“Would you like to go back dancing?” Elena asks me enthusiastically.
I’m puffing on the ends of my rollie, angry at the fact I promised myself I would stop smoking on nights out, laughing pathetically because I knew it would inevitably happen anyways.
We are in the smoking chamber of Dali, a jam-packed sprawling black tunnel which functions to provide a means for the nicotine addicts to relieve their stress, but also a way for the many night-goers to discuss the attractions of one of Cork’s newest clubs. The crowd here is different, and this is explained by the scene of the club. While in any other club in Cork, most people would sneer at the mere mention of a song without vocals, or a song which is entirely just bass, here in Dali the crowd suggests an intrigue into a nightclub which has the potential to change the popular nightlife Cork city has to offer.
I head to the floor with Elena, and we are instantly immersed into the booming, atmospheric dancing going on all around us. Heavier than the dance-music I’d be familiar with, we are provided with means to get us properly in the groove. Constantly changing rhythms and unexpected drops. The difference Dali makes is that it provides a way for people in Cork who are interested in experiencing or who enjoy house and techno to be exposed to the many variables which the music can provide. Dali boasts the biggest Void install and the first Arcline 8 system in Ireland, technologies which dramatically improve the perceived sound quality and definition.
There is an air of acceptance in Dali, attracting both students and older people most nights. Many people come with an intrigue into this house and techno oriented club. The word techno appears to carry many negative connotations, and even having mentioned it twice in the space of two sentences I already hear my internal monologue (and people at pre-drinks) saying “Don’t tell me you’re putting on techno. Is that techno? Can you turn it off and put on songs with lyrics please!”
Dali opened the 4th of May 2018. It pegs itself as being “super passionate about music…bringing the best, top-notch techno and house to little old Cork City”, a genre of music which contrasts sharply to the Top 40 tunes found in most other nightclubs. Unique to Dali is the building in which it is set. 13 Carey’s Lane once functioned as a cinema in the 1900s – the previous life of the building provides the interior of the club with coffer-like interior roofing which gives the club a soul unlike any other.
Open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and the occasional Tuesday, Dali hosts a range of different acts every night. Priding itself on hosting local, national and international acts, Dali’s nights project local DJ collaboratives like Remedy DJs and Fish-Go-Deep (whose members have close connections to our very own UCC), but also bigger acts such as Kettama and Mallgrab – who are known worldwide for their innovative sets. Catering to many different music-listeners, Dali hosts nights such as Taboo, which immerses the club into the grooves of Hip Hop, R&B and Afrobeat Music.
Nightlife is an intrinsic part of our society, and us Irish folk will always indulge any excuse to hit the club. Nightlife in Ireland not only provides a more dynamic social scene, giving citizens the means of expression through dance and performance but it also boosts the economy. Most nightclubs are indigenous businesses in Ireland, and employ people of all ages including many students. Most of us are also familiar with the ways in which we are regarding money under the influence of even the smallest amount of alcohol – yes, I am talking about the notorious tap of the debit card, and this frivolous spending only adds to the strength of our economy.
Although many different kinds of nights are provided at Dali, like other clubs, these are limited by the restrictions of Irish nightlife. Something which has been discussed lately by many is the limitations of laws regarding opening-hours in nightclubs. Clubs are forced to close before 3am, which is about the time that the night is only kicking into full-swing in mainland Europe. Give Us The Night is an independent volunteer group which has been in the news lately for its campaign to install changes into the Irish nightlife scene, campaigning to improve the hours of music-venues in particular to enhance the quality in Ireland. Will the introduction of more clubs with various types of music, such as Dali provide the demand needed to alter strict licensing laws?