The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168829 Message #4082345
Posted By: rich-joy
07-Dec-20 - 09:26 PM
Thread Name: folk club rooms i have dwelt in
Subject: RE: folk club rooms i have dwelt in
In Perth, Western Australia, I can recall regularly enjoying a couple of folk venues in the early 70s.
One was the Governor Broome Folksong Club, started and run by Geoff Morgan (his wife Margaret was one of my very favourite singers!)
From the vicinity of the Perth’s lovely 1880 Railway Station, one crossed the “Horseshoe Bridge” from William St into “The Badlands”, over the narrow Roe St with its infamous “Ladies of the Night” to where the Governor Broome Hotel stood on the corner. The area is nowadays the upmarket and artsy “Northbridge” …….. :)
The GB was a wonderful folk club (in the large dining room from memory), that was absolutely chockers every Friday night (I rem’ber the whole audience singing a rowdy Happy Birthday to me on my 21st, LoL). Perth had a large contingent of British Isles & Ireland migrants and the folk clubs reflected this, although, every type of ‘folk’ music was popularly performed, including American, blues, and contemporary.
After I left to do “The Overland Trip” in 76, I heard that a disgruntled client from the brothels, out the back, had set fire to the place!! I believe the hotel was also a popular alternative band (esp punk) venue, but was demolished in 1983.
The other main venue, that came a bit later, was The Stables Folk Club.
This was – yep, you guessed it – in the loft of an old stables, out back of the Mount Hotel (conveniently, situated in Mount Street – or maybe the back entrance was Malcolm St?) anyway, not far from the beautiful Kings Park on Mt Eliza, and, which hotel was more of a residential, rather than an alcohol-serving hotel.
My mate, Jan Hendry, had stayed there a while and now figured the outbuildings would make a great performance venue. So 3 of us cleaned the place up on a zero $ budget, and Jan started the folk club. Not terribly big, but VERY popular (on Thursday nights perhaps?) and soon Jan turned the running over to performer Stan Hastings, who had in recent years, migrated with his family from Wales.
I recall we had folk dance ‘classes’ there too, and the floor could often be seen gently heaving, haha! But I then lost touch with the folkscene for awhile, so I have no idea how long this venue lasted. It’s certainly not there now……
The city is, IMHO, barely recognizable now, due to the razing of lovely historic buildings and byways - which probably began in the 60s but the influx of Mining $$$, esp by the 80s, has exacerbated the decline of the place I once knew . Sure, visitors may marvel at it now (and do), but I, like a good folkie, just prefer a healthy mix of the historical amongst the skyscrapers, steel, mega-money and glitz! :)
PS there were also venues like Mulligans of Milligan St and the Albert Tavern where Irish bands like The Quarefellas and The Ranting Lads used to play, but I dunno much about them – coz you can’t go to Everything, eh!!