Memories of the Mardi Gras


If you haven’t heard of the Mardi Gras on Bold Street then you probably aren’t into music and didn’t live in Liverpool in the late eighties or nineties. The Mardi Gras is synonymous with the dance and club scene and was a Bold Street, and Liverpool favorite. Club Promoters Jason and Mark Jones managed the Mardi in its heyday, and recently talked to Laura Yates about the club, its history and some of their favorite nights. Laura interviews Jason and Mark in a series of episodes covering everything from the history of the club to the night the Stone Roses played. You can watch all of the episodes on Google Video. A selection has also been added to the Bold Street Video Podcast. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

112 Responses to “Memories of the Mardi Gras”

  1. 1 mandoss Jun 28th, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Blimey! The Mardi Gras. That brings back memories. Many a good night had there with chippy tea afterwards on none other than Bold Street. Great to hear about it again…

  2. 2 Phill Jun 28th, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    I remember one night when the electricity went off in the mardi and everyone kept dancing for what seemed like a few minutes, but apparently was half an hour. Good times.

  3. 3 Susan Jan 3rd, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I used to work at the mardi it was one of the best jobs i ever had! Watched some of the vids on Google-brought back happy memories!

  4. 4 Rich Feb 29th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Memories ! For a period in the late 80’s early 90’s I more or less lived in the Mardi every week.

    Happy days - The Starsky and Hutch theme still makes me smile !!

  5. 5 Les Mar 26th, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    For me The Mardi was all about the mid 60’s, Tamla nights, local soul bands such as The Chants, The Shuffler Sound with Bobby & Willy, Steve Aldo, The Fix, The Buzzels the list goes on & on. Who could forget the all nighters, the no stop dancing, Ah! memories.

  6. 6 sara Jun 30th, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Oh the mardi gras …. what a great venue. Memorable gigs: Primal Scream, Jonathan Richman, the redoubtable Benny Profane too but that was as a support - can’t remember who for … or was that NYE Cafe Berlin.

    Anyway great memories bringing back the taste of lager and black and curry and chips and beer on someone else’s lips …

  7. 7 Bob Lawson Sep 6th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    What a club! I saw Arthur Conley (Sweet Soul Music) live on the Mardi, I would love to know who the musicians were backing him, mainly because I think I read somewhere that these artistes used to use local musicians. I also saw Colonel Bagshots Incredible Bucket Band (to give them their full title) on the Mardi, and became a lifetime fan even to this day. Also The Real Thing, before they became Real Thing. (Cant remember what they were called back then. Great days indeed.

  8. 8 faz Oct 2nd, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    does anyone remember the mardi before jason and mark? i worked there from 1988- 1990 - hugh as DJ, toby richard and Lemo on the door - some of the best nights ever back in the day….

  9. 9 Pete Sexton Oct 24th, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    I went to the Mardi in the late sixties early seventies when they had all the great U.S. soul acts Edwin Starr, Jimmy Ruffin, Ben E King and countless others mainly on Friday and Saturdays the acts would then do a session at the Victoriana,The Real Thing then were called Vocal Perfection they were great nights, I am surprised there has never been a Mardi Gras revival night similar to the Wigan Casino, Twisted Wheel, The Torch,Blackpool Mecca, Im sure it would be a success. Great DJs with all the latest imports ie Billy Butler and great ads in the Liverpool Echo when there were many clubs being advertised each week, Beachcomber,Babaloo,Odd Spot,All Fours,Hotsy Totsy,and more i cant remember.Yes they were great nights.

  10. 10 Gerard F Nov 20th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Theres a few pics Inside The Mardis on my site in the Chris Shaw section at

    More to come..Taaaaaaaaaa

    Merry Chrimbo


  11. 11 pete Jun 9th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    This was a cool club. I worked there 87-89 and the other bar staff used to take the mick out of my fiorucci sweat shirt and pods. Scally!

  12. 12 Barry Aug 9th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Yes I fondly rememebr the Mardi well, I was in several of the bands that played there including Washington Soul Band and The Perfumed Garden. So fond memories indeed, particularly when we were support band for Sharron tandy and Fluer De lys, Kippington Lodge and the foundations. The Mardi was a great place shame those day are gone.

  13. 13 Barry Aug 9th, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Oh forgot to say the Real Thing original name was
    “Vocal Perfection”, I actually backed them a few time in their very early days.

  14. 14 Gerard F Sep 9th, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    You might be interested Barry in Tony Bolland’s book..”Plug Inn… the forgotten years”..

    This a link to it on my website…

    The New Bill Harry book might also interest you…lots about the Black music scene in Liverpool.Steve Aldo etc.

  15. 15 Mr M Sep 25th, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Lindisfarne and Thin Lizzy - before they came famous.

    Weren’t Thin Lizzy headlining on the very last night before it closed?

  16. 16 mrs stax Dec 6th, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    the mardi most people are remembering on this site is the one that was in mount pleasant. Never new there was one in Bold Street, unless im missing something. In the early days it was a great soul venue, and Billy Butler and Chris Wharton d jd together. What a place and what memories.

  17. 17 john oppy Jan 21st, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    I remember the mardi gras very well, I worked for at the mardi gras for a few years as a doorman what a place had some great times there met so many famous people all the famous jazz bands of the day,including ella fitzgerald,loise armstrong count bassey, duke ellington, oscar peterson, kenny ball, aka bilk, most bands of the day like swinging blue jeans the escorts beatles etc etc.As a doorman there, I remember some young kid trying to get in and spoke with an irish accent but would not let him in because he was only 17 and had a flash car his name george best,of cause I let all the liverpool and everton players in.I go down mount pleasant and all those great times come flooding back.The mardi gras was owned by Jim Ireland and Stan Roberts who I think split up about 1966 Jim Ireland then went on to open the Beachcomber club and the Babaloo I also worked in the beachy till august 1969 then got married and left the clubs behind

  18. 18 Len Smith Jan 23rd, 2010 at 11:38 am


    Who will ever forget Sunday night at the Mardi during the sixties.
    Jazz night, all the top bands, and singers including George Melly with Mick Mulligan’s band.
    Micks Drummer ( cannot remember his name )when he played a solo everything stopped…. pure magic.

  19. 19 Les S Jan 30th, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Hi! to all those that went to the Mardi in the mid 60’s. It was a real soul club back then, with many American soul & ska artists appearing almost every week and as Pete Sexton says they shared their session with the Vic. They were usually supported by local soul bands such as The Chants, The Shuffler Sound and Steve Aldo, who all use to appear on their own at the Mardi as well. The Mardi was a one of the main mod clubs back then, it’s strange how the Liverpool mod scene really gets mentioned, only that from the city at the other end of the Lancs. I can remember Liverpool at the time being dominated by soul music and mod fashions. Yes it was a great time back then, here’s to memories.
    Oh Pete, here’s a few more clubs to add to your list, Uglys, The Iron Door, The Pyramid, Chauffeurs, Pickwicks (more like The Grafton though), The Pink Parrot, The Cabin (The Bin) plus many more.

  20. 20 john oppy Feb 8th, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    back in the sixties I remember going the Blue Angel with Jim Ireland to a Spanish night I wont go in for the reason why he had this Spanish night there where all sorts celebs of the day like the blue jeans, Peter Noone out of hermans hermits that girl who sang about her dead boy friend TERRY,on stage down stairs in the cellar Cilla`s mum Mrs White. The reason I am telling you this story is to find out if any one else went there that night ,THE NIGHT OF THE BULLFIGHT!!! when I tell the tale of that night I get some funny looks,but I remember ALAN WILLIAMS ushering us down stairs and he looked quite smart when he came down white shirt etc then he open the fire door and in walked or should I say waddled a full grown BULLOCK COVERED IN SH*T which had people scrambling to get out of the way and Alan Williams up the other end of the cellar waving a red towel the bull looked quite confused but waddled passed Alan W and in the process brushed against Alan W white shirt and cover him in sh*t and when he turned round it covered the other side as well and as he stood to take bow all the sh*t just sort curled of him and flopped on to the what I great night

  21. 21 pete Feb 15th, 2010 at 9:46 am

    Mrs Stax…
    About half way down Bold Street was the new Mardi. It was a cool club owned by Lenny MacMillan. Loads of theme nights… acid house, cheesy holiday disco, hip hop and street soul, basically full of Liverpool’s night people of the late 80s. Ian McNabb from the Icicle Works, no-mark bands (hello Rain!) the cast of Brookie…great times…

  22. 22 ellen Apr 29th, 2010 at 1:54 am

    what about the Chris Karma’s road show - what a fab band - they played the Mardi all the time and the Babaloo, the Victoriana etc.. the drummer played with others like the Fix and more……. Where’s the pics of the Mardi then? Can’t find them…what a place - I used to go from 1968 to about 1970 with me mates Dem and Kathleen

  23. 23 Dr-Phil Sep 21st, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    I watched Muddy Waters at the Mardi Gras around the late 1950s. I recently visited Liverpool but couldn’t find the building. Is it still there? I also played music at a Spinners folk club at a reataurant in London Road (Sampson and Barlows - I think). Does anyone remember that?
    I love the country blues and just completed a biography of Mississipi John Hurt check out my website for info.

  24. 24 Dr-Phil Sep 22nd, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I just found from a Liverpool historic website that they pulled down the Mardi Gras to make way for a motorway that never got built. Shame. This was the MG in Mount Pleasant not the Bold Streeet one. I think I visited the club around 1957-58 not long after it opened. Does anyone know when Muddy Waters appeared there?
    Dr Phil

  25. 25 jonj Oct 19th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Great times Brian Linford Manager,Alan (Kid) Tanner Door, & the inimitable Jimmy Leach- jazz,jazz,jazz & his lovely wife Rose who lived above the club in penthouse.I would come with my then wife Beryl & baby Suzanne in a carry cot,which she would take upstairs to sit with Rose (we would tell customers we were leaving baby in cloak room as you passed through to access flat above) very sixties!

    We would party with Kenny Ball & Jazzmen,Bruce Turner & his jump band
    Ralph,Ray,Les & Norman -Swingin bluegenes.

    We were the Yogi Beers with Neil English (the Sink,Spot it to Me)

    Could go on………………..

  26. 26 phil howard Nov 5th, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    I played at the Mardi many many times with bands like, The TOP, suppoting Ben E King, the Drifters, and several US bands. Also played the Mardi as drummer with the Shuffler sound, great memories
    of the Mardi

  27. 27 mrs stax(OAK TREE) Dec 21st, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Phil (SLEEPING PILL) how are you,lost touch with you in the 1980s. Shufflers give it away. Tried many times on the net to find you and here you are, dont believe it. Contact Ivan Stax on facebook would luv to hear from you. x

  28. 28 Barbara Iatrou Mar 1st, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I am somewhat confused, the mardi gras was not on Bold st it was situated in Mount Pleasant nearly opposite the Shaftesbury hotel!
    Anyway it held many happy memories for me, i remember seeing george melly, Clinton ford, the blue jeans, merseysippi jazz band. I remember they had a nice black fellow on the door and it I got there early i would have a dance with him before the crowds got there, he was a great dancer.


  29. 29 brian linford Jul 19th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    i would like to contact your contributor ‘JONJ’. jon is an old friend who i have lost contact. can you give him my email address.

    many thanks.

  30. 30 sam Jul 20th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    the chants played the 99 club barrow in furness many times does any one have or know where i can get a video recording on them? rgards sam

  31. 31 NM Jul 22nd, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I remember the Mardi well.Lived in Liverpool from 1989-6, but was and still am a frequent visitor.

    Some truely excellent nights had there. The club seemed to attract a really good mix of people who had very different musical tastes but

    Student night - Tuesday was always good value. Sympathy for the Devil was always the sign out tune.

    Discofunk on a Wednesday around 1992 was superb.

    G-Love - last Thursday of the month which then became Deep and Devastating at The Academt/Nation.

    Hugh Bryder was superb.

    Think I still have some of the posters/flyers for the nights up in the attic, so will have to dig them out.

  32. 32 Jobo Aug 24th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    My dad Paul was in the Chris Karma Roadshow, I googled it to see if I could find any old posters or gig line ups to frame for my wall. Weird to think people watched my dad play music!

  33. 33 roger Aug 24th, 2011 at 2:53 pm


    there were several incarnations of the Chris Carma Road Show all based round the drummer Bob Gibson from about 68 thru 72.
    i was the lead singer 70/72…we played all the soul clubs in liverpool plus a couple outside like quaintways chester and wigan casino both in our own right and supporting the soul names like arthur conley ,edwin starr etc etc.
    Got to say the mardi and vic were great but the whole soul scene in liverpool was excellent with reeces,the all fours etc as well!

    two of the old Chris carma ( myself and nick the lead guitarist) play in a VERY similar band today for The Mersycats…we are called “memphis Nites” and are appearing at the albert dock family stage on sunday 28th august ( matthew street festival )..get down there!


  34. 34 bill connerty Dec 1st, 2011 at 1:01 am

    Lenny Rushton and myself organised a dance at the mardi gras on a open night.

    We charged apound on the door and had all the top bands there , the blue jeans, mersey beats Aker bilk.etc
    a fabulous night with twice as many people that were supposed to be there.
    liverpool was a fabulous place to be then and still is .

  35. 35 billy butler Dec 19th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Myself and Chris Wharton took over the running of the Mardi Gras in Mount Pleasant in 1969. We featured all the Top Soul acts from usa till the demand tailed off– the Final Blow came when only 300 turned up to see Al Green. We then redesigned the place–got in some students with liquid lights –put a screen over the stage showing cartoons and started booking rock bands.Nazareth and Thin Lizzy were regulars, We also booked Pink Fairies,status quo ,Slade,Stray.uriah Heap,Slease Band, Perfumed Garden.Klubbs,Curiossity Shop,Greasy Bear,Skid Row, Black Widow,Arrival ect ect.When we closed in 71 or 72,We moved to a venue in Bold Street which we called Back of the Moon with a similar policy. After that Mark and the lads told me they were opening it again and could they call it the Mardi Gras after our Mount Pleasant venue and I said OK–So thats the story of same name–two clubs,

  36. 36 Gary Dec 21st, 2011 at 1:23 am

    I played lead guitar with The Chris Carma Roadshow for about two years in the late 60s.
    The group played on the Victoriana, Mardi, Babaloo Dines, Reece’s and many other venues.
    The line up at the time-
    Singer, Dave Talbot.
    Drums- Bob Gibson.
    Bass Guitar-Eddy
    Lead Guitar –Gary Crawford.
    Sax,- Terry Graham
    Sax/Flute,- Tony
    Organ,- Brian.
    The atmosphere in the clubs was fantastic in the 60s. I remember the Victoriana club would be extremely hot and humid, the condensation would drip off the ceiling like rain making marks on your shirt, probably due to the number of people in the building and poor ventilation.
    Great times.

  37. 37 Barry Dec 22nd, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Every one

    I played keyboards in The Washington Soul Band later to become selofane then Perfumed Garden.

    Between the groups I was in, We did every club there was to do not only in Liverpool but all over the North west and many other regions around the UK.

    For more info: on many of the late 60’s groups see my web site we have hundreds of rare photo’s but still loads of room for hundreds more, if you have any please email them in.

  38. 38 gillian Jan 8th, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Best times of my life at the Mardi Mount Pleasant, with Billy Butler in his matching hat and safari suit. I was underage actually only 15 at first, although I had a membership and think it was 3s 6d on Tues night. Ben e King, Mary Wells, James and Bobby Purify, Booker t and MGs,etc. Ben e King the most memorable. fantastic night couldnt afford to drink and underage had a glass water, if asked what was drinking used to say it was gin! I’d have been terrified if had have been. Only wish we’d taken camera, that many people there that night when you put your arms in the air to clap couldnt get them down again- feet lifted off floor moved with the crowd. Brilliant! Mary Wells was about 9 months pregnant and went following night to see her in the Vic which was smaller I think but not as good atmosphere as the mardi. Then had to get the 11.00 bus home or grounded for week.Before that some schools had dances with live bands and followed Shufflers Sound round everywhere. We also saw them at Reeces. what a peculiar place that was tea and cake shop by day and live bands at night! good times. Wish could see some photos.

  39. 39 Barry Jan 9th, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Gillian to see some photo’s and send yours of the 60’s id you have see

  40. 40 Mrs Stax Jan 14th, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Shufflers Sound now theres a blast from the past, should have made it but didnt, great band wrong time, what a soul band they were. Remember running to get the 10.30 bus in Brownlow Hill to get home for 11 the bewitching hour haha.

  41. 41 Les S Jan 19th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Phil Howard,

    Only just returned to the site and seen your name, your comments jogged the old grey cells.
    I remember you on drums with The Top and with The Shufflers. I dont suppose you’ll remember me.
    I use to knock around with a group of lads that became friendly with yourself, litle John and the rest of the The Top, we met when you played at a small club in Kensington, The La Bamba.
    Many well known local bands use to appear there, if I’m right the name of the guy who booked the bands was Ted Lamb. It was also the place were we first met The Shufflers. We got to know Bobby, Willy,Ivor, Silver and Tony.
    Where ever they played we were there, school dances, Litherland Town Hall, The Mardi, those were the days

  42. 42 alan davies Sep 11th, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Hi the washington soul band were a great set of lads what a group alan davies lead guitar

  43. 43 Bob Gibson Oct 29th, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I was the drummer and the guy who originally started the Chris Carma Road Show. Gary was the lead guitarist, we played in many of the soul clubs all over the North West along with our friendly rivals The Washington Soul Band, PPs Attraction. Ted Lamb and Frank Delaney handled our gigs out of Abernsterne Promotions.Friday nights at The “Mardi” and the “Vic” were amazing, Stax Tamla and soul was the the key to a good time in Liverpool.Not forgetting The All Fours, Reeces,Cavern, Babalou and many more.
    I was recently in Memphis and visited the Stax studio and Sun Studios were it all started stateside. wow what memories.Keep up the good work on the project.

  44. 44 Dennis Haw Nov 26th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    “Not forgetting The All Fours, Reeces, Cavern, Babalou and many more”

    Great to see mention of these clubs. Me and my mates used to follow The Shufflers Sound around too wherever they were on. Always ended their shows with Don & Juan’s “What’s Your Name” if memory serves me right. A great band and great times.

    The All Fours, Eberle Street. Great club for Soul music and best draught Double Diamond in Liverpool at the time. Got my head kicked in outside that place for stepping in to help a girl out that was getting harrased by a couple of blokes who’d had a few too many DDs.

  45. 45 Dennis Haw Nov 26th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Then there was the time when I went to see Lee Dorsey at the Liverpool Ice Rink. We were all bopping away on the ice wearing skating boots. Then, during the interval, the show was in two parts, or we managed to hang around for the second show, I can’t remember which, I was standing at the bar, having a drink and chatting with Lee Dorsey, towering over him, as he was only a short guy to start with and I was still wearing my skating boots. It was weird, there I was, looking down at this guy I idolised, looking up at me like he was a midget, chatting away together like we were in some local pub discussing the days football results.

  46. 46 harryr Nov 26th, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Does any one remember The Cheshire Lines Club nighta 60s/70s

    With Joby your compere for the night,he got all the local

    bands on a Sat/ Sunday nightS .Now Help me== does anyone remember

    a group called THE MICHEAL HENDRY GROUP [ a soul group]

    they sang [Satarday Nighr at the Movies ]the best version of anyone,

    with saxaphone and trumpet real music.

  47. 47 billy butler Nov 27th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Was it The Michael Henry Group ?

  48. 48 Dennis Haw Nov 28th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hey Billy, Haven’t heard from you for a while? If you’re selling any more records now or in the near future, please let me know / drop me a line at

  49. 49 Barry Nov 28th, 2012 at 1:04 pm


    the group you mention was the Michael Henry Group. They and also the Mardi Gras are both mentioned in my book, Cavern After Hours available from all good book on line stores including Amazon Author House waterstones etc etc.

  50. 50 billy butler Nov 28th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Let me recommend “The Cavern after hours” Superb memory filled book with some great Photo’s

  51. 51 harryr Dec 1st, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Yes Billy it was the Michael Henry Group,i thought they had a great sound, and just needed a song of there own, and they would have made it BIG time,and the book is on my Christmas list

    Cheers mate Harryr and the Bandwagon

  52. 52 harryr Dec 1st, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    The Reaction was another group around that time

    great lead singer, cant remember his name just now

  53. 53 gill Dec 3rd, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Yes harryr I remember the Cheshire Lines Club. Used to go with my friend every Sunday night. Loved it and I do remember that group you mentioned. But nothing beats the Mardi for atmosphere and sheer pleasure although I was only 15 when first started going there and had to get the last 11pm bus home otherwise my dad would have killed me. I was also a member of Mardi so could get in for pennies although I only drank a glass of water pretending it gin when anyone offered to buy me one, which wasnt very often as there was usually three of us there and I was always ’spare’ when came to dance floor shenanigans!

    We used to follow the Shufflers Sound everywhere we would watch them in Reeces too anyone remember that place? cake shop by day and club at night upstairs ha ha!

  54. 54 Mrs Stax Dec 3rd, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Hi Gill you post certainly staired some memories. I Was 15 when I first got in the Mardi, after the 3rd try hahah and used to drink coke tho and rush out at 1100to get the last bus or my dad would have killed me. Oh wow The Shufflers what can I say the best group around at the time, well Bagshots came a close second. You remember the keyboard player in the Shufflers……. Well I married him

  55. 55 billy butler Dec 5th, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Hello Mrs Stax–I always wondered why Ivor never liked the Mardi !!!

  56. 56 Mrs Stax Dec 5th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Hahah your not funny Bill. Don’t forget I know where you live xxx

  57. 57 Les S Dec 9th, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Hi to everyone, Great to read more memories about Liverpool’s 60’s Soul scene, glad to hear more people mentioning The Shufflers. I actually saw Bobby and Willy at this year’s Mathew Street Fetival, they where appearing at the Baby Croc, they’re both still a couple of soul men. I managed to have a chat with Bobby, reminiscing about the good old days, The Mardi, The La Bamba in Kensington ect. and their agent Ted Lamb. All in all it it was a great night, the pub is only small but it was packed and where ever the was space people were dancing, it certainly brought back memories.
    I use to love dancing at the large clubs like the Mardi, the way we would dance in a circle boy, girl, boy, girl and the best dances would take a turn in the centre of the circle to show off their moves. Looking forward to reading more of you memories

  58. 58 john brennan Dec 11th, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    the mardi gra was in mount plesent facing the bee hive I went in the 60s watching bands the fix with steve aldo and couryousity shop harry shaw then on to the victorano in watching berly marsdon oh yes brill times

  59. 59 Paul Mayers Dec 20th, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I see Jimmy leaches name was mentioned as a previous manager at the Mardi Gras, he use to work as head barman for many years in the Travellers Rest in Aigburth Vale for my mum Olive Mayers.

    last time i saw Jimmy Leach was approx 2002 ish in West Derby. I must try to find out where he is today.

    Paul Mayers.

  60. 60 harryr Dec 20th, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Any one remember the Pepermint Lounge,sure i went to a club of this name in the sixties/seventies

  61. 61 Mrs Stax Jan 7th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    @Harry, yes the Peppermint Lounge was in London Road, then it had a name change to Dinos.

  62. 62 John Rooney Feb 13th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Anyone remember the Downbeat club before it became the Victoriana?

  63. 63 Jonj Feb 14th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Lenny McMillan R.I.P had the Downbeat in Victoria St.

    RE Brian Linford Manager Mardi Gras circa 1963 give me a call.

  64. 64 John Rooney Feb 17th, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    The Beachcomber was for me the place to be. late ‘68 to ‘70 brilliant times.Anyone know why it closed?

  65. 65 Jonj Feb 19th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Past it’s sell by date!

    UGLY’S opened 50 Duke Street!


  66. 66 Dex Feb 21st, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    Lenny McMillan was a good friend but he didn’t own the downbeat, the mardi or the beachcomber. They were all owned by jimmy ireland, Lenny just worked for him, his first club was mcmillans and he help found cream with Stewart davenport.

  67. 67 Jonj Feb 26th, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Correct Dex except for Mardi Gras which was jointly owned by Jim Ireland & Stan Roberts.

    Cheers jonj

  68. 68 Brian Jones Mar 11th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Remember the Mardi very well. Me and my mate Stew would travel over every Tuesday from Ellesmere Port especially if The Escorts were on. They were our favourites. We used to meet up with a couple of Liverpool girls Val Marchant and Beryl Fletcher. Had some great nights. Would be great if either Val or Beryl could get in touch or anyone else who may know them.

  69. 69 Jim Hart May 8th, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Hello John
    I remember the Downbeat Club
    I used to work there as a barman and then when it became
    the Victoriana
    It was owned by Stan Roberts and later his son James
    used to go through iron doors and down the stairs
    the bar was in the middle with dance floor to side
    Dave Beatie was the manager John Keiiy bar manager
    Had best looking Cloakroom Girls in town
    Terry Oniel Jimmy Parry Frank Gibson where the lads on the door
    when it became the Vic

  70. 70 Jim Hart May 8th, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Hey Billy Remember when you used to DJ
    at the Victoriana when Sinbad with Beryl Marsdon
    used to be the residant band
    Steve Aldo used to play the Sax to have a free drink of
    Double Diamond he would take off his leather boot one of the bar staff would fill it up and he would then down it
    I think the keyboard player was called Geoff

  71. 71 John Rooney May 8th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Hello Jim, what a good memory you have to recall all the staff at the Vic, do you remember the night Ike and Tina Turner where on? I remember the cloakroom girls especially one called Linda Lee, do you know how Jimmy Parry is? Tommy McNally was another doorman who worked there.

  72. 72 Jim hart May 8th, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Yes John
    What a night crowds four people deep down Victoria St
    and part way up Sir Thomas St
    most of the male staff had to form a chain to keep crowd off the stage
    It was the same when Benny King was on What value for money they were in those days
    Last saw Jimmy Parry back in 1980 he was living in Warbreck Moor
    He has probably retired now
    Frank Gibson passed away many years ago
    Yes I remember Linda she lived in Upper Parliament St
    another girl was Vera she was Echo Club girl a few times
    all Happy Memories

  73. 73 billy butler May 9th, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    John—Ike and Tina were never on the Victoriana—You must mean Inez and Charlie Foxx who sang Mockingbird

  74. 74 john rooney Jun 10th, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    for years Billy I’ve been telling people I saw Ike and Tina Turner on the Vic and I can’t even blame the drink,it was only orange juice for me back then! Did they ever play any of the clubs in Liverpool? Maybe I was somewhere else!

  75. 75 ian casson Jul 28th, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    yer i remember billy and the shuffers i was in a band called the fascination before that tomorrows people we played all the clubs we where on the all fors club the night of a murder. at the club we played the vic well over 100 times some times 2 times in a week.i remember playing ted lambs la bamba one new years eve down stairs the shuffers uf stairs my wife was up stairs dancing to the shuffers i did not meet my wife hazel till about a year later.while on holls whith the band in wales i all remeber billy as being a great guy and what a singer. great times ian casson

  76. 76 Mrs Stax Aug 16th, 2013 at 9:31 am

    hi Ian, I married Ivor’ organist of the Shufflers, Ivor remembers you in Tomorrow’s People, he said do you still play organ. Great days went they

  77. 77 Alison Hicks Oct 18th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I remember going to see Ben E King and the drifters at the Mardi- what a great time we had. Mini mini skirts, the boys wore tailored suits with vents up the back . The longer the vent, the better. ha ha. Purple lights that showed all the bits on your clothes.

  78. 78 John Rooney Oct 21st, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Hello Allison,I remember those lights well, everybody’s teeth looked super white! Do you remember what year it was that the Drifters were on the Mardi ? Best wishes, John

  79. 79 billy butler Oct 23rd, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Ben E King never did it with the Drifters–He was solo. The Drifters that appeared at the Mardi were the nearest thing to the actual recording group with Johnny Moore on lead vocal as he was on many hits and Bill Fredericks who also was on many hits. I think Butch Leake was one of the other two. It was about 1970 i would think

  80. 80 Pat Dec 22nd, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Am I right or not, I can remember being on to Mardi one night and little Stevie wonder gave a performance nobody knew who he was then and I actually thought how awful he was, how wrong you can be but I suppose all I was interested in those days were Liverpool bands

  81. 81 billy butler Jan 6th, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Stevie Wonder never appeared at the Mardi or the Victoriana. He did appear at the Cavern.

  82. 82 Roy David Feb 6th, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Yes, ‘Little Stevie Wonder’ as the then 16 year old was called, did play at The Cavern. The blues band I played drums with, The St Louis Checks, were also on the bill. Just before Stevie went on, a ’scal’ burst into the bandroom to exclaim that Stevie wasn’t blind as he’d just seen him ‘combing his ‘effin ‘air in the mirror.’

    I was standing at the bottom of the bandroom steps leading to the stage when Stevie eventually came in preceded by a huge guy, his minder. Unfortunately, the minder didn’t lower Stevie’s head as he went up the steps and I was right beside him when he smacked his head on the top of the arch. Ouch! Stevie went on to blow everyone away with his performance, playing guitar, harmonica, even the drums. A great night.

  83. 83 Dave talbot May 3rd, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    How do i get in touch with Bobby gibson the founder (he says) lmao of the Chris Karma Road Show. Dave Talbot here, (Otherwise known as Chris ! Lead singer of TCKRS

  84. 84 Phil Birchall May 17th, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Oh Billy, just watching Gary Moore tribute to thin Lizzy and brought back so any memories of The Mardi (Mount Pleasant)And all the bands you mentioned. Status Quo resurrecting a comeback after their very early success. Thin Lizzy playing almost every week or so it seemed. I wonder how good your memory is. 1972 and Jimmy Ruffin (I think) never turned up so The Klubbs played all night. Me and the girlfriend danced all night alone on the dance floor. The following week you and Chris turned it into a rock club and never looked back. Do you remember the last night? An all nighter. You displayed a rude projection on the wall “parting is such sweet sorrow, the f****** bulldozers are coming tommorrow”…..and they did. A great night and Kept my girlfriend out all night dancing. Her parents went ballistic when we walked in at 8.00 in the morning. After a row, We went staight back into town to get away and the Mardi was already half gone. A night I and many people will never forget, an all night session with so many bands to say goodbye to a great club.

  85. 85 Deric Jun 11th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Anyone remember the group called the click? They were a resident band at the Beachcomber were I worked with Ken in the bars with those pair of “ladies” who worked in G H Lees during the day. I too worked for Ghlees and also the Babalou.

  86. 86 Vivien Oct 11th, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Hi glad to see not only me remembers the downbeat which became the vic

  87. 87 baz lewis Oct 19th, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    I remember the Mardis on Mount Plesant in 1962-65. the blue florescent lighting picked out anything white so that girls bras showed up through their tops and any girl with too much make up looked like the living dead. Didn’t stop the lads leaning over the balcony rail eyeing up the talent.The balcony bar was popular with the lads for bird watching.”Do you see those two girls dancing down there? Which one do you fancy? No I fancy her as well.”
    So down stairs to the dance floor and start dancing towards the girls and inching your way between them. If they walked off ,you took the hint. “Aren’t you dancing?” “No me friends sweatin’. And off they walk.
    The Bags Watmore Group played mod stuff, their standard number was “One Mint Tulip”. But then they gave way to the beat groups. I remember The Secrets blasting out full volume. There was nothing secret about them. Swinging Blue Jeans were the best in the early days.
    Took my girlfriend Sue (now my wife of 46 years) there every weekend. Great memories.

  88. 88 billy butler Oct 29th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Phil Birchall remember the Jimmy Ruffin night well !!!It was new years EVE !!! I had to go on stage to annouince it.

    Yes the closing all nighter was incredible. I stilll have the poster. As well as Lizzie we had Nazareth on quite a few times, and Stray, UriAH HEAP,SLADE, PINK FAIRIES,HACKENSACK,GREASY BEAR,BLACK WIDOW,ECT ECT ECT

  89. 89 john jones Nov 15th, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    I used to go to the mardi in mount pleasant in the sixties it was it was a brilliant place and from there we would go to the Victoriana to see the act that had been on the mardi some of the best nights we ever had

  90. 90 annette foster Nov 20th, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I remember seeing Jimmy Ruffin but not sure which venue maybe The Top Rank, I was only 15 or 16 and it would have been in the late 60s or early 70s, we saw a lot of the great Motown singers and groups around Liverpool those days, what a time we had.
    Good memories.

  91. 91 ron jones Jan 18th, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    most enjoyable reading about everybodys memories about the mg i was a member of the downbeat club and then the victoriana,and the sink club which lenny henry made a film about we used to go to the blue angel when everything else was closing .does anybody remember a great band called the almost blues .stevie aldo used to front them sometimes to great times.

  92. 92 Jamie p Jan 21st, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Had some amazing nights at the mardi gras on bold street in the early 90, so …dance with the devil …dj, s dave skitch and hugh bryder. …

  93. 93 Colin Feb 8th, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I was a member of the Downbeat and later the Vic. around 1966/7 Sinbad with Beryl Marsden were the Resident Band and more often than not better than the headline band. Saw Ben E King Inez and Charlie Fox Mr Butler DJ . Were Ben E Kings backing band Dream Police later Average White Band Only halfs of beer sold Double Diamond mostly.
    later in the 60,s got into a band that played at a lot of the clubs Reeces , Dinos Knightsbrige,Babaloo The band Hunchi Band came to nothing once the tenor sax player left. made sod all money but had some laughs if any one claims to have been a member how did the band get the name? answers on a postcard please.

  94. 94 Colin Feb 10th, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Hello again Did Mr Ireland own both the Mardi and the Downbeat/Vic I know he went on to have the Babaloo in the late 60,s early 70,s this club along with Uglys were the best clubs for older mods Did His daughter Vivian stay in the club scene? she turned some heads in her time

  95. 95 John Feb 19th, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Hi, does anyone know what became of some of the Vic’s door staff who worked there in the late 60’s? Jimmy Parry, Tommy McNally and his mate Eddy Mitchell? Ace times !!!

  96. 96 chris Feb 21st, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I’m confused. I was a regular at the Mardi Gras in the late sixties, but it was at the bottom of Renshaw Street… did it later move to Bold Street? I left Liverpool in 1972 and was heartbroken to return later & find that the MG had been flattened.

  97. 97 denis Mar 30th, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I remember playing the Mardi Gras with The Drifters I was guitarist in the band we were called The John Mcflare Band we toured UK Europe with many of the American soul artists in the 70s The night we played the Mardi Gras with the Drifters was the opening night of the tour I remember the place was rammed with people and can never forget how hot it was on stage sweating just walking on there, it was a great night the Drifters members that night were Johnny Moore Bill Fredericks Grant Kitchen Butch Leake this was a great lineup I have a copy of the Blues and Soul magazine which did a writeup of this night at the Mardi Gras and it took place in September 1971 great memories of that time we also played Wooky Hollow and Allinsons with Drifters loved gigging in Liverpool.

  98. 98 Laura Mar 30th, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Chris
    The Mardi Gras had a second incarnation on Bold Street but not as a Jazz Club - in fact I’m unsure if there was a connection but it sounds like a fantastic place with some real greats playing there and not too far away so we’ve included it here

  99. 99 billy butler Mar 30th, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    That was the first time Johnny Moore and the Drifters had toured the Uk We put an ad in the paper saying if this wasnt the REAL Drifters we would give the punters the money back !!! Wonderful line up. We did the Floral in New Brighton with the Drifters who had Johhny Ben E King Grant and Butch. Brilliant !!!

  100. 100 Gerd Inger Johnsen Apr 5th, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    In 1966 two norwegian au pair spent many nights dancing at Mardi Gras. We had a great time in a friendly city. Inger.

  101. 101 chris wharton May 14th, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Billy Butler and mysef brought heavy rock to the Mardi shortly after taking over the place.We started off with soul groups but turned to rock as its popularity grew and presented top names and wwe were the primary venue in Liverpool to present the top rock artistes. Aliquid light show was included along with films above the stage at the time this was quite unique as video players and more technology was yet to arrive.

  102. 102 Kathy Jun 7th, 2015 at 2:31 am

    I remember the Mardi of Mount Pleasant from very early 70’s. It had a flexible age policy because I was about 15/16 and was never refused entry. If you liked ‘heavier’ music it was the place to go. I remember the balcony, and the seating at the sides of the dance floor? and the fantastic light shows and Billy being the DJ.
    Yes, a very friendly place. Unfortunately I was assaulted in the toilets by another girl (after I reported her stealing from bags,) but I lived to return on many more nights.
    I saw too many groups to remember!
    I remember Thin Lizzy definitely and possibly Hawkwind?
    I remember some audition nights too - with local bands playing. Sad when it went!
    A great part of my growing up.

  103. 103 Dave Potter Jun 28th, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I played in a band called the Runaways. We played every Tuesday night for a year in the mid sixties in Mount Pleasant. We were a soul band and Billy Butler was DJ and usually one of the top country bands were on with us. Best club in town at the time. Great memories.

  104. 104 chris wharton Jul 29th, 2015 at 9:29 am

    we were the best rock venue in Liverpool.Thin Lizzie,Slade,Roy Young,Black Widow,were among the artistes who appeared and we had the Cavern worried sadly the council in their infinite wisdom decided to pull the place down now a huge car park replaces the Mardi Gras what a waste!

  105. 105 bernie smith Aug 24th, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    mardi grah was my second home great club i still have my membership card. but some of you are wrong the mardi was not on bold street it was on mount pleasant

  106. 106 bernie smith Aug 24th, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    does anyon remember the group VIC AND THE SPIDER i served my apprenticeship as a mechanic at fazakerley engineering and the drummer was the toolmaker.

  107. 107 Richie Sep 15th, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Came accross this website by accident when it was linked to the Cabin Club (come to that later) and it’s great to hear about the Mardi which I went to every week in the 60’s and saw all of the fantastic soul acts mentioned - local and international (plus Billy & Chris, of course).
    Anyway, after it changed to a rock venue I started going to the Cabin in Wood Street. I didnt realise it closed a few years ago and the Echo now say it is going to be redeveloped. My enquiry relates to ‘Brian’ who always seemed to be on the door even trhough he seemed to be quite old even in those days. Someone said on a site ’shame about Brian’ and I assume he has died but have been unable to confirm or deny this. Can anyone enlighten me please? Cheers

  108. 108 Gillian Kinder Sep 23rd, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Yes Bernie you are spot on. The Mardi was in mount pleasant, not Bold street as published above. I progressed to the Odd Spot after few years which was in Bold Street, 70’s by then.

  109. 109 Arty Feb 2nd, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Gary Crawford, were you the lead guitarist with The Rapides and the Blue Prints in Garston. love to hear from you, you can get in touch through the website…I was the drummer with The Pressure points

  110. 110 Dennis Jenkins Feb 24th, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Does anybody remember Ben (Jones), worked in the top bar 1967/8.

    He passed away two weeks ago, lots of good memories of the Mardi, I worked with him in 67/8.

  111. 111 John Z Apr 4th, 2017 at 4:53 am

    I remember going down Bold Street one evening to see That Petrol Emotion, in 86 or 87 (?) It was a small place, upstairs I think, with a good crowd that night. Band was pretty good as I recall. Around that time, and earlier, The System, The State, The Bluecoat, Planet X / Jody’s and a few other venues.

  1. 1 The Queen of Vintage | Fifties Fangirl Pingback on Jun 24th, 2016 at 2:39 pm

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