Here's Six Dublin Buildings That Once Had a Musical History

A sign of the times...

Reminiscing over the recently shut down Dublin clubs and pubs, it triggers the mind. What did these buildings house in the many years beforehand? Here's a list of nowadays establishments that inhabit more corporate ventures in place of their musical predecessors.

1. Stephens Green Shopping Centre

- The Dandelion Market, 1970s.

John Fisher and Eoin O’Shea came back wired from a Rolling Stones gig in Knebworth and decided to set up a punk merch stall called Sticky Fingers in the Dandelion market. In the summer of 1976, it was the only stall that didn’t cater to the hippies. From there, Fisher and O’Shea wanted to introduce more punks, mods and rockers to Dublin so they built a small stage made out of wooden pellets. The entrepreneurs ended up hosting eight U2 gigs, as well as live performances from The Blades, Berlin, and Noise Boys. By September 1979, the market was closed down as preliminary works for the St Stephen's Green Shopping Centre started. Attempts were made to replicate it and start elsewhere but its time had passed.

2. Arnotts Car Park

- Adelphi Cinema, 1939-1995.

One that may be remembered by our more senior readers, but if you haven't heard, Adelphi Cinema was the only Irish venue to have hosted The Beatles. Considering The Rolling Stones performed there two years later and Bob Dylan the following year in 1966, it has been an under appreciated hotbed for musicians in the early stages of their careers. Adelphi cinema opened in 1939 before shutting its doors in 1995. Its entrance is still used for the Arnott's car park.

3. Grafton Hotel

- Bartley Dunnes: Dublin’s First Gay Bar, 1960s.

Predating The George, Bartley Dunne’s emerged as Dublin’s first cosmopolitan gay bar in the early 1960s. Most people reason that its popularity was because of its close proximity to the Gaiety Theatre and St. Stephen’s Green, which at the time was a popular gay cruising area. Fun fact; the now Grafton Hotel is next to the Mercer medical centre - which in 1394 was a leper hospital.

4. The Mansion House

- A Rave Venue, 1990s.

When promoters were staging raves at the Mansion house, the scene started to get noticed by the wider community. Worker’s Party TD, Tony Gregory, lead other government officials to the Mansion house one night, in order to see how drug fuelled these events were. It was later given the green light. Unknown to them, the very reason the night was bereft of any trouble was because of the full scale use of Ecstasy rather than the naively presumed lack of. The Mansion house had big monthly extravaganzas, featuring bands such as Shades of Rhythm, Grooverider, Altern8 and the Ragga twins.

5. Garda Headquarters

- The TV Club/Telly Club, 1980s.

The TV Club was a busy nightclub on Harcourt Street in the 80s. Its reputation was for country western and disco music, as well as drunken fights and student nights. U2 and Thin Lizzy are noted to have once played there. The building also kept Eamonn Andrew’s recording studio, which was as significant as Abbey Road in Irish music culture. The cause of The TV Club's bankruptcy was their floating disco, which lost a lot of money. The building was demolished in the mid 80s and is now where the Garda headquarters are based.

6. Xavier Court Apartment Complex

- SFX City Theatre, 1980s.

In the north inner city near Mountjoy Square, the SFX theatre once held big names such as, Alice in Chains, Bjork, Nick Cave, Deftones, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Iron Maiden, Counting Crows and The Clash (to name but a very few). The production company stayed put until 2005, when it was demolished and made into an apartment complex.


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