Venue: Dingwalls

by on 21st November 2016
 

(Main photo c/o Paul Gibson – used with permission)

When:

19th January – 16th July 1983

Where:

38-46 George Street
Hull
HU1

About

The place to be in 1983.  Dingwalls was one of a chain of six regional clubs owned by the manager of the London Dingwalls, Peter Gross along with top promoter Harvey Goldsmith. With an audience capacity of 470, this was easily Hull’s largest venue at the time outside the City Hall and New Theatre. Under the management of Paul Mayo, Dingwalls took over the former Hofbrauhaus underneath (what was then) the Oddessy Club on George Street, and originally opened for four nights a week, Wednesday to Saturday.

Being part of a nationally-financed venture, it was able to attract several big names to the city, such as The Undertones, The Damned and Orange Juice. More importantly, it featured several upcoming bands who would be in the charts within months: Eurythmics, Big Country, Aztec Camera and The Sisters Of Mercy (twice) all played here.

The local scene was not ignored, and Dingwalls provided the best venue around for homegrown bands, both as support acts and on the Monday and Tuesday “local nights” when the club started opening six nights a week in early February. A Wednesday reggae night started in March, and although at first poorly-attended, continued (with a couple of weeks off) until June.

The opening act, Beano, was an odd choice seeing they were a cabaret band, but the club’s first sellout occured on the fourth night with a gig by the Farmer’s Boys. Note however that the usual “Hull Cancellation” policy was in evidence: three major acts cancelled within the first eleven gigs. (In actual fact, Wilson Pickett didn’t turn up to any of the gigs on the tour). Paul Young cancelled twice!

The club did have its problems, such as the Oddessy Club complaining about the volume. Magistrates continually refused to extend the club’s licence past pub hours, (reputedly under pressure from rival club-owners), which severely hampered its plans and profits. Eventually, Wednesday night gigs were scrapped in June, and less major names were booked from the same time.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t lack of audiences that suddenly closed down the club within seven months (although they could have been much better). The whole chain was placed in the hands of the Receiver, putting 13 people from the Hull venue out of work. Ironically, Hull was apparently one of the only regional Dingwalls clubs to be making a profit; the Liverpool branch for instance had been put out of business as early as April.

Two of the bigger concerts (Killing Joke, The Meteors) were moved to Spring Street Theatre, but most were abandoned altogether, including Paul Weller’s Respond Tour and what would have been the Hull debut of The Smiths.

Hopes that the venue would re-open in a similar fashion were never fulfilled, nor was the idea to find a new venue for the club. All the other regional Dingwalls clubs were sold off to the Bierkellar chain, but the Hull club lay empty until a fire at the Oddessy Club destroyed both venues in February 1984. Within seven months, Hull and gained and lost what was one its best ever medium-sized venues.  Ironically, its main contender for the title in the 80s, The Tower, lasted the same length of time before meeting the same fate.

(Tim Joseph)

A full gigography for Dingwalls can be found below – this list was originally compiled by Tim Joseph (with thanks).

More photos from the Eurythmics gig can be seen on the Ultimate Eurythmics site here.

Photos of the Sisters Of Mercy at Dingwalls (and some interesting thoughts on their two gigs) can be seen on the I Was A Teenage Sisters Of Mercy Fan site here.

Many thanks to Tim Joseph (words, press cuttings and gigography), Paul Gibson (Dingwalls photograph) and Chris Perkins (Eurythmics photographs).

Gallery

Gigography

1983

19 Jan – Beano
20 Jan – Kurtis Blow
21 Jan – Wilko Johnson & Lew Lewis
22 Jan – Farmers Boys
26 Jan – Zoot & The Roots
27 Jan – Roy Harper / Tall Story
28 Jan – The Flying Pickets
29 Jan – Tapper Zukie
02 Feb – Salem
03 Feb – Airstrip One
04 Feb – Eastside Torpedoes
05 Feb – Tokyo Olympics
09 Feb – Terraplane
10 Feb – Osibisa
11 Feb – John Cooper Clarke
12 Feb – Stan Webb
14 Feb – Strikes Twice
15 Feb – Clox
16 Feb – Eurythmics
17 Feb – The Polecats
18 Feb – Umo Vogue
19 Feb – Richard Hell & The Voidoids
22 Feb – Serious Drinking
23 Feb – The Pinkees
24 Feb – Southern Death Cult
25 Feb – Big Country
26 Feb – 52nd Street
28 Feb – Jeru
01 Mar – Sorry For Laughing
02 Mar – Pallas
03 Mar – Peter & The Test Tube Babies / Newtown Neurotics / Sgt. Stone
04 Mar – Saracen
05 Mar – Kevin Coyne
07 Mar – One Of The Waiters / Foeticide
08 Mar – Poor Howard / Neo Classix
09 Mar – Black Roots
10 Mar – One The Juggler
11 Mar – Chris Rea
12 Mar – Danse Society
14 Mar – The MGBs
15 Mar – Luddites / Nerve Blox
16 Mar – Tribesman
17 Mar – B. B.
18 Mar – The Enid
19 Mar – The Fabulous Thunderbirds
21 Mar – The Damned
22 Mar – Cold Dance / Doggie Oswald
23 Mar – Amazulu
24 Mar – The Meteors
25 Mar – Limelight
26 Mar – Main Squeeze
28 Mar – Red Guitars / Cold Dance
29 Mar – Orange Juice
30 Mar – Afrikan Star
31 Mar – The Sisters Of Mercy
02 Apr – Moscow
04 Apr – Jab Jab
05 Apr – Hedonism Yeh / The Spoil
06 Apr – Natural Roots
07 Apr – The Undertones
08 Apr – The Durutti Column
09 Apr – Luddites
11 Apr – Bushfire
12 Apr – Makin’ Whoopee!
13 Apr – Prince Hammer / Undivided Roots
14 Apr – Starfighters
15 Apr – Vision
16 Apr – Nine Play Hendrix
16 Apr – Box Of Frogs / Strange Ways
18 Apr – Attic Art / The Newpolitans / English Films
19 Apr – ANKH / Catch 22
20 Apr – King Sounds & The Israelites
21 Apr – John Martyn
22 Apr – Moscow
23 Apr – Morrisey Mullen Band
25 Apr – Les Zeiga Fleurs / Nerve Blox
26 Apr – The Tors / The Cotton Gussets
27 Apr – Bushfire
28 Apr – The Swinging Laurels
29 Apr – Neo Classix
30 Apr – Bo Diddley / Hans Theessink
03 May – Poor Howard / Jeru
04 May – Talisman
05 May – The Flashcats
06 May – King / Nerve Blox
07 May – Long John Baldry / Stylee
09 May – Quel Dommage / The Gargoyles
10 May – Neo Classix / Attic Art / Les Yeux
11 May – Weapon Of Peace / The Pencils
12 May – Rip Rig & Panic
13 May – Hanoi Rocks
14 May – Dave Kelly Band
16 May – The Wrecks / Catch 22
17 May – Quel Dommage
18 May – Clint Eastwood & General Saint
19 May – The Dancing Did
20 May – Moselle
21 May – Roman Holliday
23 May – Cold Dance / Jellyfish Kiss
24 May – Magnum
25 May – Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
26 May – The Truth / Les Yeux
27 May – The City Drones
28 May – Serious Drinking / The Gargoyles
31 May – The Flames / Les Zeiga Fleurs
01 Jun – Foeticide
02 Jun – John Cooper Clarke
03 Jun – Dr Feelgood
04 Jun – Bad Brains
06 Jun – The Hellfire Club / Cold Dance
07 Jun – Attic Art / Hidden Pleasures
08 Jun – Les Yeux
09 Jun – Wilko Johnson & Lew Lewis
10 Jun – Chameleon
11 Jun – Moselle
13 Jun – Steve Larkman Band / One Of The Waiters
14 Jun – Jeru / Hedonism Yeh
15 Jun – Jah Warrior
16 Jun – Kissing The Pink / Les Yeux
17 Jun – Roy Harper
18 Jun – Darts
20 Jun – Foeticide
21 Jun – The Diplomats / Whip Straw
22 Jun – Twelve Inch
23 Jun – Nerve Blox
24 Jun – Red Guitars / English Films
25 Jun – Moselle
27 Jun – Strikes Twice / Catch 22
28 Jun – Quel Dommage / Exit
29 Jun – Aztec Camera
01 Jul – The Sisters Of Mercy
02 Jul – Poison Girls / Benjamin Zephaniah / Tony Allen / Akimbo
04 Jul – Toned F / Les Yeux
05 Jul – Emerald / Indians In Moscow
07 Jul – Mezzoforte / Tokyo Olympics
08 Jul – The Dynamite Band
09 Jul – Wildlife
11 Jul – The Hellfire Club / Clox
12 Jul – One Of The Waiters
14 Jul – Strange Days
15 Jul – K Buie Band
16 Jul – Moscow