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.
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.
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!
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.
Also Known As: Ya-Ya House of Excellent Teas
Location: 138 Lichfield Street, Poplar Lanes, Central Christchurch
Current Status: Demolished
Active as a live music venue: 2006 – 2011
Bar Manager: Johnny Moore (2008 – 2011)
- 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.