By Holly Kenny
Paul Byrne, a first year student in Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) has been running a night called Riddim & Groove for the past two years with fellow classmates Teige Butler and Darren O’Carroll from Villiers Secondary School, who are both now second year students in LIT.
The guys, similarly to most students loved their nights out. However they felt something was missing around Limerick at the time. There weren’t many venues – in their opinion – that played house and garage music. Macronite was more into techno and DIE was a bit of everything. So after a bit of thought, they decided to make their own night which is monthly in The Basement.
Riddim & Groove were particularly popular when they played at the New Years Eve event at the infamous Angel Lane which hosted WEsession, “It was definitely an experience!” Paul said – “it was interesting to play more underground sounding house music in a commercial venue”. However, Paul explained that all the local areas and venues in Limerick have been really supportive about what he does and encourages him to keep DJing. With the events that they made, Riddim & Groove were introduced to many different DJs around Limerick. They also played in DIE during UL’s rag week. They’ve previously worked with DeepCut – who runs WarDance – Adam Sixs – who is involved with Macronite and DIE, Marc Deegan, Dean McManus, Wez Baldwin, Maksy and more.
Paul, being modest, explained that their stuff isn’t “cutting edge by any means” but they do it because they like particular genres of music that weren’t being played around Limerick. They have no intention of moving up in the local music industry. Paul admitted that none of the guys make any money out of this. All their earnings go towards the next night so they can pay people to accompany them and make it a good night for people to attend. He said: “It’s a cliché but we really do it for the music, nothing else.”
Making their own night didn’t come easy; it meant ringing a lot of venues to see who would take them. Paul commented that everyone in Limerick was really supportive. They finally got a venue they really liked which, The Library (at 5/6 Cornmarket Row), and DeepCut accompanied them that night.
Paul described a long list of all the things Teige, Darren and himself collectively need to do before playing before people. First thing they do is find out who they want to play with them. This is usually through Facebook or through a booking email they receive from SoundCloud. They have to contact them, ask for the booking fee, find out how they’re going to pay for it, how long the set will go on for and how much they’ll charge for the door.
Then they have to design a poster to attract people, get them printed, make facebook events, put all the necessary information in – which Paul says is “a lot harder than you’d think”- then they have to invite people who they think would go. Although they don’t like to spam so they only invite people who do enjoy events like Riddim & Groove or have been before, then they put up posters around limerick where they think the right people will see them.
It’s more or less a group effort from all of the boys to get all these things done although Paul said the jobs change time to time between the people – “Well each month we have our own individual job, one month depending on if we know the person or whichever one is better with dealing with bookings over the phone so one month it’ll be Teige, next might be me or Darren, Darren makes the majority of the posters, but also helps across the board also.”
There are some regulars in Riddim & Groove but a few of them also are their classmates from Villiers. They have this to say about Paul and Riddim & Groove: “Paul is a really sound guy…I’ve really enjoyed Riddim & Groove every time I’ve been to it. The music is so so good and there’s always good vibes. They play garage and deep house, most people really enjoy that kind of music. It’s only a fiver in, well worth it.”
Paul said they learned how to run their own night from attending other venues and observing how they ran their nights.
Paul admitted that he didn’t always want to be a DJ but he often mixed records during his spare time at home and really loved it. People who were playing at the time while Paul was doing this were looking for people who could play that wouldn’t cost a lot of money so Paul, Teige and Darren volunteered to play. Eventually the DJing became more frequent and hence Riddim & Groove was born.