Boom! Dali’s surprise launch brings beats back to The Pav

Boom! Dali’s surprise launch brings beats back to The Pav

Hope Alo and Stephen O’Byrne, the new owner/operators of Dali, formerly The Pavilion, Careys Lane. Picture: Gavin Browne

THE long history of the former Pavilion building on Carey’s Lane has taken yet another twist, reopening under a new guise in recent weeks.

Dali @ The Pav is the latest chapter in the story of a venue whose absence was keenly felt by music fans in Cork in recent years.

The 93-year-old venue, which started life as a cinema, saw its shutters come down in 2015 after a brief tenure as Pana @ the Pav.

Hip-hop superstar Kanye West pictured surprising music fans at The Pavilion in 2009 after a gig at Live at the Marquee.
Hip-hop superstar Kanye West pictured surprising music fans at The Pavilion in 2009 after a gig at Live at the Marquee.

Previously, it had operated as the Pavilion Bar & Nightclub under the stewardship of some of Cork’s best-loved musical names, welcoming huge musicians and artists over a decade in operation.

These include local folk stars and indie titans, as well as pop stars and electronic dance parties.

In recent years, this included the likes of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Laura Marling, and Franz Ferdinand, while hip-hop superstars Kanye West and Kid Cudi quite famously stopped by in 2009 to play an impromptu set after their appearance at Live at the Marquee.

The upstairs café of the Pavilion photographed in 1958. This section of the former cinema, is now home to the first floor of Golden Discs.	Picture: Irish Examiner Archive
The upstairs café of the Pavilion photographed in 1958. This section of the former cinema, is now home to the first floor of Golden Discs. Picture: Irish Examiner Archive

More often, it was the likes of Fish Go Deep who brought the roof down on the nightclub, though. And, as such, it was entirely appropriate that Greg & Shane were among the first to play at the newly reopened Dali @ The Pav.

The building was taken over by a new team several months ago, with the former downstairs bar reopening as a branch of the Ramen Asian Street Food chain of restaurants.

There were fears that this could spell the end for the upstairs area, which has served on and off as a bar, nightclub, and cinema for decades.

The Pavilion bar and nightclub as it was in 2009. 	Picture: Eddie O’Hare
The Pavilion bar and nightclub as it was in 2009.  Picture: Eddie O’Hare

However, the new owners had other ideas. They reached out to the creative team behind the Dali & Gala art space in The Marina Commercial Park, keen to make their new premises a landmark city venue once again.

With just a few hours notice, Dali reopened last week, with 400 people attending the first show.

On the opening bank holiday weekend, Fish Go Deep were one of the acts to play, with Cleric, Colm K, Saint Caoilian, and Elaine Malone also entertaining the crowds.

David Mathúna, lighting and visual expert at Dali, Careys Lane.	Picture: Gavin Browne
David Mathúna, lighting and visual expert at Dali, Careys Lane. Picture: Gavin Browne

Over the weekend, New Jackson, No Spill Blood and the Minus clubnight all entertained the masses.

“Last weekend showed how much the people of Cork are crying out for an alternative space — the response was overwhelming,” said Stephen O’Byrne, who operates the venue along with Hope Alo.

“Everyone who came in over the weekend had nothing but great memories of this place, and we are going to do this venue proud.

“We’ve kept the opulence of the older building but managed to add our own modern twist to it, with murals and neons,” added Hope.

Clara O’Mahony, general manager of Dali, Careys Lane. Pic: Gavin Browne
Clara O’Mahony, general manager of Dali, Careys Lane. Pic: Gavin Browne

Hope and Steve both come from the house and techno scene in Cork and say music fans can expect some huge bookings over the summer, with the likes of Redshape and Yan Cook lined up, along with a huge variance of bands and singers.

“We’re also very proud of our sound system,” added Stephen.

“It’s the biggest Void Acoustics install in Ireland and Ireland’s first Arcline 8 install.”

Focusing on all things electronic and alternative, the venue plans on being a serious player in the Irish and Cork nightlife scene.


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