… 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!”


Lost Video Tape

As I read the memories of past pupils of the Henry’s school….my own ones come flooding back to the surface.
My brother worked as a glass collector in the Grand Parade in the late 80’s prior to the Sweat nights(they called him “Feathers” back then)and one night after a drunken night out he happened to recover a years supply of Friday night passes for Henry’s which I commandeered for myself. This was 1990 and even though it was only a fiver in(free before 10 for the dedicated) I used that extra fiver for the 3 pints of Beamish beforehand to stretch out my limbs for the night ahead.
So began a beautiful relationship….friday nights were a musical education in itself…one must remember that not every Friday night was a capacity night…more often than not it was dead in the water but when it hit the spot the atmosphere was something to behold. I was repeating my leaving cert at the time so all week was a campaign for the class to meet up in Henry’s and when the call
was answered…anything could happen!!!
Sure, we were all on a voyage of discovery at a seminal moment in history when multiple trends were on the up and the overall mix created, produced some great music and memories. Henry’s catered for the kind of people in search for a different kind of tune and the ‘laissez faire’ attitude within created the legend that we all remember. I had no allegiance to the place whatsoever….sometimes I couldn’t bear it but in the beginning of my journey it was the only place to go without hearing the dreaded pop music of the day.
As Henrys expanded into the backbar things got more exciting….I never forget seeing Eddie Butt down the back bar setting up his decks… playing his record collection for the first time. Donkeyman on a Saturday night playing some 2tone Ska for the 1st time with a load of bomber jacketed skinheads hopping about the place….this was knocked on the head fairly lively due to fears of a fatal collision or worse still the floor collapsing. For anyone walking through those doors for the first time on a Saturday night…visiting the back bar and slowly moving towards the main room was a seminal experience…the sounds …the smells…the people….the music…nothing like this had happened before it and the ordinary people who went there regularly knew it. From late 1990 to 1992 was a voyage of discovery for all concerned….
This was all pre mobile smart phones so there are no proper records of any goings on within the place which probably adds to the mystique…however I do remember one Saturday night when Sean O Neill was filming us nutters from the DJ Booth. I have it on good authority that his sister(Deirdre) apprehended this video tape because her husband Ian was my brothers best man(small world in Cork). He commented to me one day years later that he had a video tape of me acting the eejit in front of Sean back in the day. You couldn’t miss me with my big curly mop of hair…some people referred to me as ‘Sideshow Bob’ …an uncanny resemblance!!
The search continues for this piece of history…my history….
I have countless memories of those hallowed halls but as others have said …I can also lay claim to DJing in the back bar on 2 occasions…thanks to the 1st hit the decks competition which enabled myself and my cousin along with Stevie G amongst others to have our day in front of a grateful crowd down the back bar..
I could go on forever and probably will….

… and I kept on dancing…

Catriona Hegarty provides us with our most succinct post – and a reminder of one of the perils of dancing in Henrys…

One of my funniest memories of Henry’s was dancing away one night at the edge of the main dance floor near the step up to the next level, minding my own business, quite close to a guy dancing on the step who was lost in the music, doing that typical house dance punching his arms out straight ahead of himself, when next thing I know I got punched straight in the face!!!!! Totally accidental of course and the guy couldn’t have been more apologetic “gurl I’m so sorry, you alright?” Which I was of course and I kept on dancing!

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

Sir Henry was my great Grandfather…

This post is from an email from Colette McNamara (nee O Sullivan) (or Raggy 3). Thanks for sharing Colette – hope this triggers some memories…

Sir Henry was my great Grandfather and the bakery was situated at the venue we all loved and frequented back in the day. My first intro to Sir Henry’s was The Hall of fame! The corridor leading from the bar down the back and around to where The Restaurant was. I went to thousands of gigs there. Hot Guitars ( residency ) on a Monday night. Moving Hearts, Auto De Fe, Hothouse Flowers to only mention a few, tip of the iceberg to so many bands and gigs. I remember Jimmy McCarthy and countless festivals, folk, rock, country music and jazz. The bouncers Joe and Ted that we had to get past en route! Jimmy O Hara ( manager) Marilyn best barmaid ever Jo, Dave and many more bartenders. Then the Lark After Dark a follow on concert after the free U2 concert in The Lee Fields. I could go on and on ! Then was the sweat nights and whistle blowing to House music. I had my joint 21st Birthday Party there. Over 600 invited…. Ian Richards DJ and 3 bands played (1983) Anyway I hope this helps !

3am Radio Friendly … after the 10th Birthday Party

This post is from an email from Morgan Stack – Over to you Morgan

So I’d like to submit a setlist… there is a mini back story though..

The night of the 10th birthday Ronan C played a set on Radio Friendly from about 3am to god knows what time… we happened to tape it onto two cassette tapes because, as the lads noted in the radio documentary, it wasn’t easy to get hold of these records at the time even if you had plenty of money.. which, of course, we didn’t. (In 2001 I eventually found a record shop in NY that had three copies of Nayobe – of course I bought all three – but they were the only three copies in the world I could find at that time).

The two tapes became absolutely legendary amongst our circle of friends. To this day I don’t believe I have ever come across a set that remotely approaches it in terms of tune quality and/or IMPECCABLE mixing. The tapes, of course, are long since lost, presumed ‘lent’ (I don’t suppose anybody out there or in Friendly recorded it?). Anyway, we have been emailing back and forth the last couple of days trying to remember as much of the setlist as we can. The following is what we came up with so far. I’ve tried to identify the exact mix used in each case as well. I thought some punters on here might appreciate it…. It’s not in the original order either though…

If anybody here is in touch with Ronan C tell him get in touch with me – would love to get a CD with the set recreated…

(My thanks to Peter Naughton for identifying most of the following list)

p.s. I’m inclined to agree with Stevie G that the 10th birthday was the apex of the Henry’s experience…


Michael Proctor Fall Down

Feel Like Singin’ (Erotica Mix) – Sandy B – Mercury

True Faith Take Me Away (Unknown remix)

Soulsearcher U.N.I.

R-Tyme – R-Theme

Projekt PM – When The Voices Come (Kay Kay Mix)

Mood II Swing – All Night Long

Robert Owens – I’ll Be Your Friend (Def Instrumental)

Nayobe – I Love the Way You Love Me

MBG, Rame, Alkemy & DJ Uovo – Dynamic Seduction – Peter Pan EP.

Nayobe – I Love the Way You Love Me

Cooley’s Hot Box – We Don’t Have to be Alone

Sunscreem Perfect Motion

Wamdue Kids Memory and Forgetting

Lavette – Your Love – Strictly Rhythm (1992)

Ron Trent – Altered States (South Side Terrace Mix)

BOBBY KONDERS feat. Mutabaruka THE POEM ***** (classic house 1990)

Unfinished Sympathy (Oakenfold remix)

Orbital – Belfast

Last Rhythm – Last Rhythm (Original Club Mix)

William Orbit – Water From A Vine Leaf (Xylem Flow Mix)

Sensation Beautiful Morning

The Fog – Been A Long Time (Acapella Remix)

playlist here

“What’s the score Saturday night boys, haaa?’

Another guest blog post – this time taken from an email from James Stout all the way from the deep mines in Australia – news of the exhibition is literally travelling the world.

Hi there just quick email to say well done on bringing back the happy days memories. A few of us here in Oz working far away in the mines are watching closely your page and every few days when the post come up it’s all we talk about for days… Daycent, boiiiiii…
Back in the days of Henrys we moulded our lives around the weekend ‘cause it was time for Henrys and my god if the Sweats were on or a daycent foreign DJ – like Carl Cox or Laurent Garnier – the whole society or as we call it ‘the Henrys family’ would be buzzing. From the Monday morning going into work, still bate from the weekend, and the cassette tapes of recordings from previous Sweats blaring away all we think about was “What’s the score Saturday night boys, haaa?”
So Saturday night comes upon us out with the white jeans, the hi vis vest, or the trendy dungarees and away you go to one of the old haunts to just have your few scoops – not too many ‘cause you need your wits about you to dance. Then time for the big show – Henrys’ doors open and a stream of white-jeaned, baseball-capped, naffe-jacketed herd of Sweat addicts make their way in to escape to that other world of music friends and total ecstasy. Off up the stairs after having the banter with Sean legs and other doormen… Get up the stairs and the smell would get your heart racing… Off into the jacks, strip down into the get up, put all the gear into your little ruck sack, and off out to resume your regular position, shaking hands with everyone you have come to know from there. Pints of water stacked on the bar and BANG the tunes are pumping (Ball and Chain) and the sweat begins and continues through out the night… Sirens, whistles and climax tunes get the whole crowd bouncing to the same beat. UNREAL. Boom boom boom ohhh ohhh the chants continue, hugs, kisses, loads of ‘I love yous’ handed out everywhere and the night is coming to an end so the chatter begins “Boys where’s the gaff tonight?” or “Any parties happenin’ somewhere?”