The Northern Club/Cabaret Scene

As the sixties began to draw to a close, musical taste was widening and many bands were either changing their style and going "progressive/heavy/bluesy/jazzy" or moving into the cabaret clubs, where live music was still popular. In my own experience, the soul scene was changing and moving from the teen clubs and into the Princess and Domino style clubs.

This was due in part to the natural progression of social life - youth club to dance hall to licenced premises. Twenty year olds, even then, aspired to the odd pint and, as many of the clubs were still alcohol free, the aging clubber found it easy to move into an environment where booze was available. Another factor, perhaps, was that the changing styles of popular music in the club scene alienated many, who found the entertainment style of the cabaret clubs more suiting their musical taste.

A third and important reason was the Manchester Act of 1965, which was brought in to close down a lot of the "teen" clubs in Manchester - whose premises and management were thought to be of inadequate standard.

Whatever the reason, the cabaret scene was home to many Manchester bands. There was plenty of work both locally and out of town - many bands working nine shows a week in the North East. The bands were well paid, worked well and over long periods but didn't get the glamour image that more "pop" orientated bands achieved.

Bands that stand out in the memory include Sweet ChariotDougie JamesReg Coates ComboPalm Springs and the Royal Variety Showband.

Cabaret Venues

Just a list of some of the clubs of the time

  • Lonsdale Club 
  • Domino Club, Grey Mare Lane,Openshaw 
  • Embassy Club 
  • Sinatras, Oldham Road, Failsworth
  • Arthur Fox Revue Bar, George Street, Manchester
  • Poco-Poco Theatre Club, Manchester Road, Stockport
  • Riverboat Club, Gt Cheetham Street, Broughton
  • Southern Sporting Club, Birch Street, Gorton
  • Club Del Sol, Bootle Street, Deansgate
  • The Warren, Hollingworth Road, Bredbury
  • Silver Moon Club, Dantzic Place, Manchester
  • Mr Smiths Wishing Well Club, Station Road, Swinton
  • Jay and Jay Club, Stanley Grove, Longsight
  • Western Bar, Dale Street, Piccadilly
  • Palladium Club. Collyhurst Street, Manchester 
  • Palace Theatre Club, Ashton Lane, Sale
  • Bury Palace Theatre Club, Garden Street, Bury
  • Wilton Club, New Cannon Street, Manchester
  • Talk of the North, Eccles
  • College Theatre Club, Coupland Street, Ardwick
  • Oceans 11Dickenson Road, Rusholme
  • Golden Garter, Wythenshawe
  • Offerton Palace 
  • FaginsOxford Street
  • Levenshulme Sporting Club  
  • Northern Sporting Club 
  • Devonshire Sporting Club 
  • Broadway Club, Failsworth