4. The Delby & The Senate Bar
As has always been the case, in 1980s Newcastle, crap mainstream venues did really well & dominated the night life. We wouldn’t have got in them even of we had wanted to, so we went places like the Delby on a Saturday instead, where we got exposed to artists like Bowie, Iggy Pop & electronic music.
The Delby was above the old Dolce Vita Club, that was just along from where the Gate Complex is now. Later in time, the building it was in was re jigged as a Club space & called both Walkers & Planet Earth.
At this point, that whole underground, UK 80s electronic scene was just taking off. Although it wasn’t what we were that into, many of the people on the scene hung out in the Arcade & were interesting & very extrovert. So we stuck about for a couple of years & the tunes grew on us.
Everyone who thought they were cool drank in the Senate Bar, which was on the corner of St Mary’s place, opposite the Civic Centre (since called Luckies & now a Wetherspoons with something about Swans in it’s name).
The Senate was a great bar – People really dressed up to go out back then & the Senate on a Saturday night was like crimper city.
Here’s a cheery little snap of some of the Senate gang, taken somewhere or other, from 1983, that nails the types of looks people rocked back then…
Yup, the early 80s were OK times, actually strike that…
They were bananas times & a great laugh, but it was obvious that the kind of music & diversity that we were really into, was sorely missing from Newcastle.
So, after a while we started looking elsewhere…