80s nightclubs birmingham
John Peel was a regular DJ. They catered for all tastes and for every genre of music from funk to punk, and rock to rave. It has been running for more than 40 years.
In 1987, though, it turned to the dark side and became a very successful rock and alternative music venue, attracting coachloads of leather-clad pilgrims from all over the country and hosting gigs from the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Rage Against the Machine.
Club-wise, for a ‘rocker’ there wasn’t much to shout about until the re-launch of Edward’s No.8 as ‘Edward’s Rock Complex‘ in 1987. Just as Liverpool had its Mersey Sound (later called Mersey Beat), the 60s music from Birmingham and the Black Country became known as Brum Beat, though it was more a description of geographical location than a distinctive sound found only in this region. To cut a long story short my first club experience came almost by accident after going to see a friend’s band play the The Railway in Curzon Street (also my first gig). You can unsubscribe at any time. 8 and the rest of his Brum nightclub empire in 1989, and the deal contained a ‘golden handcuffs’ clause preventing him from running any other clubs for a three-year period.
Brum's vibrant club scene began back in the 60s as changing times saw the city rocking around the clock.
Dazzled by America's far more glamorous nightlife, they revamped the Rum Runner to emulate Studio 54’s swish decor of neon lights, mirrors and palm trees as well as its style of DJ-ing, with the music in a continuous mix rather than the previous MC-style chatter between each record. Barbarella's, one of the clubs run by Eddie Fewtrell, offered a city centre stage for rock bands. The music is great. Before it turned into The Dubliner in the mid-1990s, Digbeth’s legendary music venue The Barrel Organ was synonymous with Birmingham’s goth scene. I wanted to be among them. . The Sanctuary was among the venues to host Sundissential club nights, along with Pulse and The Works. Affectionately known as ‘Costers’ to its hard-rocking clientele, this basement boozer could be found at the back of the Oasis Market and was a traditional pre-Eddie’s base camp. As Led Zeppelin might say, it’s been a long time since it rocked and rolled. As Duran Duran's John Taylor once said: "It's sad but clubs are transitional places, they're not museums.
Clubbing in Brum saw a massive expansion in the 90s after the rave phenomenon recharged dance music and boosted the city's nightlife.
The idea of glamorous clubbing arrived in 1993 with Miss Moneypenny's, a theme night in Bonds nightclub. ... 2. That was followed by others including the Cedar Club in Constitution Hill and Rebecca's (named after Mr Fewtrell's eldest daughter) in Lower Severn Street. . From then-on I really got the taste for exploring such places and, whilst most of my older-looking school mates were also getting to grips with the City’s nightlife, whereas they were largely caught-up in the New Romantic (aka ‘Trendies’) scene and frequenting such fine establishments as Le Pub, I was heavily into the rock and Indie scene (more the former but I did enjoy a bit of punk now and then) and so became a regular at Bill’s and the Costermonger as well as the Grapes (Hill Street) on a weekend – the latter two both DJ’d by gravel-voiced 70’s rock dinosaur Tony Craig – along with the odd trip to the Barrel Organ in Digbeth, the West End Bar, 49’ers on Smallbrook Queensway and the Outrigger at the top-end of Digbeth. My first experience of the Birmingham club scene (apart from seeing The Sweet at the Night Out sometime around 1980) revolved around waiting for the number 45 bus in the now-pedestrianised John Bright Street and seeing hordes of cavorting youth stumbling between Kaleidoscope, Sam Weller’s, The Grapes, Edward’s Number 7 and Boogies Brasserie.
), the Matador, the Windsor, Peacocks, Tressines on Newhall Street and a few other odd pubs now and again. Soon after came the Marco Polo Bar, which opened its doors at 7am and gave the clubbers somewhere to continue partying after sunrise. Going through the doors and down the stairs and into the club I was greeted with a completely life-changing and eye-opening experience.
The site that once housed Goldwyn’s, The Foundry and Mr Bill’s Bier Keller (Mark II) has since been converted into offices and a wine bar. It was reincarnated under many different guises over the decades.
The building was demolished in 1999 and the site is now occupied by Debenhams in the new Bullring shopping centre.
The club, bar and restaurant in Summer Row had struggled as a result of the disruption caused by the £500 million Paradise redevelopment. Things change.". Platinum Of Birmingham. These rock-themed nightspots were named because they were Mr Fewtrell's seventh and eighth venues in the city. As I was now a bit older and seeking a bit of variety I also frequented the Powerhouse, the Dome (was the actual ‘Dome’ over the dance floor a bit naff , or is that just me?
General manager Mac Kulasceza is pictured in the club in December 1983. A week or so later my band friends invited me out again and introduced me to the delights of the Costermonger at the back of the Oasis Market and Mr Bill’s which at that time was on Needless Alley off New Street and was, once more, an incredibly eye-opening experience. Screwfix, B&Q, Range, Wickes, Homebase latest.
It's said that the influence of the Cadbury family - devout Quakers who didn't consume alcohol - had stunted the growth of nightlife in Birmingham up to that point. The Rum Runner owners expanded their empire when they opened Snobs in 1972. It is with the hazy memories of this period in mind that I thought it may be of interest to document my recollections and hopefully add to it the memories of other readers of this website. In that short time, it was the venue where Pink Floyd recorded half of Ummagumma and Steve Winwood's band Traffic made their debut.
Just around the corner from The Barrel Organ was The Mercat Cross (aka The Mercat) on Bradford Street.
So a wild night out in Brum was never too wild in those days. Sadly, the original Eddie’s venue was destroyed in 2006 after a toilet in the club caught fire (presumably to the tune of ‘Smoke on the Water’).
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Whilst the costs … The Night Out, a cabaret-style theatre with dance troupes and meals of chicken-in-a-basket, opened in the mid-70s and ran until 1983. The Powerhouse in Hurst Street. ... 3.
Here are just a few of the city's own Electric Bananas: In the Birmingham rock venue deck of cards, Eddie’s remains the undisputed ace of spades.
Embracing this latest craze, The Powerhouse launched a weekly rave night and there were similar events at The Hummingbird too. Since then, the club’s had a variety of short and long term residencies before settling into its current home at the Tunnel Club on Livery Street.
Things didn’t go quite according to plan, however, and it was soon hosting gigs by the likes of Nirvana and Nine Inch Nails. The decade saw a big revamp for the Rum Runner, a club that had opened in Broad Street back in 1964.
UK Electrical Installations – Commercial Electricians, a wonderful distilled trip down memory lane – shame we forgot to take photos at the time! It comes just after Mechu pulled down the shutters for good in March 2017. Sadly, many of the venues from those days … ", Panic buying hits Birmingham as customers form huge queues ahead of new national lockdown, There were empty shelves as shoppers snapped up everything from loo roll to pasta yesterday, even though politicians and experts urged people not to panic buy, Will DIY stores open in lockdown? Still around today is the nightclub Snobs, known for its white wall of faces and its TARDIS-style decor.
. When Eddie Fewtrell opened Goldwyn’s in the late 1980s, the original plan was to offer an upmarket cabaret experience for a more discerning clientele. There have been squillions of clubs and bars in the City over the years and I did my best to visit many of them during my youth – some were great, some not so (remember the Golden Eagle?)
At the start of the 80s, the Locarno was reinvented as the Powerhouse and became one of the main nightspots in Birmingham, with various nights catering to all crowds and music tastes.
It also opened during daylight hours, offering all-day dance events when electro-funk emerged as the new club sound after the end of the 70s disco era. Debenhams may be a leading retailer stocking the latest fashions from some of the world’s leading designers, but it could never compete with the vast collection of leather bikers’ jackets at 49ers. It closed its Paradise Circus Queensway venue in April 2014 and moved to a new home in Smallsbrook Queensway. Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon! The BBC used it as one of the locations for its Come Dancing TV show, which ran from 1950 to 1998 and was, of course, later succeeded by Strictly Come Dancing in 2004. To put it another way, it was the one place in Brum where you could get a pint at 7am. Jimi Hendrix is said to have popped in one evening and climbed on stage for a live jamming session. It shared a similar fate to XL’s, closing earlier this year to make way for the £500 million ‘Paradise’ redevelopment. As he turned to apologise (they were a nice crowd) it turned out to be my history teacher who grumbled “alright Andrew, f*cking great song this” and threw himself back into the throng .
The Carlton Ballroom, above a furniture shop in High Street, Erdington, was reborn as Mothers - which was named the top rock club in the world by Billboard magazine two years running - even though it only ran from 1968 to 1971. what a fantastic experience I thought! A pint of mild was ordered (for some reason) and we headed to the dance floor whereupon Bomber by Motorhead came on and the whole dance floor erupted into a rather furious bout of ‘wrecking’: at one point, spat out of the melee came a short stocky chap who fell into me. We already have this email. Fashion models Jamie France and Shelley Musson at Mechu in 2003, Nightclubs you remember if you lived in Birmingham.
In 1984, the Top Rank Suite in Dale End was revamped as The Hummingbird, which turned into the Birmingham Academy, then the Carling Academy and most recently The Ballroom, which shut in 2013. While the mid-80s saw a new trend for all-dayers, that changed to all-nighters later in the decade as acid house burst on to the scene in 1988. The Bier Keller eventually moved next door to Goldwyn’s/The Foundry (see below) where it attracted a more mainstream crowd. Ona's Music Room at Pepper Place. If you wish to use any of Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. The Carling Academy moved out of that site to a new home in Bristol Street and was rebranded as what is now the 02 Academy Birmingham when mobile phone company 02 became the new sponsor.
The Works, in Broad Street, also hosted Gatecrasher nights - and then the brand took over the entire venue. 80s Night Clubs in Birmingham, AL 1. The Rum Runner in Broad Street, Birmingham, on October 14, 1976, Boogies club in John Bright Street - and the same building as it is today, Arron Whan, the then manager of Edwards No8, outside the club on March 2, 2000.
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