved of Elton John crack on with their Irish tour this weekend, hitting the intimate confines of Dundalk's Spirit Store on Sunday night. A perfect way to round off a party-tastic weekend.