Laura Sheeran, Katie Kim and Donal Dineen at “Dublin Contemporary”.

The first seri­ous attempt at curat­ing an inter­na­tion­al, con­tem­po­rary art exhi­bi­tion was held in Dublin dur­ing the months of Sep­tem­ber and Octo­ber under the ban­ner Dublin Con­tem­po­rary. The most spec­tac­u­lar aspect of which was its com­man­deer­ing of an entire wing of the NCH in Earls­fort Ter­race. Scores of unloved rooms on three floors in the oth­er­wise august edi­fice were used as self-con­tained exhi­bi­tion spaces and for pop-up events, one of which, mem­o­rably, brought the exhi­bi­tion to a close at Halloween.

Who Are You? Vol 2 was curat­ed by DJ and film mak­er Don­al Dineen, and attend­ing it appro­pri­ate­ly enough felt a bit like step­ping back in time and into one of the less salu­bri­ous if more pro­duc­tive cor­ners of Andy Warhol’s Fac­to­ry, cir­ca 1967. Musi­cians, artists, film mak­ers and gen­er­al hip­sters gath­ered in an air of con­vivi­al­i­ty and stud­ied non­cha­lance to casu­al­ly if care­ful­ly man­u­fac­ture mag­ic. It could so very eas­i­ly have been hope­less­ly cringe-induc­ing. Unusu­al­ly, it was qui­et­ly spectacular.

For a cou­ple of hours three solo musi­cians ser­e­nad­ed us one after the oth­er, as painter Guiller­mo Car­rion and visu­al artist Hec­tor Castells ably assist­ed by Dineen pro­ject­ed a col­lage of gen­tly evolv­ing images made up of a com­bi­na­tion of stills, video and an oil paint­ing that was being worked on live at the back of the room. First up of the musi­cians was Lau­ra Sheeran.

Sheer­an pro­duces a live show that demands to be seen. Veer­ing dan­ger­ous­ly close at times to par­o­dy, she injects an inten­si­ty into her live shows that gives them a gen­uine­ly hyp­not­ic air. 500 years ago she’d have been burnt at the stake by now. And it would be easy to mis­take what you see as gim­micky. But as soon as you hear the sounds she pro­duces, it’s impos­si­ble not to be drawn in. You can’t fake that kind of passion.

Although she hasn’t yet quite man­aged to cap­ture that eerie ener­gy on disc, the album she released ear­li­er this year, Lust of Pig and the Fresh Blood at is, nonethe­less, a won­der­ful­ly atmos­pher­ic work that bores its way in to the back of your brain, where it nes­tles qui­et­ly nudg­ing you.

Katie Kim, who was next up, has had no dif­fi­cul­ty in trans­lat­ing the mag­ic of her live per­for­mances onto disc. Mazzy Star meets Coco Rosie though nev­er fey, she man­ages to project both con­fi­dence and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. Tech­ni­cal­ly accom­plished and emo­tion­al­ly engag­ing live, she’s already suc­ceed­ed in repro­duc­ing that sound on her pre­vi­ous album, Twelve at and the forth com­ing Cover&Flood is one of the most keen­ly await­ed albums of the autumn. Kim is the real deal. Nb.

Final­ly, Sean Mac Erlaine, Sean Óg as he’s been per­form­ing under for much of the last decade (, brought the evening to a suit­ably qui­et if intense close, with some unashamed­ly dif­fi­cult, horn-based free-jazz. All three musi­cians made bril­liant­ly inven­tive use of ampli­fied dis­tor­tion to their own very dif­fer­ent ends. The results were nev­er less than mem­o­rable, and at times, magical.

But then that’s hard­ly sur­pris­ing. The whole thing was put on by Don­al Dineen. Dineen has by now edu­cat­ed, informed and enter­tained an entire gen­er­a­tion of music lovers with infec­tious eru­di­tion and gen­eros­i­ty first on No Dis­co, and then for 17 years on Today FM. At the end of Novem­ber, the lat­ter are let­ting him walk away. One can only assume that some­one in Mon­trose will have the good sense to grab hold of him and install him in RTE, prefer­ably on Lyric. The idea of not being able to tune in to Dineen some­where on the air­waves is unthinkable.

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