Big names here for big Cork weekend

It's a big weekend in Cork for some great dance music, says Stevie G in his Downtown column
Big names here for big Cork weekend

The legendary Kerri Chandler is one of the most popular DJs ever to visit Cork

It's a big weekend for dance music in Cork and, after much delay, Live at the Marquee welcomes some huge names to the city.

Deadmau5 and Orbital are the headliners on Friday and Saturday, but the line-ups are stacked both days, and when you factor in the visit of the Chemical Brothers in a couple of weeks to Independent park, it’s fair to say that things are looking up.

Tomorrow night, it’s Deadmau5. Supported by Ejeca and Cork-based DJ and producer Xero, this promises to be a big night for dance fans. Deadmau5 is one of the many faces of EDM that made a big impact in North America and elsewhere, and he is an acclaimed producer who has had many pop hits, too.

Ejeca is no stranger to Cork crowds and it’s great to see Xero on the bill; he’s been working hard for many years now and he’s establishing himself on the dance scene. There’s been a few of these dance events at the Marquee, and previously it’s hosted Sonny Fodera, Route 94, Gorgon City, Justice, and others.

Saturday’s visit of Orbital has dance fans excited and the Oxford electronic duo are no strangers to us here in Cork. Memorably, they were high up the bill here as far back as Feile 95, when we had our greatest-ever weekend of dance music, down next door to the Marquee at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Orbital were joined by Laurent Garnier, Carl Cox, Underworld, the Chemical Brothers, Andrew Weatherall, Fluke, The Prodigy, and more that weekend, and this time out the line-up is pretty cool, too.

The legendary Kerri Chandler is one of the most popular DJs ever to visit Cork, and he’s been coming here since the 1990s, building a huge rapport with Cork DJs and audiences alike, through his many, many gigs in Sir Henrys. His visits here are less frequent these days, so it’s great to have him back, and he will be accompanied on the bill by Cork’s very own Fish go Deep, the DJs who first brought him over here.

It’s great to see Fish go Deep finally playing the Marquee, and they made many classic tracks in studios less than a mile or two from the site in Blackrock.

I’ll be warming up for them, but there are far bigger names on the bill, including house-and-techno favourites Brame and Hamo, plus Denis Sulta. This should be another cracker and Cork is readying itself for a big one.

For a city so obsessed with house music, the big shows have been relatively few and far between and the Marquee hasn’t hosted too many.

Other venues that have picked up the slack are now mostly gone, and we no longer have the Savoy, Sir Henry’s, the Pav, or other gig destinations that booked such big acts. Cyprus Avenue remains one of the few venues booking such shows, though there is at least a grassroots scene continuing in the Spailpin, Connolly’s, and many smaller bars, too.

The visit of the Chemical Brothers is also causing excitement, and they will be joined by Kettama and James Holroyd on another excellent bill.

The Chemical Brothers, who were part of that aforementioned Feile bill, went on to big things since that first visit to Cork. They’ve been around nearly as long as Orbital and Fish go Deep, and their career really took off in the 1990s, soundtracking the big-beat era in the UK, marrying hip-hop aesthetics with electro and techno, and using a good bit of indie along the way. The Chemical Brothers are one of the best stadium dance acts around and it will be a great evening down in Independent park.

All we are lacking, really, are some big hip-hop gigs, and I was reflecting upon this once more while visiting Dublin on Sunday, at the same time that 50 Cent was playing the 3Arena. Cork once hosted 50 and famously also attracted Jay Z, Kanye, and Snoop to the Marquee, but we’ve had little of the big names since.

Lauryn Hill was the last one, really, so let’s hope that in the next few years things improve, and we start getting these big hip-hop, as well as dance, acts back on Leeside.

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