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2023-07-14 Forever Young Festival - Palmerstown House, Naas

It was Forever Young Festival time at the weekend.  For those that don't know what that is, let me explain...

Forever Young is a festival where all the stars of the 80s come back to relive their past glories in front of folk who lived through the 80s! It's just a fun festival where folk dress up in ridiculous 80s gear, let their hair down and just have fun.

So, who played?  Well I suppose I could just list off all the acts that were playing, but where is the fun in that??  Instead, I'll just break it down by day, act by act, that's probably easiest.

First up on the main stage was Jerry Fish.  I've lost count of how many times I've seen Jerry.  He is one of the live acts around he always puts on a superb show.  Oh and he closed his set with the classic Celebrate, how could you not be happy???

Next up, over on the second stage, was Tom Dunne (Something Happens), Fiachna O'Braonain (Hothouse Flowers) and Alan Connor and we were treated to some old Something Happens, that always makes me happy.  Check out Parachute in the video below.  Tom, Fiachna and Alan are touring the country at the moment, telling stories and singing songs.  If they come to a town near you, I'd definitely go!

Next up were the Hothouse Flowers.  I still remember buying 'Love Don't Work This Way' on 7" vinyl way back when I were just a lad... I wonder if I still have that single. Side note, it was released on Mother Records, a small independent label owned by U2.

That was my introduction to the band, others might remember them as the interval act of Eurovision 88.

Regardless of all that, they are one of the greatest Irish acts ever. They combine rock, soul, funk, a touch of reggae and lots of trad into a wonderful sound.

Friday night, at Forever Young, they absolutely stole the show. Brilliant, fantastic, or chose your own word to describe the show... Or simply settle for 'that was some craic'.

Closing out Friday night were the legendary Squeeze.  Now, I won't lie, Squeeze kind of passed me by as a kid.  Was I too cool to like them or was I just not cool enough?  Who knows, but Friday night was my first time seeing them live and they were absolutely brilliant.

They just played hot after hot after hot and the crowd loved every minute of it.  I have a lot of catching up to do, they've a large back catalogue for me to go through!  I'm so happy I finally got to see them perform.

I got some nice shots of them too.  I really like the first one, probably my favourite photo of the weekend.

So that was Day 1 of Forever Young Festival 2023.  It was the end of the excitement though.  The Gods of Rock must have been angry over something because late Friday night they sent the rain, then more rain and, just when you thought it couldn't get any wetter, even more rain.  That took a toll, but more on that in the next post.

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