Top Ten Animal Disco Gigs

Promoter Paul Irwin counts down his most memorable shows, featuring headliners General Fiasco and more, as the midnight live music series returns to Belfast on May 8

Picking my top ten Animal Discos was not easy. I have great memories from every single show and each time it was an absolute blast! Animal Disco had a really loyal fanbase, we were so fortunate to have those people who loved it so much they came week in week out.

But it wouldn't have been half the night it was if it wasn't for the great pedigree of Irish bands. We're so psyched to bring it back as a monthly event at McHugh's Basement Bar.

General Fiasco – December 23, 2011

One of our secret shows and, as you can imagine, this sold out really fast when we announced the act. Having General Fiasco playing such a small venue at their peak was a real treat for us.

A Plastic Rose – September 30, 2011

A Plastic Rose always being ones to do things differently, this was an intense night. The show was recorded live, and then we handed punters CDs of the performance on the way out after the club. I remember being in the back stage area with the band burning CDs and one of them turned to me and said, 'What the hell were we thinking?' A great night.

Rams' Pocket Radio – July 15, 2011

As always, mid-July is a tough time to be promoting club nights. The evacuation of the city always makes numbers dwindle, no matter what you do. However, I remember coming down to this one late and I nearly couldn't get in myself. Packed out and very sweaty in Auntie Annies' infamous way. As always, Rams' sounded amazing.

Kowalski and Yes Cadets (Belfast Music Week Show) – November 4, 2011

We would normally open the doors at 10pm, and people usually float in from their pre-drinks parties from 11pm. This night was something special, though. Due to the queue out the door, we were forced to open at 9pm. Belfast Music Week did something really great for local music. There was a real buzz about the city that night.

Duke Special – July 29, 2011

This was an amazing show. It was billed as a secret show until two days before, when Duke Special was announced, and with it being so unique it was, of course, sold out within a couple of hours.

Animal Disco First Birthday - August 22, 2009

This was a step into the unusual for us. The gig was held in the Spring & Airbrake and was an all-day/night affair. More than just music, we had BBQs, stalls from local artists/bakers/record collectors, and gave out our very own Animal Disco compilation CD. A great meeting of minds with a massive line-up of The Lowly Knights, Not Squares, The Flaws, A Plastic Rose, Funeral Suits, Yes Cadets, The Continuous Battle Of Order, as well as Animal Disco and AU DJs. A pretty messy night.

Panama Kings – August 20, 2010

Panama Kings launched the weekly club night for us. Going weekly for a club is pretty tough, and I just felt they were the perfect band to kick it off. It was sold out and set the club guidelines for us going forward: Tropical Electro Indie Dance Party!

Le Galaxie – December 9, 2011

Le Galaxie are one of my favorite bands, and I've brought them to Belfast about five times over the years. The first time was hard. They didn't have too much of a name yet, and so not much of a crowd, but I was determined to get a crowd for them. So we kept working on it and by the fifth time Belfast was ready and it was stuffed. They are one of the best live bands I've ever seen. They are going to be huge.

And So I Watch You From Afar – December 17, 2010

Belfast was in a deep blanket of snow this night, so we didn't think many ticket holders would be able to make it down, but they did. It was a beautiful sold out show and the place nearly crumbled. Auntie Annie's shook like never before.

Not Squares & Two Door Cinema Club DJ's ('Last Ever' Animal Disco) – New Year's Eve 2011

This night was epic for so many reasons. The music was great and the place was packed. I'll never forget it. It holds Auntie Annies' record for attendance, and every single one of them seemed to come to the Not Squares after party too.

Animal Disco returns to McHugh's Basement Bar, Belfast with Thee Penny Dreadfuls on Friday May 8, followed by a 10th Anniversary show from We Are Knives on June 12. For more live music listings in Belfast and beyond visit our new What's On section.