The story of Newcastle's Alernative Scene in the 1980s is presented in categories: Locations, Clubs, People and Bands.

Locations
newcastle upon tyne,quayside,1980s alternative scene
Newcastle was a grim place in the 1980s. Unemployment was high. Culture was low. The town centre was deserted on weekday nights and if you did venture out, you had to watch yourself because the quiet streets made it more dangerous, particularly if you had a look that wasn't to everybody's taste… there will be always be knackers looking for a fight but conditions were more in their favour back then, allowing them to operate in anonymity.

There were areas of desolation around the town, which was obvious in the neglect of buildings at the edges of town. You can see examples in the Newcastle Locations section that include Manors Station and the Quayside. NEWCASTLE LOCATIONS: click here

Clubs
newcastle upon tyne,rockshots,rathaus,80s alternative scene
From nowhere it seemed, although probably following on from punk, an alternative club scene developed that didn't impose dress codes to send you scuttling home. Suddenly we had places where it felt good to be dressed up and you could meet people you liked the look of; enjoy the music that you already liked and discover some more. These were exciting and liberating nights. To read about Mr Ms and A Packet of Cornflakes at Tiffanys, the various nights at Rockshots and host of others see NEWCASTLE ALTERNATIVE CLUBS IN THE 80S: click here

People
newcastle upon tyne,1980s alternative scene
I've created the Facebook group 'Newcastle's alternative scene in the 1980s' and loaded more than 80 photos I took of people who were around at the time. There are pictures from parties, various flats, a free gig on Eldon Green and a fashion show at Riverside. Click on the red links to join the Facebook group and see the full set. FACEBOOK PAGE Newcastle's alternative scene in the 1980s

Bands

neon,dont eat bricks,tim jones,wuh wuh monoconics,john peel,denny pooley,post punk said liquidator,simon mckay,third man,la di da records
Neon, from Durham, released two singles and played 300 gigs from 1977 to 1979. By all accounts they were a hugely energetic band and influenced other bands in the area with their riff based approach to songs. Read an in-depth interview with their singer, Tim Jones. NEON: click here

The Monoconics, were active from 1979-80. They were from Sunderlandand released one single, recorded a John Peel session and played a number of gigs including an appearance at the prestigious London ICA Rock Week in 1980. Read an interview with their singer, Denny Pooley. MONOCONICS: click here

Said Liquidator are the first band to be featured on ESN Records. July 2011 sees the release of their 'Anthology 1987-1991' on our label. Listen to their music, watch videos, read about their 33 songs, 139 gigs, 19 members, 44 rejection letters etc and do please consider buying their CD from this website or Amazon. SAID LIQUIDATOR: click here 

said liquidator,simon mckay,third man,la di da records

ON ESN RECORDS:
The 'Said Liquidator Anthology 1987-1991' contains 33 of the band's recordings. The songs have all been mastered from the original sources, mainly studio master tapes, and for the first time makes available high quality format releases of some songs that were only released on cassette during the band's lifetime.

To order CD click here

I can't think of a Newcastle band that was of great significance on the alternative scene in the 1980s. It was the club scene at the centre of the movement and that was based around records but I think there was always a hope that somebody would break through and the possible emergence of a local band was always a conversation point. Nothing ever seemed to happen though! The only bands that broke out of Newcastle in the 80s were those on Kitchenware - Prefab Sprout, Kane Gang, Daintees and Hurrah. (I'd be keen to add to it if you have any photos I can publish.) To see photos of various NEWCASTLE BANDS click here

Newcastle pages on this site:

SIMON McKAY

fanzine,post punk,clash,sex pistols,au pairs,delta 5,slits 
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