Saturday, 28 April 2012

Where have all the pub disco's gone?

Today i got to thinking back to the fun filled days of the 80's.
Unquestionably the best decade for music ever.
It occurred to me that at least once a week, one of the local watering holes used to put a disco on. The said disco was not for youngsters, it was for everyone.

For all those youngsters who read this, a pub disco was like a nightclub, except the bar stopped pulling at 11.30pm, drugs were hard to come by and you did not have to be wearing £500 worth of clothes to get in.

The disco would usually be a local part time DJ spinning his vinyl while crammed into a tight corner in the back room of the pub. The clientele were usually regulars mixed with a few who would abandon their own watering hole for the chance of a knees up, and some once a week visitors who were only to glad for the release. I don't think there is a better feeling in the world than getting your glad rags on, heading to the pub, opening the doors to hear Falco banging out.

I remember one such watering hole "The Wheatsheaf" located half way up Ogley road Brownhills. This pub was nothing special for 6 days of the week, however on a Friday night it turned into something magical. The house DJ was "Polly" who had a catch phrase of "super sounds of the 60's" or 70's for that matter. He would play anything from Diana Ross through to UB40 and all things in between. Grown men would be up there doing their thing, right next to 18 year old's who were wobbling around after 2 pints of Carling. Polly new the art of keeping the place bouncing with great tune after great tune. Occasionally the place would get a bit rowdy with people bouncing about like a box of frogs, sometimes you would hear Pollys decks get knocked as the needle zipped across the record making an awful screeching noise! Once he fired the next tune up a great cheer would go out as everyone got down to some more dancing. The rooms would be full of real smoke, no need for smoke machines in those days!
When it came to the end of the night everyone would begin to exit in an orderly manner (no need for rozzers and bouncers).
Some would head off home, some would head up to Ogley working mans club to get a last drink in, and others would head up to the high street for food (a curry in the Akash). Don't get me wrong, there was the odd occasion when some one kicked off, however it would usually be sorted out in no time at all.

Another pub that had a good disco for a while was the Railway Tavern. This pub was located on the Lichfield road halfway between the Memo and the island at the top of the high street. The room the disco was held in was slightly larger than the Wheatsheaf's disco room. This was a disco that attracted more of the youth than the older clientele. If i remember correctly this disco was on a Saturday and helped when you couldn't make the Wheatsheaf one on a Friday.

I guess my point is this; Why don't we see these type of discos any more? What has changed in society that going to a pub disco has become a rarity? In fact in my travel's around the Midlands, i rarely see pub discos advertised anywhere!
Are the super sounds of Diana Ross never to be heard reverberating around a pub again? Or will the pubs disco day once again be part of our social lives?

Not sure the worlds a better place now than it was then.

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