UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 29 APRIL 2016
A new exhibition titled ‘Is Anyone out There?’ aims to shed a light on legendary Birmingham venue – The Click Club. It is presented by our own Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research and in collaboration with established music promoter and photographer Dave Travis.
The brainchild of Dave Travis and Steve Coxon, The Click Club was set up in 1986 and operated as a venue and brand from the nightclub ‘Burberries on the Street’ which was situated on pre-regeneration Broad Street - almost unrecognisable from the modern extravaganza we see today. Dave said:
"Steve and I started The Click Club out of frustration at having to travel all over the Midlands to see the bands that we liked or that we were reviewing for the music press. We thought that it would be an ideal situation if we stayed where we were and the bands came to us."
With a limited capacity of only a few hundred per night, and a back track record of highly prestigious bookings including Primal Scream, The Mighty Lemon Drops, The Charlatans, Fatboy Slim and Blur, The Click Club was a hugely influential part of Birmingham’s nightlife legacy.
'Is Anyone Out There?' uses a mix of original photographs, film footage, audio recordings, fly posters, contracts, riders and eyewitness accounts to paint a picture of just what the venue was really like, and just how prolific its impact has been over its 30-year lifespan. The exhibition aims to post the questions: what is the value of this material? What does it tell us beyond confirming the memories of the few individuals it concerned? Does such material have wider importance and contributions to make for our understanding of the past?
Professor Paul Long, one of the curators of the exhibition, said: "The title of the exhibition comes from 1986 single ‘Is there anyone out there’ from local band Mighty Mighty. The lovelorn lyric evokes the romantic angst of youth but also poses a question for the curators of this exhibition: who is out there who might know about the Click Club and is anyone else interested in this subject?”
As well as providing a name for the exhibition, Mighty Mighty will also be playing a short private performance at the exhibitions launch on Tuesday 4 May.
The exhibition takes place from Wednesday 4 to Friday 27 May 2016 at The Parkside Gallery. Admission is free. To find out more you can check the event’s Facebook page, or follow the hashtag ClickClubBCU.