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Sometimes I pretend to be normal, but it gets boring so I go back to being myself
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:18 pm 
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So what’s the difference between a mobile disco and a roadshow I hear you ask? Well..... Basically a mobile disco was one that more or less fitted in the back of your car and was suitable for the smaller venues (Like the Scout hall). The roadshows were usually much bigger and would arrive in a van (or 2) and would normally be held in large halls such as the town hall.

I was involved in both, and the venues that we played were rather diverse to say the least, and in no particular order we played in:

Town hall
Panto hall
Scout hall
Methodist hall
Church of Ireland hall
Presbyterian hall
Orange hall
Fire station
Old Market (upstairs and downstairs)
Above the Golden house (and if my memory serves actually one in the ground floor of the building just after it was built)
Bennett’s lounge back room
Forrester’s
The Ship bar back room/lounge
First and last pool room
Marine tavern (in the night club set up beside the bar)
Osborne hotel - breakfast room & nightclub
Balmoral (upstairs and downstairs function rooms)
Top of the Baths (and later on the 1st level)
Front room of the Wavecrest (the Whistledown)
Hogg’s auction rooms (the old legion hall)
Tir na og (and later as the parish centre)
Burren social & youth club
St Marks school assembly hall
Mayobridge youth club parish hall & GAA halls
Methodist hall Rostrevor
Killowen yacht club
And many other smaller venues around the area.

Myself and Joe (dude) did a lot of these by ourselves, more often than not in the town hall. We actually had permission to store some of the heavier equipment in a spare room there during the summer seasons, as we played there sometimes twice a week, meaning a nice handy setup and take down.

Sometimes the gear would live in a trailer at the top of our garden in Church Street, and for many many years it actually was stored in the box section of an old bread van behind the chapel, in that van we found some silver paint and well... our speakers for a year were silver. (as were our hands and clothes) :roll: Strangely enough, I don’t think we ever locked that van. Trusting times, and the fact the only people that knew it was there were the priests and us.

The people I can remember apart from myself and Joe being involved in the discos around the area at the time were: (again in no particular order and forgive the spelling)

Colm Walker
Simon Carey
Frank McClorey
Marty Donnan
Kevin Tinnelly
Stuart Cooper
Andrew Henshaw
“Tucker” Rice (RIP)
Sean Coulter
Francie Cunningham
“Maggie's” video roadshow
Donald Moore
Andrew Prescott

I’m bound to have forgotten somebody in that list, and any other names that spring to mind I will add in later.


Equipment... ah... now.... One thing I can say is over the years we all suffered some sort of equipment failure, but 9 times out of ten we would soldier through and come out (relatively) unscathed.

Our first lot was bought from Andrew Henshaw & co by Father Tom McConville for the Renewal Action Youth group (R.A.Y.) that Joe was involved in, and I got dragged along..... This consisted of a Lyon Forge twin deck with Garrad turntables, complete with built in lighting controller that had long since blown up.

Also, the deck starts had lost their “soft start” functions meaning you just left them running, as if you switched them on or off while the volume was up, you got a loud “bang” through the speakers. The amplifier was (I think) an old HH electronic 100w thing, the speakers 2 big Orange cabinets with 4 Celestion 25w speakers in each. I think only 2 of them actually worked in each cabinet.

Lighting was a large half moon shaped box with pygmy bulbs in it, 2 large towers called “towering infernos” with one half size box called – wait for it--- “son of towering inferno” :lol: controlled by a zero 3000 lighting controller, and a couple of “FAL” light boxes and 2 screens. One microphone purchased from Clarke's in Newry completed the package. (we used our own headphones)

Records were bought on a weekly basis from Mickey up in “Sounds Good” in Newry (as he gave us a DJ discount) and that stuff lasted a good few years before we eventually bought our own equipment and passed the old stuff back to father Tom when he moved to Mayobridge.

Bulbs were usually bought in McClorey & Sherry’s and later on in Brahams when McClorey’s shop closed. Repairs (and there were many) were done by Gerry Wray out in Rostrevor, and later on by Colin Black in the point. (after we discovered some of the work was actually being done by Colin)

Frank McClorey had a wonderful little roadshow, complete with trailer that he would set up in the town hall before he headed off to do the disco in the marine Tavern, leaving Simon Carey to look after and do the show for him, his gear was all fairly new and in far better condition than ours (although in later years we did sort of overtake him) for a start he had 2 100 watt H&H amps with matching speakers, and a zero 4000 controller for the lights. Add in a couple of “helicopters” some “scanners” 2 strobes and a smoke machine and you had the first Stereo roadshow around. (Most of the older ones were still mono)

Just think though... in 1981 we had 200 watts in the town hall, and were often asked to turn it down, some cars have more than that now!

We did most of our discos over the years in the town hall though, and over the years added all sorts of lighting including the use of pyrotechnics one year. One that sticks in my mind was when we combined at least 4 roadshows into one, we placed the actual decks up in the projection room facing the stage, and we literally filled the stage all the way across with lighting boxes.

The speakers were placed below the projection room facing the stage so the crowd had lights at one end, and sound at the other. That was the night that Keith Chegwin (“cheggers”) popped in, and I still have his autograph on one of the record sleeves. The discos also had their own unofficial “dancers” a couple of local girls would take their places in front of the stage and show off their dance routines to various songs, and woe betide us if we did not play the songs they wanted. (I won’t name them – yet) :wink:

The local kids always tried to smuggle drink into the halls, and had many “ingenious” methods (so they thought) such as hiding bottles in the toilets sometimes a week in advance! Or giving bottles to the girls (as we could not search them) we eventually had to have female door staff to search the girls.

In the end though it was vandalism and the centralisation of town hall bookings that killed off the discos, the amount of rules and regulations that started to appear were almost impossible to comply with. Today, health and safety and strict rules & regulations have well and truly killed off that once famous institution that was the town hall disco.

Please feel free to add your own memories :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:15 pm 
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I dont fall into the category of the 80's dosco as i was in the parish center discos at that point bit early early mid 90'i remember you djing in the carlingford bay. And i didnt even drink then and was an angel :lol: But good times where had many happy memories and the best ones to, i wish i could go back for a weekend in time to the carlingford bay, many still talk about how good it was. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:15 pm 
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Well brian, as you know i was an avid disco goer in my time and have lots of memorys of you and joe belting the latest music or versions of :D . it even got so bad that i and others where used as child labour on the promise of free entry. I can recall doing one of your discos that you have not got on your list at queens uni, or was that rory? and about 5 of us you, niel rory me and i think gerry all ended up sleeping in a bed sit :lol: they indeed where great times and as i grew up i seem to have followed you into most of the places mentioned above.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:59 am 
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Brian,

Nice stories of the old disco's in the point. I have a lame memory of discos in Mc Coys boxing club on Mourne Drive, do you remeber these... that small room was jammed with the lads form Mourne Drive, Ardallan and Rossmara.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:45 pm 
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I don't think we ever did disco's in the boxing club, but now that you mention it, I also have a dim memory of being in there so it is possible.

Dee, sorry mate I missed that post :lol: Yes, we also ventured far afield, but i did not include those gigs as they were not local, and yes we did end up in many a bedsit, and sometimes (in the case of the freshers balls at queens) we simply slept on the furniture that was available. It was handy back then, as both Joe and Dermot had rooms around queens, Rory had one in newtonabby, and later one in Carrickfergus. Child labour? us? well, yes but it kept you in good stead and we always let you hang around on stage as "staff" until the disco started, where you went after that I can only guess :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:14 pm 
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has simon carey left the planet

never see him in ages?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:20 pm 
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Last I heard he had moved off to Armagh or somewhere, and was working out there.

I have not seen Frank McClory in a while either, but I understand he is doing a bit of DJ work again 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:02 pm 
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bless him !

he must be saving for christmas


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 8:31 pm 
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i have noted that this disco item is a all boy affair


what about mary and myself?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:21 am 
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btq1 wrote:
i have noted that this disco item is a all boy affair


what about mary and myself?




Ah... (as I explained last week) the disco's I mention above are mostly what I was directly involved in. I think we would need to write a book about the exploits of "The International Roadshow" :D I'm sure Andy H would not mind sharing a few stories, so if you see him before I do give him a nudge and point him in this direction :mrgreen:

I'm going to get in touch with Frank McClorey & Marty Donnan to have a bit of a chat to see if they have any stories they would like to share, I dare say they will but l reckon we will have to change a few names to protect the innocent :thumbs:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:07 pm 
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Frank is easy to find i see him regularly. Adrew H can tell you where Marty is.. running a post ofice somewhere in the moira area :-):-)
As far as stories are concerened soem are best left untold or the funnier ones like the van drive shaft cant fall off.. or who peed in the chip pan at the stardust in belfast. I am literally rolling around laughing. or is stephens hair real or not .. eeek

Bernie might know the last one


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:11 pm 
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sorry that was the starlight or the king arthur as known in later days


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:16 pm 
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:D


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:27 pm 
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found just a few pics of panto disco

just loved the bones of tucker we did have some mad times mary and my self

tucker and the brush :rotfl:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:28 pm 
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cleaning up time without the suit :shocked:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:29 pm 
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best times x x x


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:20 pm 
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I cleaned them up a bit for you 8) That's just as I remember Tucker as well, always larking about when there was work to be done :rotfl:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:53 pm 
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Those are the kind of pics that you hoke out to put a smile back on your face.
great natural shots Bernie..


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:07 pm 
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i can still hear us laughing :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:42 pm 
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Great photos,


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:52 pm 
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Great photos Bernie.Remember Tucker well,an old neighbour


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:12 pm 
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OK Folks Its Tucker story time!!!
We came to live in warrenpoint in 1964, first person I met was Gerry Tohill who asked me "have you any sisters". Second was David warburton who asked me if i played football or gaelic. Then the guy from round the corner, Thomas Rice, short trousers gangly sod. His dad Peter told him then he wasn't to play with the cheeky english so n so from round the corner.

Twenty years later Tucker and I were in Crawford pub in Rostrevor I was on Guinnes Tucker on coke (cola). About nine thirty he said "what does that stuff taste like" I gave him a sip and he orderd a pint. He went from a non drinker to a good stand up drunk in about two hours and six pints.

I had to get him home.... eventually got him to the car, he was supposed to be the bloody driver! Drove to his house, round the corner from jim and renees. He said "how the f**k am I going to get in past these two ( Peter and May). I said "Right laddie get out of the car, get your key in your hand, march to the door, deep breath open the door , shout "night ma! night da!" get up the stairs and your laughing" no harm done.

Here's what actually happened.

He got out of the car....tripped on the seat belt.....head first over the wall... got up then landed face down in Peters Roses. Peter opened the window and shouted...."I told you 20 yrs ago not to play with him....
:cheers: :)) :)) :))


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:22 pm 
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:cheers: :cheers: :--)))

Here's another Tucker story...

Andrew Tucker and I were the 2001 International Roadshow (even though we never left ireland we were still international) This story involves Tucker and I in the King Arthur in Belfast which we did every saturday night for a year or two.. Tucker was bursting and so was I ,there were no lights on in the toilets, so we went in what was, or we thought was, a large old disused chip fryer. No problem.... :cheers:

about halfway through the night they started serving chicken and chips...Tucker and were sort of eyballing each other with sadistic grins, thinking Naww couldnt be.. he went to check and they were frying up in the pan we had peed in...we decided to say nothing untill Andrew appeared beside us with three baskets of chicken and chips.. :shocked: of course we declined saying we weren't hungry. Andrew Tucked in,, we said nothing I often wondered if he ever found out..must ask him next time we go out..


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:51 pm 
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:rotfl:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:52 pm 
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tucker was very welcome in the ardmore ;)

he got his supper on a tray and the rest of us were

told if we wanted to eat go to the kitchen :))


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:49 pm 
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stuart

do you remember BIG FRANCIE

he did a fire eating act one nite in cookstown

it went wrong and he got badly burnt

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will put up my mighty mouse card when i find it :baby:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:18 pm 
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Hey Boy!!! youo also bought a cracking pair of mii bins from me
:-):-) :--)))


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:05 am 
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stuart wrote:
Hey Boy!!! you also bought a cracking pair of mini bins from me
:-):-) :--)))



that was with Andy, not the early 80's stuff :D give me a chance to work through the early stuff first :music:


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:56 pm 
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Bernie my first time seeing these photographs, they sure put a smile on my face......great times,i would love to see a mighty mouse card, and maybe a Blue Lamp Disco card as well. :thumbs:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Greetings one an all ...

As most of you probably know I have now seen the very best side of 25 years in the game and I have seen some sights and had as many heart stopping moments. Brian knows all about exploding equipment as you are just about to push the button ..fade up the slider and wait for 'that' sound !

My self and Mickey Finnegan (RIP) started out in the late 70s .. inspired by a combination of Tony Blackburn on Radio 1, the top 40 on a Sunday evening and a certain long haired dude who had the most peculiar walk but I always remember him in his white tee-shirt walking through the crowd in the Panto hall and people would stand back to make way for this coolest looking man as he made his way onto the stage to melt some vinyl on the Lyon Forge work horse ....

We were booked to play at a 21st party in the Hermatige in Newry on a Saturday night early 1980. After setting up the gear on the stage and checking over things before you start, Micky noticed that one of the bulbs was out in one of the Fal towers and he also noticed a box of pygmy bulbs sitting to one side of the bar, I guess they were for spares or someone left them behind. There were a couple of bayonet ones so the bold Mick decides to do a little pre-show maintenance and replace the blown lamp.....

So he screwed off the front grill and pulled out the spent lamp and replaced it with one of the pygmy lamps and ....... Such a fireworks display ... would put the pier to shame the second week in August ! I don't know what happened or what cause the explosion but every wire, plug and fuse just lit up ! So we were left with no sound, lights or Roadshow at 8.50 on the Saturday night ...just as the guests were arriving !

Oh yes .. we did get out of it mind you ... just as we always seemed to do. It just so happened that the Friday night resident chap had left all his gear there in the store ...so we 'borrowed' a few bits to tide us over !

I have to say I have loved every minute of it .. from the early days of begging and borrowing in the 70s and 80s ... right through to today and I have the most reliable top of the range equipment these days, I almost miss the expectation of starting to smell burning or something from the gear....... !!


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