Friday 30 September 2016

Flashback: Were you there? Neil Young was rocking out at Slane Castle this time in 1993

Published 11/07/2016 | 07:05

Neil Young at Slane Castle, Neil Young on stage,10/07/1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Neil Young at Slane Castle, Neil Young on stage,10/07/1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Neil Young at Slane Castle, The Saw Doctors and Lord Henry Mountcharles on a row boat, July10th 1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Neil Young at Slane Castle: Davy Carton of The Saw Doctors,July 10th 1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Neil Young at Slane Castle: Shay Healy pictured at the concert,10/07/1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).

We may not be graced with a Slane Castle festival this year but we can take a moment to relive festivals gone by.

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Yesterday in 1993 the Castle grounds were full of revellers who had turned out to see Canadian rock legend Neil Young.

After a decade or so spent in the wilderness away from the music charts, Neil Young had made an explosive comeback in 1989 with his single “Rockin’ in the Free World”, which reached number 2 in the US charts. This was followed by the album “Ragged Glory” in 1990 and “Harvest Moon” in 1992.

As far as Irish festival weather goes, 1993 at Slane was nothing to write home about. But for the thousands of people who had made the annual pilgrimage Neil Young more than made up for the lack of sunshine.

Neil Young at Slane Castle, The Saw Doctors and Lord Henry Mountcharles on a row boat, July10th 1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Neil Young at Slane Castle, The Saw Doctors and Lord Henry Mountcharles on a row boat, July10th 1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).

He was supported by 4 Non Blondes, Van Morison and a relatively new three-piece outfit from Seattle, Pearl Jam.

Pearl Jam had accompanied Young for the duration of his European that year.

Neil Young at Slane Castle: Shay Healy pictured at the concert,10/07/1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).
Neil Young at Slane Castle: Shay Healy pictured at the concert,10/07/1993 (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection).

It was, as Sunday Independent reporter Stephen Dodd noted, a mixed bag in terms of the crowd, with some younger fans lining up for Pearl Jam whilst it seemed Neil Young had attracted a slightly more subdued crowd: “At the front they danced their way to joy, or, in many cases minor personal injury.

"Inflatable plastic hammers bobbed around the melee while the unfortunate unconscious people- an essential indication of success at any outdoor festival- were passed from hand to hand.

"But further back the more mature segments of the audience seemed uncertain how they should respond.”

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