Barfly: Fibber Magees
80 Parnell Street, Dublin 1. Tel : 01 8722575
You know you're not in Kansas any more when the first sight that greets you on entering a bar is a framed portrait of the Antichrist Superstar himself, Marilyn Manson.
Fly-postered with notices for upcoming metal gigs, Fibber Magees has long been a gathering spot for Dublin's hardcore rock community. In fact, it's the closest thing in the capital to a proper rock bar. But, just as it would be erroneous to dismiss Marilyn Manson as a pale chap with wonky eyes, it would be a mistake to write off Fibbers as a straight-up metal pub. Stepping through the doorway on a rainy midweek evening, what strikes is how softly spoken and gently behaved everybody is. Also, you wouldn't expect to hear Blur's Country House blaring on the stereo, or for the back lounge to be given over to pool tables.
True, things do get rather more raucous in the downstairs performance space at weekends. However, if you'd rather relax in a dark nook than shake your mane to bands with names like Putrefied and Lich Apocalypse, then you will be easily accommodated.
If it was a Hollywood star, Fibbers would be Jack Black -- able to rock with the wildest of them, but rather sweet and cuddly on the inside.