While Dublin's city centre is awash with live music venues and multiple residencies, all a reflection of the massively bustling Irish music scene and sheer volume of acts, move a little further out from Dublin 1, 2 & 8, and the options are sparse. Of course many cafés and ad hoc spaces have stepped in over the last couple of years, but when it comes to purpose built locations for acts to perform in, these are few and far between. When it was announced that former bar Toast (or The Station if you want to go further back) was to be replaced by a brand new music venue it was a good news story, when it emerged what the redesign and plan was this turned to excitement. I even managed to pop my head in the door once or twice when construction was underway at various stages, and could immediately see that something very special was upon us. Even on a rain-drenched and dark Saturday two weeks ago you could feel the warmth of the place inside, but I did not cross the threshold, 'No Hard Hat, No Entry'!
Having grown up in the area (in Ranelagh) there are also some pointers to how successful The Bowery can become, indeed, it is planned to have music seven nights a week and the next few months are already filled schedule-wise. Rathmines has always been Ranelagh's contrary sibling, rough and ready when it comes to the main thoroughfare. Whilst Ranelagh was becoming nouveau-riche and uber-trendy from the late-90's onwards, Rathmines retained it's character at it's heart, but grew into something entirely different. It is a wild concoction of every stratae of modern urban Dublin, almost a microcosm of many parts of the inner city in one place, whereas it's next door neighbour has become a somewhat homogeneous strip of static respectability, by no means devoid of it's own great places and characteristics. Previously described as the Notting Hill of Dublin, I just couldn't imagine a music venue ever opening up in Ranelagh, credit should go to places like Smyths and Birchalls which regularly have live music within however.
Where The Bowery will benefit is it's location, and the ever-increasing popularity of local watering-holes, where punters will move on from in pursuit of quality live music in a special environment. When you think of a lot of the most regularly used city centre venues, few will touch this new space when it comes to charm and aesthetic. Yes, something beautiful has been carefully crafted, but the music is what will create the sense of magic, and the initial acts that have been announced will guarantee that magic becomes reality. And what of the people behind all of this; 'The shipowners are very familiar with the Irish Pub Scene. Tom Bohan is a native Dubliner and has been the owner of the well-known Oarsman in Ringsend since the year 2000, while his partner Brian Costelloe is another lifetime publican hailing from Limerick. He’s most well known for the world famous Costello’s Tavern in Limerick City.'
On Friday, 28th October the hugely popular Stomptown Brass will perform, followed on the Saturday night by local music guru and event maestro Abner Brown, who will host a surprise guests special line-up. Sunday will complete the October bank holiday shenanigans with the genius that is Jerry Fish and his Electric Sideshow. Resident DJ's for the venue will be Le Galaxie's Michael Pope and Kelly-Anne Byrne from Today FM. Friday nights will feature a mix of bluegrass, rockabilly, and rock n' roll, whilst Saturday will be a combination of funk, ska and disco, so something for everyone of every hue. I'm excited, and I have zero doubt that The Bowery is about to become one of the capital's most iconic and cult venues in a very short space of time. Rathmines lost a little bit of it's soul when The Stella closed what is now many years ago, hopefully The Bowery is about to restore it.
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