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  • Northside East

The Grove is back in Raheny - for two nights only!

Wednesday, 28th June, 2017 2:02pm
The Grove is back in Raheny - for two nights only!

The Grove is returning to St Paul's Raheny.

The Grove is back in Raheny - for two nights only!

The Grove is returning to St Paul's Raheny.

PREPARE to feel old: legendary Northside disco, The Grove, is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary with two very special reunion nights in St Paul’s College, Raheny.

Almost every teenager who grew up on this side of the Liffey between 1967 and 1997 will have heard of the fabled alternative disco. It’s safe to say that most Northsiders will have gone at least once to find out what all the fuss was about.

On the afternoon of February 19, 1967, in the hall of the Belgrove Football Club (from which the disco got its name), a group of Clontarf locals set up for what they considered to be just another social event. Little did they know that this was to be the first night of a 30-year run; a disco that would influence the music tastes of every person who walked through its doors.

The man behind the turntable, 20-year-old Cecil Nolan, affectionately known to all as just ‘Cecil’, had already garnered a reputation as the ‘music man of Clontarf'. If you were at a party in the area, he was, more often than not, the man in the corner spinning the discs.

Originally running twice a week (and three times during school holidays), The Grove Social Club, as it was formally known, quickly became a permanent fixture in the school diaries of that generation. Over its three decades, The Grove was considered a safe haven for Northside teens; a melting pot where rockers could hang with Mods, Goths, geeks, hippies and Cureheads.

No matter how you wore your hair, you were accepted for who you were at The Grove.

Then, of course, was the music. Cecil's playlist naturally grew and morphed over the years, but there were more than a few staples that stood the test of time and became true ‘Grove songs’, among them Ram Jam's 'Black Betty', Boston's 'More Than A Feeling', Rainbow's 'Since You've Been Gone', 'Purple Haze' by Hendrix, Santana's version of 'She's Not There', the B52's 'Rock Lobster', Talking Heads’ 'Psycho Killer' and too many Zeppelin, Doors and AC/DC songs to mention.

 

In later years, tracks like The Waterboys’ ‘Whole Of The Moon' and Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ would join the ranks of Grove classics .

And of course, it wouldn't be a school disco without the slow sets, where ‘Stairway’ and 'Freebird' regularly rubbed shoulders with the likes of Janis Ian's 'At Seventeen', Hazel O'Connor's 'Will You?', Judy Tzuke's 'Stay With Me 'til Dawn' and Dylan's 'Lay Lady Lay'.

 

Sadly, in 1975, the old Belgrove Football Club caught fire and was burnt to the ground. Not letting this stop the momentum, Cecil and the rest of the Grove crew quickly relocated the disco to a venue just a stone’s throw away in the gymnasium of St  Paul’s College on Sybil Hill Road, Raheny, where it played out its next 22 years.

Finally, in 1997, for various reasons, they decided to call it a day and The Grove said its last goodbye; gone but never forgotten.

This August, to mark its 50th anniversary, The Grove will be returning home to St Paul's College for one very special weekend. This will be a once in a lifetime chance for ex-Grovers to relive those precious memories – same Grove DJ, same Grove music, and for many, the same Grove venue.

The first night, August 26, sold-out the day after tickets were released, but a second night, Friday August 25, has now been added. Tickets have just been released through www.tickets.ie and were still available at the time of writing.

As with the original Grove, there will be no alcohol available on the premises over the weekend. However, there will be some organised pre-parties at various locations throughout the city. Visit www.thegrovesocialclub.com and the Grove Social Club Facebook page for details.

Just don't forget your Polo mints so you can get past the bouncers!


The Grove Social Club 50th Anniversary 19/02... by petergaynor-br

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