Sunday, 8 June 2014

Sophisticated Discotheque 1979

Well, I never expected to find this little object this afternoon at my local second hand bookshop in a box stuffed with cheap philatelic items and vintage postcards of dogs and aeroplanes. It's about the same size as a typical old fashioned postcard, though the actual card is slightly thicker, and it's covered with shiny gold foil with black print.

It's a fancy-looking flyer for The New Over 18's Sophisticated Discotheque at 'The Mighty' Hammersmith Palais that took place 35 years ago. The shop owner wanted £1 for the item as, in his own words, "this is collectible ephemera". I couldn't just leave it there, so now about 10 hours after I handed him the pound, here it is:

a pity the scan just doesn't convey the tacky glitzy shininess!
My £1 coin got me a used piece of card - albeit a relic of the past. Track back to 1979, it would have been a £1 note handed over the box office counter ('with this special ticket') - and Disco Dancing, and 'Gorgeous Go-Go Girls' awaited...

Not for me though! Well for one thing, in May 1979, I was still a few months shy of my 18th birthday - thus under the official admission age (and I would have most probably struggled to honour the 'Dress Rules'). But the main source of fascination for me now, is that the 'Sophisticated Boutique' was way out of bounds from my own passions at the time - namely the world according to my weekly addiction: the NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS.

So by way of comparison, I've pulled out an edition of the NME dated 5th May 1979 from my stash that I've kept squirreled away for all these years. The issue was published just two days before the Bank Holiday Disco. Flicking the pages to the Live Page that always appeared towards the back of the paper, it's a real blast of nostalgia to see what gigs were on around the same time.

If like me, you missed out on hearing the sounds Cino's beautiful girl DJ partner 'Cherie' was spinning, you may have gone to one of these gigs instead. Or wished you had...

Oh for a time machine...

While they were Disco Dancing over in London W6 on 7th May 1979, there was a rather different noise altogether on the very same night over in Leicester Square. Or in far East London, a Mod revival May Day down Canning Town...

this famous landmark disappeared from Wardour Street at the end of the 80s- a sad loss, but maybe not that week!

More May Day Mods, but the (New Wave of ) Heavy Metal show on the following night  must have been fun!

Two Tone, R&B, British Soul, Reggae and...Belgian Rock!

DB was promoting his new album 'Words of Wisdom'

Just down the road from the Palais, a few nights earlier

The Specials for a quid!

Iggy was in town with his 'New Values' LP

The fab Undertones - gigging furiously, and high in the charts with Jimmy, Jimmy (which was pressed in green vinyl)

No longer a rock venue or a cinema - it's a church now. But at least this magnificent theatre in Finsbury Park still stands today, unlike...

Sadly 'the mighty' Hammersmith Palais, which had opened to the public in 1919 didn't quite make its centenary, as the building was demolished in 2012.

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