Quadrophenia

Also known as: Daegar Bar, Bar Particular

Location: 651 Colombo Street, Central Christchurch

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Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake, now part of Ballantynes

Active as a live music venue: 1993 – 1996?

Bar Manager: The Yee Family

All-Ages: No

Central city bar that had live shows from local bands such as Future StupidLoves Ugly Children, Range, Hawaii Five-O, Creeley, Ape Management, Brother Love, Space Dust, Snort, Squirm, Pumpkinhead and early Salmonella Dub, plus touring groups such as Superette, Nothing At All, and Wendy House.

Located upstairs on the corner of Lichfield and Colombo Streets (though the address is Colombo Street, the entrance was actually on Lichfield) and ran by the Yee family for a few years in the mid 90’s.

..Open around mid ’93. Owned by the Yee Family. Had bands and then even had happy hardcore/trance parties! Daega Bar was downstairs to the left of the main entrance. Got demoed and replaced with the Contemporary Lounge part of Ballantynes.

-Tim Baird (Pinacolada Records)

Quadrophenia had three rooms joined by arches, one with no windows in the centre had a stage at one end, with a big painting on the wall behind it. At the other end of that space was the mixing desk.

Through the archway in one direction took you into the bar, which was a slightly bigger room than the band room, and adjacent to that was the pool table room, bar and pool room both overlooked Colombo st and the bar end also looked out over the corner of Lichfield/Colombo.

When I played there in Space Dust, Ape Management, Atom Vulture, Brother Love and the Bill Fosburg Assassins, it was booked by Andrew Penman (Salmonella Dub).

Most memorable night there was with Snort and Squirm and Apes, had it pretty full, best show I ever saw there was Shaft, on their ‘The Hots’ tour, come to think of it also saw a great gig there by Blunt ( I think that was their name…Palmy travelers…turned into Flamin Werepigs…) Bill Fosburg played some amazing shows during this era, unfortunately very few were recorded or filmed.

– Martin Henderson

Posters from the era show that it was a very regular venue with shows 4 nights a week and close ties to both then-student radio station RDU and local skate and clothing outlet Cheap Skates.

Particularly notable are posters from Ape Management‘s Rock Hardman, showing a very dynamic comic style which would also feature on Ape Management (and other Homebacon groups) art work over the coming years, along with further posters at the likes of Warners and His Lordships.

History

1993?: Quadrophenia opens as a venue hosting bands up to 4 nights a week

1996?: Quadrophenia closes, replaced by Daegar Bar?

2011: Building is heavily damaged and eventually demolished after the Canterbury Earthquakes, replaced by what is now part of Ballantynes.

Contact Details

Links

Darkroom

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: Part of ‘The Archive’, along with Galaxy Records and Next Gallery

Location: 336 St Asaph St, Central Christchurch

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Current Status: Running!

Active as a live music venue: 2011 –

Bar Manager: Marcus Winstanley

Bookings: info@darkroom.bar

Website: http://darkroom.bar

Capacity: 100

After the devastating Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 closed (or even destroyed) virtually all of Christchurch’s live venues, entrepreneur Jasper Bryant-Greene and local musician T’Nealle Worsley (Bang! Bang! Eche!) saw a vacant hole in the local live music scene.

With virtually no previous building experience, the duo started the conversion of an old clothing manufacturing warehouse on St Asaph street, stripping the site back to the bare wood before installing a full bar, stage, upstairs accommodation, toilets…

Charlie Ryder of Bang! Bang! Eche! at The Archive’s opening party

Initially an all-ages house-party was held in May 2011, christening the building as ‘The Archive’ with performances from Valdera, The Transistors and Bang! Bang! Eche! – an absolutely stonking welcome back to live music in the garden city.

Once the full renovations were completed the bar itself was christened ‘Darkroom’ – Bryant-Greene developed the in-house ordering / payment himself and Worsley brought substantial inside knowledge and previous experience (despite her young age) to booking excellent live acts and running the bar.

The duo put substantial care in developing strong craft alcohol selections and creating a relaxed environment with comfortable refurbished furniture – even the outside (but enclosed) drive-way was utilized as a smokers area.

Log Horn Breed at Darkroom

Darkroom lives up to its name – the venue is VERY dark, particularly around the stage itself. They have a great PA system with strong foldback wedges and a powerful PA that is more than a match for the size of the room (which itself is quite small).

The mixing desk sits opposite the stage and is sheltered from other noise in the venue, making for nice and clear band/desk communication. A 2nd floor space beside the desk has been used in the past for a 2nd stage, allowing for long band line-ups with quick change-overs.

Hannah Harding aka Aldous Harding, at Darkroom in October 2011.

Darkroom was immediately successful. An early show by Bachelorette had people queuing out the door, and as one of the few available performance spaces in Christchurch they had their pick of live acts. Though as is the case with most venues – even some future super-stars found it tough to draw large crowds at times:

I used to play there with Aldous Harding every 3rd Wednesday to approx 5 – 10 people, for free.
– Simon Gregory

Marlon Williams did a short residency, playing to similar crowds, sometimes only to the staff. And The Unfaithful Ways. And All Seeing Hand, plus many, many more.

– John Bell

Galaxy Records moved in to an available space in the Archive, and for a period RDU ran a remote studio from the site, too. The last space in the building was refurbished and turned in to an art gallery, originally called Room 4 – however after this closed an additional stage was built and this back room space became available for paid gigs (Mick Harvey, Die! Die! Die! and Shayne P Carter etc), while Darkroom retained a free entry policy.

With the venues general success (and a keen interest in upmarket liquors), the duo decided to open a 2nd venue – the New Regent Street whiskey bar The Last Word. Eventually Worsley would take over running The Last Word.

Photo I took of Peter Gutteridge at his last Christchurch show at the Darkroom, March 2012

However in 2015 some financial issues were unearthed encompassing both bars – as a result over the course of several months several changes would take place.

Fine whiskey importer Whiskey Galore decided it was in their best interest to keep The Last Word open, and took over the running of the bar as it looked like it was to close.

Marcus Winstanley would take over propriety of Darkroom, starting a new chapter in the venues promising history. Thankfully Winstanley is a fixture of the local music scene (as a guitarist or drummer in a variety of bands – Barnard’s Star, The Undercurrents, Minisnap etc) and was previously a tutor at Christchurch’s MAINZ music recording school – for a period he was the venue manager of the Media Club, and has been involved with several other venues over the years as well.

Winstanley made several changes on taking over the venue:

I decided all shows (Darkroom included) needed cover charges and it was a lot of work to have both venues going and personally, I thought the sound quality in the back room was sub-par, so I decided to flag it.

Rebecca started up the gallery again so it’s been running as NEXT Gallery since 2016. After they moved from New Regent Street (Next door to The Last Word), the Canterbury Society of Sonic Artists operated their venue The Auricle out of NEXT Gallery from July 2016-July 2017

– Marcus Winstanley

Darkroom Alleyway

As of Winter 2017, Darkroom is the most active live music venue in Christchurch, with firm connections to up-and-coming bands (through Winstanley’s connections to MAINZ, plus a young clientele), as well as plenty of established bands up-and-down the country on tap.

Darkroom also hosts comedy and performance nights, and has strong ties to both the gallery and record store, with the occasional market or special event that encompasses each.

The Original DarkSpace

Lastly Darkroom has established a strong connection with Space Academy – the multi-use venue opposite on St Asaph Street; so far this has resulted in a handful of co-hosted multi-venue events (i.e. ‘Dark Space’), plus shows are usually planned to accommodate each others crowds.

History

2011: The Archive debuts with a warehouse party in May – eventually Darkroom opens as the music venue, with Galaxy records following.

2013: Darkroom proprietors Bryant-Greene and Worsley launch The Last Word whiskey bar on New Regent Street.

2015: Marcus Winstanley takes over the proprietorship of Darkroom.

Contact Details

info@darkroom.bar

Links

Zanzibar

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: Old Star Tavern, Star Tavern, Lion Tavern

Location: 343 Lincoln Road, Addington

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Current Status: Demolished

Active as a live music venue: 1980’s

People of Note: Tony Peake (Zanzibar, 1984), Chris (Anzak?) (Burning House Promotions at Old Star Tavern, 1986? – 1987?)

Capacity: –

All-Ages: No

The Old Star Tavern (aka The Star Tavern, Lion Tavern) was a large old Pub on Lincoln Road, not far from Hagley Park that sprung to life with live entertainment during the mid 1980’s.

Circa 1984, local Punk and Dance impresario (and general taste-maker) Tony Peake was responsible for booking bands at the large, popular Gladstone venue, alongside Al Parke. Meanwhile up in Auckland Peter Urlich was establishing the original Zanzibar dance-club in Auckland – and was planning a similar spot in Christchurch with the help of local proprietor John McCarthy, who owned the Old Star Tavern.

Peake was brought in to establish a new nightclub within the pub, taking the same name as the Auckland venue and putting on regular nights, DJing a mix of Post-Punk, Dance, Dub, Hip-Hop – whatever he saw fit.

We spent a lot of time making sure it had a great stereo… through his connections through University Bookshop he was importing records to play. He’d bring all sorts of records in. We used to have special nights, we used to go down to this factory and get skins, giant bits of polystyrene and we’d paint big pictures, like pop art and put up big lights. For the 60’s night we did a giant Emma Peel pop art for the girls’ toilets. We did one called the Waterfront Night, which Tony particularly enjoyed. We hired all the scaffolding in town and a dance group danced up there. We made friends with these transvestite performers and they would do acts in between the shows.

-Christian Carruthers, from The Christchurch Press Obituary of Tony Peake.

Peake would eventually bounce back and forth from Sydney, before starting up The Edge nightclub on Hereford Street.

Later on, one-time Solatudes bassist Chris (Anzak?) began putting on shows as Burning House Promotions at various spots around town, including the University Student Association, as well as gigs like those featured in the poster below promoting The Max Block and The Terminals. The money raised by these shows was in aid of Audio Access, an 8-track studio that had started up on Bedford Row and captured music for the likes of All Fall Down, Tall Dwarfs and The Terminals themselves.

Old Star Tavern Poster from Nostalgia Factory / Rob Mayes.

History

  • 1984: Tony Peake ran the venue as Zanzibar
  • 1986?: Burning House Promotions start booking shows at Old Star Tavern.

Links

Rockstar Clothing

Location: 299 Selwyn Street, Spreydon

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Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake

Active as a live music venue: 2000’s

Bar Manager: Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell

Capacity: About 20

All-Ages: Yes

Notorious local rock’n’roll vocalist and Downhill Mountain Bike clothing entrepreneur Andrew ‘Ox’ O’Connell ran a small clothing retail shop on Selwyn Street in Spreydon before the Earthquakes claimed it in February 2011.

Hi-Tone Destroyers at Rockstar Clothing

As the long-standing vocalist of Palace of Wisdom, Ox utilized the shop as both a practice and occasional performance space for the group, along with several other groups that fit in with his specific aesthetic.

Over the years that meant Rockstar Clothing hosted impromptu shows by Palace of Wisdom, The Hi-Tone Destroyers, The Transistors, the Stefan Van Soest Hit-Machine and  several others.

Stefan Van Soest Hit-Machine at Rockstar Clothing

Additionally, back in 2001 Ox released a compilation of rock’n’roll groups on his own Rockstar imprint (he also ran ‘Gone Magazine’ an online rock’roll publication), accurately entitled ‘No Thanks To New Zealand On Air‘ as a dig at the local New Zealand Creative grant system.

History

  • 2001: Rockstar release ‘No Thanks to New Zealand on Air
  • 2011: Rockstar Clothing is damaged in Canterbury Earthquakes, Ox is forced to move out

Contact Details

Links

Lumière Theatre

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: Midday Theatre, Alska Theatre

Location: Westpac Lane, 147 Hereford Street, Central Christchurch

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Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake

Active as a live music venue: 1997 – 2000

Bar Manager: Nick Paris

 

Capacity: 300?

All-Ages: Yes

Wonderful quirky cinema theatre resurrected by Christchurch Film Society boffin Nick Paris in 1998, after years of neglect. Originally the Mid-city Theatre and one of many cinemas that were dotted around the Christchurch Square until major movie complexes started to dominate in the early 90’s.

Under Paris’ management, movies were often accompanied by either live musical performances (i.e. the largely dialog-free Baraka and Microcosmos), or were given opening-night parties with live bands performing in the foyer.

Hi-Tone Destroyers at Lumiere Theatre

On some occasions the entire venue was put aside for live performances – of particular note was Stereolab’s sole Christchurch show in 1998, supported by local group Hawaii Five-O.

The quirky nature of the theatre was exemplified by it’s inclusion in the Christchurch editions of Ant Timpsons’ Incredibly Strange Film Festival, run ably by local nutball’s Steve Austin and Nick White.

After the Lumiere closed down around 2000 it was converted in to an English language school, before being damaged and eventually demolished after the Canterbury Earthquakes. The site is currently part of a new hotel development.

History

  • 1982: Mid-City Theatre Opens with a seated capacity of 408.
  • 1996: Theatre renamed the Alska, with a reduced seated capacity of 317.
  • 1998: Nick Paris takes over the venue, renaming it the Lumiere and refurbishing the interior in a quirky style. Live music performances become a part of the new venue.
  • 2000: The Lumiere closes down and is replaced by an English language school.
  • 2011: Damaged and eventually demolished after the Canterbury Earthquakes.

Contact Details

Links

Otautahi Social Centre

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: Kreation Art House, Kreation Milk Bar, Arcadia

Location: 206 Barbadoes Street, Central Christchurch

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Current Status: Operating as Arcadia

Active as a live music venue: 2007 – 2010 (Otautahi Social Centre), 2011-2012 (Kreation Milk Bar), 2017 – present (Arcadia)

Bar Manager: Matt

Bookings: arcadia206@gmail.com

Website: Arcadia.net.nz

Capacity: 200?

All-Ages: Yes

The Otautahi Social Centre was a mid-sized old hall on Barbadoes Street in Central Christchurch which ran for a couple of years as an All-Ages-Friendly live music venue.

Being an unlicensed youth centre, there was no bar or much in the way of formal organisation, just a space set up with a small PA system, a few couches and a small kitchen and toilets out back. On occasion some kids would bring alcohol to shows (it was even openly endorsed at some punk gigs), but generally things got along in a friendly, community-orientated kind of way.

Youth events group Red Panda utilized the centre for a couple of their events, including an excellent ‘secret show’ by Die! Die! Die! and a tea party event involving Auckland trio Bear Cat which involved baked goods and a sit-down hoedown!

Die! Die! Die!’s secret show

Aside from Red Panda the centre was mostly utilized by local punk groups, putting on some pretty anarchic and (most importantly) fun events. The space was used for more than just gigs too – in fact for a period the upstairs level was used as sleeping quarters!

Otautahi Social Centre went through a few changes before and after the Canterbury Earthquake, shutting up shop before coming back again (for a short time at least) as Kreation Art House / Kreation Milk Bar, however in August 2017 the building went through a major repair job, as it was actually quite damaged in the 2011 Earthquakes.

Since late 2017 the site has been operating as ‘Arcadia’ – a retro-games arcade and bar. Though primarily focused on old school video games and pinball – Arcadia has actually functioned as a venue on several occasions, including hosting RDU’s annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition. The site is well set up for private parties and events.

History

  • 2007: Starts hosting live music as Otautahi Social Centre at 206 Barbadoes Street.
  • 2011: Canterbury Earthquakes damage building, however it is still in use for some time after under the new name Kreation Milk Bar
  • 2017: After an extensive rebuild the site re-opened as ‘Arcadia’, a retro-games arcade. Several events have been held there since, including RDU’s annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition.

Contact Details

arcadia206@gmail.com

Links

Arcadia.net.nz

Facebook

Mollett Street

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also Known As: Club de Rox

Location: Mollet Street, Central Christchurch

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Current Status: Demolished

Active as a live music venue: 1977 – 1978

Bar Manager: Al Park

Capacity: –

All-Ages: Yes

Mollett Street was an informal performance space above the Longhorn Leather shop on Mollett Street, just off Colombo Street in Central Christchurch. It was particularly notable as the first punk-friendly venue in Christchurch, however by all reports Mollett Street had a communal party vibe, doubled as a market, and managed to bring together the long-hairs, the freaks and the punks of all varieties – pretty much all-comers.

After school, Scott and I regularly hung out at the record counter of the University Bookshop, which was run by Tony Peake, an Aussie, a few years our senior. One afternoon Tony told us of a new club that had just opened in the city in a lane way off Colombo St. It wasn’t really a club at all, more like a few rooms above a leather shop with a homemade stage and a single toilet, which rarely flushed.

– Mark Brooks of Johnny Velox and the Vauxhalls, from AudioCulture’s ‘Mollett Street Madness

Christchurch music legend Al Park is always tied to the history of Mollett Street – he was responsible for booking bands (and named it ‘Club de Rox‘, though that never seemed to catch on), plus his early group Vapor and the Trails were regulars through-out the two year lifespan (1977 – 1978) of the venue.

Mollett Street Bands – Appendix from Wade Churton’s ‘Glam, Punk and Scorched Earth Policy’

Christchurch’s original British-style punks The Doomed were one group that made their mark at Mollett Street – garage rock historian Andrew Schmidt (of Mysterex Fanzine fame) detailed the venue with some rather stellar photos of the group performing in July 1978 – Johnny Abort’s (aka Dick Driver) wild afro haircut standing out in every shot – TVNZ’s ‘Eyewitness Punk‘ piece from 1978 captured the performance, along with some typically bristly punk attitude from Driver disparaging Auckland Punks as ‘plastic’.

I can remember goin there on a Sunday evening with the Clean and the Enemy to see the Basket Cases….i dont remember there being anymore than about 5 people there. And here was a band playing live some of the music we all loved. A song off the Pretty Things LP Parachute, Velvets etc etc!…The only other memory is when Jane walked off stage Chris jumped on her. Everyone hit it off! I dont remember playing there. I remember playing Foresters Hall (?) and breaking a string, which I had never done before. I thought to myself “what the fuck do I do now”?, when Al Park jumped on stage with a string and re strung it the gat while it was round me neck. …what a guy!….anyway the Mollet ST meeting was quite something, little did we all know what was coming!

– David Kilgour

Wade Churton detailed the groups that played the venue, with Vapor and the Trails, Sugar Cane, Blueprint, Doomed, Soundchaser, Vandals, Janice Gray, Johnny Velox and the Vauxhalls and the Basket Cases making the most appearances – though it’s also notable for touring groups such as The Enemy (twice), Scavengers, an early performance from The Clean, Citizen Band and Bamboo coming from out of town.

The Sunday night bill on a typical night might feature Al’s group Vapour and The Trails, a folk singer, a prog rock group and us playing our own two minute songs and a few sped up Who covers. This attracted a pretty diverse crowd of hippies, students and a few punk rockers eager for some Sunday night entertainment, as nothing else was open. There would always be a queue around the corner and up Colombo Street clutching the obligatory two dollar cover charge.

– Mark Brooks

After the venue closed, legendary Christchurch film-maker (and drummer for the Axemen) Stu Page shared the space with photographer Peter Towers for a period in the early 1980’s.

Though the building was heavily damaged in the February 2011 earthquakes, with Christchurch’s South Frame redevelopment progressing in 2017, it appears new life may finally be brought back to Mollett Street with Otakaro opening the space as an ‘inner city oasis’, framed by the newly developed Justice Precinct.

History

  • 14th August 1977: ‘Club de Rox’ Opening show with 2 movies, a play and performances from Sugar Cane and Vapor and the Trails.
  • Late 1978: Closes as a performance space.

Links

Goodbye Blue Monday

Also Known As: Ya-Ya House of Excellent Teas

Location: 138 Lichfield Street, Poplar Lanes, Central Christchurch

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Current Status: Demolished

Active as a live music venue: 2006 – 2011

Bar Manager: Johnny Moore (2008 – 2011)

Capacity: 100

Ya-Ya was a popular, mellow place to hang-out. Though it only ran for a couple years in Poplar lanes, it managed to house at least one Craftwerk – a super-fun regular event show-casing live bands along with hand-made crafts, along with live shows by the Ragamuffin Children and Black Market Art‘s most excellent album release party. However the spot didn’t really hit its stride as a venue until Johnny Moore took over and relaunched it as Goodbye Blue Monday (or GBM for short).

How to describe Goodbye Blue Monday?

It was a super-fun place to hang out in Central Christchurch, a very informal bar with excellent outdoor lounging couches, well-priced drinks, friendly bar staff and well selected live performers.

Dylan DJing at GBM

And it was named after a Kurt Vonnegut novel. Oh and there was artwork done by local legend Tony Delatour.

Shows at GBM were mostly free and attracted huge, bustling crowds that hung around well in to the night – quite often as an after-party venue. On both occasions that the Buzzcocks played the nearby Bedford, it was GBM where Pete Shelley, Steve Diggle and a great chunk of their audience found themselves after the show.

Eamonn and the GBM Bar

The bar was divided in to two parts – the inside venue had hard wood floors, a bar that stretched the length of the room and a small corner stage propped up against the windows which allowed those seated in the casual outdoor area (which was under cover and well sheltered, with gas heaters and ample room) a good view of what was going on inside. On occasion DJ’s would spin records for the outdoor crowd, however inside was firmly reserved for dancing!

The Klap play to a packed crowd at GBM

A favorite hang-out for a fairly youthful crowd prior to the devastating February 2011 earthquake. It was a great relief when bar manager Johnny Moore opened his post-Earthquake venue, Smash Palace – capturing a great deal of the spirit of the original.

Of course a venue can’t be as fun and as popular as GBM and not attract a bit of the wrong crowd too. Over the 3 year run there definitely seemed to be an increase in jock types frequenting, however it never got confrontational – GBM had excellent door staff who ran a pretty tight ship.

History

  • 2006: Poplar Lanes is redeveloped with several bars and restaurants opening, including Ya-Ya House of Excellent Teas at 138 Lichfield Street.
  • 2008: Ya-Ya closes and is taken over by Johnny Moore – re-launched as Goodbye Blue Monday
  • 2011: Heavily damaged in 2011 Earthquakes, eventually demolished.

Contact Details

Links

Metropolis

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: The Green Room, Hofbrauhaus Restaurant, Honeypot Pizza Bar

Location: 112a Lichfield Street, Central Christchurch – Above the Honeypot Cafe

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Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake

Active as a live music venue: Early 90’s (Metropolis), 1997 – 2000 (The Green Room)

Capacity: 50?

Though I have no experience of 112a Lichfield Street when it was in its prime as a venue – i.e. when known as Metropolis – I did see a couple shows upstairs from the Honeypot Cafe when the venue was known as the Green Room.

112 Lichfield Street from Kete Christchurch

In fact my debut as a performer was here in 1998, playing Bass guitar in Mysterioball – a grotty punk band that at that stage was just a duo (along with guitarist/vocalist Kyle Denovan). We had been invited to perform by our pals the Davidson Collective, in a show that was part of Christchurch Art Week – somehow we came on after a stage-play!

The Green Room (and presumably both Hofbrauhaus and Metropolis before it) was a tiny upstairs Cafe/Bar, with a small area in the corner allocated for performers. Eventually the Cafe would become the Honeypot Pizza Bar before being claimed by the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010/2011.

The live music performance that sticks out in my memory was that of Nick Hodgson (later Harte) in his pre-Shocking Pinks group The Incisions, absolutely TEARING THE ROOF off the place by double-amp’ing his guitar in such a tiny space. Needless to say The Green Room had noise complaint before the first song had even ended, presumably from the Honeypot downstairs.

History

  • ?: Hofbrauhaus Bar
  • ?: Metropolis
  • 1997: Venue becomes The Green Room.
  • 2000: The Green Room shuts, becomes Honeypot Pizza Bar / Hofbrauhaus Restaurant.
  • 2010: Building damaged and eventually demolished after the Canterbury earthquakes.

Links

Ministry Nightclub

NOTE: This post probably contains quite a few errors and an inaccurate timeline – there is very little info online about old Christchurch venues, so I welcome all corrections and additions!

Also known as: Propaganda, G.A.Y., Smile Bar, Cruz Nightclub (?)

Location: 88-90 Lichfield Street, Central Christchurch

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Current Status: Demolished post-earthquake, site now part of the Christchurch Bus Exchange.

Active as a live music venue: 1992 – 2011

Bar Manager: Bruce Williamson

Bookings: Old Bookings Email

Website: http://ministry.co.nz/

Capacity: 800 / 180 / 100

All-Ages: No

Large 3-room warehouse-style nightclub on Lichfield Street – a big part of the local dance music scene until the Christchurch Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. The building was acquired by the City council and incorporated into the new Bus Exchange.

The Ministry

Opened by Bruce Williamson and named after the UK’s Ministry of Sound, the Ministry Nightclub (plus the additional spaces – which seemed to have changed names several times of the years) were a HUGE part of both Christchurch Dance Music and Gay scenes for over 20 years, before falling victim to the Canterbury Earthquakes in 2011.

Roni Size performing at Ministry 2006, photo by Matt Peterson

I saw just a handful of shows at Ministry so my memory is not particularly clear – I do however remember the cavernous industrial interior and the stifling heat on a busy night.

The most notable shows I witnessed would have to be British Sound-system group Rockers Hi-Fi in 1999 during their ‘Overproof‘ tour, plus turntablists like (member of the legendary X-Ecutioners) Rob Swift, and Canadian whiz-kid A-Trak.

History

  • 1875: Original Building built on Lichfield site
  • 1992: Ministry Nightclub opens at 88-90 Lichfield Street
  • 2011: Damaged and eventually demolished after the Canterbury Earthquakes

Contact Details

Links