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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:25 pm 
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Anyone any information Mothers Club in Birminghamd? Pink Floyd played there 4 times in the 1960s. Just wondering what the fuss was about!!

http://www.neptunepinkfloyd.co.uk/pfcdb ... =244&bid=3


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:03 pm 
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I posted what was purportedly a photograph of Mothers club, or the building above which it was situated, HERE . I have no other info about it, other than the building below it is currently a chemists.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 7:38 pm 
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OMG it looks tiny!! How could any "happenings" happen in there?? :lol:

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:24 pm 
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The heading under that photograph stated "the site of what was once Mothers Club in Birmingham" so I don't know whether that means there was a different building there previously, although the design of that one does look very much in keeping with the 60s. Here's some information and memories I found relating to the club.

Mothers Club in Erdington, Birmingham, an early psychedelic music venue, opened on the 9th of August 1968 with a performance by Duke Sunny, and closed on the 3rd of January 1971, with a blockbusting three-band show by Quintessence, Stonehouse and Happy. The following is a personal record of that club, and that era.


John Peel:"People are amazed to hear that for a few years the best club in Britain was in Erdington."

Roy Harper: "Oh blimey - that was the first club outside London that meant anything at all and that's why there's been this long association with Birmingham. I played there about six times between 1968 and 1970. I have always enjoyed playing here."

More memories

I don't know now who suggested we go to Mothers. There was a gang of us, just sixteen years old, and all into this "new" music. Alan Greensall and Robert Russell and Kevin Nurrish and Colin Walker and me: all sporting our brand-new centre-partings as our hair crept unceremoniously over our ears, with little bum-fluff moustaches staining our upper lips. This must have been 1969. The year previously we'd come back from our Summer holidays to find psychedelic graffiti slapped around the walls of our school, in swirling, colourful letters. All you need is love. Turn on, tune in, drop out. Make Love not War. They were heady days, in more ways than one. Hippies never referred to themselves as hippies at all. They called themselves "Heads".

So, anyway, whoever first suggested it, we all trouped off to Mothers, the Mecca for psychedelic music in Birmingham at the time and the only place to see the new bands. The thing is, none of us knew what to expect. We were discussing it beforehand, wondering what to wear. I mean, in those days people still went out fox-trotting on a Friday evening. They dressed up in suits and ties to make a night of it. So, of course, that's what we thought we should do too. We put on our best suits. Mine was a four-buttoned Mod-suit made for me by my grandfather. And Robert Russell's, as I remember, was a two-tone suit of shiny grey. I had on a pair of brogues.

As soon as we got to the queue we knew we'd made a mistake. No one else had suits on at all. They were in battered jeans with triangular, flowery-vents to make them flared, with ragged patches all over them, which hung about the heels sucking up the dirt. And some of them were wearing old stripy blazers or duffel coats two sizes too small. And bangles and beads and badges. And they all had hair. Cascades of hair. Puff-ball frizzes of hair, like mini nuclear explosions on their heads, and beards and sideburns and moustaches to make our feeble attempts look like a joke. It was like we'd walked into a foreign country. Hair country.

It was after that night that I started to dress down, and my Mum became embarrassed at the strange incomprehensible monster I was turning into. She just couldn't understand why I ripped my jeans on purpose, and put patches all over them, when she was quite happy to buy me a new pair. Ah Mothers: they never do understand, do they? So there were two kinds of Mother now: the cool, clubby sort; and then the other sort, the one at home who continued to remind you that you were still only a boy really.

The queue shuffled grumblingly down the alley into a side-entrance, and then we were shepherded into a gloomy room. It was five bob to get in. That's five shillings to you, or 25p. It was five bob for the lesser bands, and twelve and six (55p) for the top-notch superstars. Pink Floyd recorded parts of their live album, Ummagumma there, and Traffic had their world debut there. Led Zeppelin played there, as did many of the top bands of the period.

I remember posters on the walls and the tang of beer. The walls were painted black. There was a set of creaking wooden stairs with posters all the way up. Posters on the ceiling. The bar was as the back, behind a partition. We bought our pints (although we were far too young and certainly didn't look old enough) and went to sit at the front. There were rickety chairs lined up. Dancing was scorned, unless it was Idiot Dancing, that crazed head-shaking twitch that made the performer look like he was just developing Parkinson's disease. Then the band came on. I forget who they were, except they played harmony guitars. They glanced out at the audience and said, "hey look, the straights are here." We were looking over our shoulders wondering who they were talking about. It took a second before we realised it was us. We took compensation from the fact that they called us straights rather than schoolboys. At least it implied we stood for something.And that's about all I remember from that night. I think I liked the band, though they've lost themselves in the mists of time for me. I even went out and bought their album. I know that Robert Russell and Alan Greensall, budding guitarists both, spent the evening straining forward to watch the guitarists' fingers leap about the fret-board like Chinese money-lenders with an abacus. And afterwards we had curry and chips from a takeaway (that was the height of exotica at the time) and then walked home. It took hours. We lived virtually on the other side of Birmingham, in Sheldon. When I got home my parents were still awake. My Dad shouted at me. He said, "what time do you call this?" I said, "I dunno, what time do you call it then?" He said, "don't be so cheeky." It was the beginning of youthful rebellion for me. Mum couldn't sleep, he told me. I guess he was irritated that me being awake was keeping Mum awake, which was keeping him awake.

After that we started going to Mothers on a regular basis, almost every Friday night, and sometimes on a Wednesday too, if I remember. We saw a string of bands. Black Sabbath were virtually the resident band there. Black Sabbath were from just down the road, in the Black Country. There was the Edgar Broughton Band with their homage to Captain Beefheart.

I remember Blodwyn Pig, who were some sort of off-shoot from Jethro Tull. And the Soft Machine, who were so intellectual that they took their name from a William Burroughs novel, and who appeared at the proms one year. I liked Soft Machine. John Peel was DJ-ing one night. He was already balding, though his hair dangled limply over his shoulders. He was wearing stripy fingerless gloves. He played the whole of one side of Anthem Of The Sun by the Grateful Dead, and never spoke a word. Psychedelic DJs were far too cool to speak, though it made you wonder exactly what they were being paid for.

We saw the Battered Ornaments, who were Pete Brown's band and the Deviants. The Deviants had once been Mick Farren's band, when they were called The Social Deviants. Mick Farren had an underlying political message. He later went on to write for the NME, and to found the free festival movement with his Phun City benefit festival for the Oz defendants, and has since become a freelance writer of some renown. n those days several of the bands used to ritually destroy their equipment as the finale of the set. It was a radical statement against the perversity of materialism. The Who did it first, then Jimmy Hendrix. The Deviants were so radical that they destroyed their drumkit at the beginning of the set, and had to play rest of the night without. Far-out, man. Cool. This was probably intentional as they were not a particularly good band.

And that's all I remember of Mothers. A cultural eddy in the current of time, some passing moments from the late sixties and early seventies. Will it ever be the same again? Will anything ever be the same?

After I'd finished writing this I was telling a friend about the club. We were talking about our first hangover. I told him about Mothers and how one night I'd woken up with cramp after drinking beer for the first time.

"Mothers Club?" he asked, puzzled. "Why would you want to go to a Mothers Club?" He was confused. He had visions of groups of Mothers sitting round discussing knitting patterns and child care arrangements.

"No, Mothers as in Mother f***ers," I told him, faintly embarrassed. The spell was broken. I could never hear the name ‘Mothers' again without thinking of the knitting.


copied fromhere


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:57 pm 
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I also found this bit of trivia on Wiki.

The club had very low ceilings and the heat generated by the crowd and the equipment was sometimes overwhelming. Keith Moon collapsed from the heat during the performance of Tommy although he was eventually revived by a bucket of water. During a Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band performance, the heat produced condensation from the ceilings which dripped into the amplifiers, causing a short circuit


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:00 pm 
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I thought I had been to some rough and uncomfortable places! :lol: That place sounds like it used to be very painful indeed! :shock:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:54 am 
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I saw the Floyd at Mothers in Erdington on the 8th March 1970. The club was tiny, probably only held a couple of hundred people. There was a bar at the back. The small stage was about 18 inches high and there were 2 rows of seats in front of it - everyone else stood. Because we got there early, we got beers and sat in the second row. When the Floyd came on they were right in front of us, about 4 feet away. It was the most intimate gig of the 17 times I saw them between 1967 and 1972.

Amazing!

Simon


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:23 pm 
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All I can say is that I'm officially jealous :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:31 am 
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I was also there on 8 March 1970 but, together with 3 friends, we stood near the back. I seem to remember that the club was housed in an old building. Maybe it was knocked down shortly afterwards to be replaced with the one in the picture, or alternatively just the frontage had been modernised. The entrance was a door in the side of the building and once inside you went upstairs to the club. The ceiling was low and it was incredibly hot and I remember being soaked in sweat by the end. I can`t remember the complete set list but it was pretty typical of the time - no surprises unfortunately - but an absolutely unforgettable experience.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:39 pm 
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Just found a documentary on Youtube about the club:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re8vhAwr ... detailpage]

Here`s a recent picture of the building that used to house the club. The entrance was down the alleyway at the side:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:26 am 
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Thanks for that 8) . They could have got a better narrator for the film though.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Hi - to read about Mothers, take a look at http://www.birminghamforum.co.uk/index. ... 961.0.html
Lots of reminiscences about the club and the bands. I was at the recording of Ummagumma and have the Mothers poster from that night. I've only joined this forum to post this so have yet to work out how to post photos - I'll add a picture of the poster which is currently on display at the Home of Metal exhibition in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. There's a book about Mothers published by Birmingham Libraries, written by Kevin Duffy - it's still available and can be ordered online.

The shop in the photo is the same as it's always been in my memory from being a Mothers attendee from Oct 68 to when it closed. It was a furniture/carpet shop and the space upstairs was a storeroom until it turned into the Carlton ballroom and then Mothers. They eventually wanted their store room back and the lease to Mothers wasn't renewed. What a waste!

Maybe someone on this forum can help me. I have a few Mothers posters but one has me stumped. It's a Pink Floyd poster but unlike any other Mothers poster. It's printed on rough pink paper with purple ink and artwork which reminds me of the cover of High Tide's first album and all it says is MOTHERS DAY PINK FLOYD.
I don’t think I saw the Floyd anywhere else so wouldn’t have got the poster from another venue. I attach a picture…has anyone seen anything like this before and know where it comes from? Did they play Mothers on Mother's Day?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Re Mothers Day I think the answer is in my post above. Easter Sunday 1970 was 29 March so Mothers Day was 8 March. You have a poster for the gig I attended!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:46 pm 
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thanks for that - so they did play Mothers on Mother's Day. Now we need someone to identify the poster and see if that gig and that poster go together. If they do, why did Mothers alter their design, size and paper for this one gig?
There was a time I knew where I got it from - but the memory has long since disappeared into the mists of time!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:27 am 
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The 50th anniversary of Mothers opening is coming up on August 8th. There have be a few events commemorating Mothers over the years and BBC Midlands filmed me and another ex member a couple of months ago for the BBC2 Inside Out programme. The new owners, a Polish shop, let us in for the interview so here are a couple of pictures of what the interior looks like now. And the building has a blue plaque now. The building is the same as it was in 1968. The club stretched across both of the lower buildings (the Polish shop and the PDSA alongside) but the only access is from the Polish shop. The room was only licensed for something like 300 people but there were regularly 1000 in the audience. You can see how small the stage would have been and what a squeeze it was for bands like Chicago Transit Authority/CTA (when they were still good, before they shortened their name to Chicago) and Gentle Giant. Everybody wanted to play there. CTA played their only gig outside of London there and the list of bands is well known...Zeppelin (first gig of their first UK tour), The Who (first live performance of Tommy), Spirit, Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, Colosseum, Taste, John Mayall, The Nice, Canned Heat, Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, Richie Havens, Yes, Ten Years After, Traffic (world debut of their 2nd line-up), The Flock, It's a Beautiful Day, Fairport Convention (the night of their fatal road accident), Roy Harper, Elton John, Free, Skid Row (the Gary Moore version), Argent, Derek & The Dominoes, Groundhogs, Muddy Waters, Jeff Beck, Santana. And the Floyd 4 times! And a few months before the name was changed to Mothers (from the Carlton Ballroom), Cream played there. Not bad eh?


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