History & Culture

The Delby & the Senate

The Delby

As has always been the case, in 80s Newcastle too, 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.

80s Delby flyer - no expense spared.

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 early underground, UK 80s electronic scene was just taking off. Like every scene, it had its tunes, the ones that still sound amazing even today...

Although it wasn’t all 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.

The Senate

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 its 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 around 1981/3, that nails the types of looks we all rocked back then…

Hardcore 80's party animals. Clock a young Bobby Greenland, Steve & Tom Caulker left to right at the back of the group.

Travelling with speed

Yup, the early 80s were OK times, actually strike that…

They were bananas times, full on youthful irresponsibility, decadent & a really great laugh. 

But it was obvious that the kind of music & diversity that we were really into, was sorely missing from Newcastle nightlife.

So, it was not very long at all, before we started looking elsewhere…


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