Newcastle in the mid to late sixties had a vibrant night life which, outside of London, was probably the best in the country for wining, dining, dancing, music and gambling. There were around a dozen night clubs with top acts appearing in the city every day of the week. It’s no wonder that London gangsters such as the Kray twins were keen to get in on the action. Those of us of a certain age will remember clubs like La Dolce Vita, Greys Club, the Cavendish and the Club A’Gogo.

The Jazz Cafe in Pink Lane, Newcastle

The Jazz Cafe in Pink Lane, Newcastle

But who were the men and woman who owned and ran the north east’s iconic clubs and kept us entertained throughout the sixties? In 2011, north east photographer and author, Ian Wright who now lives in Las Vegas, had the bright idea of organising a get together for the people involved in the sixties club scene. The reunion took place at the Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle hosted by Keith Crombie who was involved in the day to day running of several Newcastle clubs back in the sixties.

reunion pic

Some of the other people there were Wally Nash (now a business man living in the USA) who managed the Marimba for Mike Jeffery and later the Blue Note in Sunderland for Ray Grehan; Sandford Goudie who owned the La Strada clubs in Sunderland and South Shields; Trixie Sullivan who was Mike Jeffery’s secretary and personal assistant (at the time he managed Jimi Hendrix), vocalist David Macbeth, Teddy Berg – owner of Greys Club, Barabara Berg and Joan Tenniswood who both worked at the Club a’Gogo in the sixties. Another of those in attendance was Marcus Levey, who with his two brothers ran La Dolce Vita before selling the club to the Bailey Organisation in 1965. Marcus now lives in Leeds and is a professional artist.

2 Wright Young Macbeth

(left to right) Barbara Berg (nee Young), Ian Wright, Jason Robson, David Macbeth and Joan Tenniswood (nee Young)

(left to right) Wally Nash, Marcus Levey and Keith Crombie

(left to right) Wally Nash, Marcus Levey and Keith Crombie

4 part group2

Germaine Stanger (left), yours truly and Sandford Goudie (right)

(left to right) Dougie Vickers (ex-drummer with The Invaders, Trixie Sullivan and me

(left to right) Dougie Vickers (ex-drummer with The Invaders, Trixie Sullivan and me

There were one or two musicians there including Dougie Vickers who was the drummer in the Invaders, one of the first non-jazz bands to play regularly at the Club A’Gogo from around 1963. Also present was jazz singer Germaine Stanger wife of the late Nigel Stanger. Nigel, along with Chas Chandler was responsible for planning and building the Newcastle Arena (now the Metro Radio Arena). Nigel was also an excellent saxophonist who along with Germaine performed with the Newcastle Big Band. Yours truly got an invite because the Ready Steady Gone site was the catalyst that helped Ian Wright to get in touch with some of the guests. Having said that, I did play regularly as a resident musician at three of the Bailey clubs (including La Dolce Vita) during 1966.

Invaders drummer Dougie Vickers jamming with the Jazz Cafe's house band

Invaders drummer Dougie Vickers jamming with the Jazz Cafe’s house band

Rumour had it that the ex-Club A’Gogo bouncer Dave Findlay and his brother Tommy were going to put in appearance. In the event they failed to show up, probably much to the relief of the host Keith Crombie. I did overhear a conversation in which one of the guests asked the other if he had been present at the Gogo on the night that Dave Findlay knocked out Keith Crombie’s teeth!

Some of the guests hadn’t seen each other for decades so there was a lot of catching up to do. Amongst those talked about were two men who were heavily involved in the north east club scene in the sixties – Mike Jeffery and Ray Grehan. Mike Jeffery, owner of the Club A’Gogo and manager of the Animals and Jimi Hendrix was killed in a plane crash in 1973. Ray Grehan, who owned various night clubs including the Blue Note in Sunderland and the Crescendo Club at Whitley Bay, passed away about eight years ago. Without the contribution of these two men the club and music scene of the north east would have been considerably different.

7 Mike and Ray
The reunion was a great success so full marks to Ian Wright for coming up with the idea and organising the event.


Here’s a reminder of some of those Newcastle clubs and venues and where they were. The top map is an old street plan of the city with the various venues marked with coloured dots. Below is a modern day aerial view with the same locations marked – (some of the original buildings have now gone).

Newcastle clubs map
Club menu
Newcastle clubs sat

The Club A’Gogo

The Club A’Gogo opened in 1962 and ran for just over six years. The club was initially owned and run by Mike Jeffery who went on to manage The Animals and Jimi Hendrix. Ownership changed hands around 1966 and eventually the Gogo closed its doors two years later after the Bailey Organisation opened a disconightspot called Sloopy’s above the La Dolce Vita

The Club A’Gogo was situated on Percy Street, Newcastle on the top floor of a building which was also above the famous Handyside Arcade (or Arcadia as it was sometimes called).

The Club A'Gogo building (top floor) on Percy Street, Newcastle

The Club A’Gogo building (top floor) on Percy Street, Newcastle

After it’s demolition, the building was replaced by the Eldon Garden Shopping Centre. The position of the doorway to the club was below the pedestrian walkway that links the Eldon Square complex with the Eldon Garden Shopping Centre near the entrance doors.

Read more about the Club A’Gogo on this link.

The Downbeat

The Downbeat was another of Mike Jeffery’s clubs. It opened in 1959 and ran for around 6 years. Initially the Downbeat was a jazz venue but towards the end of its life it featured mainly Rhythm & Blues bands.

7 downbeat club bernie

The Downbeat was situated in Carliol Square, Newcastle not far from Worswick Street bus station. The building that held the club has long since been demolished. It was originally the Clergy Jubilee School, which opened in the early part of the 19th Century

The Clergy Jubilee School in the 19th century - the building that would house the Downbeat in the 1960s

The Clergy Jubilee School in the 19th century – the building that would house the Downbeat in the 1960s

The same building in Carliol Square.

The same building in Carliol Square.

Read more about the Downbeat Club on this link.

The Quay Club

The Quay Club, which opened in 1965, was a popular venue in the sixties. The club was situated on the ground floor and in the basement of an old building on the Side, almost opposite the Crown Posada public house. The original building has been demolished and has been replaced by a modern block, which now houses offices and a restaurant.

In its hey day the Quay Club was a popular late night watering hole for both local and national musicians after completing their own gigs in the city.

5 old side

This is a 19th century picture of Side. The building that housed the Quay Club was on the right just before the bend leading under the railway bridge.

Read more about the Quay Club on this link.

Greys Club

Greys club is one of the few Newcastle Clubs that has been running since the sixties. The club, which is in Greys Court at the bottom of Grey Street, has had several makeovers since opening as a cabaret club in the early sixties.
During the seventies it was run by David Macbeth, a popular northeast singer in the late fifties and early sixties.

Greys Club, Newcastle - once owned by Teddy Berg

Greys Club, Newcastle – once owned by Teddy Berg


The Mayfair Ballroom

The Mayfair Ballroom opened by the Mecca organization on 12th September 1961 and continued to be a major venue in the city for 38 years. It was situated at the junction of Newgate Street and Low Friar Street. The Mayfair finally closed its doors in August 1999 and was later demolished to make way for the Gate Leisure Centre. During the sixties, seventies and beyond the Mayfair hosted some unforgettable nights featuring many of the top chart and touring bands of the era; bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Queen, Black Sabbath, The Clash, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Motorhead, Thin Lizzy and Nirvana, to name just a few.

Entrance to the Mayfair

Entrance to the Mayfair

Read more about the Mayfair Ballroom on this link.

La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita was situated on Low Friar Street not far from the Mayfair Ballroom. The club was opened on 6th February 1963 by the Levey brothers from Wallsend. La Dolce Vita included a large cabaret lounge with seating for 500 and an illuminated glass dance area in front of the stage. The club was taken over by the Bailey Group in 1965.

La Dolce Vita, Low Friar Street, Newcastle

Inside La Dolce Vita in the sixties

Inside La Dolce Vita in the sixties

Newspaper ads for La Dolce Vita

Newspaper ads for La Dolce Vita

Joe Brown at La Dloce Vita. The photo shows the illuminated glass floor used by dancers when not used by the cabaret acts

Joe Brown at La Dolce Vita. The photo shows the illuminated glass floor, which was a dancing area (when not being used by the cabaret acts).

In October 1968 the Bailey Organisation opened Sloopy’s disco above La Dolce Vita. By this time the Club A’Gogo on Percy Street was in decline and the opening of Sloopy’s was probably the final nail in the Club a’Gogo’s coffin.


La Dolce Vita went into decline in the seventies and had several name changes before finally closing its doors as a venue in 2002. The building which housed La Dolce Vita still stands but now contains luxury flats.


Guys & Dolls

The Guys & Dolls club is less well known than some of the other Newcastle clubs of the early to mid sixties. It was situated on the forth and fifth floor of a building at 1 Pink Lane, opposite Bowers restaurant. The Guys & Dolls ran as an unlicensed venue and described itself as a ‘coffee dance club’. The club ran for about five years and closed around 1966.

guys and dolls

The building that housed the Guys & Dolls is still standing.


The Marimba Coffee House

The Marimba Coffee House on High Bridge, Newcastle (off Grey Street) was another venue opened by Mike Jeffery. The Marimba opened in 1959 serving Italian food and snacks during the day at prices students could afford. However at night it became a private membership club with jazz being served up by some of the best musicians around. These included Tommy Henderson’s Latin American Group and others such as the Bernie Thorpe Trio and Mike Carr’s Emcee Four. Unofficially, the jazz sessions at the Marimba continued long after midnight.

The Marimba was open for just over a year before being gutted by fire. The building that housed the Marimba no longer exists. That building and those surrounding it were demolished and have been rebuilt.

6 Marimba

Read more about the Marimba on this link.


The Majestic Ballroom

The Majestic Ballroom on the junction of Westgate Road and Clayton Street was originally built as a cinema. In the late 1950’s it was converted to a ballroom and became the Majestic. During the late fifties and early sixties the “Maj” was a very popular venue for dancing. A Cumbrian group – Rue & The Rockets were the resident band at the Majestic for a number of years and had a massive following in Newcastle.

Rue (left) and the Rockets

The Majestic Ballroom is probably most famous for hosting the Beatles very first appearance in the city on 28th January 1963. Other acts that appeared at the Majestic Ballroom in the sixties include; The Moody Blues, The Kinks, The Spencer Davis Group, The Hollies, Van Morrison and the Small Faces.

The Majestic in the sixties

The Majestic in the sixties

The Majestic closed as a music venue in 1967 and became the Gala Bingo Hall. When the bingo hall closed in 2005, the Academy Music Group bought the building and converted it back to a music venue.


Change Is

‘Change Is’ opened with a flourish on 9th February 1969 with a promise of first class entertainment from the best acts around. The club was situated on Bath Lane, Newcastle and was spread over three floors with a reception, a disco and a cabaret room, all with curved walls. The lavishly decorated premises had once been the Piccadilly Club, which was run by Dennis Stafford who was later jailed for the 1967 murder of Angus Sibbett in the notorious ‘One-Armed Bandit’ case.

The opening of the club was preceded by an intense advertising campaign in the local press involving some quite off-beat and quirky adverts: –

‘Change Is’ was financed by comedian, Bob Monkhouse who teamed up with Newcastle entrepreneur Ronnie Markham in an attempt to open a club that would offer something different to the many other clubs in the city at that time. The concept was that the club would not be the same from one week to the next. It was said that the floor levels could be permutated fifteen different ways and that the décor could be changed at will by projecting images onto the curved walls. The sound system was said to be second to none.

6 ChangeIsCircus

The Change Is building on Bath Lane

The Change Is building on Bath Lane

The dance floor at Change Is

The dance floor at Change Is

Things started to go wrong the following year when Bob Monkhouse found out that Ronnie Markham (who later rebranded himself as the hypnotist – Romark) had been helping himself to the club takings and cooking the books.

The club closed as ‘Change Is’ and reopened as Bloomers.

Bloomers news ad


The Oxford Galleries

The Oxford Galleries opened as a ballroom in 1925 and was a popular haunt for dancers through to the late sixties. From then on it changed from a dance hall to a night club and over the years had various names – Tiffany’s, the Ritzy, Ikon, The Studio, Central Park, Diva, Liquid Envy the latest being Club LQ.

Aerial view of the Oxford Galleries (top right) on New Bridge Street

Aerial view of the Oxford Galleries (top right) on New Bridge Street

Queues outside the Oxford Galleries in its hey-day.

Queues outside the Oxford Galleries in its hey-day.

Oxford interior 2


Cavendish Club

The Cavendish Club at the bottom of Grey Street opened as a nightclub in the early sixties and became part of the Bailey Group. Along with La Dolce Vita, the Cavendish featured some of the best acts on the cabaret circuit. When the Grey Street premises closed in the mid-seventies, the New Cavendish opened at the site previously occupied by ‘Change Is’ and ‘Bloomers’ on Bath Lane.

1 cavendish club

Cavendish advert

A Cavendish poster from 1972

A Cavendish poster from 1972

cavendish card


Here’s a few other pictures that should bring back the golden age of northeast clubbing: –

Bailey organisation

From the Chronicle

From the Chronicle


La Strada

La Strada in South Shields opened around 1962 and ran throughout the 1960s. Owner, Sandford Goudie, opened a second La Strada in Sunderland in 1967.

Sanford Goudie's La Strada Club in South Shields

Sandford Goudie’s La Strada Club in South Shields

The casino in La Strada (photo courtesy of Rob Quinn)

1963 advertisement for La Strada (courtesy of Rob Quinn)

1965 Advertisement for La Strada (Courtesy of Rob Quinn)

Resident group – the Crusaders with La Strada owner, Sandford Goudie on the right with a conga drum (photo courtesy of Rob Quinn)

1967 Advertisement for La Strada in Sunderland.


Latino, South Shields

The Latino, South Shields

The Latino, South Shields

latino card

  1. Glyn Sadler

    May 31, 2011 •

    Some good people who were pioneers back then and desrve a lot of credit for making Newcastle (a millon miles from London)a firm favourite with some great artists in the 60's from all over the UK and abroad wanting to play this region.
    Wish I had been a fly on the wall..


  2. Ronnie

    July 2, 2011 •

    Oh how I wish I could've been there! My social life started at the Cellar Club in South Shields, moved on to the GoGo whilst it was at its height, back to the Cellar (renamed the New Cellar and then the Chelsea Cat), with a few detours along the way via the Latino, Dolce Vita, Grey's Club, Change Is and finally Julie's. But the Gogo was the best of them all - I remember seeing Chris Farlowe, Brian Auger's Trinity, Spencer Davis Group, The Family, Zoot Money, Geno Washington, Georgie Fame, Otis Redding. Oh I could go on all day. Sharing the ladies toilets with the staff from the bus company in the same building. Getting your hand stamped if you wanted to get into The Jazz Lounge (I was always too young and had to make do with The Young Set, which I reckon had a better atmosphere anyway!). The time of the Club A'GoGo was probably the best for live music in the city. Absolutely loved it. Keep up the good work, Roger!


  3. Gerry Leteve

    July 17, 2011 •

    What a tremendous website with loads of nostalgic detail of the early music scene in North East.
    Saw a lot of these bands at the Rex Hotel in Whitley Bay.It was mobbed when Love Affair on.!!!
    They also used to play to a younger audience at the "Hop" in Whitley Bay.(Sect, Juncos, Harlem Shuffle etc)
    Also in Whitley Bay was an out of the way venue near the Ice Rink at Whitley Bay boys club on a Friday night.
    Saw Alan Bown Set, Downtown Faction and a group from Teeside(?Rivers Invitation)there.
    Also seem to remember a free concert at Leazes Park with a lot of local bands...may have been 1967-68?
    Happy days indeed!!!


  4. Gerry Leteve

    July 17, 2011 •

    The Whitley Bay boys club venue was called Zone 22.


  5. Stan Laundon

    August 31, 2011 •

    What a very comprehensive and informative site - and great to see some of the places that meant quite a lot to me in my younger days. A friend in music (Colin Bradley who played in a Teesside band called The Road Runners with Paul Rodgers and Micky Moody in the 60s) was kind enough to send me a link.

    Nice to see the Dolce vita, too. I was there in the 60s with Joe Brown & The Bruvvers.

    Oh happy days!


  6. lauraandrea alba macias

    September 10, 2011 •



  7. bob redhead

    October 14, 2011 •

    Great memories of the 60s, I met my wife in the club agogo in 1966 and we are stll together, when I remember some of the groups , and artists that I saw live in the clubs back then its just amazing , great days ,Im on face book if anyone remembers me . Bob Redhead


  8. Michael finlay

    December 12, 2011 •

    Just stumbled across this, I am the son of David Finlay please put all your stories from the hay days so I can get some sort of history to pass on to my kids as my mother jackie and davey split up when I was a baby and I only have his reputation to talk of and don't know if what I am told is true.


  9. Jane Maddison

    January 24, 2012 •

    Great article, as with Michael(the previous poster)I have a family connection to these times. I'm the daughter of Ken Maddison who had a resident trio in various local clubs in the '60s - the Pickwick in Whitley Bay, La Strada in South Shields, and the Bailey's clubs in Newcastle, I remember him being at La Dolce Vita, and (I think) the Latino.Sadly he's not around any more to ask, but I remember as a child hearing some of the names you mention here. Sounds as if those were the days alright!



    January 24, 2012 •



  11. tony

    January 29, 2012 •

    it was Alfie wright who owned the Crescendo Club at Whitley Bay, not Ray Grehan, trust me I open'ed it


  12. Peter Parker

    February 4, 2012 •

    Great site and yes the Club Agogo was a Great Venue.I met my wife there in October 63 and we married in June 66.We are still together.Neville McKittrick the Invaders Singer was a colleague of mine at British Paints.Last I heard of him he had his own Paint Company in Canada.I would love to make contact again.
    I regularly caught last bus from Sunderland (where my Wife lived) to Worsick Street but missed last bus to Fenham so went to Jazz Lounge at Club Agogo until 01.30hrs and hada a few beers and watched some great acts.I then caught the All Night Entertainment bus from the Central Station at 02.00hrs with a Bun Burger in my hand from Bowers.


  13. fred gospel

    February 26, 2012 •

    15 years of age in 1962. my 1st beer was in the railwaiy, whist livin on hillheads road. me and me mates were rockers, we'd move down to the rockliffe arms and the station hotel then the club a go go. could.nt aford a leather jacket I was an early mod, not wantin any botha, then bought me 1st real bike from ken's on westgate road. AJS £170. Life goes on.


  14. tim purvis

    February 29, 2012 •

    Great article. Brought back a loot of memories. I was just a nipper at the time but I remember my folks going to all those clubs as well as 'Change Is.' I have great memories of spending many nights, years later, listening to Nigel Stanger and Lindolph D'Oliviera playing with the East Side Torpedoes too. Man that was a great band.


  15. Andrea Pretli

    March 31, 2012 •

    Stumbled over your great website while searching for music in Newcastle in the 60's. Great site..lots of nostalgia. I was a teenager in the 60's and along with my friends we went to a lot of the clubs mentioned, especially the 'GoGo', Downbeat Club, the Pickwick in Whitley Bay, and sometimes the La Dolce Vita. We started out at the jazz clubs and remember many nights at the New Orleans Club (I don't see that mentioned anywhere) followed up with going on to the Downbeat or the 'GoGo'. Basically we went to anywhere where Eric Burdon was! :) My best friend married one of his friends (later divorced). Happy Times. Great memories. Newcastle was the place to be back then! I left England in 1966 to emigrate to Canada but still look fondly back to my younger days and great music in Newcastle. Good job with the website. Thank you.


  16. Mike Graham

    May 27, 2012 •

    Happy days ....most of the mention of New Orleans jazz club at Forth Banks.....I "assisted" on the door and behind the bar at times...and I used to play with a local band called "The Pilgrims"..named after the Arcade in Pilgrim street where we were based ..always used to end up at the Asia Chinese on Bath Lane where the cheapest thing on the menu was Curried chicken livers with boiled rice for 2 bob in old money
    ideal for struggling musicians.... Im talking late 50s early 60s...also played the Newcastle Empire on a show called Carrol Levis discovery....bit like opportunity knocks...came 3rd out of 20 so no fame and fortune ....I am 73 now and I have always said the best years were without doubt the 60s..When you said next to London came Newcastle...correct.


  17. Rob Quinn

    July 17, 2012 •



  18. pete coulson

    July 26, 2012 •

    TO MIKE GRAHAM, hey !! Pete Coulson here ,was lead singer with the Pilgrims & later Bassist with the Hillcresters e mail is would like to correspond & anyone else who remembers me from those good times,now living nr.Boston USA, cheers


  19. Dave Holland ( HOLLY)

    September 21, 2012 •

    Hi Holly here lead singer with Toby Twirl. FANTASTIC SITE.
    Memories just keep flooding back of all those tremendous venues. The group met up last October for a reunion in Gosforth. Anyone wanting to get in touch


  20. john

    October 15, 2012 •

    Great to see all this stuff ,Ive been searching for a record I heard at the GoGo in about 67/68....I've no idea what it was caled or who it was by ,the only bit I can remember was it was either called or had a line in it "'ve got roses in your soul..."
    In relation to the Hendrix gig my dads uncle was the manager at the Haymarket Hotel and he reckons the band had a pint in the back room ,presumably before they went on or between sets


  21. Sheila Graber

    November 8, 2012 •

    Great to see Germain up there - looking as animated as ever ..pity there is not a music track download of everyone in action!... oops sorry just found them under "media" -great stuff thanks


  22. Chic Reid

    November 14, 2012 •

    What a great little site! Spent my late teens / early twenties in Newcastle 66 - 77 Worked in theatre but then at Change Is from 69 onwards till it turned into Bloomers, but have fond memories of all the venues listed here as well as Change Is. Most clubs regularly visited (after "tanking up" at The Half Moon) I particularly remember the folk/jazz nights we had at Change Is in early 70's. The band names mentioned on this site - Junco Partners - Alan Hull (bless 'im) and The Sect. King Crimson did their 1st try out gig at Change Is. Good times- great musicians. Ended up working for the Bailey Org, for short time, I think they kinda helped ruin the scene though. Thanks for the memories though, and keep up the good work.


  23. val Clemens.

    November 16, 2012 •

    i used to go to the 'old' cellar club in south Shields i/m sure it did/nt sell alcohol then, any way my mam bought me a 'can can' petticoat and it was made of lace that was starched and when us girs sat down the petticoat was a massive sea of lace and our [sussies and stockings] were often on view!! loved those ..times i/ve never lost my love of Jazz, and am still singing those beautifull songs in and around the Northeast. thankyou for bringing back fantastic memories every one.


  24. val Clemens.Dunmore]

    November 16, 2012 •

    thanks again.


  25. val Clemens.Dunmore]

    November 16, 2012 •

    David Mcbeth worked at the 'club Franchie' in Jarrow for a while and i used to pester him to sing with the band ..... i was 18 then, he was really a lovely guy..i got my wish and continue to still sing at places around the Northeast, ... also i used to go to the 'old' Cellar club in South Shields and ma Baily was on the door taking the money, us girls used to arrive with our starched''can can' petticoat slips and the more lace you had under your skirt the more money it had cost your Mam to make or buy.... loved those times, i also worked at the ''Beach Club'' in South Shields'' and Scotty Adair the resident drummer with the band used to tell the guys i wanted to sing a few songs there too, this was in between earning my £4 a week as a waitress... thankyou so much for these lovely memories.


  26. terry morgan

    January 18, 2013 •

    no one has mentioned the "muscle inn" built into the viaduct bottom of dene st, the club was run by wrestlers hence the name.The club room was tiny 40 punters it was H girder ran the length of the bar (head height)where punters rested their beer (or whatever had fell off a wagon)this was circa 1962 on a friday it was jazzers M.C. five sat new vikings (wally mcgill sid cross etc...)high five sun(myself alan hull mickey gallagher kenny anderson martin quinn)forgot to mention when a train rumbled over viaduct all the beers fell off! lol. On club nights the occasional drunken troublemaker would be invited upstairs to the wrestling ring and taught the error of his conduct!HAPPY DAZE!!!


  27. paul nichols

    January 24, 2013 •

    Great site. I played drums with The Elcort, New Religion and The Gasboard in 60,s.
    Then went soth and played with Entire Sioux Nation. Also played drums on I Keep Singing that same old song, Heavy Jelly(Skip Bifferty). Great site.Keep it up, Paul x


  28. David Appleby

    January 26, 2013 •

    Does anyone remember the "old" New Orleans Jazz Club in Melbourne Street....the manager was Polish, Jurek....also his son, young Jurek, also his sister used to make an appearance every now and then.
    The club was in a street of semi derelict terrace house and the club itself was an ordinary terraced house with the music on the upper floor.
    Mighty Joe Young was the band of our choice....many musicians stood in with them, Nigel Stanger being one of them, Ronny McLean on trombone......Eric Burdon often sang or "shouted" there and Allan Price raised the roof with his piano and electric organ if I remember rightly. The late Mike Carr appeared there as well as his brother Mike(vibes). Used to visit all the above clubs including the strange Muscle Inn.....the Downbeat was something else....I can't even remember a Gents toilet being there....but there was a backyard that we "used"! Saw some great people there including Joe Harriott and Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand).
    I only wish more photographs had been taken to record all this!


  29. Gary Marriner

    January 27, 2013 •

    The second picture down, which has David Macbeth on, also has two of my aunts who both worked at Go Go.
    On the left, the dark haired lady is Barbara Young, and on the right is her sister Joan Young. They are both sisters of my mother Loretta, who also worked there.
    A weird coincidence is that the bearded chap in the middle is a friend of my wife, he's called Jason Robson, he used to work on the boxing show at the Hoppings, I wonder if he also worked at the Go Go?


  30. margaret duz

    February 9, 2013 •

    didn't Bob Monkhouse have something to do with 'Change Is?


  31. Dougie Vickers

    February 11, 2013 •

    I remember the Old Cellar club with Mrs Bailey on the door. After leaving the Invaders I played there regularly with Blues Band Vermen, with the late Keith Waring on lead and harmonica,Malcolm,ex lead guitar from Kylastrones,forget bass players name and Les Proud singer. Great venue. Also played at Muscle In as I was friendly with the owner Walter McCrae.


  32. June jones

    February 17, 2013 •

    I remember the 60 they where wonderfull years. I loved the clubs The downbeat where the animals used to play, great memories to treasure. Also the GoGo and the majestic, many others wish I could turn the clock back, just to revisit these places. Best years of my life


  33. Anne Payne(nee Gillman)

    February 27, 2013 •

    I was around a bit earlier-my brother Tony Gillman (friend of Kieth Crombie)was heavily involved in music scene through New Orleans Jazz Club and used to organize Beach /Forest Barbecues(sometimes unauthorized by council I believe)we seemed to `move away from scene quite quickly-Jazz Bands and all.Great fun and wonderful memories of Melbourne street which ultimately inspired my visit to New Orleans and Nashville-music cities USA-great times.


  34. Dave Pinder

    March 24, 2013 •

    I briefly played guitar with the 'George Ricco Band', rotating between Wetherals, La Dolce Vita and the Cavendish, 1965/66,
    The band consisted of George Richardson vocal/ piano, Billy Mordue/ drums, John Edwards/ bass, wonderful musicians, great times. I lived in Whitley Bay in the apartment of a house owned by Jimmy Bence. It was fun to meet and party with many stars of the times, Marty Wylde, Kathy Kirby etc...


  35. Trevor Wakenshaw

    April 16, 2013 •

    Does anyone have any info on Jimmy Bence and his Orchestra, particularly around 1965ish? I believe they were the resident band at the Mayfair at that time. I'm mainly interested in the lead singer of the time called John Little (or possibly also used the name Osbourne). Any info would be really appreciated.


  36. Shani Lawn

    April 21, 2013 •

    Reading this took me back to my childhood. My dad Bob Stephenson (pianist) played at both La Dolce Vita and La Strada. Bringing back lots of stories!


  37. Jo Slater

    May 14, 2013 •

    My dad, George McGuinness, was the pianist at the Mayfair in the 60s. He even stood in for the pianist who hadn't turned up on my Mum and Dad's wedding day!
    He also played at The Cavendish and LA Dolce Vita.


  38. D.j.fenn.

    June 4, 2013 •

    I remember a band called the Wildcats with Hilton Valentine & Chas Chandler (playing bass I think) ,who played at the Hotspur hall in Whitley Bay on Saturday nights in the sixties.I also remember the Alan Price combo playing frequently at the Victoria pub next to Woolworths in Whitley Bay, haven,t seen any mention of these venues in your lists! There used to be a competition in the Panama dip in Whitley Bay in the summer which usually featured the same three groups which were the Wildcats, the Sixteen Strings & the invaders.


  39. sharon todd

    August 10, 2013 •

    A long shot here but wondering if you ever heard of a band called the Lyle Brown showband or similar...played in whitley bay in the mid 60s. In particular a band member called Bill Mills. Cheers


  40. Nora

    September 14, 2013 •

    [Just stumbled across this, I am the son of David Finlay please put all your stories from the hay days so I can get some sort of history to pass on to my kids as my mother jackie and davey split up when I was a baby and I only have his reputation to talk of and don’t know if what I am told is true.

    Comment by Michael finlay — December 12, 2011]

    How can u be his son micheal -when u cant even spell his name rite -and he hasnt got a clue who jackie is


  41. Mike

    September 27, 2013 •

    Anyone remember Purple Haze, a school band from Redwell School in 1968 Johnathan,Richard,Frank and Michael...


  42. dean Sherwood

    November 15, 2013 •

    Hello everyone I dont supose for one minute that anyone remembers me, I was lead singer for The Strangers and The Strollers,what I'm really trying to find out kylastron Mac is buried so I can go and pay my respects to an old and dear friend who I lost touch with a long time ago thanks


  43. Terry Winlow

    November 18, 2013 •

    I have just came across your great website while looking for information of the bands that played at the Seaburn Hall
    Sunderland. I was a regular there in the 60s maybe 63-64-65ish
    I think Wednesdays was Cats Night Out mainly only records being played but Saturdays it was bands,The Kylastrons were a favourite I remember in their leather trousers playing Hall Of The Mountain King with loads of echo. But I am sure that they also got a lot of bands from London. I can remember seeing The Nashville Teens who played Tobacco Road it seemed like a dozen times. If anyone knows how to get info on the bands that played there I would be most grateful.
    Cheers Terry


  44. Michael

    November 20, 2013 •

    Message for Nora
    The person I refer to is David Finlay(spelt right) he is my farther and he was married to my mother Jackie for 3 years he had me and my sister with my mother, they split up not long after I was born and never really had any contact with us, you are confusing the name with the other Davey Finley of the same era but funny enough I also have an uncle Tommy who is my fathers brother but they are not the ones u think!!
    I was told that Davey FINLAY my dad was sent to prison for 10 years for something done down the country but as I don't really know him I can't say


  45. Fran Preston

    February 4, 2014 •

    I was about 17 when Wilson Picket pulled me up onto the tiny stage at the Newcastle Club a'GoGo Jazz Lounge. It was only a step-up (not a high stage) He looked down at me, held out his hand, and said, "C'mon little lady". I was mortified. He said, "Dance with me and started doing what he called "The Pickett". You know, that little moving side to side that all the Motown groups did on tele. I was so petrified that I felt that every part of my body froze. Then when I went to work at the Ministry in Longbenton the next day people were coming up to me saying they saw me onstage with Wilson Pickett. I'll never forget it. He gave me my proverbial 5 minutes of fame. :)A perfect gentleman.
    I also went to the Majestic when I was about 14. The Beatles played for 5 bob. Nobody danced once they came out. It was a no-brainer that these lads were something very special. :)Alas, me and my friends said they'd never be famous with a name like that!!!!!


  46. Clive Fuller

    February 12, 2014 •

    Does anyone have memories of seeing the singer Dick Haymes at any of the following in Newcastle. Greys; Dolce Vita; Cavendish. Any comments welcomed...thanks


  47. Jean McGowan

    February 15, 2014 •

    I remember early 70s nightlife which began for me in the Dive Bar underneath the Swallow hotel. I probably went there between 1971 and 72 (I was 18 in 72) and can remember the feeling if excitement at hearing the very loud music coming from a juke box. Tunes such as 'Back Street Luv' by Curved Air and 'In My Own Time' by Family were played a lot. It was so dark and there were couples kissing in corners and dancing where they stood. I also went to the Playground on Westgate Road until about 1976. It was a great place to go to if you liked dancing which I did. It's a good job my parents never heard about the murder that took place there in the mid 70s. My favourite place ever was Scamps. I lived there from when it opened in late1973 or early 1974. I met John there in March of 1974 and we were there several times a week. I can't believe that we don't have a single photos of inside the club? If you went there please let me know. You may remember us as Jean and John the tall couple who danced a lot! I was really 5'6" but had big hair and platforms. I also wore a lot of mascara and false eye lashes - which sometimes pealed off! Big hair and big eyes and John with his shoes would've been 6'5" We married in 1976 and continued to go out to Scamps and are still married now. I still love to dance but have ditched the false eyelashes!


  48. Jean McGowan

    February 18, 2014 •

    re comment by margaret duz comment no. 30 left on 9 February 2013

    Hi Margaret,
    Yes, Bob Monkhouse did own Change Is until it became Bloomers, I think. He had a son with cerebal palsy who needed to attend Prudhoe hospital on a regular basis and he felt he needed some sort of base in the north east.
    I went to Change Is probably from 1969 until Scamps opened at the end of 1973.
    Does anyone remember Big Phil who was a brilliant DJ and worked in both clubs mentioned?


  49. Jessica

    March 1, 2014 •

    Fantastic read! I attended this event At the jazz cafe with my parents Barbara and Teddy Berg. My dad owned Greys Club making it the club to be seen at! He played a vital role in its history and the history of Newcastle's night life in the 60's.


  50. Jessica

    March 1, 2014 •

    My mother Barbara Berg who worked At the Gogo when she was younger is in the second picture, along with the blonde lady on the right who is my Aunty Joan Tenniswood (young) who also worked there!


  51. john leo waters

    March 26, 2014 •

    I am a cockney! I came up to Newcastle in 1968 when the clubs in london were on the way out. I used to visit clubs like the Flamingo,La Discotheque, The Scene,Marquee,Whisky A Go Go,All Star, Tiles etc.
    I was amazed at the club scene in the North East! unfortunately I missed the Go Go but spent many happy hours at The Dolce,Sloopys,Cavendish,Bloomers (Change Is) Ruperts,Annabels ,Sands Club,Sombrero,Chelsea Cat,Julies,Burgundy Cobbler,Latino,Fiesta - the list goes on and on - saw some great live acts over the years. Happy days! The sixties may have belonged to London but in the seventies The NE was the place to be for the clubs!


  52. George Ackinclose

    April 27, 2014 •

    In North Shields, for quite a long time in the 60's, the basement of "The Jungle" was a night club. Not in the same league as the other clubs in the area, but full of the essentials of life - beer, women, music and food. Near the North/South Shields ferry landing. Real name "Northumberland Arms". Served lovely meals and had big Manny Burgo, ex-boxer on the door. Now a block of flats. Bumped into old school friend, Hylton Valentine and his mates (Animals) there on occasions.


  53. George Sinclair

    May 11, 2014 •

    I worked in the baileys club Bloomers in bath lane first manager was Dave abbot who went to a bailey club in Stockton second manager was Bob Duncan who after three years moved over to manage La Dolce Vita . Has anyone out there got an actually photo of Bloomers with its name on the building been looking for years .thank you


  54. Jean McGowan

    May 13, 2014 •

    In response to the comments about Bloomers on May 11th by George Sinclair,
    Hi George, I'm not absolutely sure but think my husband John may have an outside shot. I'll get back to you on that. Equally we are desperately trying to find an internal shot of Scamps? We have a photo of the inside of Change Is with girls ( no men in sight!) dancing from 1969. `you may already have it? I went to Change Is regularly from about 1969/70 until Scamps opened at the beginning of 1974 - I think? We still went to Bloomers perhaps once a week. Apparently that's where John first spotted me when I was dancing and that was all I was interested in at the time!
    I can still remember the feeling of excitement I felt when walking up the stairs and opening the double doors to be greeted by very loud and always very good music. I absolutely loved the place. We actually had our engagement party (Nov 1974 I think) upstairs in Bloomers or Change Is - not sure when name changed. Can you believe we don't have a single photo of this momentous occasion?


  55. alan nicholson

    June 3, 2014 •

    my info is that Bob Monkhouse did indeed have an input in Change Is..formerly the Picadilly club ...the resident band that opened the Picadilly in the mid sixties was
    The Sounds... Londoner Ronnie Pipe on piano Herbie Flowers bass Des ??? on drums (not Des O'mally) and Maggie Miles vocals. My old man's band (Alan NIcholson snr). worked there opposite the Sounds with Eddie Farrow and Bobby Carr on a temporary basis untill a club in Low Fell was completed.. that name escapes me tho.,.One night at at the Picadilly, Ronnie Pipe in an agitated state (unusual for him MR laid back) informed my old man that the ''the CRAYS were in''.. sure enough. they were with some very large chaps and i believe an escort of C.I.D. Its said the CID were only two steps behind them where ever they went from the minute they got here.... even had chairs in the corridor of the hotel they stayed at. The Crays were huge guys ,looked the part and were decked out in very flash but obviously very expensive suits . Ronnie P knew all about them being a Londoner tho little heard of them in Newcastle at the time.He said women and children wer'nt safe from them. It's said the owner of a Newcastle night club they visited instructed staff he was out and he retired to the cellar in order to escape an ''offer he couldn't refuse''. The Crays quickly found the law too darned hot up here and returned south after a short and ''unproductive trip''. During his time working for the organisation he became aquainted with both Vince and Michael Lavaglio and Denis Stafford.. he always found them to be perfect gentlemen in his dealings both on a business and social level. My father never wavered in his belief that Michael was not guilty of infamous murder of Angus Sibbet the fruit machine man/ and said he was odds on the ''fall guy''


  56. alan nicholson

    June 3, 2014 •

    blog 28 mentions the''late'' Mike Carr.. been on wikepedia and seems he still walks among us.. thankfully.


  57. David Madden

    June 24, 2014 •

    Me and my brother had some great nights in La Strada. It was quite difficult to get a membership in the early days.
    I remember seeing Sandford Goudie and his glamorous wife there regularly.We watched a young comedian called Jimmy Tarbuck performing, just before he came to fame at the London Palladium.

    On a different note, is Keith Crombie the same guy who I bought a truck from when he was a truck salesman at Minories in the sixties


  58. Kathy Lyons

    September 22, 2014 •

    I worked at the Crescendo Club in Whitley Bay in 1968-9 and Ray Grehan owned it then . Dave and Tommy Findley worked the door most week-ends...I can't remember the name of the resident group but the singer was called Billy , the saxophinist was Peter and the organist was Bernie . I had a great time....Lot's of memories.


  59. Jane Maddison

    September 28, 2014 •

    Brilliant site! Wow, thank you SO much to Rob Quinn for your lovely comments about working with my Dad,Ken Maddison. That totally made my day, especially after having visited his grave just last week. I live in France now,so don't get many chances to visit the old stomping grounds. But last week I did visit an old friend in Whitley Bay and realised that my Dad must have been working at The Pickwick shortly aftter it opened (which I guess was why we moved to Whitley in the first place). Then he worked for Bailey's - moving between the likes of La Dolce Vita, Wetheral's, the Latino.... so it was really interesting to read the posts from Dave Pinder, Shani Lawn and Jo Slater, who also have connections to that time. Plus Dave living in W. Bay! And Shani, you mentioned your Dad playing piano at La Strada, which my Dad did too - wow, amazing. My Dad also played on on the early ITV programme 'One o'clock Show', does that ring any bells with people out there? I have a photo from The Viewer (the forefunner of the TV Times) showing a line-up of pianists and singers, Dad is on there but the only other pianist I recognise is (the much-admired, not least by my Dad) Billy Hutchinson. Exciting times.


  60. Alfie Wright AKA Tony Sands

    October 9, 2014 •

    Hi Alfie Wright AKA Tony Sands Hypnotist opened the Cresendo Club Whitley bay I named it after The Cresendo Club in U.S.A
    & Mel Torme At The Cresendo L/Palso also opened a casino upstairs had chemmy games until the early hours later sold it to Ray Grehan.mussoes used to Gig all night in the club into the early hours


  61. Fin

    October 11, 2014 •

    My Grandad, Billy Findlay was Davey and Tommy's uncle, they used to both work and own some clubs in Newcastle, they also ran the downbeat (all of this is what my granddad tells me) there does seem to be some confusion with people saying they were related etc the second name is FINDLAY not finlay haha! any stories to share or anyone who knows my granddad or great uncles feel free to share!


  62. Dawn Wright

    October 14, 2014 •

    Great site. Just stumbled across it whilst looking at pics. of Newcastle in the 60s. Spent lots of time at the Club Ago Go on Percy Street and at Windows listening to the latest music in the booths wearing headphones. We always met at the Pit for coffee where we decided what time to meet before going to the Club Ago Go. Happy times, gone forever, but never forgotten. Dawn Ralston (nee. Wright).


  63. June Viner

    October 17, 2014 •

    Just stumbled across this great website. We were more 18 year olds from Sunderland who found our way to the Club A Gogo hoping to meet someone to give us a lift home! Met my husband there and saw some great bands and stood next to Eric Burdon at the bar. One of our group was Pat Carling. Does anyone remember her and her then boyfriend Ron Thomas who worked at the A Gogo (later going on to work at the Quay Club) - always had an alsation with him and lived in Sandyford. I remember Pat mentioning names of people like Keith Crombie, Tommy Finlay etc who she met through Ron but the rest of us never met them. Also, does anyone remember the DJ John Harker who worked at Annabels in Sunderland and in Whitley Bay but died a few years ago. He was from Sunderland and used to come and meet me after school when I was in my school uniform. How embarrassing. Went to a Motown concert at the Sunderland Empire a couple of years ago and, would you believe it, sitting next to me was Frank Pemberton who used to own Club 11 in Sunderland with Mickey Pemberton (I think). We got on talking about old Sunderland and that's how I found out who he was. Told him I'd seen Tubby Hayes and John Dankworth/Clea Laine at Club 11.
    Finally, in relation to the Seaburn Hall in Sunderland - we also used to go there - does anyone remember Ronnie Stephens and Ray Huntley - great dancers.
    June Viner


  64. June Viner

    October 17, 2014 •

    Sorry - should have said Frank Pickering and Mickey Pemberton.
    June Viner


  65. June Viner

    October 18, 2014 •

    Should additionally have said that John Harker was also still at school when he met me after school in my uniform and wasn't someone older who hung around at school gates!!!
    We also went to the Cellar Jazz Club in South Shields and to the jazz club at the Grange Hotel in Fulwell, Sunderland where lots of art students from Sunderland Art College went. Does anyone remember anyone from there? Ian Galbraith was one and I understand he subsequently became the Mayor of Sunderland.


  66. Alan

    November 29, 2014 •

    I well remember the Crescendo club belonging to Ray Grehan as I was involved in the alterations carried out there. Dave Finlay was a very good decorator and I used to pick him up at his house in Jesmond and travel on to Whitley Bay At the time the club was only open on Friday and Saturday evenings . Dave and his brother Tommy were the doormen the manager was Ken Brady who used to be in the resident group at the Mayfair in Newcastle. The resident band was called the Del 5 the singer was Billy Wilson from Gateshead There was 2 sax players Peter Parkinson from South Shields was one but I'm afraid the other name escapes me, Bernie was the organist while his brother was the drummer they were from Sunderland. After the refurb of the Crescendo I carried on working for Ray firstly on his new house in Forest Hall and then on his new project which was amusement arcades in Sheffield and Nottingham I think he was talked into these by his brother in law I don't think his heart was in this part of the business as he loved the buzz of music and clubs when the Crescendo burned down he went on to buy The Deleval Arms on Scotswood road but it never opened.The last time I saw him was around 1977 but he seemed to have lost his sparkle definitely not the man I knew.As I had moved away from the area shortly after this I was shocked to learn years later that he had passed away he had been one of the best bosses I ever had.


  67. Alan

    November 29, 2014 •

    David and Tommy Finlay did work the door at the Crescendo Club in Whitley Bay. The club was managed by Ken Brady who used to be in the resident band at the Majestic in Newcastle. The resident band at the Crescendo was the Del 5, the singer was Billy Wilson from Gateshead, there was 2 sax players one was Peter Parkinson from South Shields but I'm sorry the other name eludes me. Bernie was the organist and his brother another name that eludes me were both from Sunderland. HAPPY DAYS>


  68. Fin

    December 1, 2014 •

    Anyone still keep in contact with David or Tommy Findlay? any help would be great as they are my great uncles


  69. Trevor Wakenshaw

    December 24, 2014 •

    Does nobody remember the Jimmy Bence Orchestra the resident band at the Mayfair? Lead singer John Little or possibly used the name Osbourne or Osmond. Thank you.


  70. Emily Broussard

    January 1, 2015 •

    Amazing site

    Does anyone have a list of bands appearing at the Ballroom in the University Union in the 1960's

    Eclection, Family, Jethro Tull, Graham Bond, Taste, Pink Floyd , Alex Harvey for starters


  71. Steve Laidlaw

    January 7, 2015 •

    I used to go to the Club A Gogo in 1967/1968 as a 15 year old and saw many great bands; Hendrix, John Mayall, Cream, Family and loads of others. There were two lads called Tich and Grass who frequented the club and fancied themselves as hard men.They beat up Paul Williams, who was then with Mayall, when he bumped into one of them. Fuelled by this success, they picked a fight with Family singer Roger Chapman who proceeded to chin both of them in two minutes.



    February 6, 2015 •

    Just discovered this site. I was a DJ at The Cellar club, The Tavern, Change Is, Sloopys, The Dolce Vita, The New Caverndish and a few more. The best thing is I'm still alive and have great memories.


  73. trevor chance

    February 10, 2015 •

    i used to be a singer and guitarist in Newcastle in the 1960s in the MAYFAIR with The Gamblers (they became Billy Furys band) i then was a singer with George Ricco on the Bailey circuit - and we moved to Jim Wrights 2 rooms in gallowgate Newcastle. i was discovered there by Dame Margot Fontaine and sent to RCA records to begin my recording career.
    A long time ago! Is Jim wright still alive? Trevor Chance


  74. trevor chance

    February 10, 2015 •

    i also fondly remember the great Ken Maddison - we worked together often. Was the crescendo manager Ken Brady from the Gamblers?
    Great site!!



    February 13, 2015 •

    LA DOLCE VITA CRAZY NIGHTS!!! anybody remember?


  76. Mac

    February 19, 2015 •

    I remember a night run by the students union at the Mayfair where they would have on 3 or 4 top groups of the sixties. My mate and I were upstairs buying hot dogs and I got ours and put plenty of Tomato sauce and Mustard on both and went to move away from the counter when a guy in a light tan suede cowboy Jacket backed into me covering his suede tassels in sauce. I wanted to tell him but I chickened. I gave my mate his and told him see that guy look at the back of his jacket just as he turned round and it was `Chris Farlow. He was on stage about ten minutes later and when he turned around to sing to people upstairs from the revolving stage the sauce had spread as a large black arc across his back. I bet he wasn't too happy when he was told.


  77. Michael finlay

    February 21, 2015 •

    Your dad is on Jesmond and not too well at present


  78. Jean McGowan

    March 15, 2015 •

    Re comment 72 by David Parks
    Hi David, great to hear from someone who worked in so many places, back in the disco days, doing such an important job by providing the fab music. My favourite thing to do was go immediately to the clubs ( can you believe I used to think going to the pubs a waste of good dancing time!)
    I am particularly interested to hear you worked in Change Is (I went there regularly from 1971-74 approx) - my memories are of great music - James brown, Fatback Band, Hamilton Bohannon, Family- Burlesque and Timmy Thomas to name but a few. Can you remember what the music was that was played at the start of every evening- was it by the BarKays? I had my engagement party (yes I met John there) upstairs in Change Is in October 1974 and not a single photo was taken.....such a shame!
    Do you remember the DJ Big Phil - not sure if he ever worked in Change Is but he certainly worked in Scamps, which was the place I went to the most from 1974- onwards - probably til I got to the stage where I couldn't go clubbing and get up for work in a Bank anymore-old age I think it's called! I don't suppose you have any photographs or memorabilia of any of the clubs you worked in - I have memberships cards and entrance tickets but no photos!
    Ahhh the memories of such magical days
    Jean McGowan ( still dancing) xx


  79. Fred Kirkland

    March 16, 2015 •

    Hi David - I also used to be a DJ at the New Cellar Jazz Club - later the Chelsea Cat - sent some pics etc for the site - good to hear you are still with us - great memories of a great time in our lives. Cheers



    March 17, 2015 •

    HiFred - If you have any photographs of that time I would love to see them. My memories of that time are very hazy, I know we had good times, I just cannot remember many of them. Drink and lack of sleep took it's toll.The candle which I burnt at both ends went out in 1977. I then returned to a normal life !!!!



    March 17, 2015 •

    Hi Fred A TOUCH OF VELVET, A STING OF BRASS your intro tune?


  82. Jean McGowan

    March 20, 2015 •

    I would like to say a huge Thank You to Roger for first of all, building up this amazing website and secondly helping people, as you have with me, to share their memories of a very special time in their lives. John and I are celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary today and so have been looking back to when we first met - in two very special nightclubs in newcastle (long gone but never forgotten) - mainly Change Is (later known as Bloomers) and our very favourite place Scamps. Thanks to Roger, I have been able to share memories with someone else who was working in Change Is at that time and I know he must've played great music as I was always the last one dancing every night! - so thank you for that!
    Jean (still dancing) x



    March 23, 2015 •

    Does anybody remember the house band at La Dolce Vita in the early seventies, Robbie was the bass player, John the lead guitar. there was a keyboard player and a drummer called Allan, who drove around Newcastle in a big left hand drive American car. Robbie use to lean out of the passenger window as they were driving around shouting LOOK NO HANDS ! Whatever happened to them ?


  84. Lorraine morrissey

    March 23, 2015 •

    Jean, I wonder if you could share any photos you may have of Bloomers nightclub. Like George I have been looking for pics for years. I spent so many happy weekends there in the 70s and remember being devastated when it closed down and we all had to transfer to the dolce. I still have the Badfinger single I won off the DJ in my treasure box. It has been lovely reading through these posts , brought a smile to my face x



    March 24, 2015 •

    I,VE JUST REMEMBERED I WAS THE DJ on the opening night of Sloopys the disco above La Dolce Vita. The club was opened by the very Famous radio DJ Simon Dee. I also have a photograph of myself and Irish Comedian Dave Allan.It opened at a time when the casino had to be moved out of the nightclub and have a separate entrance.They housed the Casino upstairs next to sloopys. One night there was a huge fight which involved about 30 people and resulted in the wall between the casino and the disco being knocked down. The builders had only erected the wall a few days earlier HAPPY DAYS !!! Roger, thanks for a great website, it continues to bring back memories some good, some bad and some unprintable.


  86. Jean mcgowan

    March 25, 2015 •

    Lorraine, it's lovely to hear how much you enjoyed going to Bloomers and glad the memories made you smile! I always thought of the area just as you opened the double doors as the viewing platform. That's apparently where John first saw me but at that time 1972/3 I was much too interested in dancing. Can you believe I used to have to buy a friend a drink just to get her to dance to something I loved - probably JamesBrown or Family or something great! Nowadays though I would just dance solo but back then I never did - did. you?
    Did you ever go to the Playground on Westgate road -about the same time as I have a very grainy photo of the outside and also way before that I loved going to the Dive Bar - part of the Swallow Hotel on Newgate Street?
    Like you and George I have searched through every possible website trying to find photos and memorabilia. I'll gladly let you have copies of what I have - a photo of Bloomers but boarded up and no sign and an internal shot of girls dancing and dry ice on the dancefloor from late 1960's also a flyer for the opening of Bloomers in July 1973. Let me know and I'll ask Roger if he could help us exchange email addresses!
    Jean x


  87. Lorraine morrissey

    March 30, 2015 •

    Jean that would be great. I never got to playground, when bloomers closed we all migrated to la dolce vita for a while but was never quite the same - yes, loved dancing but fortunately my best mate Lesley was the same and we both hardly ever sat down ! I'f I had three wishes ....... Lol. X


  88. Pete Wallis

    May 17, 2015 •

    Fantastic memories of Newcastle and the North East club scene. I was the original keyboard player in the Junco partners when we were resident at the agogo. I later joined the Gamblers backing Billy Fury. I now live in Florida where I teach piano and still do a few gigs. I recognize some of the names of people who have contributed here with their memories and of course I knew many of the people who were around during that great period during the 60's. Pete Wallis.


  89. trevor chance

    June 24, 2015 •

    i was the original singer with the Gamblers - when we split they joined Billy Fury, who also stole my girlfriend ! Ironically my son is now engaged to Billy Fury's great niece! how about that for happenstance.


  90. Janice Hedges

    June 29, 2015 •

    My friend dad played with Del & the Infernos, from South Shields. He still talks about those days in the 1960's, happy days


  91. Cassie

    July 9, 2015 •

    Hi does anyone know what happened to Tom Oxley the nightclub photographer? Where did his photos go?


  92. Jean mcgowan

    July 12, 2015 •

    Hi Cassie
    I'm very interested in your post regarding a photographer who may taken photos of the nightclubs many of us attended. I have never heard of Tom Oxley, but would love to know more. I have mentioned (more than once) in my previous posts about what a real shame it is that there aren't any photographs of such an amazing time; with so many good nightclubs in Newcastle alone. I always say that a photograph is a moment of time captured, that you'll never get back!
    Any information you have would be great. -- thank you. ---
    Jean McGowan


  93. Pete wallis

    July 26, 2015 •

    Hi Trevor Chance. I remember you singing at the Majestic with the Gamblers. Some time later I joined the Gamblers. The line up was - Ken Brady, Jimmy Crawford, Alan Blacks, Barry Preston, Spud Tate ( sadly passed away ). and myself on Hammond Organ. Do you know where any of the surviving ex members are now? I have googled and tried Face book but without any success. Anyway, I hope your life is going well Trevor.
    Pete Wallis ( ex Juncopartners and Gamblers)


  94. George Sinclair

    August 1, 2015 •

    Re Jean McGowan, there are some photos of the inside of Bloomers nightclub on Facebook site called 70s Newcastle Nightclubs if that's a help still have not found a photo of the outside in its hey day but still looking. Regards George



    August 24, 2015 •

    Re Photographs and Tom Oxley. Tom was a regular photographer for the Bailey Organisation. I wonder if Stan Henry the owner of the Bailey organisation has any archives.
    I think he still lives in the North East and owned the Springs fitness centres. However most photographs Tom took were of customers and he sold them copies. Tom spent a lot of his time at The Dolce Vita when the club had super stag nights on Mondays and Crazy nights on Thursdays


  96. Suzanne

    September 11, 2015 •

    Hi. Can anyone remember my dad, who was the manager of Change is nightclub in late 60's early 70's James/Jimmy Cowie a Scottish chappie from Aberdeen. I remember you Chic Reid if you see this please get in touch. I will never forget you were working at the theatre royal and u let me see the stage set for Alice in wonderland and let me have a go on the big swing in the stage. My dad nicknamed one of you're daughters shoulders I think her name was Siobhan or Dionne or something? I remember you, Dave Elliott, Bob Anderson and my other dads mate Alf. Sadly Bob and Alf are no longer with us R.I.P. Uncle Bob n Uncle Alf. I'm not sure what Dave does now as my dad lost touch with him. Can you remember a guy called Louie who also worked at Change is? My number is 0191 4922316 Suzanne x


  97. Jean McGowan

    September 17, 2015 •

    Hi Suzanne, great to have someone else writing about Change Is. I must have known your Dad as I went there a lot (do you have any photos of your dad from then, I'm certain that I will recognise him and then after I met John there in 1974 we shared our club nights between Change Is or was iit Bloomers then and Scamps. Both great clubs and bring back so many brilliant memories, we chose Change Is upstairs for our engagement party in November 1974 and once again not a single photo!I
    I'm always on the hunt for any photos of either, of these clubs and wondered if you had any at all. Ifeel so incredibly nostalgic about those very important days, which went over much too quickly.
    Yours nostalgically
    Jean McGowan x



    September 17, 2015 •

    re: comment 94 - George Sinclair
    Thank you for telling me where I can locate some photos taken inside Bloomers Nightclub in the early 1970's. Unfortunately I am not able to see them as I am not on Facebook. I wonder if anyone would be able to help me to find them or is there a way I can access them without being a member?
    George, John is still looking to see if he has any photos of the entrance to Bloomers on Bath Lane. He can remember going over and taking shots of the area when he heard it was going to be pulled down. So he cannot remember if the signage was still showing. I'll post a comment as soon as I have anything to report. I was given an unopened and unused car sticker with the distinctive picture of the girl in bloomers (which is kept safely in my "favourite memories" box) but I'm guessing that you already have a lot of the memorabilia.
    Jean x


  99. Ken Dorward

    September 30, 2015 •

    What a great site this is, many personalities mentioned I knew well.
    I was with the MARTELLES, we played at Club Eleven every Thursday, it was a blues night gig, great from the basement blues music.
    We also played at the Seaburn Hall "Cats night out" regularly and the Rink ballroom.
    Saw Ralph Brough our lead singer some years ago, we were running the Peterlee half marathon, theres a change.
    We did Rehearsal Room, a Tyne Tees weekly feature on local bands, a half hour show presented by David Hamilton, we did 3 numbers loads of fun, and , we even got well paid for it.
    Mike Pemberton and Mick Pickering had Club Eleven, what memories.

    Ken Dorwar

    If anyone remembers us, drop a line.


  100. Ken Dorward

    September 30, 2015 •

    I would like to add, we played with Johnny Dankworth at Club Eleven, on the same bill was Danny Williams (Moon River) Great guys and what a night. At the "Dogs Bowl" in South Shield we played with Chris Barber and his band, What a great guy Pat Halcox was, Also on the bill was Soonny Boy Williamson, that late great Southern states blues man.

    Pretty Thing at the Scene Club Middlesbrough, that was a night to remember.
    Also played at Ray Grehans Cub in Roker Avenue Sunderland with "Little Eva" and the Fortunes.

    Great stuff.

    Ken Dorward


  101. Jay

    October 6, 2015 •

    Anyone still keep in touch with the Findlay brothers?


  102. Eileen Boyd (nee Woods)

    October 10, 2015 •

    Just been reading a comment from Pete Wallis from May 2015. I remember being a young teenager and the Junco Partners practising in the bedroom at my family home Caroline Cottages, John is my brother and I do remember Pete Wallis being the keyboard player and amazing they are still playing after all these years.


  103. ray t davies

    November 7, 2015 •

    In the late fifties I played many of those venues, usually singing and paying guitar in the group called "The Black Cats" and "The Billy Gamblin Trio". We regularly played the Seaburn Hall on Cats Nite Out which was on a Wednesday.
    to commemorate these experiences I have recently cut a CD called "Cats Nite Out" on which I have included the R & R music we used then.I went on the sing throughout my life as a solo artiste, called Ray Donne for a period and then back to my real name. X


  104. George Sinclair

    November 25, 2015 •

    Jean ref Badfinger LP remember when the promoter give it to the JD Geoff Tate, got one myself



    November 28, 2015 •

    Hi George, Just noticed your comment which was addressed to me but (see comment 84) it should have been for Lorraine who i was sharing Bloomers memorabilia with
    i still haven't managed to see any pics of inside Bloomers and would be really pleased if you could help, as I'm not on Facebook.
    Thank you


  106. David Bergen

    December 25, 2015 •

    Great Blog takes me back to that time in my life, I was the drummer in Axtree Junction the lead singer and Guitarist being Bob Barton who went on to be in Becket and on the Old Grey Whistle test, I remember playing at the Blaydon Races for 10 pounds and many other venues throughout the Northeast for similar amounts, had the privilege of being the local band playing alongside many 60s bands including Family, Dave Dee and band The foundations, Love Affair and many more on the baily club circuit, now at 69 years I look back on those times with great pleasure



    January 4, 2016 •

    Hi Does anybody remember the Dolce Vita house band, a guy named Robbie was the bass player and I cannot remember the names of the drummer, organist and lead Guitarist. The drummer had an American car. Great bunch of guys. Great memories, if somewhat hazy due to my then drink problem !!



    January 4, 2016 •

    Hi I just found a photograph of me with a young mountain lion on my knee. The photograph was taken in the dressing room of The Tavern/Latino in South Shields (my memory for dates etc is very hazy)The lion was a pet and belonged to one of the acts playing at the club. The lion was not part of the act, the guy just had it as a pet,it was amazing when he walked into the club with the lion on the lead. however I cannot remember who it belonged to. I know I had a great time working at many NE clubs during the late sixties and early seventies. I just wish I could remember them all. The demon drink (Pernod) was to blame.


  109. Chic Reid

    January 15, 2016 •

    Suzanne, Of course I remember your dad Jimmy, many great times working together. Fond memories of him. Two Scotsmen together in a nightclub, what could possibly go wrong! If you want to get in touch -



    January 29, 2016 •

    Good morning Roger

    I'm loving the new web site - a fantastic design and fantastic photos.
    You've managed to make a truly great website even better - THANK YOU!!!
    Many people (including myself) have mentioned photographs, or rather a lack of them and I wondered if it would be at all possible to make a plea for any photos your readers may have relating to "60s clubland 1972"

    Please forgive me if this is something you've already covered but photos bring back so many memories it may be worth another go?
    Thank you again Roger - I'm now in trouble for being late for an appointment as I've just read through all of the comments again!!! Jean x



    February 8, 2016 •

    Re the Dolce Vita. Sloopys Disco was opened upstairs at the Dolcey. At the opening night the DJs were myself and Simon Dee.(remember him?) The night club continued to host cabarets Freddy Starr, Mud and many many more for a few more years and was always called the Dolce Vita until it was renamed Walkers.


  112. Melina manning

    February 25, 2016 •

    Hi, could anybody please give me any information about my ''father'' geoff manning aka harry branson gorst, who married my MOTHER, irene graham.

    i was told geoff used to have a club in NEWCASTLE called the dive bar, he sang and played GUITAR in 'the rooms' - my parents moved to SOUTH SHIELDS, CIRCA 68, I was born in 67, into the county hotel, where my mother died EIGHT YEARS later....

    i'm ABSOLUTELY desperate for any kind of info on him - his life seemed to START in newcastle, i've heard all kinds of rumours, i can testify to what a nasty PIECE of work he was, so don't worry about hurting my feelings, i had none left by the time he was finished with me.
    I would just like to know anything about the soulless pos,

    please HELP solve the mystery that was geoff manning.

    please call me, if you don’t want to speak here – i TOTALLY understand


    yours hopefully
    melina ''manning''


  113. Arthur turner

    March 27, 2016 •

    Worked greys club 1974 worked night club then casino had great memories also worked moulin rouge dean street for Teddy berg when they took over the bottos etc


  114. Joe writeson

    April 10, 2016 •

    theses lists and memories are priceless ... but who can remember the truly horrible bands? 'Detroit sounds' 'the hinge' 'the outfit' 'perfumed garden'... well me for one as I was in ALL of them ... our biggest claim to fame was backing the opportunity knocks 'star' the muscle man at the middle club, byker. he was garbage ... and so were we!


  115. Clive fuller

    April 15, 2016 •

    Dick Haymes

    Does anyone remember seeing Dick Haymes at either La Dolce Vita or Greys & The Cavendish in the 1960s?
    I beleive he appeared at a number of clubs in Newcastle and the north east.
    I am researching his club appearances in the UK ... any help would be ace. Thanks


  116. Garry Steckles

    May 2, 2016 •

    Great memories, and thanks to everyone for sharing them. I was born in a Newcastle club (the Hillfield on Grainger Park Road, which my parents owned) and spent a lot of my late teens at the Pickwick in Whitley Bay (my home town), with frequent trips to Newcastle and the big-city night spots, mainly the Agogo, followed by the Cavendish and the Dolce Vita, or Grey's if we were a bit flush. They were on the beaten track, but does anyone remember Billy Botto's Club on Shields Road (owned by a big local bookmaker) and the 69 Club, which was managed by Tot and Gloria Anderson, who also used to manage The Avenue in Whitley Bay, just opposite the Pickwick. Thursday nights at the Agogo were the highlights of my week - that's when the big-name touring acts played there, and admission was seven shillings and sixpence. My grandfather owned a number of clubs and pubs before WW2, including Balmbras in the Cloth Market, of Blaydon Races fame, and Uncle Tom's Cabin, an infamous sailors' pub in North Shields.
    Garry Steckles


  117. Trevor Chance

    August 11, 2016 •

    Hi Melina Manning your mum Irene was my first girlfriend, at 16.
    We split at 21, she had a daughter I remember, and I heard she died at 34/35 a great shock to me at the time, we were the same age and both Pisces. Lovely girl
    Best wishes, Trevor


  118. Maureen Ferry

    August 26, 2016 •

    I love this blog - I am originally from Sunderland and have been trying to recall some of the clubs from this time - this site has hit almost all of the ones I went to (mostly on Wearside) starting with the Seaburn's cats night out on Wednesday nights, the Cellar (lying about our ages to get in) the Grange, the Bay Hotel and Wetheralls.
    June - I knew John Harker ( he was a freind of my brother Gordon) and I do know Ray Huntley - I will have to pass on your compliments.
    Does anyone remember the Carousel Club in Chester le Street?


  119. Tony brown

    September 19, 2016 •

    We went to Newcastle in 1967 to see them play Southampton. We drove all night and met some great Geordie at the match and who then took us to the Cavendish where we saw - from memory - Gerry and the pacemakers. We also got introduced to Newcastle Brown too! I have fond if hazy memories of that weekend!


  120. Michaela Dobrodumow

    October 5, 2016 •

    Does anyone remember my dad Mike Mccormick who worked for teddy berg at greys


  121. Liz dance

    November 5, 2016 •

    Having read through these posts I don't think anyone has mentioned the fantastic group called 'the Gas Board' they played at the Quay Club also the Majestic


  122. Roger

    November 5, 2016 •

    There's a bit about the Gas Board on this page, Liz: -


  123. Liz dance

    November 6, 2016 •

    Thanks roger I will investigate.


  124. BRYAN jeffrey

    November 9, 2016 •

    The Del 5's drummer was Quentin (think that's how you spell it) Bernie Watson's brother - can't think of the other sax player though. I was best friends with Pongo (Keith to me) and for a short while roady for them. I stayed with Kim when she went solo but only again for a short time. What a star she could have been. My name is Bryan Jeffrey ex singer with The Playmates, The Mafia And The Surf Board, a lot of our time spent in Germany and Switzerland. Ho Hum happy days and strange memories.


  125. Geoff Tate

    December 28, 2016 •

    Just stumbled across your website. Brings back many memories. I was a DJ at sloopy's,(along with Dave), Bloomers, The Oxford plus many more including a club in Whitley Bay on the Esplanade. I have one photograph of me in Sloopy's in 1970. I am still alive!! I spend my time between Corbridge and Florida. I was quite good friends with Russell Smith, son of baileys owner, John Smith and I remember the house band at the Latino having a mad Australian front man. We were also friends with Clive Lee who was a total fruitcake in the style of Freddie Starr!


  126. Geoff Tate

    December 31, 2016 •

    Further to my last comment, some of the regulars I remember from La Dolce Vita were The Barton Brothers (Andy and Phil), Brian Stanners, (Formula One) and Pauline Hall (Fenwicks)
    I also worked through Ivan Burchall, as well as for myself. Other people I remember from that period were Greg Burman (sound equipment), Dave Woods ( Impulse Records) and Dave Dixon and Geoff Wonfor from Tyne Tees Television. We were also friends with music journalist Phil Penfold. Geoff Wonfor became famous as a music video producer. The Tube being one of his projects.


  127. Joe Writeson

    January 1, 2017 •

    Greg Burman's speakers were legendary but were a bastard to transport and set up. 2 inch thick marine ply shells with heavy duty internal struts and mounting frames... but man the sound was awesome, power, punch and clarity.
    The Greg Burman Sound was resident at the Quay Club and I will never forget Greg showing me the proper way to play James' Brown's 'I Feel Good'... top bloke


  128. rob bewick

    January 28, 2017 •

    I was too young to have gone to the legendary Club A'Gogo as I was still at infant school at Stanley, Co.Durham in the late 60's & 70's, but a good mate of mine - John from my village in Burnopfield, was a regular there throughout the Go go's duration & John has told me over the years, all the stories & I'm jealous as hell that I never had at least one night at the Club A'Gogo to enjoy it!


  129. Ann millar (taylor). Peter millar

    January 30, 2017 •

    I frequented most of the clubs at one time or another so it has been brilliant to find this website to bring back the memories.

    My first event that I went to was every Saturday at the Miners Welfare hall which I think was in Burnopfield where the reqular group were Trevor Chance and the Gamblers.

    Does anyone remember the Sands Club at Whitley Bay which is where I met my husband, his favourite haunts were the Old Vic Whitley Bay and also the Sovereign pub which was a good starting point for an evening out.


  130. Des reeve

    February 13, 2017 •

    Hi I used to go to most of the clubs and dance halls in Newcastle the Gogo Downbeat Dolce Oxford Galleries but mostly the Majestic Ballroom where I first saw Rue and the Rockets who were from Carlisle and are still playing.


  131. mary

    February 27, 2017 •

    Had some good nights at the Majestic. Good bands played there. Also loved the Gogo. Used to tell my mam I was going to the one at Whitley Bay as I wasn't allowed to go to the Newcastle one. It had a bad name she said. And don't even think about the Downbeat!! According to her they had sex on the floor there. Don't know how she knew cos she had never been there!!! The dive bar under the Swallow Hotel was called the Gay Trooper in my day..... Wouldn't get away with that now.
    Was at a place called St.Charles, outside Chicago, a couple of years ago and who should be playing there but Bill Smedley (Righteous Brothers). Couldn't believe my luck. He was playing at the Arcadia Theatre. Fantastic!!!!! He was with his daughter who is also a sInger. What a night!!!!!!! Even better was the fact that he was actually staying at the same place as we were, the Pheasant Run Hotel. A bit like the place in Dirty Dancing. We had a drink with him at the hotel and what a lovely man he is. Naturally had my photo took with him as well. Can't remember the 60s without remembering the fabulous Righteous Brothers.


  132. Teri

    March 16, 2017 •

    Does anyone remember Joe and Pat McBeth,fab dancers


  133. Amanda Martin

    April 19, 2017 •

    Does anyone know of any Italian restaurant where someone called Frank Calzini or Franco Calzini worked in 1967 - it was in Pink Lane


  134. Tony jackson

    April 20, 2017 •

    I went to opening night and subsequent first Sunday of Whitley Bay A'GoGo. Invaders Friday Alan Price Rythm Combo featuring Lound Mouth Burden Sunday.


  135. Mike Sears

    April 30, 2017 •

    In 1967 I spent a short time singing with the Don Smith orchestra of the Oxford Galleries after we finished we always used the Cavendish club or Billy Bottos in Byker. It was an eye opener for a very young me and I loved it. I have very blonde hair so Don Smith the band leader insisted on calling me Mike White. I had a great time there and made a dreadful mistake by leaving to work at Leicester for Top Rank. The North East in the 60s as a wonderful time for musicians and performers and I am so pleased to have been there. I went back to work the club circuit in the 70s 80s and 90s but it was not the same


  136. Billy Harrison

    May 12, 2017 •

    Hi, I wonder if anyone remembers a night club in Northumberland St I think it was above Callers it used to have a resident belly dancer and a casino. I think the name was Michaels? I went there quite a few times in the late 60s. Also when I used go to the Dolce there used to be a DJ called Jimmy Walker. He was a good friend many years ago.


  137. Hazel

    June 25, 2017 •

    Gosh this all brings back some fab memories of going dancing with my boyfriend at Change Is/Bloomers in Bath Lane from 1972 onwards and where I became a member at 14, still at school, yes 14, a rebel.
    My boyfriend was working and was 15. We both looked and dressed older. We went often and went for the great music and danced all night. I remember the DJ Dave, I thought he was so hip. Would be good to have a reunion...........


  138. bob Blenkinsop

    July 15, 2017 •

    sorry to hear of joe lisles death the 69 club owner. what a great club. a great bunch of people used to drink the night there. i was a regular and married Vicky Hope a gorgeous bunny girl sadly she died 5yrs ago. Johny Sampson provided the music with Mirelle Grey and later Johny Heenan. Remember when Joes 2 horses Sixty Nine and Playlord won 2 big races one Saturday at big prices most of the club backed them everyone was celebrating the champagne flowed like water a great night. Happy days.



    August 18, 2017 •




  140. Mark Ward

    October 19, 2017 •

    Wow, this is very interesting information, Im Mark Ward I'm the son of Chuck & Kathy Ward, along with Mike Jeffries they founded the Marimba in High Bridge and were true sultans of the Jazz and Latin America music scene in Newcastle, I have always been searching for information and any photographs of the Marimba, on searching I have always been a bit let down that my father has never had any mention for the part they played in this cool and underground scene, when everybody else was bopping.
    If anyone has any good images or information, please post on here or contact me personally.
    Great site look forward to any info.


  141. Ann millar (taylor). Peter millar

    October 20, 2017 •

    I used to go to the Marimba on a Saturday morning, I remember going down to the cellar which was typical of all the cellars in Grey Street as I believe it was known as smugglers run in the past, as they went down to the river. We all used to gather around the juke box trying to get our favourite records played.


  142. Jill

    October 23, 2017 •

    Hey everyone
    Would anyone know where I may get hold of a photo of the Gay Trouper pub. Me mam and dad met there in 1970 and I’d love to get them a photo made?


  143. Liz Dance

    October 24, 2017 •

    Hi Jill,
    Maybe a good starting point might be the Chronicle as I am sure that they have a library full of old photos. Good Luck


  144. jean

    November 16, 2017 •

    Hi Jill,
    I went to a place in 1972 which I knew only as "the dive bar" and could never understand why. Occasionally, I heard it referred to as the Gay Trouper. I remember queueing to get inside where you went down lots of dark stairs to an amazingly even darker area with fantastically loud but mesmeric music.
    They played Family - “In My Own Time' and Curved Air “Back Street Love' and T Rex 'Get It On’. Most of the lads my age in 1972 aspired to have their hair like the lovely Marc Bolan. I can still remember the feeling of excitement as you stepped down each dark stair til you opened the door and the whole place came alive, with music, gorgeous people and the amazing music which never sounded the same anywhere else - and still doesn't! Your parents would be overjoyed if you managed to find any photos. I have tried to find photos of places frequented for such a short time but at the time felt like it would last forever.......
    I have tried unsuccessfully to find photos but no one took photos way back then and so all of those precious moments and memories were never captured.........



    November 22, 2017 •

    Just found a post from Jane Maddison who's dad Ken Maddison was my bandleader for many years after I left groups to "settle down".
    Great bloke and wonderful muso.


  146. june quinn

    December 12, 2017 •

    Does anyone remember the coffee bar called the Palleta on Blacket Street?


  147. Ann millar

    December 12, 2017 •

    Hi June I do remember the Palleta, it used to be the place to go during the day, they cannot have done much business as we all used to buy one drink and make it last for hours until we got kicked out. They did a lovely beans on toast.


  148. Chris Burney

    January 11, 2018 •

    John Colin Woodland, greetings. You and I used to share guitar vocals with Ken Maddison in the early 70s at La Strada until I moved to Montego Bay. Hope all is well. pm me at


  149. Chris Burney

    January 11, 2018 •

    Jane Maddison, How are you? I worked at La Strada with your Dad in the early 70s. I also spent many a Monday night at your home testing scotch with your folks and a feisty small terrier before you moved from Whitley Bay.

    If you contact me, I think that I have a couple of pictures of your Dad at La Strada that you might not have seen. He was a great man.


  150. John Falkland

    January 29, 2018 •

    My Mam, Cathy worked in the Cavendish 60's 70's in the kitchen, my dad Eddy, worked in the cloakroom with "Jack" I worked in the cloakroom to help out a few times alongside Jack


  151. Pauline Clay

    February 6, 2018 •

    Hi, does anyone remember by dad Alan Clay? He was a drummer at La Strada, South Shields and Sunderland, in the 60’s, my mother Rita Clay was taking the money on the door, I remember going to the kids Christmas parties that Sandford Goudie used to put on for us, he also played at the Pickwick in Whitley Bay, I can remember his band was called The Opus Three, he then went on to form a band called Paula’s People who were resident at The Blue Star Club, Newcastle.


  152. David Jackson

    March 8, 2018 •

    Remember Mike Jeffrey trying to get "Legalite" roulette system into me CIU clubs. I went to a few with Billy's Mills "bonzo".. remember Trevor Chance practising above a pub in Clayton Street,..


  153. Alan Sibbet

    March 24, 2018 •

    My dad used to service the fruit machines in lots of these clubs for my uncle in the 60s. I was only 5 or 6 but my 'uncle' Michael who owned the places used to give me Coca Cola... he seemed like a god to me then! I'd listen to the bands, be dazzled by the girls! Sadly it all changed and went bad, but interesting times!



    March 25, 2018 •

    My Dad used to make roulett tables for Ray Grehan in the 60s


  155. Helen Findlay

    July 29, 2018 •

    Hi - my name is Helen Findlay the daughter of Dave Findlay. My sister is Anna Louise Findlay. I’ve lost touch with my dad who was the bouncer with Tommy at the go go club. I would love to hear from anyone who is related to me. My mobile no is 07580452584


  156. Anna

    August 19, 2018 •

    Does anyone remember the Kontors band; Alan price, Chas Chandler, Bernie Maguian, Gordon Cleghorn, Nick Brandon, Chunky Bourne, Barry Preston?


  157. Shyirra

    October 31, 2018 •

    Hello ....would anyone have any information on Ken White..he was in a double act..Collins and Wright I Dad was Ken and My Godfather was Lenny.
    I was born in Teesside in 1971 my Dad and Godfather had been doing the club circuit until we moved to Brighton about 73. I think my dad was a drummer for a while with a band called the After Eights.... would love to find out anything from this....thank you Shyirra


  158. Bill Richardson

    January 4, 2019 •

    A couple of years ago we were in Benidorm and we got talking to these three couples, one of them said "You are obviously from the Newcastle area, where did you go on Friday nights in Toon ?" I answered "The Maj" "Ok" he said, "now who where the resident group ?" "Rue and the Rockets " I answered, " Well meet Rue and the Rockets, its us three and we are still going in fact we are on the Dynastic tonight". They gave me a flyer which had their past and present in it. We went and sure enough it was them minus the Leopard skin leotard tho.



    January 9, 2019 •

    Anyone remember "Jumpin" Joe Jackson and drummer Geordie Kinnell from the 60s club scene? they played for various bands and clubs. The late Joe's favourite tale which I have heard dozens of times was the night they were working the GoGo and a very young band were guests, in Joes words "bloody useless". After the gig was finished Joe was going home and this band of youngsters were sitting in the arcade, one of them said "Joe, lend us 10 bob to get some chips, were skint and starving so Joe took pity and obliged, that band turned out to be the Faces and the kid he loaned the 10 bob to was Rod Stewart, Joe was always moaning he never got his 10 bob back. Is it true? I would like to think so. Sadly Geordie is now in a care home after having several serious strokes and has no memory. Another guy from that era I worked with was the tragic big Geordie Short, his group Bits & Pieces were well known around the WMC scene, they ended up as resident group at the now demolished Mount Pleasant club. Sadly he passed away at a comparatively young age. As a PS Leam Lane WMC still have a thriving group night on Fridays, they also have a first class resident duo in Dougie and Carl, not many if any clubs still have live backing for the turns.



    January 9, 2019 •

    As I am on a roll here's another one, local group from the Felling, started off as a skiffle group and went on the play many venues Ritson Hunter's Silver Six, they had a female vocalist - Ann Castlehow I think she was called which was unusual at the time, think they played the Oxford a few times, not sure of that tho, they eventually spawned the Decca Rhythm Group with Jimmy Laine. Excuse me if I sometimes get things wrong, memory is not what it was from 60 years ago.


  161. Joan

    March 3, 2019 •

    Really interesting reading.
    l have always lived in the North east area and found loads of old haunts from the 50's on here.
    Sixties and seventies I had 7 music and record shops around Tyneside so was involved with the disco's and nightclubs dance music sounds and strings.
    Nice to see some old familiar names that I have met in my past days around NE.



    March 28, 2019 •

    Would love to get hold of Jane Maddison, Ken's daughter. My dad played with him in a band before the war as a lad in Newcastle. He is 93 living in South Africa.


  163. Robert hurst

    June 25, 2019 •

    Can't anyone remember a local band used to play in the dolce la vita called the bits and pieces?


  164. Bill richardson

    June 25, 2019 •

    Yes my mate the late Geordie Short was the drummer, they were regulars at the Bombers club and Central club and were resident band at the now demolished Mount Pleasant club until Geordie passed away



    June 25, 2019 •

    Hi, I was in the Ken Maddison band for a number of years but when he died then Margaret I lost touch with her. Might be worth trawling facebook or look for Brenda Marsh who was close.


  166. Dave Rigden

    August 21, 2019 •

    I read all the stuff about The Maj and Rue And the Rockets, does anyone remember the resident DJ, a young girl (said to be the youngest professional DJ around. She was called Maggie Ross, quite a dancer as I recall. Where is she now I wonder.



    August 21, 2019 •

    Maggy Ross could be Maggy Heskith who died a few years ago


  168. Deb Carter

    September 10, 2019 •

    I don’t suppose anyone remembers Colin Lee? (Payne) He was a singer on the circuit in 70’s or Bevan Orchard who played keyboard for him?


  169. Alan Robinson

    September 10, 2019 •

    I worked at Newcastle Crown Court from 1978-1980, and during that time, I worked with Tommy Oxley, who has been mentioned here on this site. Tommy Oxley worked as a part-time Court Usher then. He told me about his time as a photographer at Newcastle Night Clubs in the 1960s. He said that he had photos of the Kray twins from the Dolce Vita, as well as the likes of Tom Jones and other stars of the era who performed at the club. He told me he had a photo of Ronnie Kray with a bloke sitting on his knee!

    Tommy Oxley can be seen in the film 'Get Carter'. After the 'party' scene at John Osborne's house, the camera pans along a set of party goers as the police raid the party, and Oxley is one of those. He must have been in his late fifties in the time I knew him, and I think me may no longer be with us forty years on.


  170. John Taberham

    October 2, 2019 •

    #93 Roger. Quite a long time ago that Pete Wallis (ex Juncos and Gamblers) was trying to make contact with any of the Gamblers boys. I talked to Ken Brady today and he remembers Pete with affection. If Pete is still around you could use my email to get them together. JT


  171. John Taberham

    October 9, 2019 •

    #74. Yes Trever. it is the same Ken Brady. After he left the Gamblers he went to work for Ray Grehan. As well as the Crescendo he ran the Club Tempo in London and the Pentland Club in Edinburgh.
    Ken, remembers you as a great singer. Chirpy with a ready smile you were always a favourite of the Gamblers female fans.
    Happy Days. JT


  172. John Taberham

    October 29, 2019 •

    Try playing the 1967 Gambler's version of "Cry me a River" (on YouTube) Certainly stands the test of time. JT


  173. David Coates

    November 1, 2019 •

    Hi Micky Dunn/ John Taberham,
    Was told to read your comments from one of the girls, Jen Sherwood, and it was nice to see that you are both still with us.
    Yes the Go-Go times were brill and wish we had photos of everyone we went round with as memories of them times are a bit vague for me but I’ll try and write down how those days were.
    Myself and Ken Cooper were friends from Broadwood Junior school and we started going into town aged 14, as rockers with Brylcream quiffs, Jackson the Tailor drapes, drainpipes and beetle crushers and walking around in circles at the Maj Westgate road.
    Then late 1962 we changed to mods and started going to the Go-Go, and also the West End boys club. Also meeting up on Saturday at the Pit then up to the Go-Go in the afternoon, purple hearts were the thing to have instead of alcohol.
    Ken was great with fashions and always wore the latest gear, he got a job at City Stylish so we always tried to keep up with the latest trends.
    I remember I had a blue suede Levi jacket with leather collar that I bought off Kenny Richardson/Davy Hembro. Whow I thought I was the bees knees.
    Myself, Cass and Ken went down to Kings Road and came back with Leather Coats down to the ankles.
    Then there was the cheese cloth shirts bought in the Handy side Arcade, Ken went full into the Flower Power with Kaftan and bells round his neck.
    The Haymarket pub was our haunt and that’s where we got to know everyone and I’ll try and remember all we used meet up with. Chris Dale, Alan(Cass) Carlyle, Bryn Pringle, Bill Ross, Billy Todd, Paul France, Ian Davies, Chris Branch, Jed Gardner, Peppi, Joe Lant, Hetherz, Micky Finn, Rob Wright and I know I’ll have missed out a few and so my apologies, but it was a long time ago.
    I met my first girlfriend Sandra Findley then with all her friends who use to go there, Linda & Sylvia Stoddart, Pat Larby, Cath, Eleanor and Jen. Sandra ditched me after a couple of years and went to London and then Italy where she sadly died aged about 21.
    We all gave up the Go-Go after Sloopy’s opened at about 1967, Then it was Change Is which changed to Bloomers where I met my wife Joan, and by that time everyone had moved on and got married, I got married in 1976 aged 27 and now still Happily married with 3 kids and 3 grandchildren .
    My wife Joan still meets up with the girls every week, Jen Sherwood, Eleanor Robson, Brenda Grieves, Marlene Charlton, Wendy Wilson, Ros Daly, Jean Orr, Elaine McCleod.
    I still meet up with Paddy Plunkett, Bob Ackers, Bill Ross, Bryn Pringle, Cass, Bill Ross, Bill Colwill about every month for afternoon coffee.
    So if you two ever want to meet up just let me know, my email is
    Dave Coates


  174. Bill RICHARDSON

    November 1, 2019 •

    Are you David Coates from the Felling and Ken Cooper from Windy Nook ?


  175. Utterson

    November 1, 2019 •

    Hi Dave Coates enjoyed reading your post I don't live in Newcastle but had lots of contacts, friends and customers from my Disque records days in town. You mentioned Bill Colwill there was a Bill C. who used to be always at the Mayfair maybe to do with the music and he was in my shop every lunch time with a Colin Topping and a guy called Brian. Sorry to waffle on just wanted you to say"hello" if it should be by any chance the Bill Colwell from 1967/8 years at our Newcastle shop.


  176. David Coates

    November 2, 2019 •

    No Bill we are both Denton Burn guys


  177. Bill RICHARDSON

    November 2, 2019 •

    OK strange that, exactly the same names.


  178. Bishop Boyd

    March 16, 2020 •

    Oh Mike Jeffrey. The clubs Jeffrey ran in NEWCASTLE explain now why a lot of the music groups of the "ROCK" groups of the era needed 2 PULL!!! away from him: Jeffrey managed the ANIMALS & JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE like small club bands. Jeffrey was CONTENT!!! to be just a newcastle club owner & darn with the peace & love universal. AGE OF AQUARIUS future existence.



  179. John stevenson

    April 30, 2020 •

    I have fond memories of the Cavendish Club from 1967. I was then a young post-grad at King’s College 1966/67 and my girl-friend and I attended the Cavendish club regularly. I seem to recall that The Rocking Berries played there on one occasion in the Spring of 1967 and they dedicated ‘He’s in Town’ to my girlfriend Margaret Armstrong. The summer of 1967 I emigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada. I have often wondered what became of Margaret Armstrong who lived on Benjamin Road in Howden and worked in a large Civil Service Centre (name forgotten). I heard later from her father, that she married a fellow called Bill. Would appreciate any current information regarding Margaret. How time flies.


  180. Elizabeth Cooper

    May 24, 2020 •

    Hello, this has been a great read. Many happy memories flooding back. I remember going to the GOGO, but could only go in young set. We used to wet the backs of our hands and press them onto someone else's hand trying to transfer the fluorescent stamp that was needed to get into JAZZ LOUNGE. went to most of the other clubs mentioned, brilliant times ?


  181. Ken Prest

    June 7, 2020 •

    I was hired by Ron Markem and Bob Monkhouse In January 1969 as Reception Manager for the Change Is club. I was the only doorman for over one year. Anyone coming to the club during that period would have had to have been let in by me.
    My credentials for getting the job to the best of my knowledge were I was a pro wrestler along with my tag team partner Jason "Joe" Robson from the Teams Gateshead and my hobby, hypnotism.
    I was there from day one for about 15 months. I remember Chic, he did incredible thing's with the sound and lights. Chic was there when I was set upon by a couple of London thugs connected to the Kray's, I remember one of the patrons saying "that buggers goin back to the smoke with a couple of cracked ribs". One of them snapped my new tie in half trying to garrot me. I remember Chic standing there looking agahst, anyway that was just the way it was sometimes.
    I also remember the Findlay boys and one of their cohorts Big Paddy. He was the minder for Tom Jones when he came to the La Dolce Vita.
    There was mutual respect there. When they came to the Change Is there was always a heightend tension but they minded me, I guess since they were barred from most other clubs they didn't want to screw themselves up with this one.
    Anyway, I moved to the states in 1970 and after moving around a lot I ended up here in California where I have a couple of gyms.
    I'm 75yrs. old now and remember the "Change Is" days like they were yesterday.
    If anyone has any input on my post please respond.


  182. Rob Lagan

    August 31, 2020 •

    Loved the stories behind the venues and the old photos. Remember some of the places between 1968 to 73 as a 18 plus year old.
    I too loved that era seemed to be so much fun and simpler! Often return back to the area and go walkabout.
    Many thanks for the site.
    Rob . Sydney Australia


  183. Rob Quinn

    November 1, 2020 •

    I had an input early in the posts re La Strada and Ken Maddison and was lead vocalist at the Sunderland and South Shields nightclubs. I continued it in Newcastle Social Club residences and recently, after early retirement, had six years as a semi-pro touring the UK with a Hollies and Crosby Stills and Nash tribute. I played most north east theatres and eventually retired (I think) in 2016. The Crusaders played La Stradas as resident band three times a week for over six years, but also played the big hotels, the Locarno in Sunderland, the Mayfair in Newcastle. We worked with the likes of the Shadows, Seekers, Joe Brown, Lonnie Donegan, Roy Castle, Acker Bilk, Kenny Ball, the Barron Knights, Freddie Starr(oh dear), Jimmy Tarbuck, Dave Allan, Engelbert Humperdinck, Val Doonjcan ... to name but a few.

    The photos are of the Crusaders (with manager Dave Golden in the dark suit) and the Crusaders with Jimmy Tarbuck and Ray Ellington in 1963. There's also a poster from the 60s of The Seaburn Hall when the Crusaders supported the Moody Blues. It was a Valentines Dance and we had to do the last part of the show as the audience were clamouring for dance music and they couldn't dance to the Moody Blues!


  184. Christopher Bache

    January 5, 2021 •

    Hi. To Anna (156) yes I remember The Kontors. My sister was the girlfriend of Gordon Cleghorn. Chas Chandler went on to become an impresario on the north east scene and was heavily involved with the Animals. Eric Burdon of the Animals lived in the Walker area and I remember standing next to him in the bus queue shortly before he rocketed to international fame.
    One of my haunts was the Jazz Club at the bottom of Pilgrim Street which was a seedy little place during the day but came alive with light and music at night.


  185. Jean

    January 16, 2021 •

    Hi I know Tommy and Davey findlay, Jesmond. Davey, worked at club agogo sadly passed away yesterday morning - great man.


  186. Dawn Austin

    January 23, 2021 •

    No one's mentioned Nelson Street jazz club. Had some great evenings there in the late 1950's as well as any evenings at the Oxford Gallery's and the Majestic. I met my husband at Nelson Street jazz club.
    He was an alto sax/clarinet player with Don Smith in the 60's and I worked in the cloakroom for about a year. Happy days


  187. Roger

    January 23, 2021 •

    Dawn - the Nelson Street Jazz Club is mentioned on the page about the Marimba Coffee House


  188. George Cowen

    February 7, 2021 •

    Just spent a couple of hours wallowing in nostalgia. Starting with the Downbeat Jazz Club in 1960 and most of the other venues mentioned. Some magic names and places. Sad to note Dave Findlay passed away recently. He was always a dapper dresser!!


  189. Dennis Dover

    February 13, 2021 •

    Went to the Dolce for years and my mate at the time was DJ at Sloopys. Gordon Livingstone. Wonder if anybody remembers him. Lived in Heaton as I remember.


  190. Dave

    March 19, 2021 •

    Hello can anybody remember the Sect?


  191. Johnny Wheeler

    April 8, 2021 •

    During the mid/late 1960's I was half of the singing duo, Shirley and Johnny. We worked many times in Newcastle and the North East area. La Dolce Vita supporting P J Proby. Greys Club. Tatler Club in the Haymarket. Billy Bottos. Blue Parrot in Sunniside. 69 Club Westgate Street plus MANY social clubs all around the North East. We made many friends and had a wonderful time with so many happy memories. Such a shame it all came to an end way too soon.


  192. Liz moreland

    April 13, 2021 •

    Went to nearly all the clubs mentioned. Had a great time in the 60's. What an era! Met some real characters. Lovely to see Ray Grehan's name mentioned. Loved both Dave and Tommy Findlay
    My friend joy married Tommy. Sad to hear about Dave passing.


  193. Jenny Briand

    May 16, 2021 •

    190' Dave, Hi, used to follow the Sect, go to various clubs and halls around Newcastle.Also the Elcorts, then the New Religion, and New Elcorts, I believe.
    Used to ring Ivan Birchells office and find out where they were playing. Great time being a teenager in the 60's in Newcastle.
    Used to go to the GoGo Young Set,we were only 14/15 , sit and watch the older ones dance then go home and practice, following week we were there on the dance floor, giving it large........
    Student Union do,s were good and remember Sect and Elcorts playing at a couple of them.
    Later, graduated on to the Cavendish and Grey's, don't know what happened to Sect.


  194. charley Foskett

    June 17, 2021 •

    Wow - Rue and The Rockets have certainly 'filled out' ! ha ha ha


  195. Tracey Henderson

    November 17, 2021 •

    I know this is a long shot. My mum used to sing with Jimmy Bence at the Mayfair back in the day. She was the resident singer. Her stage name was Julie Johnson.
    I'm trying to find anyone who may have worked with her. My father was Carl Hersman who played keyboards.
    Mum is 80 now and terminally ill with cancer. If I could do one thing before it’s too late it would be to help her reconnect with people from her past in what was the prime of her life. I’ve exhausted all avenues looking for answers.
    The photo is of her from when she used to sing at Mayfair and when she appeared on American Bandstand.
    If anyone reading this knew my mother or any other members of the Jimmy Bence Orchestra, please leave a comment on this site.


  196. Alan Chapman

    January 15, 2022 •

    Hi Anna #156. Yes I was a big fan of The Kon-Tors, the forerunners of The Animals. Bernie MacKie was rhythm guitar and started his working life in a shop on Gateshead High St. called Barkers, an electrical shop. Bernie died a couple of years ago and I hear his collection of guitars were donated to The Sage. Gordon Clegg worked for the Post Office and passed away last year. He had retired to the Seahouses area with his wife. Nick Brandon, the singer (his stage name) worked at Wards the printers in High Bridge. He now lives in High Heaton I believe. Chunky on drums used to work at Cut-Outs at the top of Byker Road before they were taken over by Field Cartons and moved to Killingworth. Alan Price was, I think, born in Jarrow and worked at the tax office. Chas Chandler lived in Heaton and his dad was the roadie. He later managed Hendrix and Slade. The Kon-Tors didn't play original music but were a great cover band. Venues were St.Georges Drill Hall by Northumberland Rd. When they played The Cellar Club, So. Shields there was no late licence and it shut around 10-30. So the Kon-Tors had to play a second set at Wetheralls in Sunderland as part of the fee. They made an acetate demo at Morton Sound in Carliol Sq. which was poor quality, scratches etc. If you go on Google and type in "Rare cd's- the Kon-Tors" there is a site which will sell you a CD off this record for around £8. There is a good article by The Evening Chronicle when the last record went on sale in auction. There is a good photo of the group playing in Wetheralls. I seem to remember the band playing at The Majestic at the bottom of Westgate Rd. Other venues I remember were the RAFA club and The Bombers in Gateshead. Rehearsals were sometimes in the Engineers Club in Ellison place. They always wore wine coloured suits and cowboy small ties. Great band, very professional. Loved them! Great times Anna.


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