Wednesday 29 March 2017

oh we do like to be beside the leeside: memorable CORK gigs

THE STONE ROSES / ORBITAL

FEILE '95, PARK UI CHAOIMH

A landmark live event in this writer's lifetime, The Stone Roses may have been the defining band of the late '80s and early '90s, but they hardly ever played Ireland, apart from early shows in Queen's, Belfast, and an infamous 1986 performance in McGonagles, formerly of South Anne Street, Dublin, where they were unceremoniously bottled offstage.

The Roses themselves were so happy with the Cork show they released the RTE recordings as an EP entitled Crimson Tonight, which is now a rare collector's item. Meanwhile, Orbital heralded the changing of the musical guard with a euphoric performance to close Feile '95.

MICHAEL JACKSON

PARC UI CHAOIMH (1988)

For his sole Irish concerts, the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, sold out two nights in Parc Ui Chaoimh on his Bad tour, when the global superstar was at the absolute peak of his powers.

Playing to more than 120,000 people in Cork, Jackson won the tour of the year accolade at the inaugural International Rock Awards in 1989 for a thrilling 22-song set list including 'Beat It', 'Billie Jean' and, of course 'Thriller' to name just a tiny few of the pop classics that lit up Cork for two nights in August '88.

OASIS / THE PRODIGY

PARC UI CHAOIMH (1996)

Oasis played two shows in Cork with The Prodigy during the summer when they could truly claim to be the biggest band in the world.

The Gallagher brothers landed in Cork fresh from playing two shows in Knebworth to a crowd of 250,000, a colossal attendance that still holds the UK box office record for an outdoor show. The Parc Ui Chaoimh concerts were in themselves a massive event and the band sold a popular range of T-shirts emblazoned with 'Oasis -- Corcaigh' which were seen absolutely everywhere in the following months.

RORY GALLAGHER

MACROOM FESTIVAL (1977), CORK INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (1993)

No profile of live music in Cork would be complete without mentioning the legend that is Rory.

The boy from Ballyshannon, who was raised in Cork, strapped on his famous Fender Stratocaster and treated the crowd at Macroom Castle to his unique blues-infused rock n' roll, at one of the first rock festivals in this country.

Gallagher is an Irish legend who sadly passed away before his time. Fittingly, his last ever Irish performance was at what is now the CIT in 1993.

PINK FLOYD

Arcadia Ballroom (1967)

A few short years before they grossed $55m for a six-month US tour, Pink Floyd played in Cork for the admission price of 8 shillings. "The occurrence has come to attain almost biblical proportions -- since thousands have claimed to be there," recalls Irish Jack, "but there wasn't more than 200 lost souls in the Arcadia."

Irish Independent

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