Handbags at the ready

Handbags at the ready View Gallery
Martin Thomas with bouncers outside RíRá

An institution of Dublin’s 1990s and 2000s club scene, Strictly Handbag was the brainchild of one of the city’s most precocious promoters. With a one-off revival happening at the end of this month, Ruth O’Connor looks back on the heady days of the club and pays tribute to its founder Martin Thomas

‘In the mid-1990s, thanks to the reputation of the Haçienda, I’d got used to DJing in places like Berlin and Paris, but every time I got the call from Martin Thomas to play Strictly Handbag I’d be charmed by him to lower my fee, and then lower it again,” says English DJ Dave Haslam. “I can’t recall ever minding this in the slightest, though, because every visit was a joy.”

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