The eventual arrival of yesterday’s heatwave promised fertile conditions for a spiritual revisit of sorts to ‘The Second Summer of Love,’ that halcyon time at the end of the 1980s when Acid House exploded and outdoor raves proliferated across the UK.
However, one should never underestimate Irish weather’s capacity to dampen expectations as a dull curtain of drizzle greeted Jenny Greene and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra’s appearance at the Marquee.
Nonetheless, cracks had begun to appear in the clouds by the time Greene took to the stage at 8pm to play an hour-long DJ set.
The only grey in evidence was to be found on some heads that may have looked more at home at Toto. Those same grey heads may very well have been veterans of Sir Henry’s, Cork City’s dance mecca throughout the ‘90s.
There were many bodies that looked like it had been a while since they were acquainted with a vigorous dancing session.
Astoundingly, alongside them may as well have been their children as a broad generational swathe of revellers came to boogie.
Indeed, Greene and the orchestra may well have played a second night at the Marquee, as they have done so before.
Perhaps that might have happened had not the RTE CO being booked for the Country Roads event at the Marquee tomorrow night.
Rave and dance culture has received a fair amount of negative press regarding the association with illegal substances but bearing in mind Johnny Cash’s amphetamine use and Willie Nelson’s love of marijuana - let’s draw a veil over Big Tom and “The Mainliners” - you’d wonder which of the two nights the orchestra would find to be the more hedonistic.
The sight of the actors who play Sgt. Healy and Billy Murphy fromin attendance added to the sense of lawlessness.
Given the huge reception that greeted their rendition of Robert Miles’s dippy classic Children it’s safe to say they’ll have a calmer night of it tonight.
Greene may be supplying the beats and the orchestra the epic sweep but Cork’s Gemma Sugrue is a powerhouse vocalist, bringing asoaring anthemic focus to standards like Rozalla’s Everybody’s Free.
“I can’t put into words how amazing it is to have you all here tonight,” the enthusiastic Greene gasped at one point. “Let’s make this the best one ever.”
I don’t think any of the sold out crowd, whatever their age, would argue otherwise. Whoop, whoop whoop!