In the early hours of a Friday morning somewhere on Parnell Street in the middle of the first decade of the new millennium, you might have found me in the time honoured sweaty skirmish that I’m sure you’ll still find long haired leather clad rockers in to this day.
With pint glass firmly clasped like all should be when mosh-pit adjacent, I’d be quaffing some unholy concoction sold to me as a loss-leader – aniseedy and tinted in shining glowstick green – you’d still be able to smell it in the morning afterward.
Having arrived early, as to avoid the bouncers, I’d generally be garbed in building site-safe attire, content that at least my steel-toe boots were half on par with the dress code. Eventually then the gang would spill in and the night would while away into that green aniseed haze and you would find yourself in that menagerie of boots, chains, leather, denim and all the sweat and beer spilt therein.
And as the drinking-up hour would close in you might be going hoarse from defiantly shouting the repeated lines of the last song spun – it usually being Rage Against The Machine. “F**k you, I won’t do what you tell me”… you’d howl it as you swayed arm in arm with any number of sweaty metallers.. “F**k you I won’t do what you tell me.” Then the bouncers would move in to clear house – and you’d do what they told you.
There are but a handful of widely accepted institutions in Dublin City and the place mentioned above – Fibber Magee’s is certainly one. Dublin’s premier Metal bar, it was a rite of passage for young trainee rockers like myself who found that their fondness for music could no longer be confined to unlicensed premises way back when.
Though ultimately I’d find the tunes in Fibbers a bit on the heavier side and transfer up to Eamon Doran’s, and given that it’s not somewhere I’ve ever frequented in the true sense of the word, I’ve always retained a fondness for Fibbers and the foundation it provided to me to learn the trade of drinking pints.
Being the likely best example of a Dive bar on offer in Dublin’s portfolio of pubs, Fibbers is cut into a sizeable number of defined sections – a medium sized bar runs along the left side of the room as you enter, toward the right side you’ll find an alcove containing two or three bays of semi-circular couches which snugly house a circular table apiece. Moving toward the back of the room you’ll come upon a bank of pool tables and as you move right from them you’ll end up in the venue section complete with stage and dancefloor. Beyond all that there’s a vast smoking area out back which we wouldn’t normally bother commenting on only for the fact that it is contained on a common courtyard with two vastly different style of bars/restaurants – Murray’s and The Living Room. This lends to a sort of Gangs of New York – Five Points vibe, the likes of which is found nowhere else in the city.
Pint-wise, we can’t really comment in any great certainty as we generally find ourselves here when our tastebuds have been rendered less sensitive than they would’ve been before a hearty sceilp of pints. But I cannot say that our last visit is remembered as being one where the pint was below an acceptable level. I’m told the pint is at the fiver mark here but we’ll stand open to correction there.
We last visited of a Halloween night which ended somewhat acrimoniously. With a sizeable crew of costumed and costumeless in tow we’d awarded the night’s best dressed award to Pintman №7 who had ignored all advice of it being more of a 2009 thing and decided to dress as Heath Ledger’s incarnation of The Joker from The Dark Night… as a nurse… in a dress… I think he might have even shaved his legs for the occasion.
Pintman №7, who despite being a long time subscriber and attendee to the cause, has heretofore gone uncredited in the annals of DublinByPub. A man caught in a never ending cycle of giving up and getting back into drinking strong IPAs, he would, as it turns out, have made a fine character actor.
For, you see, it was on this fine October night that Pintman №7 had truly engaged his inner Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero all in one. And the timing of this couldn’t have been more perfect. We’d been unfortunate enough to find ourselves having made the acquaintance of some nasty, uncostumed upstart in the course of playing pool. And it was just as this little bollox was smack bang in the middle of his twenty-somethingth ill-advised insult of the evening when he felt five of Pintman №7’s knuckles speedily settle into his cheekbone. It was so perfect a hit some of us even swore we saw one of those 60’s Batman pop-art graphics depicting the word POW right before our eyes. Needless to say, the boy went down.
Next of all we’d found ourselves witness to one of these wonderful Halloween scenes where Donald Trump and Wonderwoman beckoned bouncers as Obie Wan Kenobi attempted to barrel The Joker out of sight. The bouncers did arrive and when Pintman №7 freely gave himself up they informed him that he’d have to be thrown out. He went peacefully. He went so peacefully that the bouncers even cheerfully bade him good night and the best of luck for good measure too.
Unfortunately our hopes and prayers that footage of this melee would eventually surface on the national airwavews as part of Crimecall’s CCTV segment have year to bear fruit. We continue to live in hope.
So that’s about all we have on Fibbers for now. Let us conclude by saying that if you’re the type of person who’s looking to accompany a pint with the aural pleasures of the more advanced sub-genres of metal, or if you’re just a lad in a dress who wants to shoot some pool and watch the world burn, Fibbers might just be the place for you!