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That Plaza Palaver...

Stuart Bailie | 09:43 UK time, Monday, 29 March 2010

A few weeks ago, I commented on a Facebook page that celebrated Belfast's underground culture and the legendary nights at the Delta and Plaza ballrooms. The page generated a reunion and so Saturday night was a slightly anxious challenge: could the old folk manage to deliver the attitude, the style and the energy?

plaza1.jpgThe answer was essentially, yes. Around 250 people giving it socks to 'White Lines' by Melle Mel, a lyric about cocaine madness and the infernal bust of John Delorean - graced by an unstoppable rhythm. From the DJ decks, Lyndon Stephens was grinning. "Best bassline in the world!" he rightly claimed.

Himself and Alan Ferris were remembering the alternative tunes of the time, a steer from punk to acid house, by way of Shannon and Donna Summer, causing a ruckus with The Smiths and then The Cult's 'Sanctuary' which prompted a stampede to the dancefloor not unlike the attack scenes from Zulu.

There were bumper cans of hairspray in the toilets, but in truth, so many of the old quiffs had moulted and the crimpers were decommissioned decades ago. But it didn't lessen the fervour when the final playlist shifted from Yazoo and Nina Simone to Iggy and 'The Passenger'. It was one of those transcendental moments when everyone in the house is connected and utterly lost in the groove. We were all supremely in it. The following morning delivered the reality check and then a lurch to the laptop to see if it had really been so fine. Apparently, it had been.

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