‘The Grove: More than a Feeling’ looks back at the 30 years of a northside Dublin institution – The Grove disco – which ran from 1967 to 1997.
From its inception in Belgrove Football Club, through the fire which razed it to the ground and on to the ‘New Grove’ in St. Paul’s, Raheny; this disco was central to the lives of local teenagers for three decades.
‘The Grove: More than a feeling’ explores – through the retrospective accounts of the former teenagers who went there – the changes that took place over three decades, fuelled by a soundtrack of the music that shaped those memories.
The Grove was more than a disco; it was a rite of passage – a place that marked a point of maturity in the life of a teenager of the area; where many had their first kiss, found their first love or perhaps experienced their first heartbreak.
Told through the eyes of ‘Grovers’ from different generations, from those who attended the original Grove in Belgrove in the 60’s to those who frequented St. Paul’s in the 90’s. Some well known faces such as RTÉ 2 FM’s Marty Whelan, News presenter Eileen Dunne and comedian Brendan Bourke recall their personal experiences and describe why the Grove was so special to them. We also hear from a couple who met first met at the Grove and went on to marry and from other Grovers who candidly recall their memories of the famous disco, from the drinking beforehand to what happened when couples went to ‘the compound’ outside. But one man is acknowledged by all the Grovers as the unifying force- DJ, Cecil Nolan. Described as ‘our John Peel’, Cecil is revered and respected by all who went there for three decades.
While others were dancing to Abba or Bros, Cecil was introducing Northside teenagers to the likes of Leonard Cohen, Deep Purple and The Cure. This environment provided a place where teenagers could freely express themselves, whether it was as Cureheads, Goths, Mods or Rockers and has had a lasting influence on those who went there.
In this programme Cecil also recalls his memories of ‘The Grove’ from the vantage point of the DJ box and why his love of music drove him to preside over the disco for thrity years.