Videos from inside the Arundel Gate venue in the 1980s
When walking past the live music venue yesterday I noticed that the O2 academy livery is going up on the outside of the building. O2 will be sponsoring the venue for the next five years, so it is likely that the name will now stay the same for a while.
It is good to see the building back in use following its £3m renovation. It reopened in April 2008 as the Carling academy, and prior to that it had stood empty for years after a brief spell being used by St Thomas’ church around 2000.
The architecture of the venue is nothing remarkable – some would say that it is downright ugly – but at least there is a bit of history attached to the building. It opened in 1967 as the 2,500 capacity Top rank suite and over the years played host to many bands and artists including David Bowie, the Clash, the Cure and the Jam.
It became Steely’s at some point in the late 70s – and also perhaps the Fiesta (or was that next door?) – before becoming the Roxy.
Reading back through forum threads, it seems that Sheffielders have vivid memories of the club, especially as it being the place to go if you wanted to be sure of pulling, were underage or too drunk to get in anywhere else.
ITV show The hitman and her visited the Roxy in 1988 and these videos give a glimpse of how it was back then. The clothes, hair, dancing, music and lighting are obviously all pretty entertaining, as well as the great chat-up lines and moves from the clubbers interviewed at 7:18 in this clip:
And the highlight of this video is Madonna’s Like a prayer being destroyed in a karaoke contest at 6:28: