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Last of the University uploads I think, bit of a job lot really....Doesn’t look like The University printed up What’s On Flyers anywhere to the same extent as The Poly but they still had good things going. We’d often go on a Friday after The Poly closed, where you’d have to go round the back of the building and see if you could get in. We got to know the bouncers and although from time to time we’d get barred for being mischievous, they usually let us in, especially Dave, the silver-haired ol’ fox who was head of security and I think had a bit of a soft spot for us; most of the time we were just messing about or being young scallywags.
They used to stamp you with a fluoro stamp which glowed under an ultra-violet light as you went in to see bands. Of course by wetting the back of your hand you could transfer these stamps to each other and unless they got checked they usually did the trick; climbing through windows (sometimes along window ledges a couple of storeys up, (getting vertigo just thinking about it!), doing “steamers” where a load of you would charge the door and maybe one or two would get in; someone getting in and opening a fire escape (good for cinemas as well...)etc...were well tried and tested means, even though they often didn’t work and resulted in the odd thump and bruised ego to show for it, as you got ejected from the building. Occasionally you could blag it in with a band by pretending you were one of the roadies, X.T.C. helped us out that way. I was a big fan round their first couple of albums; if I ever see that Go+ E.P. that came with the 2nd album I’ll be getting that back again quick smart. I also remember watching the best part of a Pretenders gig with U.B.4O as support from high up in a tree outside the hall...quite a good view really but hard to dance. Siouxsie and her Banshees, The Damned with The Anti Nowhere League, Slits with Don Letts, were good ‘uns. Gang of Four, Misty in Roots, Squeeze, Deke Leonard, Doll by Doll, Bo Didley, and quite a lot of other gigs, many of which I’ve probably mentioned along the way. A particularly memory though was John Cooper Clarke coming on at the end of a Wreckless Eric gig and them singing “Mad Dogs And Englishmen”, pure class...
The downstairs disco was good too; lots of choice music and cheap booze, to go with the copious amounts of el cheapo speed we used to do, and the occasional waft of poppers,(lots of brain cells I hopefully was never gonna need probably walked on by...) . Of course you’d be leaping around like a frog in a sock and be as mad as a cut snake ,as certain people are wont to say. One time, when hearing one of my firm favourites....perhaps Stranglers “Nice and Sleazy” or Cabaret Voltaire “Nag Nag Nag” , I took it into my head it would be a good idea to charge across the dancefloor and finish with a somersault, but as I hadn’t really thought it through (and I didn’t know how to somersault) I just ended up flat on my back, and as I was wearing one of those heavier than lead bullet-belts (the height of fashion that particular season) , I felt like what it must have felt like to be shot in the back....I’m not sure if my altered state had anything to do with it but I could hardly walk for a week; served me right for being a poseur....
We used to go to The Squat as well, which stood on the wasteland between The Union and The Contact Theatre where The Academy now stands. The last gig I saw In Manchester was Vic and Bob’s Big Night Out, Nov. 1990 in the newly opened building and I believe it is still a major venue.
I thought I was only gonna write a few lines about The University as I didn’t think I had much to say.....wrong again! Must press on...
Artefact added : 25th November 2010
by dubwise-er
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