Two words can sum up the St Patrick’s Night dance at the Gliderdrome – brilliantly different!
For a start it was a Saturday night event, the first since the Starlight Room closed in 1973. It also started before the regular bingo session finished, but to the relief of the management there was no disruption.
In deference to the bingo, the first band could probably best be described as ‘quiet’ – compared to the later two. Greenman Rising certainly had their supporters, although they suffered from three of their eight-piece outfit being ill. The five who remained put on a very competent folk/rock show.
Second up was Across The Tracks, a six-piece ‘rockabilly’ band. the four guitars, drummer and young lady on accordion getting the crowd on the dancefloor with songs from the Small Faces and Elvis among others.
Top of the bill was Band From County Hell, who have earned a well-deserved reputation as the biggest Celtic folk rock band in the UK.
Many of those attending appeared to be newcomers to the Gliderdrome and obviously came specially to hear BFCH and the overall atmosphere made for a most enjoyable night.
The McLelland family make up most of the band; Steve is guitarist, his wife Joolz sings and son Ben is a very versatile young man who can certainly play the whistle and violin! They were supported by bass guitarist Steve, and the drummer.
All the popular Irish ditties were there, but the band started with a very upbeat Born To Be which soon had the crowd singing; they knew all the songs, or seemed to, and Irish Rover almost had the roof off!
All in all, a very ‘different’ night with more excellent lighting from Garry Pattison. It seems the younger generation have found a new ‘in’ place, with several there from the previous two recent dances. And as all seemed to go well, perhaps more Saturday dances may be on the cards?
review by Dave Peatling