Stringfellows Nite Club, the iconic Mullingar ’80s and ’90s disco, is returning to the Greville Arms on Friday night, October 9, to raise funds for St Kenny National School Development Fund.
One of the most popular venues in the midlands at a time when the discotheque ruled the night, Stringfellows attracted young people from across the region into Mullingar every Saturday night.
Next Friday night’s Stringfellows revival will see one of the club’s original DJs, Tom Duffy – ‘TJ the DJ’ – return to the decks, as well as another well known Mullingar DJ from the back in the day, Sarge Geraghty.
Ireland’s first ever DJ, now owner of the Greville Arms, Christy Maye – Disc A Go Go – will also be dusting down his seven-inch singles for a guest slot on night. Recognised as the country’s first DJ by none less than RTÉ legend Larry Gogan, Christy was such a pioneer that he had to make a lot of his own equipment, including sound and lighting systems. He was also the first person to use two turntables. But there were a number of teething problems that had to be overcome in the early days.
“I had to find a way to cushioning the turntables, and used a spring from a car seat, a Morris Minor, and foam, and other padding. So that we could get the sound and volume, we separated the bass sounds and got the hi-fi effect, and we improvised in various ways to get the lighting effects,” recalled Christy
“Would you believe that we used oil and marking ink between two pieces of glass, and the heat from the projector to create a fabulous effect,” he said, adding “at the end of the evening we”d be all oil and ink”.
Tom jokes that he was “head-hunted” by Christy to leave Lake County to DJ at Stringfellows in the mid-80s. He says that for a young DJ in Westmeath spinning discs in Stringfellows on a Saturday night had a lot of prestige attached to it.
Slow sets were an integral part of the night and there are many local couples who can trace the beginnings of their relationships back to the Stringfellows dance floor.
In fact Tom says that he was regularly offered a fiver to put on an extra slow set before the lights went on at the end of the nigh by amorous young men.
For those hoping to revisit their youth there will be a number of slow sets on Friday night. The playlist will be exclusively ’80s and fancy dress is optional.
The fun starts at 9pm and admission is €15.
Ireland’s first DJ, Christy Maye, behind the decks in the early 1960s with his home-made equipment.