Catholic Ireland isn’t initially a place you’d expect to find a vibrant gay scene, yet Dublin is positively teeming with creative fashionistas who call the emerald city home. While not specifically a gay event, this fact is readily on display at the monthly club night, Church Dublin.
The brainchild of Kyle Barnett, Dave Byrne and James Kavanagh, Church turns the religious nature of Ireland on its head. It calls sinners to repent at debauched papal parties. Themes so far have included The Immaculate, Baptism and Garden of Eden. However, it was on a special Halloween night of Necromancy that I found myself walking through the doors of The Pint down Eden Quay.
First staring into the white eyes of a zombie Cardinal (Kavanagh) as I paid the €5 cover, then turning to a futuristic Asian rice farmer (Barnett) to get branded with a massive crucifix on my wrist (and a few more on my chest), the mood of the evening was appropriately set.
DJ’s Colin Devine and Davey B filled the venue with the evening’s ‘Hymns’, including Cyril Hahn, Daft Punk, LCD Soundsystem and Azealia Banks, all as scantily clad cops, corpses and clowns stumbled about the Church’s altar. In the shadow of crucifixes, a dazzlingly gorgeous array of Dublin’s finest, fuelled by reasonably priced ‘Holy Water’, danced under the ever-present lens of Andy Warhol (fashion photographer Conor Clinch).
Church has breathed new life into The Pint, a perfect setting spanning several floors and even offering a large open-air smoking area. For only €5, churchgoers are given leave to lose themselves in the unforgettable ecstasy of fervent worship. Typically scheduled for the last Saturday of every month, Church Dublin is an event well worth keeping in mind when it comes to planning an Irish get-away. I travelled across from Scotland just to see what the hype was about, and I’m already looking for cheap flights back next month.
Photos by Conor Clinch