“New venues’ try to imitate and mimic something it does naturally,” states Alice Todd, 30, Newland Avenue resident and local music scene observer, writes Craig McBain.
This is the New Adelphi Club. An “original, non-threatening, unassuming and comfortable” small venue in the student heartland of Hull.
It’s a right of passage; an instantly memorable space which creates a unique, atmospheric underground home for alternative music in the city.
It is a post-punk classic, blossoming in its middle age. It may show its wrinkles and be greying like many of the musical artists who have graced its small, but “unpretentious” stage.
There is no room to hide. Since 1984, Paul Jackson – The New Adelphi’s owner, promoter and guru – has used the former terrace house’s idiosyncratic, scruffy graffitied walls to showcase the alternative, weird and diverse world of independent music and art.
Alice recalls her favourite event:
“The diversity of the artistic endeavours the Adelphi displays is impressive. My favourite gig wasn’t even a gig; it was an art installation just before the City of culture. A miniature world of anarchy and chaos presented in shipping containers.”
It hosts plays, installations, artwork, gigs and performances of local, national and international artists. It is genre-less. It can be niche. But it’s never quaint.
“The Adelphi has a history, you can feel it; it’s special. It’s like the Brudenell in Leeds. That’s why it can’t be copied, even if newer venues’ attempt to recreate its aesthetic,” Alice notes, holding a glass of red wine.
Its repertoire is impressive: Pulp, Manic Street Preacher’s, The Housemartins, Radiohead, Pavement, Thurston Moore and recently, Courtney Barnett, are its alumni. Indie heavyweights.
This is not to devalue its vehement promotion of many other glorious, strange and enigmatic artists with smaller profiles and fanbases. De Grey Street’s pluralistic sanctuary in an era of divergent opinions.
It holds many regular music nights such as the brilliant, colloquial Resident’s Association, Easy Skankin, Musician’s Night and Smash It Up celebrate an array of alternative genres.
“This is why this place (The Adelphi) is so integral. It is a haven for those who aren’t represented by mainstream radio or just want to turn up, have a beer and be surprised, challenged or occasionally bored or disgusted,” Alice addss with a smile.