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  • Northside East

10 things you'll remember about discos in the 1980s

Monday, 29th May, 2017 4:12pm
10 things you'll remember about discos in the 1980s

DID you groove at the Grove or pose at Tamango where the gang goes? Did you stumble out of Saints? Did you take a ride home in the 'vomit comet' after a night at Zenith's in Howth's Summit Inn? Did you get smooth before a smooch at Suttonians? Or did you feel 'Jet-lagged' after a bop in the Boot Inn's legendary disco?

If so, you will have encountered the fabled slow set, a staple of every teen disco or nightclub in the 1980s.

Lorraine Murphy takes us on a cringey trip back in time with this list of 10 things you'll remember about the nightclubs of your youth.

Scarlet for you all!

1. Slow sets. These could make or break a night depending on who you danced with. ‘Do you wanna dance?’ was followed by a hand-held trip to the dancefloor, or a walk of shame, depending on the answer. “My friend wants to know if you’ll dance with him” was a frequent request on behalf of sheepish looking guys trying to look cool in a corner.

2. Slow dances were strange hug-like shuffles where two people continuously rotated 360 degrees slowly to Johnny Logan on a packed dancefloor of couples doing the same thing.

3. Tonsil hockey. After the time invested was deemed respectable (minutes), the male’s head would move down and, with a bit of luck, the female’s head would reach to meet him, and then they would engage in a passionate kiss. At least that’s how it was in their heads. In reality it was more like feeding time at the zoo.

4. Smoking. Everywhere. In the night club, on the dancefloor, in the restaurant. It was a grey wall of smoke that didn’t leave you for six days... when it was time to refresh the smell all over again.

5. Chicken dinner! Night clubs were required by law to provide hot food to serve alcohol late. Revellers often enjoyed eating chicken, potatoes and peas at 1am while simultaneously drinking a can of Ritz and smoking a cigarette. Times have changed - for the better!

6. Mullets. Business to the front, party to the back. Long before Miley Cyrus came in on a wrecking ball, her father Billy Ray sported the most magnificent mullet and caused a trend worthy of imprisonment from the fashion police.

7. Black shoes and white socks. Runners were an absolute no and the very best Clarke's shoes were teamed with gleaming white socks for a Saturday night on the town.

8. Perms. The aim - a Califorian relaxed-yet-sexy full hairstyle. The reality - Deirdre Barlow on a bad day and 20 years older. Never had young women looked so old.

9. Rock the Boat. Rows of party revellers sitting on the floor in rows, legs askew, rocking back and forth, left and right. A painful choice for those with a large coxic.

10. Making plans to see each other again were set in stone - no mobile phones and limited house phones made plans essential. Trying to remember what they looked like when meeting them. Well... that was a different story.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here