A piece by Abigail Ward taken from the 'Strange Trees' story book, based on a night at Club Brenda:

"Club Brenda began back in the 20th century – 1999 to be precise, after a drunken conversation between DJ Jayne Compton and her friend, the performance poet, Chloe Poems. They were on the night train back from Cream in Liverpool.

‘Imagine’, mused our heroines, unimpressed with the evening’s entertainment, ‘what a club would be like if it combined bands, stand-up, performance art and a deliberately eclectic music policy…if it reached out to everyone: gay, straight, black, blue; but in particular, welcomed life’s uglier ducklings - the outsiders, the strange ones…’

So this is how Brenda, Manchester’s ugliest duckling, hatched. Inspired by Hulme’s after-hours shebeen scene, Jayne wanted her night to embody the same spirit: people coming together to party in spite of their musical or cultural differences. It would be open and gay friendly. The vibe was 'lay down your weapons; have a good time’.

This ethos, combined with a passion for performance art and breaking bands, set the tone for he early Brenda nights. People would just grab the mike and recite poetry. Anything could happen. Performers like Tracy Elizabeth, Fiona Bowker and Veba all contributed, inspiring Jayne to start the highly successful Switchflicker label, which captured the best of these moments on limited seven inches.

As Switchflicker went from strength to strength, eventually launching Ting Tings, The Divine David and Magic Arm, Brenda nights grew broader in scope and sophistication. Jayne spread her wings and dragged the whole shebang over to Berlin’s ‘West Germany’ club for two parties that are still spoken about in debauched whispers. Venues that have hosted the night across Manchester have included The Star and Garter, Islington Mill, The Music Box, and current home The Deaf Institute. There are plans to invade New York.

Ten years on, Club Brenda is still minimally promoted and succeeds due to word of mouth from its misfit crowd. It is a genuinely uncompromising underground art-punk happening in the mould of Exploding Plastic Inevitable, Rabid at the Squat or Don Letts at The Roxy. The punters are as important as the acts. So is the feeling is that everyone knows each other. It's built on friendship and love."

Jayne Compton now runs Kraak club space and gallery.

ARTEFACT ADDED ON 14.02.2015 BY
Abigail (1852)

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Chloe Poems ARTEFACTS (13)
FOLLOW| BIOGRAPHY
CHLOE POEMS, VEBA, MILDMANJAN, JAYNE COMPTON, FIONA BOWKER, DAVID HOYLE (FORMERLY THE DIVINE DAVID), GERRY POTTER-POET
THE STAR AND GARTER
PHOTOGRAPH, 1999

ABIGAIL
HOOKER, CHLOE POEMS, STEPHEN NANCY, DESOLATION ANGELS, JACKIE O
THE ROADHOUSE
PRESS ARTICLE, 2001

SWINECHILE
CHLOE POEMS, PHILIPPA JARMAN, KATH MCDERMOTT, THE DIVINE DAVID, OLLY FILE, MARTIN WATKINS, TWINKLE
THE VILLAGE EDGE
FLYER, 1996

BIGMOUTH
CHLOE POEMS, JAYNE COMPTON, THE DIVINE DAVID
FLYER, 2000

JAYNECOMPTON
CHLOE POEMS, CURVILINEAR, THE OTTO SHOW, BARNEY (DOODLEBUG), JAM MCS, TRACEY ELIZABETH
PHOTOGRAPH, 2007

MAT
CHLOE POEMS, ROSIE LUGOSI
RECORD / CD, 2005

ABIGAIL
HOOKER, CHLOE POEMS, STEPHEN NANCY, DESOLATION ANGELS, JACKIE O
THE ROADHOUSE
POSTER, 2000

SWINECHILE
CHLOE POEMS, STEPHEN NANCY, DESOLATION ANGELS
THE ROADHOUSE
PRESS ARTICLE, 2002

SWINECHILE
HOOKER, CHLOE POEMS, STEPHEN NANCY, DESOLATION ANGELS, JACKIE O
THE ROADHOUSE
FLYER, 2001

CLAIRE SOLANKI
CHLOE POEMS, VEBA, MARK E SMITH, JAYNE COMPTON, THE DIVINE DAVID, FIONA BOWKER
BAND ON THE WALL
FLYER, 2000

JAYNECOMPTON
CHLOE POEMS, JAYNE COMPTON, TRACEY ELIZABETH, JENI CHAN
THE STAR AND GARTER
FLYER, 1999

JAYNECOMPTON
CHLOE POEMS, MAGIC ARM, THE TING TINGS, CORTINA DELUXX
SOUNDS FROM THE OTHER CITY FESTIVAL
FLYER, 2007

MAT