Eric's Club

Coordinates: 53°24′23″N 2°59′16″W / 53.4063°N 2.9877°W / 53.4063; -2.9877

Eric's Club was a music club in Liverpool, England. It opened on 1 October 1976 in the basement of The Fruit Exchange in Victoria Street with performances by The Runaways and The Sex Pistols (their only Liverpool gig) before soon moving around the block to its long-term site on Mathew Street opposite The Cavern Club where The Beatles and other bands of the 1960s played, and became notable for hosting early performances by many punk and post-punk bands.[1]

Eric's Club
Eric's, Mathew Street.jpg
Eric's Club entrance
LocationMathew Street, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
OwnerRoger Eagle, Ken Testi, Pete Fulwell
TypeMusic club
Genre(s)Night club
Opened1976
Website
erics-live.co.uk
An Eric's club gig flyer from 1979

The club was started by Roger Eagle and Ken Testi (manager of cult Liverpool band Deaf School) and joined later by Pete Fulwell (owner of a small record label "Inevitable" and later to become manager of Liverpool bands It's Immaterial and The Christians). The club was given the name 'Eric's' by Ken Testi as an antidote to disco clubs with names such as 'Tiffany's' and 'Samantha's'

MusicEdit

The club played host to many local, national and international bands primarily within the music sub-cultures of the time, such as Elvis Costello, Buzzcocks, The Clash, Joy Division, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cardiacs, The Slits, Talking Heads, The Stranglers, Ultravox, Wire, XTC, X-Ray Spex and early gigs by New Order and Mick Hucknall (pre Simply Red).

The club acted as a catalyst for local musicians (often also from the Runcorn, Southport, Skelmersdale, Wirral areas) and saw many local artists later become successful acts, including Dead or Alive, Echo & the Bunnymen, Julian Cope, The Teardrop Explodes, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Ellery Bop and Wah! Heat.[2]

 
A copy of a membership card.

Eric's was a membership only venue whereby members had to buy a yearly membership to enter the club. One of the more beneficial ideas was to provide membership for 'under 18's', which allowed younger music fans to see both local and national bands during a 'matinee' show they would more often than not have had a chance to see. It could be argued that this was merely a marketing ploy or revenue generating exercise, but this encouraged more prominent national bands and artists to visit Liverpool and helped provide a social networking venue for some of the city's future musical artists.

ClosingEdit

The club lasted until March 1980 when it was raided by police for drug offences. The final acts that night where The Psychedelic Furs supported by Wah! Heat. Wah! Heat's performance was recorded for a John Peel session, and the poem "The Last Night of Erics (A small opera in the making)" was penned by Rob Jones. Later the club reopened as Bradys, to last some 12 months before closing.

Current statusEdit

The original venue building was until mid-2011 (see below) part of the local 'trendy' orientated bar/club culture playing contemporary pop/dance music and is still on Mathew Street, which has an annual festival to promote Liverpool music. The club's main members entrance was situated below (though slightly to the right) of the Beatles Mural sculpture on Mathew Street, which is featured on the wall, opposite the current Cavern club.

In October 2011, a new venue called ‘Erics Live’ was opened by a local Liverpool business person and entertainment consultant Ethan Allen. Although occupying the same location, the new owner and venue have no connection with the original club. The venture, and use of the name and logo, was condemned by a founding owner and many members of the original club, and has since closed. The venue reopened once again shortly after, this time under different ownership, but taking a direction back to the building's original roots of showcasing local live music every night, Eric's can be visited 7 nights a week on Mathew Street. .[3][4][5]

Eric's The MusicalEdit

A musical written by Mark Davies Markham (Liverpool born author of West End hit Taboo) and directed by Jamie Lloyd which ran at The Liverpool Everyman Theatre in September 2008.[6]

All the Best Clubs are Downstairs, Everyone Knows ThatEdit

In April 2009, a book entitled Liverpool Eric's: All the Best Clubs are Downstairs, Everyone Knows That, consisting of extensive interviews and research of the club and its history, was published. The book was researched and written by Paul Whelan and Jaki Florek and contains many interviews with the people involved in the club and a large amount of previously unpublished material from the time. It is published by Feeedback.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20070614174632/http://www.cavern-liverpool.co.uk/cavernclub/CChistory57.htm. Archived from the original on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20070211140411/http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/mol/exhibitions/erics/index.asp. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Eric's Liverpool". www.facebook.com.
  4. ^ "Plan to reopen Eric's greeted with anger and dismay | Culture". Liverpool Confidential. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Liverpool's Eric's Club reopening is a great mistake - Getintothis Peter Guy's Liverpool Daily Post and ECHO music blog". Peterguy.merseyblogs.co.uk. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  6. ^ Hickling, Alfred (26 September 2008). "Eric's, Liverpool Everyman". The Guardian.
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100730131524/http://www.feeedback.org/. Archived from the original on 30 July 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External linksEdit