Friday 16 November 2018

Castle rocks in throwback to a 1990s teenage disco

The Prodigy supported Oasis at this years Slane Photo: Getty Images
The Prodigy supported Oasis at this years Slane Photo: Getty Images

Fiach Kelly

IF YOU closed your eyes at Slane Castle, you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in the mid-Nineties.

If you opened them again -- assuming you hadn't fallen as you negotiated the famous hill unsighted -- you could be forgiven for thinking you had arrived at a rather large teenage disco.

The 'yoof' element descended on Slane on Saturday in their thousands, a testament to the longevity of headliners Oasis and support act The Prodigy, both of whom were in their pomp over a decade ago.

In truth, it was a welcome antidote to the last Slane, when the Rolling Stones played to a mostly middle-aged crowd who were content to stand back, shielded from the rain in their wax jackets, and let the concert wash over them.

"I can safely say that this has been the best day of my life," opined one boozed-up teen to no one in particular as he left the venue. Whether he was of the same opinion after surviving a four-hour bus trek home is another matter.

"Slane Castle, you've been f****** biblical," said Liam Gallagher as the band reached their final few tunes. And it was hard not to be impressed, when you turned from the stage, with the River Boyne behind it, and looked up the hill to see 80,000 people bathed in purple light belting out 'Champagne Supernova'.

Almost as biblical were the queues for the two beer stands -- and when you got there, you were allowed only two pints, much to the chagrin of many punters.

"Excuse me, can I have ice in my drink," asked one punter. "Eh, no love, this is Slane," came the reply. Enough said.

The Gallagher family, including mam Peggy, were out in force having travelled over en masse from Manchester. Slane is near Duleek, where the family have connections.

"It's massive, you've got to be here, haven't ya?" said older brother Paul, fresh from DJing in Dublin the night before. Also at the concert were former Irish soccer star Gary Kelly, Manchester United and Ireland's John O'Shea, as well as Manchester City's Stephen Ireland.

Dress code in the VIP area was suitably Nineties -- it was all sneakers, scruffy jeans and Gallagher-style hair. One exception was the ubiquitous Gerald Kean, who sported a 'Planet Hollywood' baseball jacket. While the rest of us were happy to travel back to the Nineties with Oasis, Mr Kean seemed intent on heading as far back as the Fifties.

A Jerry Lee Lewis extravaganza next year perhaps?

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