From Sir Henry’s to Fish Go Deep

Shane Johnson (l) and Greg Dowling (r)When I was teaching computer science at the University in Cork, I used to spend a ludicrous amount of my time in Sir Henry’s night club in Cork where I was entirely captivated by the dance music on all evenings, but especially the ‘Sweat’ Saturday nights. There is no way I can even begin to describe the near-mystical power that came from the venue (a rambling collection of sheds–it didn’t actually have sawdust on the floor but if you imagine it did you will probably be quite close), the old sound system that seemed perfectly balanced and the incredibly gifted DJs that serenading its predominantly North-side (think vibrant, close inner-city communities) highly-discerning patrons with the mellowest Hip Hop and Deep House in the known universe. The club was generally rammed on a Saturday night so the standard way to get through the crowd was to put both of your hands on the hips of the obstructing person and gently reposition them out of your way. On one exceptional full-moon evenings I brought visiting DJ from the Dublin scene into the club and he was quite staggered by the intensity of the atmosphere–not by a crescendo worked by the DJ but an energy that was entirely sustained, and it did take your breath away. That combination of mellowness and intensity is difficult to describe–I don’t know of any other experience like it.

Greg Dowling and Shane Johnson’s deep house music seemed to be a part of me but I lost track of them when I moved away from the city shortly after their tenth anniversary Sweat night; and then my 1997 mix-tape failed.

Imagine my delight last year to find that, although Sir Henry’s had been pulled down in 2001, Greg and Shane’s musical activities as Fish Go Deep (their ‘Fish Records’ was located in the Fish Market in Cork) had flourished in a big way with landmark hits romping up the dance chats, a record label, radio shows and (most importantly) a digital stash of their old mix-tapes, including the long-lost vintage of ’97 (part 1 and part 2).

Actually the best part turned out to be the podcast/rss feed for their radio show. Now when I want to listen to music I load up the MP3 player with all of their radio shows (now about 65 hours), randomize and play. Since I started doing this a year ago I have rarely played anything else. When I do it doesn’t last for long. You might like to check them out on MySpace or fishgodeep.com, or maybe take a cruise round corkdjs.com, or give these a spin:

The Fish Go Deep latest (28th April) radio-show podcast (part 1 & part 2).

The Cure and The Cause


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2 responses to “From Sir Henry’s to Fish Go Deep

  1. what a decent review of that historic cork venue. Very well written and sums up the whole atmosphere of “henry s” god i had so many good nights there before i left cork in 2001. I also listen to the mixes on fishgodeep.com classic tunes that bring you back to the happy days. cheers..

  2. Thanks! Indeed I listen in on Fridays at 9pm to their show on redfm.ie and pick up their podcasts at fishgodeep.com.

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