Karyn Hay's Nga Taonga Sound & Vision talk last week was superb, and a timely reminder of how much things have moved on. And a reminder of just how important that show was in pre-MTV days in terms of bringing the rest of the world into our lounges. She really was a pioneer, and is the first presenter - beyond the realm of comedy - I can recall who dared to speak in an authentic kiwi accent. Which pulled us in even closer imo. The RWP episode they played was from 1985, and it featured priceless footage of the 1984 Women's Performance Festival which looked like it was at Auckland's Performance Café. ps .. happy birthday AudioCulture, and cheers for the mention Russell. My piece is not the best writing on there by any stretch - it jumps all over the place and could have been better if I'd bothered to interview any of the key people involved (although Ray Johns has passed, and Tony Pene lives in the US these days) - but I was happy to learn that something worthwhile came of all those long nights emptying my wallet and um, putting my body on the line.
and Russell, just to further clarify my earlier post - the reference to wrong guy, wrong club and exception being taken was more in relation to the amyl coming at you out of the blue rather than the fact that the guy was/may have been gay. You took the opportunity in a good natured way but not everyone would necessarily welcome something like that. Hence my reference to head explosion - I hadn't even made the connection that it was a gay club (amyl having been fairly common in 'straight' clubs during the 80s - in my experience).
@ Chris - exactly the period I was referring to (92-94 in Glasgow for me). I frequented a place called the Tunnel. As a nightshift worker there my body clock was adjusted to 7am finishes which of course left me with little option other than to party hard through the weekends. I suspect our paths have crossed, and - in Welly at least - we probably share a number of mutual acquaintances.
Absolutely Russell. But I have seen (similar) best intentions go horribly wrong in a club. Admittedly it was in Glasgow ... but all the same. You're not preaching, but if you were, it would be to the converted!
Community minded?! ... perhaps you just had that 'I need another brain explosion' look about you Russell? I shudder to think how beautiful the guy would have looked if he'd picked the wrong person at the wrong club. But yeah obviously he knew the territory and what was safe and what wasn't (I don't know the club).
Memory is a slippery beast but often all it takes is a discussion like this or clip of a track to bring it all flooding back. I'm avoiding youtube at the moment because I know it would lead me to places I shouldn't be right now, but just humming the chorus (well, sort've) to 'Jack to the Sound of the Underground' is bringing back so many faces and scenes from what feels like another life. I'm on to Raze's 'Break for Love' next ... that might prove a hum too far and probably nsfw. Damn you Hard News and your Fridays.
Garrett St = Clares, not the Box.
@ Chris "and Our Lady of Grace looked so wonderful in that light..."
As it would at 5am after a night out with light rain falling! ...
And errr when it rained it would all turn ... they were beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact, the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire and the clouds would catch the colours everywhere
(c) Ricki Lee Jones via The Orb
@ Chris - I recall going to Alfies but can’t say I was a regular there. I do remember one very debauched night up there in particular, but this is a family site so I’ll leave it at that. For me it was the go-to option when everything else closed. A great vibe up there.
Sub Club was where SFBH is located now but it was rather different in decor and set-up (it was designed and decorated rather like a cave or cavern – but upstairs, as opposed to underground).
Naked Angel was an odd almost makeshift venue behind the church at the bottom of Boulcott St and became popular with clubbers after Clares closed down.
But Clares was my poison of choice mainly because my flatmate at the time, John, was DJ (86-87) there. It offered two zones – full on pumping dancefloor music downstairs, and a chill-out lounge area upstairs, with the quirky band Six Volts enjoying a long residency. Thus you had a choice of dance music, or quiet low key gig, and plush sofas!, without having to leave the venue.
John played a lot of early hip hop (PE, Mantronix) and as incredible as it may seem today he was once threatened with the sack if he persisted with his “rap fetish”. House music came along at the right time as an edgy alternative.
Great comment on how the music of our youth always stays with us on account of all the memories and dramas/traumas surrounding it.
Btw – I note Facebook has a ‘lost nightlife of Wellington’ group which recounts stories and venues/people from this era.
Indeed Chris, the transformation from old fashioned disco/funk to the sounds of Chicago (and Detroit) happened almost overnight. Wellington clubs were fairly quick to embrace the scene (Clares, Naked Angel, and the short-lived Sub Club in Cuba St) but there probably wasn’t quite as big a ‘scene’ as there was in Auckland at the time. I still recall the sense of excitement that the dramatically increased beats-per-minute factor added to a night out. In the late 80s and early 90s life was getting faster – though nothing quite like today – and I guess it was only natural that our dancefloors started demanding the same ...
Oh, and @ nothingelseon ... Bill, surprised that this is something you dig – given the post-punk flavour of your nights at SFBH – can we expect a bi-monthly retro House night anytime soon?
Haven’t the time to search for a youtube link or anything fancy but my own fave cut from that period was Nitro Deluxe’s This Brutal House.