A new venue for old - and young - rockers

THE new Temple Bar Music Centre has its official launch party today, and some of us old rockers will be there to toast the beginning…

THE new Temple Bar Music Centre has its official launch party today, and some of us old rockers will be there to toast the beginning of a new era, and to quietly lament the passing of an old one. Well do we remember those halcyon days when the original Temple Lane Rehearsal Studio was a favourite hangout, for leather clad lay abouts all of whom seemed to be suffering the same delusion that they would be bigger than U2.

Nowadays, the Irish music industry is a serious business altogether, and the Temple Bar Music Centre is purpose built to weather the heavy commercial climate which now prevails. The facilities include rehearsal and" recording studios, sound training centre, post production suites and music information service, but the centrepiece of the building is the venue/TV studio, which has been designed for makers of audience based entertainment programmes, music videos and live outside broadcasts. A 13 part music series has already been filmed there by Philip King's Hummingbird Productions, and it features such stars as Donal Lunny, Christy Moore, Sinead O'Connor and Elvis Costello. It's the first major programme to be, commissioned by Teilifis Na Gaeltacht a and it's slated for broadcast sometime in late autumn.

According to Paddy Dunning the Temple Bar Music Centre caters to both the commercial and educational ends of the industry, providing a state of the art facility where both trainees and professionals can work safely and efficiently. The Centre was developed by Temple Bar Properties as part of its cultural development programme, and the commercial areas such as the venue/studio and the cafe/bar are administered by Mr Dunning's Temple Lane Management. The training courses in sound engineering, film and television production etc. are run with assistance from FAS, and trainees also get to use the Centre's professional facilities as part of a "hands on" approach.

The Temple Bar Music Centre will also become a focus for major music festivals and conventions in the future, including the Heineken Green Energy Festival which happens this weekend, and the In The City international music convention, which moves from its permanent home in Manchester to take up temporary residence in Dublin next September. The Green Energy Festival will give the public its first chance to see the venue in operation, with gigs by Rollerskate Skinny. Mary Black, Aslan, Sinead Lohan, Kieran Kennedy and Niamh Kavanagh scheduled there throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend.


Tonight's launch party will be attended by Minister for the Arts, Culture and The Gaeltacht, Michael D. Higgins, and the opening ceremony will be performed by Christy Moore. Hummingbird producer Philip King will also be there, in his other capacity as the Centre's chairman of the board, while Anthony H. Wilson, the man behind In The City, will be flying in from Manchester to join the party.

This ex-leather clad rocker will also be there, remembering the days of bad coffee, dodgy amplifiers and desperate bands, hut no longer lamenting their passing.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist