First Club experience

Well we’ve all had one. Think back to that first time you walked into the world of night clubs in Brisbane. Was it Rumours, Patches, Tracks, Transformers, Pips, Chequers, Whispers, Manhattans,The Move or even Grand Orbit, Super Deluxe, Mary Street, Mass or Alice’s Rock Cafe? ¬†Or somewhere else (or even Someplace Else!).

Thinking back I do recall upstairs at the Cockatoo Bar at the Beat early 80’s celebrating my 17th birthday. We then went on to Trinity Place (does anyone remember the Bruce Lee fluro painting on the dancefloor?). That was a big night alright. I teased the hair up and wore a shirt I made that I had painted lots of banana’s with top hats on. I teamed it with a pair of op shop tuxedo pants and pointy flats. Classy.

Can you remember where you went, what you wore and what you danced to?

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34 Responses to First Club experience

  1. M Billing says:

    My first niteclub was Friday’s, I walked in and was escorted out the back approximately 5 minutes later. Being 16 didn’t really work for them. Never needed to revisit that experience.

  2. Chris says:

    I can remember my first big ‘night in the town’, but maybe not my first night club.. When I was 16 I went with into town with some friends from school on a Friday night. We started off at the National Hotel in Queen Street and then on to World By Night, certainly not a night club, but very entertaining as a 16 year old..

    I guess my first “real” nightclub was probably Tracks, or something like that. 80’s pop music wasn’t really my thing, and I realised that I needed to ditch my old school friends and venture on. Morticia’s at the Hacienda on Brunswick Street was more my style, and then my favourite, The Move at the Majestic Hotel on George St in the City.

    Around 1988 I spent a bit of time at Patch’s above the Roxy. This is where I took my younger brother and his mate to their first night club. They were underage and both into heavy metal, (not very compatible with house music, and gay culture, you would think), but surprisingly in their Metallica T-Shirts they fitted in quite well and had a ball! Also went to the Terminus which was across the road (opposite the Valley train station), and The Beat.

    Then in the early 90’s it was Backstage, Metropolis, Mass, Funkyard, and a whole heap of others that I can’t even remember right now…

  3. Jo-anne says:

    The first club I went to in Brisbane was “Hot Gossip” in Albert street under Jo Jos. My friend and I had “shopped” at the Pick n Pay Aspley Hyperdome earlier in the day where I purchased my first set of blue and silver eyeshadows and “frosty pink” lipstick to wear out to the club. We caught the 6pm, 502 bus in from Aspley to the city, we hung at “Tops” for hours at the top of the Myer Centre, road the rollercoaster and ordered a fluffy duck from the bar, and then went and lined up outside Hot Gossip. I was wearing a black and white polka dot mid driff top with huge shoulder pads from Sportsgirl, Jeanswest jeans that I rolled up with white school socks and black shoes . I had teased my fringe. My “club look” was inspired by Bananarama, Madonna and Pseudo Echo. I remember walking down the stairs into Hot Gossip just in awe of the lights, the sound, the people … thinking it was nothing like a school dance! We ordered vodka and orange, took a seat, watched everyone dancing and eventually we got up and danced to music I had never heard before. Then suddenly my friend told me it was time to go – the last 502 bus back to Aspley was leaving around 11pm ….this was the beginning of my club career in Brisbane.

    • glenski says:

      “black and white polka dot mid driff top with huge shoulder pads…jeans that I rolled up with white school socks and black shoes”

      I wish girls would dress like this nowadays.

  4. Hi please see my website and project concept which mirrors some of your 32179361
    I have 130 copyright stories and assisted Andrew Stafford with research for pig city and have produced 19 films now made since is being used for rock chicks at the melbourne arts centre.
    The films will be streamed at state library nearly 5 hours of content.seems we have similar ideas.

    I was the spokesperson for the valley music council and what was lacking was this kind of info thats why i set about to create the multi media project.
    Kel johnston

  5. Darren says:

    My first experience was at Sybils with my best mate. We went to Sybils a whole “15 years old” and we looked it too! This was in the early 80’s. After paying the cover charge which was an exorbitant $6 from memory, all but cleaned us out we were amazed with the lights & music etc. We then went straight to the bar & ordered 2 vodka & orange (the standard drink for youngies as it tased ok). The barmaid came back and asked for $8 or whatever it was for the two drinks. We didn’t have that much between us, so we were quick and asked for a beer and 1 x vodka & orange, the barmaid came back and asked for $6 which we also didn’t have. We then asked the by now not very happy barmaid for 1 x beer, paid the $2 or similar and gleefully shared it. We then enjoyed the music and people watching for another half an hour then left and raced to catch the last train home. Boy were we proud of ourselves – so much so that we both (we’re still friends) remember it all 28years later.

  6. Anthony says:

    I remember my first club experience like it was yesterday, Images (what Top of the State became) 1985. I loved it so much there, that it became a home away from home for me until it closed in January 1987. Made a bunch of good friends there, and the view of Brisbane was unbelieveable.

  7. Gav says:

    Well it would have to be infamous Court Jester, AKA The Court Molester. That was 1983. I recall the uproar when the cost of a pot of beer hit the $1 mark. Atrocious music.
    From there it was the “old” Underground which was our staple hang out week in week out for 4 or 5 years. Mainly Friday nights then Sunday for the 1/2 price drinks before 9.00pm and all over by 12.00. Not bad for those of us who had to work Mondays.
    Also recall the Tanstand on top of the old Canberra Hotel. I spent many friday nights drinking there before hitting one of the coolest altenative clubs of the 80’s, a place called the Dancebar. If you were into The Smiths, New Order, Depeche Mode or The Cure then the Dancebar was certainly the place to be. If you wanted something a bit darker, then head next door to Morticia’s.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Gav
      Well the Molester is getting some coverage lately! It still makes me laugh. I do remember the Tankstand at the Canberra – it was a great place to have a drink on a Friday night. Do you recall the times they had a club on the ground floor as well?
      Many a great night out was had in the city. So much variety and never too crowded or nasty.

  8. ANDY c says:

    hi guysi not sure who is behind this,great plan.but u seem to miss the the point here,there are lot off clubs that were (main stream. vs altertive )…that have not been talked about. and from what i can some dates and places are out off sync.i just like to ask what happen toTHE
    ALARM @ 8…1 ELIZABRTH ST THE CITY(held the 1st every dance oparty using
    the word “RAVE” it was call ” RAVE UK 1″ Headliner was paul holdon from
    sdy)THE SITE NIGHT CLUB THE VALLEY (BRISBANES 1ST SUPER CLUB)FLARES (strated in 1980 and still going dj was the main off all style johhny -g)and how can forget THE GO GO CLUB (pre funk yard same address) then pre – Super Deluxe, press Clubat the Empire – was a weekly club nite night called AL SOULED OUT(massive , started the acid jazz revation )
    there is more if u would like my help and i keen to as key people who where really there .
    my self i have wored in the brisbane club sence for 22 years.


    • Pauline says:

      Hey Andy all those clubs you mentioned are in the club list. The only one missing is the Go Go Club. We’ve had a bit of confusion about that one. People have thought it was Lu-Lus. I seem to be swaying towards Lu-Lus as well. Also the project is about everyone’s contribution. So we do appreciate information, dates and addresses of clubs.

  9. sammy says:

    Whenever anyone asks me where we met? I say The Beat – he was the
    only straight man there! This is pretty much true. I don’t
    remember anyone else who looked straight that night. We were
    introduced through a mutual friend who owned the house he was
    living in. I was tired and didn’t want to go out as I had a schools
    drama show early the next morning. But for old times sake I went.
    I remember kissing for hours and dancing on the dancefloor. At one
    point I said to some of the other dancers: “does our outward>>> display of heterosexuality bother you?” they said it didn’t. 12
    years later, we still celebrate that night as our “pashing
    anniversary”. And when I drive past The Beat, I have a little smile
    on my face.

  10. Danielle says:

    I first went to ‘Tracks’ as a 16 year old in 1987. I remember dancing to ‘ Boom boom boom let’s go back to my room’. My friends and I danced around our handbags. I was terrified when a real man (any bloke over 17) tried to talk to me. The girls up on stage wore fluro leotards and white ankle boots. It was only $1 for wine and orange which meant it was possible to catch the train, have a few drinks then a cheeseburger on the way home for less than $10.

    • Pauline says:

      What a bargain night Danielle, and pretty funny at the same time. What about how you could buy wine and orange for $1 – do you think the orange was HI-C? I always remember that being on the post mix machine. It did have a resemblance to Tang. I quite liked it. Don’t get me started on those Tracks dancers, remember when they danced out the front of Tracks? I used to love seeing them on a Friday night. You even got a cheeseburger in as well. Talk about living the life!

  11. Kaboom says:

    My first niteclub experience was at the Metropolis in the Myer Centre Bus station. I think my visit was some time just after Expo88 and went with a bunch of school mates (& no fake ID either) . Great underground bar which existed until the mid 90’s. Sometimes there were live bands on during the day time as well which made for a good vibe where the crowd were mostly students & the unemployed type. Cheap drinks and heaps of pool tables too (now there’s a contemporary novelty for clubs nowadays). Was a shame when it closed. I’m glad it was considered one of the “cooler” venues at the time and can hold my head high with pride when i reminisce (Mary St/Fridays peeps i’m looking at you…)

    • Cindy says:

      I remember Metropolis, with the pool tables, and bands during the lunch hour. I’ve been trying to remember where that was, so thanks for that…

    • Belinda says:

      Met a guy there John Kennedy from memory New Years Eve 1988. 6 weeks after my son was born. He was the perfect gentleman I wonder where he is now?

  12. Troy says:

    Does anyone happen to have any photos of the Roxy, it turned into the Arena.
    I met my wife at the Roxy in 1987 and wouldnt mind a photo just to show off the sleazy place we met in.

  13. matt says:

    troy, that roxy club in brunswick street used to be a norman ross furniturs store owned by Mr ross and Harvey Norman thus “norman ross” there may be pics of it around. you used to walk upstairs to the lounges. thats what then became patches upstairs and roxy downstairs. I was there on opening night. I did have some photos of a mondo rock concrt in there approx 1988. I’ll see if I still have them… Matt

  14. TeakLipstickFiend says:

    The first time I walked into a club I walked straight out. It was 1985, I was 17 and friends and I were following some cute buskers. They went in and we followed them, but only got down the steps and then chickened out. It was on George St, I think, close to Roma St. The buildings there were knocked down afterwards and there was an empty lot there used as a car park for a long time.

    I think the first one I properly went into was The Love Inn, in the Valley. I might have posters for that packed away somewhere. Or maybe it was The Roxy, where I went in 1985 after my sister’s wedding.

    Other places I went to in the late 80s and very early 90s (before leaving Brissy): The Go-Go (? maybe on the far end of Edward St? Not sure.) The Move, Backstage, Wall Street (rather sleazy). There might have been a gothic-y club on Elizabeth St, near the arcade, down some steps.

    The Beat, mentioned above, rings a bell.

    I don’t think I have any photos. We took photos before going out, sometimes, but never had a camera in the club. Would have been different had their been mobile phones in those days.

  15. TeakLipstickFiend says:

    Looking at your club list, I think I meant Lu-Lu’s when I said The Go-Go.

  16. David says:

    My first club experience was in the Penthouse Nightclub on the Gold Coast . There used to be a colored dancefloor like the one on saturday night fever . Does anyone on here have an inside pic of it ? I sure would like to remember how it looked 1979

  17. allen travers says:

    Anyone remember the nightclub in town called transformers and where it was. Also what was the nightclub that opened up I think a few doors away in the same street.

  18. KWF says:

    My first night out was 15 at the Normanby with my older sisters, their friends and my mother. I took $10 and stumbled back to Milton on my own to grab a saucepan and lie down and have a spew. You learnt all the tricks off your older siblings in those days. More surprising was that a few months later I took my young sister and girlfriend, both barely 14. Then more and more 16 year olds started turning up. We progressed to the Paddo Barracks where most people were wearing ties and suit jackets. Amazingly they let us in and we had some wild nights. Around the same time I discovered Berties Tavern which quickly morphed into the Go Go club (with go go girls in cages, then the best club on earth, The Funkyard. For some reason all the grungy bars had $2 VB cans and me and all my friends thought it was the best beer in the world (such maturity). We also regularly went to Metroplis and often went home with no memory. We continued to frequent the Paddington area which included Outrageous (“Underagers”). Across the road, Cafe Neon was a bit hard to get into and remember it was the start of grunge.

    The guy that worked in the Deli invited me out on a Thursday night to Mary Street. I recall the cheap drinks and being the only person with long hair – a fish out of water…. and school the next day.

    Other places I failed to ever enter (most likely because I sported black stretch jeans) were Charlottes (Club 131) – I went there from the Embassy on the stoke of midnight on my 18th birthday because I was getting in there when I was 16 until the new heavy fines came out, the Victory, City Rowers, Fridays etc.
    Metropolis and the Funkyard shut down and the closing of the Funkyward was everything it should be. The most epic night I’ve ever had. $20 entry, a piece of carpet and a plastic cup and your choice of liquor. Why did I go triple bundy rums??? I fell asleep sitting beside the dance floor on the only ledge I could find, which just happened to be a girl’s shoulder (and she let me – ahh those were the days). The night ended driving a gorgeous girl back to Indooroopilly and dropping her off at a convent school? I’m sure I shouldn’t have been driving.
    Back to Paddo, Cafe Neon we called Cafe Nowhere. I saw my first Powderfiniger gig there around 1993 and the crowd was small. My friend and I were the only ones up drunkenly dancing….. who would have known what they were to become. There were so many other great bands that slowly wilted out of memory.

    The Embassy became a favourite haunt and we were regulars to see Tickled Pink perform their cover set every Friday night. After that it was anywhere that would let us in. I was still 17 and wearing Doc Martens and black stretch jeans so the choices remained limited.

    Her Majesty’s was definitely a big one. Great music, cheap drinks and smack bang in the middle of the mall. I can remember walking out and seeing those damn blue sails and thinking it was daylight already on more than one occasion.

    I left for a year in 1994 to return and find that Paddo Barracks had become a shambles. Half my school being there lapping up buckets (remember those at St Pauls?).

    Dooleys and a few other pubs int eh Valley got a fair run after that but from here it gets a bit blurry…..

    I can fast forward to 2000. Times had changed, grunge was gone and pills were in and the Valley had changed for ever. Gone were the bikers and strippers and every other seedy sub-culture that infested the place, replaced with a “live like there is no tomorrow, cashed up youth with blonde quiffs and borderline bourgeois mentality”. Gone was the scull 3 tallies on the way out and suck down $2VB cans with a flanny tied to your waist in case it gets cold, and if the night became too much take your pick of the hedges to sleep it off.

    • KWF says:

      I left out the glow in the dark pool balls at the Funk Yard!
      Also Treasury Tavern, Criterion, Alices (a piano bar – not my cup of tea), Wall Street Niteclub (sketchy!), Lexington Queen (good for a late night dance), Transformers, and later…… free drinks at Transcontinental if you knew someone in police with the “little blaque book” (just get red wine and put it under the table for later).

  19. Hoges says:

    The jester ,THENIGHTCLUB IN brizz
    Y 80s,good times ,met my beloved wife there, still married 30 yr later, great working class crowd, not yuppies like @ images or Rosie’s,ha great times,great friends , lotsa laffs ha

  20. Hoges says:

    The mythical
    council club, anyone ever get there??

  21. Hoges says:

    Don’t forget the winter garden, which my mates and I would frequently harass the piano player into singing Baby Face, he secretly loved us , we drew a crowd to watch us heckle him,therefore making it a fantastic night out , hahaha. He would say when we walked in, ohhhh “here come the Cockroaches,,,

  22. Belinda Scott says:

    Court Jesters was my home away from home for “oh my” 7 years started going there when I was 16 (no ID was ever asked..hehehe). Celebrated my 18th & 21st there. Great times with great friends & met alot of friends on the way. I remember the Coach (my favourite bouncer) asking me how old I was on my 18th birthday .. the look on his face was a classic & he replied but you’ve been coming here 2 yrs .. all I could say when I relised I put my foot in it was oops not my fault I never got asked ID. The last night was like a big reunion with all the regulars .. a sad night but best time. I have lots of pics & great memories. Xx

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