Before the new Cloudland there was Whispers…

I thought that we would have another look at a club or should I say it was THE club to go to Whispers. It was located in Brunswick Street at what was known as “Downtown Brisbane” instead of Fortitude Valley. Whispers was opened in 1979 as Brisbane’s premier entertainment centre by the then Premier of Queensland, Joh Bjelke Peterson. Spread over three levels, Whispers catered for functions and the general public with a capacity of 1,000 people. A group of commissionaires dressed in red suit tails acted as security and ensured the dressed regulations were adhered to.There was valet parking, cigarette girls, drink waiters and a very ritzy a-la-carte silver service restaurant. No expense was spared on the fit-out. Half a million dollars was spent on lighting which was created by the Studio 54 lighting designers. The entire sound system focussed on the dance floor resulting in being able to communicate to your friends without shouting. Whispers also hosted regular live entertainment with top acts of the day performing.

I had the pleasure of meeting at our Roadshow the lovely Olga Smeldley. She was the head receptionist at Whispers. Olga was the “meet and greet” of the establishment. Fortunately she has held on to quite a bit of memorabilia from Whispers including menus, promotional flyers, photos and drink lists. Olga also has a wealth of stories which I will share with you in the coming months.

Whispers closed it’s doors in 1983. Soon after Manhattans opened. If you went to Whispers or worked there we’d love to hear from you.

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16 Responses to Before the new Cloudland there was Whispers…

  1. LeeAnne king(jackson) says:

    my friend kerrie Campbell and i come from the gold coast (1980) to bris for a few days and we went to whispers for a night out and debbie byrne was performing. we had a great night got really hammered and ran an absolute muck…

  2. John Licastro says:

    I was a regular at the club and have no doubt that it was the best Club venue Brisbane had during the seventies and eighties.
    Some great long term friendship where created during those time.

    • Alf MENA says:

      Do you know anyone that has any photos of the inside of the club, am looking for some for sybils as well

      • john licastro says:

        Try contacting a gentleman called Charlie DArrigo, who lives at FernyHills. (3351 8031 or 0415 862 743) email: .
        Charlie owned and operated a security company of staff/bounces in the 1970’s to early 1990’s. Charlie and his staff where the bounces at Festival Hall concerts, Images,Sybils and Whispers etc. Most regulars to these ventures knew Charlie – he may have some photo’s.

  3. Alf MENA says:

    Looking for photos of the interior of Sibyls Nightclub in Brisbane from the 1980’s or any photos from Sibyls nightclub

    • Pauline says:

      Alf, we do have quite a few pics that belong to DJ Tim who played there as well as at Images.

      • Donna says:

        Hi Pauline, I’m also looking for photos of Sybils and Images just for decoration at a 50th birthday in a few months. Can you please let me know how I can get in touch regarding this. Thank you.

    • Karen Willott says:

      I loved Sibyls, used to go every week in late 80,s, I have a group picture of some people I used to there with and also of the lady who used to sell roses there, it was also taken by the photographer who used to go there every week and ask if you would like your picture taken…So fortunate to grown up in this time Bris Vegas was the best….

  4. Janet says:

    We used to go to Whispers all the time in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Loved it. I met my husband there and we were married for 32 years. We would book a booth and always used the valet service. Great memories !

  5. Tino pezzimenti says:

    I never missed a week at whispers, am also very interested in any photos of the interior

  6. Zoran dodig says:

    My father was head chef at whispers back in the day he has photos I will get him to dig them out

  7. Peter Molloy says:

    Hi, I was the manager of Whispers when it was named Mamies in the late seventies. We always had headline Australian live music. We had a lot of overseas artists in late after their Brisbane concerts like I remember Mick Fleetwood jamming with the house band and many others. We also had a lot of racing people drinking on Saturday night after the races, visiting sporting teams would always frequent when playing in Brisbane. It was a great club no rubbish all good clean fun, great staff and always had a lot of fun and yes Olga was the front lady, I hope she is still alive and doing well she was a real lady.
    If any of the old staff read this I would love to catch up sometime.

  8. Sandy de oliveira says:

    I was a regular at mamies 5.00 to get in with a meal ticket Olga was on the door we sure were the cool kids about 10 of us used to occupy the same table everytime. I did date one of the bar men for a while. So many great bands came there only went there when it became whispers never felt the same.

  9. Catherine Mahoney says:

    My husband and I conducted our early courtship there in 1980. Saw live acts Little River Band fronted by John Farnham, Jon English, the Drifters, and more. Fond memories.

  10. Brigid Fitzpatrick says:

    I worked in the kitchen for over a year at Whispers. I was a shy quiet girl and whoa, Whispers was not a shy quiet place! I remember two of the Queens birthday balls, so much fun. And Aussie favourites were always on, Jon English, Marcia Hines etc.. and when there was no act the dancing was mesmerising. A couple of the guests would always be standouts. It was a great club.

  11. Ron DeFore says:

    I was Whisper’s first DJ imported from the U.S. as the “Flying DJ” (that’s a long story I detail in my book coming out July 15, 2019, “Growing Up In Disneyland.” My experience at Whispers and meeting so many wonderful Ausies a some of my best memories. I would love to connect with some of the folks I met there but can’t remember all their names. I do remember a fellow DJ, Brian. Hope to hear from folks and you’ll love my story about Whispers in my book:

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