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Pull on those jiving shoes

The Melody Aces, one of the showbands of a very golden age. Those halcyon days will be recalled in Eddie Kerr’s play ‘One Night Stands’ which comes to St Patrick’s Hall later this month.

Do you remember Borderland, the Stardust, the Lilac, the Plaza, the Atlantic, the Fiesta or the Palindrome dance halls?

Or are you too young to remember them and totally bored to death with your parents telling you how great the dance hall days were?

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Well both groups are in for a treat in the coming weeks with the staging of Eddie Kerr’s play ‘One Night Stands’.

The play is set in a ballroom on the west coast of Ireland on St Valentine’s Night 1961 and Derry based showband The Barracudas are playing their first gig in a syndicated ballroom. But on the most romantic night of the year things are far from hearts and flowers.

Between 1957 and 1972 more than 700 showbands were active in Ireland, working up to five nights a week, playing in ballrooms, dance halls and marquees, to crowds sometimes in their thousands.

Names lovingly remembered include The Clipper Carlton from Strabane, the Rhythm Boys from Buncrana, Gay McIntyre’s Showband and the Johnny Quigley Allstars, both from Derry. However, for every top band, there were a dozen others who were working just as hard, travelling just as far, for less money and recognition. The Barracudas were one such band.

So come along and make sure you bring your loudest laugh, jiving shoes, singing voice and prepare to rock the night away with the unique sound of The Barracuda Showband.

Playwright Eddie Kerr said, “As a special offer we will give a discounted price to those who come in period costume of the 1950s and 1960s.

“Whether you want to relive your dancing days or find out what the fuss is all about you will really enjoy this show.”
One Night Stand will be centre stage at St Patrick’s Hall on February 23. Tickets priced £10 are limited, and available from St Pat’s.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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