17. The Trent House Takes Off

Happy Days

With the lease bought out the Trent was effectively ours now & properly established. We threw our whole lives into it & became totally & completely obsessed with that little Bar…

It was where we grew up & we loved it with all our hearts. It now began to get national & international recognition for its overall groove & especially its far out jukebox.

The multiracial, all inclusive ethos, really started to get across to people & the Bar slowly grew & moved forward.

As attitudes began to change, people started to take notice & it became very well known for all the right reasons.

People started to love it & friendliness in Newcastle seemed to us to be moving forward too. Our tagline was…

‘Trent House, For Health & Beauty All Seasons of the Year’.

It’s a Family Affair by Sly Stone was our biggest tune.

Eventually technology moved forward. Computers arrived (that ordinary people like us could afford) & we burnt loads of our rare vinyl to CD, to improve the sound quality in the bar & save our best records from getting mashed up on the box.

This also meant we could expand to album tracks that we didn’t have on 7″ vinyl & it was total, utter, jukebox hyperspace time.


The original I-Pod

(Editor’s note: Cue down with the kids, modern technology metaphor…)

Living with that Jukebox back in day in the Trent, was honestly like owning the coolest, only (& thus, properly magical…)

i-pod in the world…

A magical i-pod that sold beer…

A magical i-pod you felt that was yours & only you & other really cool people knew about…

A magical i-pod that you could hang out in with your friends, while it magically (obviously..!) transported you all the way to Amsterdam…

It’s no wonder we were way more than just the city’s top Bar. We raised it higher then anyone could have ever dreamed.

The Trent House was the original i-pod, we just constructed it from a world of vinyl. Musically, back then it simply didn’t seem possible, but we did it & it properly blew people’s minds…

(You got that kids..?)

Ok, now you need to grasp that this was years before i-pods were ever invented & also years before today’s digital radio stations (that don’t just play chart shite all day) existed.

The Trent back then was way, way, ahead of the curve…

As the selection was ever changing & ever expanding, we were always light years ahead of anywhere else & people came to the Bar specifically to play the jukebox.

It’s true to say the real diverse musical roots of WHQ grew out of that jukebox.

We knew we were onto something special that really meant a lot to loads of people.

It had taken a long time, lots of hard work & cuts & bruises, but knowing both cities as well as we did, we knew that The Trent House Soul Bar in Newcastle, was now equal to, if not better than, the majority of cool Bars in Amsterdam.

As you probably imagine – Once again we had the city’s Underground scene locked… Totally.


Time marches on

As time marched on & years turned into decades we kept it tight. The Trent was the first ever Observer bar of the week, was then featured in GQ Golden Bar Guide & really started to reach people, becoming known all over the country & beyond for it’s music & diversity…

Whilst it was a nice surprise, it was water off a duck’s back really, as we were so deep into it we didn’t care what people looking in might have thought.

We ran it because we just always had. It had been the start of good things for us & we were properly, totally, in love with it.