Nottm Uni Portland Building

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  • 6 years later...

It was bloody difficult to get to see bands in Nottingham when you lived in Grantham, but luckily for me, my Dad allowed his arm to be twisted and he took a carload of us to see our favourite band at the Portland - Horslips, then the biggest band in Ireland after Thin Lizzy, and inventors of Celtic rock. I won't go into how we got into the dressing room, but we did, and have stayed friends with the band ever since! We saw them again there the following year (invited into the dressing room that time!), and later I saw the Italian prog band PFM at the Portland, but had to leave early in order to get the last train back to Grantham. That particular gig was prefaced by drinks in the Flying Horse, another massive loss to the city.

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Having intimate acquaintance with the goods lift in Newton, and how much kit would fit in it (not), I imagine most bands would take their gear up in the public lifts at the front! I have to say though that I never realised how many great names had hallowed the old Refectory area with their presence - in my time in Newton, it was just an empty space my department would have loved to occupy!

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  • 2 years later...

The gigs were better at the Uni but the resin was cheaper at the Poly


On 9/25/2008 at 9:47 AM, firbeck said:

Actually, some pubs don't change. Living in Wollaton, our local used to be the Admiral Rodney, it was a convenient meeting place for all of us pals. I started off underage drinking Home Ales mild and playing darts in the public bar then graduated to what we called the 'little room' in the lounge. I went in there regularly until I moved down here in 1976, I finally had my stag night in there in 77, it seemed appropriate. I didn't go in again till the mid 90's when we went to see the Pogues in Wollaton Park, it hadn't changed at all, after 20 years the landlord actually recognised me without any prompting, I was well impressed with my reception.

I didn't go in there again until a few months ago, I took my son to show him the scene of many of my misadventures, I couldn't believe it when I walked in, it had hardly changed at all, apart from the beer, no more Home Ales, but some decent real ales though. The decor and everything about it was the same, I even recognised some of the locals, I was quite surprised, bearing in mind how much the Broad Oak has changed. Just one big difference, no more waiter service, remember George, what a nice bloke he was.

Having obtained his degree, my son loves Nottingham so much that he's staying up there in order to do a years teacher training course to become a science teacher, sensible idea. Him and his mates are renting a cottage opposite the White Hart in Lenton, he reckons the bikers still go there.

I have been invited up to his birthday in November, so I intend to make the most of it.

He's got a part time job at Ocean, or as we knew it, The Sherwood Rooms, I gather it's going to be swept away as part of the Broad Marsh redevelopment, he took great delight in telling the staff that I went there to see The Faces and my brother to see Jimi Hendrix, I couldn't get a ticket, I'll never forgive him for that, I'll never forgive Hendrix for passing away either when I was due to go and see Derek and the Dominoes there, Clapton cancelled the gig to attend Jimi's funeral in Seattle.

One really sad change is to the Portland Building at Uni, where the famous bands played is now a cafe, they don't do it anymore. I went up there with my yoof, sat in the cafe and said, thats the window ledge I stood on to see Mark Bolan, here was the stage where Captain Beefhart said the famous phrase 'Too many Fans and not enough Fans', the position of the sound desk where I had my run in with Procul Harum. Down to the bar where the Who's sound system was so powerful that the glasses jingled.

All gone, the poor students have to pay extra to go to Rock City instead, not right is it, but then again, in my student days, I was involved with the concert organisation and we could get anyone, get this, Black Sabbath for £50, beat that.

ABC for £20, Sheffield Uni


On 9/25/2008 at 1:10 PM, zab said:

The Portland Building - spent many a Saturday Night there. Anybody remember Elkie Brooks and Vinegar Joe falling through the stage?

Remember going to see Suzi Quatro down there and somehow getting locked out on one of the balconies - long story. We had to knock on the window and as the band were in full flight, nobody heard us for ages. Eventually, of all people, the drummer did and he opened the door for us. The memories.

Trying to think of some of the bands that appeared there - Procul Harum, Wings, Trapeze, and Gong are the first that spring to mind.

The Damned, Frankie Miller, Can, sorry was usually bombed!

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