History & Culture

The amazing WHQ murals

Why in the world..?

'Yeah, they are meant to be awe inspiring & they are... People are supposed to stop & wonder, why in the world, would anyone ever even bother to do that..?'

Right .. Tarzan walks into the doctors
Tommy speaking about the murals, in the Channel 4 documentary about the Club available to watch now nationally on All4, search : ‘Any Colour You Like’

A Club With Tattoos

We always take our time to add art to the Club. It's constantly evolving in terms of how it looks. Eventually, we aim to decorate all the inner walls with high quality murals & pictures of things we are into, reflecting the culture of our Club & the type of people who come here.

WHQ We are Bob
The outstanding Bob Marley Mural on the back stairs. Super detailed, right down to the lamb's little teats & the lion's quite substantial wanger...

Our murals are always created by current members of staff, we never commission professional artists.

Many of our mob study art anyway & if they have even a hint of the skills, they are promptly press-ganged into creating art for the Club.

From bar & cloakroom staff to doormen, if they have the shapes, it's on.

David Attenborough Mural
Davy A in the upstairs Club. Murals take time. Time to decide what to paint & time to discover a staff member who can paint them.

We see our murals as a direct evolution, from the days when early humans decorated the caves they lived & celebrated in.

They painted the things they held dear, felt had power, or were major influences on their everyday lives.

Well, that's exactly what we are doing too, just hundreds of generations later.

Muhammad Ali mural in the upstairs Club. Eventually we see WHQ growing into a kinda 'tattooed body,' or big painted ‘cave’.

We're celebrating that exact same innate, human drive. Instinctively decorating our 'cave' with images of what we feel is important. 

Pre historic Cave Art. Human mural painting skills seem to have improved somewhat, in the past few thousand years...

It’s also nice for our regulars to see the weeks & months it takes, to create a truly great mural & watch it develop & grow from a basic line drawing, to a warm, colourful, fabulous thing.

The Greatest Disco / Funk band on the planet 'Chic' at the height of their powers in the late 70s, in the downstairs Club

Every mural has it’s own unique story & we'll add articles about each one, over time in our 'Stuff We Like' section (in the site menu).

Ruth Underwood & Frank Zappa mural, in progress - in the downstairs Club.

We’ve had such a laugh with all the many different staff members we’ve worked with over the years, who have contributed murals to the Club, it would be a proper crime not to write all the daft yarns up.

Joni Mitchell mural from the downstairs room. Every single thing on display in the Club has a significance to the ends we are trying to achieve, in terms of music, racial harmony & raising awareness of environmental issues.

There are twisted stories of initial grooming, imprisonment, sleep deprivation, light torture, OCD, extreme human endurance...

Basically, everything challenging, that can possibly happen to a fledgling, young artist (barring underpayment…)

Locked, right there in the brushstrokes, of every single amazing piece...

Giant Curtis Mayfield from the upstairs Club - it took many. many, painful months to perfect...

All the little animals

Some of our Murals really connect with people big time. Below you can see a fab little posse, who have all masked up as animals to get their photo taken under the Davey A mural. We spotted them from the booth & whipped out a phone, to grab a snap of them for ourselves.

When great art makes a connection like that - you know you have a tribe.

The creatures of the forest come out to play.

A great little filmed Mural Tour

Here is a really, cool, insightful little film, as Tommy takes you on a tour of the Club discussing in detail, many of the murals & artworks we display in WHQ & delving into their meaning, origins & the effect he hopes they have on people.

Mural origins

The love of murals in Bars & Clubs began for us in the crazy world of 80s & 90s Amsterdam. They were everywhere over there back then & could be of astoundingly differing qualities. Some were amazing, some were pants. We exported the vibe back home with us & we've improved on it since.

Dawnie - way back in the day in beautiful Amsterdam.

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