Derby Local Studies looks to create archive of city’s 1980’s music scene

Derby Local Studies and Family History Library are embarking on a project to archive material relating to the live music scene in the city in the 1980s.

They have put a call out for ephemera – such as flyers or posters – as well as for people to share memories of the city music scene at that time.

The library is working with volunteers and say, “If anyone has a personal collection of old flyers, posters, fanzines, gig listings, tickets, photos or other memorabilia from the period, or even better audio or video recordings of local bands that they are willing to share we’d love to hear from you. You can donate your material or just loan it for the library to copy and return to you.”

Items gathered will be digitised and placed on public display through the city council’s website.

Much of the city’s live scene at the time centred on The Wherehouse, on Friargate and which now houses Mosh nightclub, and The Dial on Willow Row, which was later owned by the Student Union before being demolished in 2003.

Writing at the time of the demolition Jyoti Mishra, of White Town, said, “The Dial was a venue which, in the late ’80s and the early ’90s, hosted gigs by many top bands, including My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, The Field Mice, The Sea Urchins, The Orchids and loads of others. And that’s just the indie / rock side. It also had loads of prominent jazz gigs, world music, a real mix of stuff.

“Artel, the owner, always took chances. He made The Dial the coolest place in Derby and managed to draw people in from much bigger neighbours like Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham etc.

I remember having many great nights at the Dial, usually before going on to the Blue Note. I saw types of music and new bands I just wouldn’t have got to hear otherwise, even if I’d travelled 50 miles.”

Bands including Primal Scream, Joy Division, Slade and the Human League all played the city and people are already contributing to a list of Derby bands around at the time including Aftermath, The Enemy, Egyptian Kings, Catina Twist (National Peoples Gang), Canker Opera, Junior C Reaction, Jammin Heights, Realistic Pleasure, Radical Dance, One Eyed Jacks, No Right Turn, Nietzche, Bazaar, Tar Babies, Corn Bread Rough, Shark Dance, Real Live Tigers, The Other Side, Night Vision, and Ludovic Kennedys

Video footage of bands has been added via a Facebook group alongside demos recorded at the time and memories of being in bands during the decade. Names of those still working on the scene including Paul Miro and Jyoti Mishra crop up in memories being shared and there’s bound to be more as the project progresses.

Find the Derby Local Studies Library – 1980’s Music Project:

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