Well Past Midnight at the Oasis

Book: Skagboys

Author: Irvine Welsh

Music: I’m On My Way

Artist: Dean Parrish

Another Northern Soul classic. This constant flow can be explained by the fact that all of these songs are mentioned in a short passage of Skagboys in which the characters attend a Northern Soul bash in Manchester, I think. Wikipedia tells me that this particular track “became famous for being the last record that was played at Northern Soul all-nighters at the Wigan Casino.”

For a couple of years in the late 80s on most weekends I would go to a gigantic nightclub—The Oasis—in the middle of nowhere in rural Ireland. Partway along the road from Carrickmacross in Co. Monaghan to Kingscourt in Co. Cavan, several thousand people would gather, particularly on Saturday nights, for a helluva good time. Sometimes when I think about it I find it scarcely credible that such crowds flocked to there for years. There are many, many tales I could tell about that but maybe they’ll emerge somewhere down the line.

It’s closed now but the last song they played at the end of every night back in those days was Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” There would be much Rockettes-style kicking and, for the most part, bonhomie before the multitudes would head out into the Irish night. Head out into the night to find a lift home if they didn’t have one, catch the bus back if they’d come on one, fight, stop fights, buy chips and burgers, hook up with some girl or boy, puke, chat some more, find a party somewhere to keep the crack going, or disappear into the night.

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