The dreaded dark nights are now an inescapable reality, which means that those hazy summer evenings spent watching live music outdoors are a distant memory. Sigh.
All is not lost, however – if there's one good thing about winter, it's that there is always a huge abundance of great gigs across the chillier months of the year (not to mention that there's less chance of being rained on indoors).
On that note, with thanks to Jameson, we've picked 5 gigs that you definitely, undoubtedly, 100% should not miss this winter.
1) METROPOLIS – RDS, November 7th and 8th
The first ever Metropolis festival takes place at Dublin's RDS in early November, and the line-up is rather astonishing. With everyone from Chic feat. Nile Rodgers to Mark Ronson to Jamie xx to the legendary Giorgio Moroder and Hot Chip on the bill, it's a feast of electronic, dance and pop music that is unparalleled in terms of anything else happening in Ireland that weekend.
2) VAN MORRISON – 3Arena, November 20th
Yeah, yeah, we know he's got a reputation for being a grumpy old sod - so the legend goes, anyway. Still, there's no getting away from the fact that George Ivan Morrison has amassed a huge number of hits spanning his lengthy career – and now that he's recently hit his 70th year, perhaps he's mellowed a little. (We can but hope). In any case, it's rare that he plays such big venues in Ireland so we can expect something of a 'show' from his forthcoming 3Arena date.
3) MUMFORD & SONS – 3Arena, December 3rd
It's true that these guys aren't everyone's cup of tea, especially if you happen to have an aversion to banjos. Still, there's no getting away from the fact that Marcus Mumford and co. have become one of the biggest bands in the world over the last few years. Their Irish fanbase is especially enthusiastic, and what's more, they shed their rustic folk-tinged sound for a meatier, rockier approach with their third album 'Wilder Mind' earlier this year. It means that the 3Arena will be filled with electric instruments rather than a foot drum and an acoustic guitar, which should make for an altogether louder, infinitely more exciting gig.
4) GUY GARVEY – Olympia Theatre, December 7th
Something tells us that this gig is going to be a little bit special. Although Guy Garvey is best known for his role as frontman of Elbow, he's taking some time out from the band he's spend twenty years with and releases his debut album 'Courting the Squall' at the end of this month. Anyone who's ever seen Garvey play with Elbow will know just what a warm, funny, likeable character he is and when you add that distinctive, throaty, melted-chocolate voice of his - along with some great songs and the beautiful Olympia Theatre into the mix – well, you just know it makes sense not to miss this one.
5) EL VY – Vicar Street, December 13th
If you're not familiar with El Vy, don't worry. Not many are - at least not yet. They're a brand new supergroup of-sorts, with The National's frontman Matt Berninger on vocals and his old friend, musician Brent Knopf (known for his role in bands like Menomena and Ramona Falls) on guitar. The duo have recorded an album together, 'Return to the Moon', and are touring it this winter with a stop-off at the wonderful Vicar Street scheduled for December 13th. If you somehow manage to bag a ticket for this one, hold on to it tightly – it's already a gig in high demand.
Have no plans and need some inspiration? Then look to the Jameson Magic 8 Barrel.
Just ask your question and see where the night takes you.
You could even win tickets to the Bow St. Sessions, a night of collaborative music from some of Ireland’s best live acts! askthejamesonbarrel.com