Greg Dowling

… we all wanted that feeling that Henrys gave us to last forever…

This latest post is courtesy of Edele Nolan – thanks Edele…

 

My beautiful friend Eileen Hogan suggested I write a blog for the exhibition 2 months ago. I was very flattered, and also baffled because, as I reminded her , lots of it is a bit of a blur! But I suppose my biggest dilemma was how do you put into words the feeling you got from a night in that dark, dingy but amazing place. How could I really put into words that feeling of absolute euphoria that a night in Henrys gave you. For all the dark dingy corners it was such a friendly place. You never knew who you were going to meet and everyone was a friend!  Everyone fitted in. It didn’t matter where you were from, or what you did, you just knew you belonged.  Even now just thinking about that place gives me a feeling of a happy, fun filled time in my life.

I first starting going to Freakscene as a first year college student and I remember that feeling of awe the first night I went there. Seeing people dance and dress just how they wanted was a feeling of liberation and excitement for a shy, young 19 year old from a small town.  I was hooked, I soon starting going on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and loved every minute of it. I was exposed to music I never would have listened to and I couldn’t get enough. Every week was a countdown to the weekend so you could once again experience the magic that was Henrys.

Saturday nights were always the biggest. You would spend the day deciding what you were gonna wear, not that it mattered much by the end of the night! I went in on a Saturday night and slowly worked my way through club. I would start off in the back bar to the soulful and very funky tunes of Mr Stevie G, who is definitely one of the best DJs in the country. Id start off rocking out to everyone from Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, Snoop Dog, and the list goes on.  For someone who never been exposed to any of this music before it was such an education. Id work my way into the main room where Greg and Shane always took the crowd on an amazing deep house journey. Id get lost in the music and every once in a while look around to catch someone eye, smile, throw a few shapes,( big fish little fish cardboard box)!! and then just carry on dancing! My last hour of the night was often spent going nuts to the amazing Mark Walsh in the back room. He lifted the roof off the place and always had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand with uplifting progressive house classics.

Everything was about the music and everyone was there just for that. Even then, at 19 years of age I knew I was part of something really special. It didn’t matter what you were wearing, who you were with, or who you knew, everyone was the same once you got on that dancefloor. We were all there to experience the magic and just dance.

Most of the worlds best Djs played there to a captive crowd who loved every single minute of it. We were spoiled in Cork, Karl Cox, Laurent Garnier, Justin Roberson, Joe Clausell, Danny Howells, to name but a tiny few and you could see it was such a special experience for them too. Myself and a few friends would often try to blag our way to the DJ box or to the hotel bar afterwards and the rare times we got lucky and managed to get “backstage” I remember all the DJs I met saying the same thing, “they loved playing in Henrys”. But for all these famous DJs it was the regulars Marq, Greg and Shane and Stevie who made the club what it was. You felt their passion and their love of the place, the people and most of all for the music. It really was somewhere where people came together to experience something truly special.

I remember so many nights after the last tune had played, the lights came on and just watching all hands in the air, everyone singing “everybody, move your body” and “one more tune”!  No one was going anywhere, we wanted more, we all wanted that feeling that Henrys gave us to last forever.

Henry was such a special place for me, it opened up a whole new world of music, great experiences but most of all of all it gave me wonderful friendships with people, many of whom I am still friends with today. I don’t know if I would have had the same experiences had it not been for that club. So all to all those who experienced that golden era of Henrys I was lucky enough to be a part of,  I say “Nice one!”

Can You Feel It: by DJ AMC (Now a mature or maybe not so mature 40 something)

Our latest post is courtesy of Anthony McCarthy, or as Henrys Dance punters might better know him as DJ AMC.

 

 

Can You Feel It

by DJ AMC (Now a mature or maybe not so mature 40 something)

I have been meaning to write this up for a couple of months now, ever since I heard about the proposed new Sir Henrys Exhibition @ UCC, it’s just that it brought back so many memories to me of those great times, that crazy rollercoaster of a couple of hectic years, when the whole emerging dance/house music scene in Cork and the rest of the world was all so new (Acieed!! Acieed!!) and shiny and exciting and where anything seemed possible, that I just wanted to get my thoughts down on virtual paper before they evaporated again into my distant and rapidly aging memory banks.
The thing is, I was part of a dastardly, dynamic djing duo (no that’s a mouth full) called Eddie B & AMC (that’s me, AMC writing to you now)…. sounds silly when I think about it now, 24 odd years or more later, but at the time, all we really wanted to do was to help expose this new and exciting genre of music to like minded people in our native Cork. They were mad and great days with many characters on the scene… from Sean O’Hara with his awe inspiring fashion sense, complete with his various Russian ushanka hats, whistles and teething dummies…. to Jon Bon’s expressive facial and bodily acrobatics on the dance floor… from those heady days at Isaac Bells… to our weekly and compulsive visits to our new found Church and place of worship, Sir Henrys, it was all good ☺
Within those sacred Sir Henrys walls we were all the same, no class distinction here, from a sweaty handshake to a gentle tap on the back and a half audible “Nice One”, it was a place where our primal and tribal instincts were heightened to new levels, where a simple chord change could make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and the rush of aural euphoria would overwhelm you.
Sir Henrys was not the only place to start playing this new hypnotic and infectious music, Spiders Niteclub had also been playing underground dance music for a while under the progressive ear of one Sean O’Sullivan, affectionately know as Sean Zapp, an often forgotten key contributor to the whole emerging scene as it was back then along with other smaller emerging venues like the infamous Redz, infamous that is for it’s charismatic owner, Dominic O’Keeffe (may he rest in peace), but one thing Dominic did have was a great ear for what would be the next big thing. He gave Greg & Shane their first real break I think before they even started to play at Sir Henrys, but my recollection of these type of urban myths could be a little clouded by time, but I think that’s correct. Myself and Eddie even got to play a regular spot there for a few great years also and as the saying goes, they really were some of the best years of my life, definitely the craziest, most gloriously chaotic, and the memories created there will always stay with me, fragmented and blurry as they may well all be ☺
We would play in Redz from 9pm to about 2am on Saturday nights as a pre-club feeder venue for Sir Henrys and to also, hopefully, hang on to a few of our loyal fans also until closing. Our blend of music usually involved DJ Eddie B (aka Eddie Burgess) playing semi-Henrysesque type tracks along with his own selection of choice cuts to get everyone grooving and into the mood and then I, AMC, would come on and play DA DEMON TECHNO MUSIC to take things up another gear and to also play a style of music really not getting any serious air play in the emerging dance scene of the time. We were both very passionate about the music we played and we lived our days and nights seeking any opportunity to get to play for anyone and everyone that would listen.
Back before there was things like iPods, iPhones, iTunes, social media, podcasts or even The Internet essentially, the only way you could get people to hear this kind of music was the circulate Mix Tapes (a choice selection of your best and hottest tracks, sometimes mixed and sometimes not) and that’s what we did to spread the word. I can vaguely remember it now… as the sweaty masses would pour out of Sir Henrys after the nights proceedings would have ended… the zombie like gathering of lost souls would converge on South Main Street… sitting on the curb sides, someone would nearly always produce a ghetto blaster and mix tapes would start to be played and heads would start bopping and feet tapping all over again. Recollecting these experiences, all I have is my foggy memories, but hanging around outside Sir Henrys after a great nights music, and listening to mix tapes outside or back in someone’s flat afterwards is definitely a memory I will never forget, especially if we got to hear one of our Eddie B & AMC mix tapes being played. That would always be the icing on the proverbial cake… ☺
Back then, Sir Henrys was very so much part of our lives…. I worked, and currently still do, as a graphic designer, and Eddie worked as a draughtsman for a local architect, but all we would both do was count down the days and hours to Thursday night, for our first fix of the week of those infectious 4×4 beats and euphoric synth stabs. At the beginning there were really only one night on offer, Thursday night, but as the scene progressed and became more popular, the Saturday night option was added also. The Thursday night was the original of the species (for original believers and hardcore loyal disciples) and it was very much the more authentic of the two nights…. but as the years went bye, it was to be the Saturday night offering, complete with added Sloppy Buzz Heads, that would eventually win out as the Big Henrys Night Out, but for me, it was always the Thursday night that has held the most affection. But really, none of that really mattered, all that mattered is that we could get to go to Sir Henry’s as much as we possibly could. It was like a drug in itself, and for me, it was all about the music and the people that I met there that really made a lasting impression on me. I could go there by myself and I would always be sure to be made welcome and have a great night with my fellow peers, clubbers and ravers. I still meet people from back in “da day” on the streets of Cork from time to time and we nostalgically chat about the old days (and always with rose tinted glasses of course).
One funny story I have is about meeting one of those great people I spoke about above. I can’t remember his name now, I think it could be Seamus or Shane… he had a Northern Ireland accent and we bumped into each other one Saturday afternoon, outside the GPO. We chatted and laughed about the old days, he was married or in a relationship… and so was I… I think he had a few kids also… and he started asking me about what sort of music I was currently into… at the time I had started listening to a whole new style of music, and moving away really from the whole dance scene as it was all just getting a little too popular, boring and overground… I was listening to a new wave of artists like Antony & The Johnsons, Rufus Wainwright, Joan as Policewoman… and as I wanted to be honest with him, I explained who I was listening to and slowly I could see his face drop, I think he still thought I was still this crazed, techno seeking maniac… we both had to head off to do our respective chores, but when he was walking back up along the road, he turned and shouted back at me from the top of his voice “AMC Has Gone Folk”… I couldn’t stop laughing away to myself for ages after hearing that…. I had spent years trying to get people to listen to my crazed Belgian techno and now, with one conversion, I had shattered that illusion forever. But little did I know I was to get back listening to dance music as fanatically as ever, all over again, only a few years later.
Our weekly Thursday night ritual would usually begin with a visit to Isaac Bells… an unassuming bar located over on St. Patrick’s Quay. I can’t remember much about the specifics of that bar, only the feeling I would always get when I walked in there early on a Thursday night. DJs Mark Ring and Andrew (who later went on to become a regular fixture over the famous/infamous back bar in Sir Henrys) were the resident musical maestros at Isaac Bells, sitting there, at the back of the bar, with their mixing decks in front of them, surrounded by a mix of full and half empty beer bottles, cigarettes and overflowing ashtrays, these two guys for me were also key figures in those early days of this emerging scene to get help get this new sound out to the people of Cork. It wasn’t about the mixing with these guys really, it was all about having a great night out and you could really see that they just loved playing the records and having fun with it all. Isaac Bells on a Thursday night wasn’t just all about that strange eclectic mix of dance and reggae beats, they also sold great beers and one in specific new drink to arrive in Cork at the time was called Grölsch (way before all these trendy craft beers stuff that we have today), it was served in a green bottle with a ceramic glasp at the top… so that irresistible cocktail of hypnotic beats and strong beers always made for a great start to the evenings proceeding which would always eventually have us end up on the inevitable approach to the entrance to Sir Henrys at the end of South Main Street.
I can remember as you walked up to the entrance door, which was always surrounded by a herd of the meanest bouncers you could even imagine, well that’s what they seemed to be to a 20 something at the time, but really they were mostly just gentle giants trying to do their job, with their black bomber jackets and Harringtons, menacing smiles and crackling security ear pieces, but for the most part we would just bop our heads past them, mesmerized by the blurry sound of the muffled basslines booming from inside the building before us and in we would go into our place for worship for another nights dancing.
One experience that I will have never forgot to this very day was the feeling of dancing past those bouncers and into the main stairwell area, fumbling payment at the cashiers desk and then walking step by step up those stairs, all the while the booming and pounding beats of the main room would almost go in sync to your every step as you hopped, skipped and jumped up along those stairs to get inside as fast as you possibly could and when you actually reached the top landing, you would open those double doors to be aurally assaulted with the booming beats of the music playing. I could always feel the bass against my chest it was so loud… I never got sick of that feeling. hearing that crisp, sharp rhythmic sound in my ears, seducing and leading me inexorably into it’s awaiting hallowed walls and to this day I still love my music as loud as possible. I think that pretty much explains why I’m half deaf at this stage of my life, that and the sound monitors we all had to endure as DJs, they were probably the worst offenders for sure.
Once inside, the music, the people, the atmosphere would just take hold of you and bring you on this whole new adventure. It was like you could not control your arms, yours legs, your neck, your head or even your hips anymore… it was as if you had offered them up as some kind of sacrificial offering to the Dance Music Kings, Greg & Shane, up there in their shadowy DJ box above, and for next 3 hours of so, they would be in total control of your every move. They were now our musical puppeteers and we were their willing and loyal puppets. We all had our special spots to dance at, well at least, I did anyways… it was down at the beginning the far left side wall on the way to the main stage. There we would all gather and slowly work our way up into a frenzied nights dancing complete with the obligatory shaking of countless hands and “Nice Ones” all round. From my own vantage point I could always see the DJ box and try and work out what the next tune might be from Greg & Shane. Occasionally I might get a hint, but more often than not I would have to wait like the rest of the crowd to hear the next leg of our musical journey for the night. As we all danced (more like a crazed jogging on the spot) we would all listen out carefully for that slight overlap of hi-hat, that distant overlapping kick drum that would signal the beginning of the next track and that we were IN DA MIX. It might be a piano stab… or a subtle, distant vocal that might give the game away… but as soon as someone knew what the next track was, especially if it was an established Henrys classic, the entire place would light up with cheers and whoops… and off we would all go to musical nirvana.
Never was this so evident than at the end of the night when everyone was totally exhausted and spent… the final track of the night would have to be selected and played. This was usually the result of much clapping, shouting, hands in the air waving or even chanting… Ooooowwwaaaahhh… Ooooowwwaaaahhh… or Everybody, Move Your Body!!, Everybody, Move Your Body!! … resounding around the main room and resonating like a never ending loop. All eyes would be on the DJ box above our heads. All eyes looking anxiously to see if Greg & Shane could squeeze one more track out of the ever present venue manager, Sean O’Neill. It would be look like some half time huddle and then either Greg or Shane would appear at the front of the DJ box and we all knew in that moment there would be ONE MORE. One big finale track that I think we all remember is Inner City’s Pennies From Heaven… the opening bassline to that track is something that still gives me tingles just thinking about it today… another great closing track would have been Strings of Life ‘89 by Rhythim is Rhythim (Derrick May) with it’s infectious piano intro… cascading and crescendoing it’s way into a fully fledged techno track complete with strings and multiple breakdowns is another classic track that is forever hard wired into my brain and really is my favourite dance track of all time and I think if you listen back on it now that it still stands up today.
I am very fortunate to be able to remember Sir Henrys when it was a rock bar also… I even got to see Blue in Heaven there once and slam danced my way through the whole set. I watched Pink Floyd’s, Live in Pompeii on the big screen there some Sunday afternoon whilst drinking copious pints of cider, but still for me… my enduring memories of Sir Henrys will be the whole dance scene side of the venue. That for me is the greatest legacy of Sir Henrys. But in saying that, it was never really about the venue either… it didn’t have fancy toilets or a cool trendy bar, or even a great stage and when the light went up at the end of the night you sometimes couldn’t even believe that this grotty space could bring you so much enjoyment… but it did, because what it did have in bucket loads was heart and soul, and an amazing bunch of people that graced its inner sanctum.
Today I’m still loving the whole dance music scene…. I rediscovered the scene again about 2 years ago after hearing a continuous mix from a new and upcoming DJ called Noir from Belgium on Defected Records… see I’m getting all geeky again with my record labels references… hahah… it never leaves ya…. 🙂 Ever since, I have been totally hooked on the Deep House and the whole Defected Records sound… which curiously, I have to say, sounds a lot like the Sir Henrys sound from all those years past… simple, infectious rhythms, lavish vocals that keep you humming them over and over again in your head until you go crazy… 🙂 These days my BPMs are seriously around the 120-125bpm mark… sometimes I stick on an old techno classic from my record box and I wonder how the hell I ever found the energy to dance around to music at those kind of speeds… ahhhh to be young again!! ☺
I am very proud of our achievements as a djing double act and eventhough our 15 minutes only really lasted from 1989 to about late 1992, we had many highlights. Getting to play Sir Henrys for the four successful Keep The Faith nights with Greg and Shane would be very much one of them for me… but also getting to play our very last ever gig together in Sir Henrys under the banner of our Xtra Hard themed night would also be very memorable for me personally also as it was just us alone playing our own special flavour of music with an extra emphasis on the hard/techno side of things to a packed crowd of curious Henrys and enthusiastic techno heads. I have a VHS video from that event somewhere up in the attic. I must try and dig it out some day and look at it again… I’m sure I will cringe with embarrassment of my then all important “dance moves”, but I reckon I would also enjoy reminiscing over that, our last great gig together as a djing duo. Another highlight would have to be for sure the two Bamba Raves in the City Hall, Cork allowing us to play along side “three decks” Carl Cox as he was known back then and Colin Dale, but the absolute highlight for me was getting to play support, along with other DJs from across Ireland to The Prodigy at the Point Depot, on November 15th,1992. We even played the Mansion House in Dublin a good few times, playing support to the likes of Tin Tin and Micky Finn.
Looking back, the whole Sir Henrys experience for me was a moment in time in my life that I will never forget and one that I am very proud to talk about with new friends when they ask about my past. I think Sir Henrys, and specifically the Greg and Shane residency was a complete one off, a very unique combination between two guys with a very similar musical philosophy and one that Cork will never experience again for a very long time.
If I could go back I wouldn’t change a thing about what I experienced. In fact, I think living through those early days of the dance scene, meeting so many people of all ages and all backgrounds… dancing and sweating side by side… hugging each other in spasms of musical ecstasy thought me alot about being an open minded person, about accepting people of all colours and backgrounds and to just to let go and express yourself whether it be through dance or any other way, and to just enjoy life to the max when you can. I think it also gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams in life and to believe that anything was really possible if you worked hard enough at it and never give up.
We the ravers and clubbers of Sir Henrys were all of the one tribe, one unstoppable, united movement that helped to establish the scene as it was back then and influenced what it has become now today. Decades on from those first few heady years of the dance/rave scene and it’s now become a multi-million dollar business… DJ’s are the new rock ‘n’ roll heroes, EDM is the new buzzword and dance music is in fashion all over again, but it was places like Sir Henrys in Cork, and The Haçienda in Manchester that were the guiding beacons for us all in helping create this great and diverse genre we call House Music.
I met my wife Liz also at Sir Henrys… we became the best of raver friends, fell in raver love and we will be 18 raving years married this September. We have a beautiful girl, Heather, who is also now a dance music fan… not that she has much of a choice with her “Oldest Raver in Town” Dad… but she’s even mixing now on her Djay 2.0 app for iPhone… who would have ever thought eh… ? DJ mixing on your phone… maybe one day she’ll even able to crossfade (more like chop mix) as good as her old man ☺
I would like to congratulate Greg and Shane on such a successful career and with so many accolades to there name now it looks like they are going to just keep going from strength from strength and potentially they should be able to keep going FOREVER!! I may not have always agreed with their musical taste at the time, as I was passionate about my own musical direction… but it’s only with time and maturity you can look back and assess things with more appreciation. They were fantastic years… years I cherish and to be honest, years I wish I could recollect a little better, but these fragmented, blurry memories are all mine and I lived them all, and for that, I am very fortunate, grateful and proud to have been a small part of it all.
If you have read this far, thank you so much for sticking with my ramblings. Apologies if I started to meander a few times, but I just wanted to get what came into my head, finally down in black and white, and to try and provide a little snapshot as to what it was like, when Cork, for me, was the raving capital of the WORLD and Sir Henrys with was right there at the very center of it all.
I would also like to acknowledge some of the other people who lived through those great times with me… especially to Eddie “B” Burgess my DJing partner, Gareth “MC Fly” Flynn, my wingman plus Dale & Luke (Rush The Gearbox), Paul ‘Butsy” Butler, Mick (sorry I don’t remember your surname), Sean O’Hara, Mark Ring (Donkeyman) and Andrew (The Architect), Ger McNamee, Diarmuid “Boxer” Kelleher, Dave Sully, Hitchie, John “JP” Paul, Edwin James, DJ Marq Walsh, John Bon (Legend), DJs Greg & Shane, DJ Stevie G, DJ Cal, DJ Morgan Madden, Kieran Motherway (aka DJ K), DJ Tonie Tony Toni, MC Mr. P (YES), DJ Mark Kavanagh (Dublin), Sean O’Neill, Edel Hogan, Niamh O’Shea and many more who’s names I just can’t rescue from my memory. So apologies now in advance if you are not mentioned in the list above.
Here are a few names of current DJ/Producers that I’m currently listening to: Noir, Simon Dunmore, Finnebassen, Larse, Solumun, Magit Cacoon, Ten Walls, Dusky, Route 94, David August, Huxley, Claptone, Nora En Pure, Agoria, Stefan Z, DJ Andy Daniell to name but a few. Check out a few and enjoy.
My Top 10 “all time” Fav Oldskool Tracks (in no particular order):
– Strings of Life (Derrick May)
– Energy Flash (Joey Beltram)
– Go (Moby)
– Windows (S.I.L.)
– Vamp (The Outlander)
– Can You Feel It (Mr. Fingers)
– Chime (Orbital)
– Greece 2000, Original Mix (Three Drives)
– Moog Eruption, Lava Mix 91 (Digital Orgasm)
– And the one and only Android (from The Prodigy)
I have uploaded a digitized copy of one of our original Eddie B & AMC Mix Tapes to DropBox if anyone wants to take a trip down memory lane. Just follow the link below and happy listening.
Thanks for reading my nostalgic raving ramblings and KEEP THE FAITH!!! 🙂
Yours musically,
Anthony MacCarthy (aka AMC)
This was another Nice One Production.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean O Neill opens Sir Henrys @UCC Library

Sean O Neill opened the Sir Henrys @UCC Library exhibition. He was the lead singer with 80s Cork rock and pop outfit Burning Embers, who released a number of singles and had a very good live reputation. He started managing Sir Henrys in 1988 and not only booked bands but also introduced Greg Dowling and the soon to be legendary Sweat dance night to the venue. He was in charge when Sonic Youth and Nirvana touched down in Cork plus his era also coincided with the expansion of Sir Henrys into more rooms such as the Back Bar. The renowned DJ weekenders also started at this time and it was Sean who gave the go ahead to a supposed one-off indie night called Freakscene too. Below is his speech from the night. Thanks Sean for a great speech and, as a former punter, thanks for vision you brought to the club…

Firstly I have to thank UCC for putting on this celebration of Sir Henry’s and to its curators Martin O’Connor, Eileen Hogan & Stevie G, Cronan and Colette and all the staff.
Sir Henry’s didn’t just open one day it was born out of history. The Lucey brothers, Murt, Michael and Jerry were at the vanguard of the music scene from the 1960’s. They were innovators, risk takers and forward thinkers. There would never been Sir Henry’s without Murt, Michael and Jerry Lucey. Sir Henry’s was Jerry’s baby.
For those of you who never experienced Sir Henry’s let me paint you a picture.
I am most associated with being the manager in the heady days of the dance scene, aptly named ‘Sweat’. However, I started my relationship (yes, it was and even still is a love affair) with Sir Henry’s like everybody else when I was 18 (maybe even 17), just trying to get into this mysterious, weird and wonderful place. That my mother would have classed it as a den of iniquity made it even more important to get in through those doors. Yes, it had it’s detractors down through the years, but, it’s always hard when it’s different.
Sir Henry’s was exciting, Sir Henry’s was cutting edge, music being the thread.
This little club crossed musical and social boundaries from folk to rock to punk to the dance scene, it mirrored the music culture of the world.
This was only possible because of Jerry Lucey’s willingness to take a chance, to try something new. Jerry gave things time. Jerry saw something in me that I didn’t see, he took a chance and gave me a chance.
This exhibition gives vent to the wealth of talent that passed through its doors, played on its stage, enjoyed it’s spirit. From the 70’s right up to and through the 90’s if you went to Sir Henry’s you remembered it.
History will always judge, for better or for worse and Sir Henry’s is now getting its rightful recognition. I think that is fantastic.

Regards,
Sean O’Neill

Sweat – the people of Cork were in their own way what made it magic

A nice email arrived in from Alan Collins… now our latest post. Thanks Alan…

Hi my name is Alan Collins. I served my time in Sir Henrys from 93 to 03 hardly ever missing a Sat or Thurs night. I know Stevie. I was blood sober for every one of those nights. Sad I know ha! That place was and is very special to me.  It’s still a big part of my life. It inspired me at the time to visit the infamous Shelter, and Body and Soul clubs in New York and The End up in San Francisco , the Rex in Paris but Sweat was really better ,the seemless mixing of Greg and Shane , the sound system I think came from New York was flawless and the people of Cork were in their own way what made it magic. I used to sit on a railing on the stage at the back of the main room when I was all danced out and look around at a mass of bodies jacking grooving doing their own thing ,it didn’t matter to the music , I never took it for granted I savoured every second and I will never forget! Strong words I know but it and the music were my life. I was very lucky to be part of it. I wish you well with your project drop me a line if you want my stuff or If I can help in any way Alan

…again, happy days

This post is from a comment that Olivia (Dineen) Trought posted on one of other blog posts. We felt it needed to be rescued from the margins to enable as many people as to see it. Again, happy memories from happy days.

Over to Olivia…

Nights/Weekends in Sir Henry’s: These really were the most happiest of times. It was the most amazing place to be. The full room(s) were surrounded by everyone you knew (where would that be these days.. no where!) The friends I had in Sir Henry’s are still some of my closest friends today. I started frequenting Henry’s when I was 16 (shock horror). My sister brought me there for my first time and I remember the night like it was yesterday. Still to this day I’m referred to as “Val’s little sister” by many of her friends that I met in those days as a 4 foot something 16 year old.. happy days.

My husband who I met when I was 16 (didn’t meet in Sir Henry’s may I add, as he was only 14) (yes, 22 years ago and still going strong with 2 beautiful daughters) started going with me and my sister at the age of 15 (shock horror)

The music had everyone jumping for hours on end and when the final song came at about 1.55am you could feel the sombre mood in the whole floor(s) and there was always one more played by the legendary Greg and Shane. You could feel your chest pumping from the music when you got to the deep crowds waiting outside afterwards, many that didn’t get in from the sheer volume of people wanting a taste of that special place.

Many a night we had in the DJ box looking down at the hundreds of people underneath. That was THE place to be.

The dirt on the floor combined with the perspiration turned any white pants / jeans to an extremely different colour to what it was at the start of the night …. again, happy days.

There were many nights of fabulous DJ’s, namely, Judge Jules, Carl Cox, Johnny Pleased Women (think that was his name, am i right, its one of the nights that sticks out in my mind) the legendary Greg and Shane, Stevie G, Shay D Shay, Marq Walsh, Colm K.. too many to mention. Shay D Shay is a friend of ours to this day and we had the pleasure of him DJ’ing at our wedding in 2002 and also at my 30th birthday party. Henry’s songs were played on the night of our wedding and still to this day our friends talk about the music that Shay D played that night.

I remember the woman sitting on the chair in the ladies bathroom… The old man on his own dancing on the raised floor near the stage at the back. We all wondered what age he was and why was he there every weekend on his own?

It was great to go and see the amazing play “Deep” last year. I remember sitting in the audience, next to my husband and looking around at everyone and thinking that most of the people in the room looked familiar and I thought, these people definitely frequented Henry’s back in the day.

So to everyone involved in this project, thank you, thank you, thank you and its great to read and see the many old pieces of memorabilia from the flyers, photos etc from what I can really say was a happy happy time and I am so thrilled to have shared this with my husband, siblings and many friends.

I don’t think anyone back then would have anticipated how Sir Henry’s has become such a memorable place in all of our minds and I can say that I had the pleasure in sharing this experience with my husband, not a lot of people can say that (apart from a few of my closest friends, Mandy Prendergast Cooke, Triona Prendergast Dunlea, and Ashleigh Martin O’ Riordan.

To anyone that was not fortunate enough to experience the nights in Sir Henry’s due to them being too young etc. boy, did you all miss out on what is now becoming a huge feature of Cork’s nostalgia and I would recommend you all to go and visit the exhibition once it opens as i know I will be there … Happy Days, for some they were Happy Weekends too 🙂

Olivia (Dineen) Trought

Irish Times article: A conversation with Fish Go Deep

Irish Times article: A conversation with Fish Go Deep

Jim Carroll, Irish Times, Thurs, 3 October 2013

Fish Go Deep’s Greg Dowling and Shane Johnson are celebrating 25 years in the house music business this year. That’s 25 years all the way from Sweat in Sir Henry’s to a plethora of quality releases and their currently monthly run at Cork’s Pavilion.

Irish Examiner article: Marking 25 years since ‘Sweat’ night in Sir Henrys

Irish Examiner article: Marking 25 years since ‘Sweat’ night in Sir Henrys

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The story of Sir Henrys and its famous Sweat night has been well told in the past. How a weekly dance night in the Cork venue grew into one of the best house events in Europe in the 1990s, attaining quite a reputation for its amazing atmosphere and the quality of music on offer.