Sounds of the underground! Night of nostalgia for former regulars at Leeds's legendary Phono club

It may have been dark and dingy but Le Phonographique was also a much-loved part of the Leeds nightclub scene for more than 20 years.

Friday, 25th May 2018, 8:37 am
Updated Friday, 25th May 2018, 8:41 am
Clubgoers outside the Phono in the early 1990s. Picture: Sarah Brayshaw.

Tucked away at the bottom of a staircase inside the Merrion Centre, the club opened in 1979 and catered for punks, goths, rockers and other fans of alternative music.

And now former regulars at Le Phonographique – which closed in 2005 and was fondly known as the Phono – have got the chance to turn back the clock to its rough and ready heyday.

Leeds’s Wire club is staging a Phono night on Saturday, June 23, featuring some of the DJs who kept the crowds entertained down those steps at the Merrion Centre during the 1980s and 1990s.

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They will be delivering a steady stream of dancefloor favourites from the Phono’s glory years, with bands such as The Sex Pistols, The Cult, Sisters of Mercy and Pop Will Eat Itself all likely to figure on the playlist.

The line-up of DJs at next month’s reunion event will include Rich Cordwell, who owned the club between 1993 and 1998.

He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The Phono was a special nightclub and the people that went there were like a family.

“If you didn’t really fit in at other clubs then you knew you would still be fine there.

“Goths and punks mixed with rockers, girls didn’t get hassled and there was no trouble.

“There will be some fantastic music played at the reunion so people need to dig out those old band T-shirts, crimp their hair and don some black eyeliner for a night that could take a lot of recovering from!”

The Phono’s claims to fame include hosting an impromptu gig by The Clash on their Busking Tour of 1985, while Marc Almond is also reputed to have had a stint as one of the club’s DJs.

Wire’s Phono night will run from 10pm until late, admission costs £5 before 11pm and £6 afterwards.