herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Gigs at the city barber shop proving a cut above the rest

Abner Browns barber shop
Abner Browns barber shop

DUBLIN barber shop Abner Browns, in Rathmines, has proved itself a cut above the rest as it has become the city's newest gig spot with punters queueing out the door.

Every Saturday night the hair salon hosts a gig, with owner Dave Judge getting requests from right across the country from musicians looking to play.

Dave (46) has been running the barbers since 1996, but it's only in the past year he began to put on music.

"I did up the shop with a musical theme about three years ago," he told the Herald.

"We painted it and we started off by putting a couple of albums on the wall and a couple of old guitars that I had from my days as a musician."

"I had the idea to get somebody in to the shop on a Saturday to play when we're busy rather than listen to the radio.

"A guy called Blair Packham, a Canadian singer/songwriter, came for a haircut and said that he would happily do it as he was only in town for a couple of weeks.

"It just evolved from there and it got to a stage after a few weeks it was so busy with people coming in off the street to listen, customers couldn't come in to get haircuts and I was losing business."

Dave decided that the music needed to be moved so he put on a gig on Saturday nights.

"We had a band called The Cravings do one of the first ones and it just went so well. Now I get five emails every day from musicians asking can they play here. It was just Dublin bands at the start but now we get them from all over."

"We had our own stage at The Electric Picnic and I'm running gigs around town in places like The Merchantile and The Sugar Club, all for charity. I've been asked to manage bands and promote other gigs and the music side of things has gotten to the stage where it's almost like another job."

ALBUM

And he said that the little barbershop is attracting big names.

"The other night we had Nick Kelly, who was in The Fat lady Sings, previewing his new album and the guys from Ham Sandwich were in recently getting their hair cut and they said they'd love to play," he said.

"Delorentos and Mundy both said they do something and all this is in the space of a year. I can't believe where it's at."

hnews@herald.ie

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