Sign in to follow this  
firbeck

Nottm Uni Portland Building

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
here was the stage where Captain Beefhart said the famous phrase 'Too many Fans and not enough Fans'

I was there that night, and many others. That was also the stage where I got kissed on the cheek by Sonja Kristina :-) Good posting Firbeck - love the Portland Building memories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was there that night, and many others. That was also the stage where I got kissed on the cheek by Sonja Kristina :-) Good posting Firbeck - love the Portland Building memories.

Hmmmm, I remember the 'Curved Air' concert, some scumbags in front of us were being totally obnoxious, threatening people, p###ing all over the place and generally being appalling, we had to threaten to kill them before order was restored, we meant it to, they suffered as a consequence, I bet they are chartered accountants or government advisors now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How could we forget the Vinegar Joe concert, Elkie Brooks in her hot pants revealing THOSE thighs I recall and Robert Palmer in his suit. I had a mate from Trent Poly who's obsession was taking pictures of bands, he had incredibly long hair, oddly enough his name was Joe. I remember cringing with embarresment as he stood on everyone to get THAT picture.

Please Joe, read this and tell us that your pictures are on the cover of Hello Magazine.

Can someone else step in here and tell us of your Uni concert highlights or I could go on all day.

How about Loudon Wainright III winding himself up in the little room downstairs by talking to himself and oblivious to the fact that I was sat in there watching him, his performance of Red Guitar was amazing, there you go, we'll start off with an obscure reference, the big bands weren't always the best, remember the half dozen people that turned up to see the Average White Band, well 4 of them were us.

Can someone start the ball rolling please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i was there at the elkie brookes gig Zab..can anyone remmember further back to julie driscoll and garnet mims?...my 2 youngest are at nottingham uni living it up on the campus but so sad the portland building does not have the great acts on anymore....ps saw the first ever wings gig at the portland.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea giving the Portland Building it's own thread but it should read NOTTINGHAM Uni not Trent.

Anyhow, I remember many gigs there:

Beefheart, Kevin Ayers, Supertramp (pre- Crime of the Century), Stray, Caravan (several times, Rennaissance (also several times), Mott The Hoople, Curved Air, Suzy Quatro. I'm sure I'll remember more in due course!

I also saw Wishbone Ash and Roxy Music but they had to play in the Sports Centre cos they were too big for the Students Union.

I saw Vinegar Joe too but that really was at Trent Poly. 10cc too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm jealous Hippogirl - I was going to ask if anyone went to the Wings gig on 9th Feb 1972!

Not me :-(

I understand it was at very short (hours) notice, and word rattled around the campus like wildfire. How did you get to hear about it? How was the gig?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good idea giving the Portland Building it's own thread but it should read NOTTINGHAM Uni not Trent

Look again O red of the south? !situp!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few more that spring to mind - Penetration, Hatfield and the North, Eddie & The hot Rods, Amazing Blondel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i remember van der graaf generator......daughter tells me that they still have great gigs but they are outside on the downs in summer.....get cape wear cape fly, just jack, the macabees, the cortinas , pendulum and the automatic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Look again O red of the south? !situp!

Thanks Mick but still haven't got it.?!! They are two separate establishments. Why put Trent in brackets when the Portland Building isn't at Trent Poly?

It's Portland Building at Nottngham Uni. You know - that big place on UNIVERSITY Boulevard. Lots of big buildings on a large grassy campus between Dunkirk, Lenton and Beeston.

Trent Uni was Trent Poly and is in the BIG CITY. At the end of Shakespeare Street back then anyway. Another place.

Is it Me? Must be the Virgo in me . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry!

No Im a Vigo as well! I thouight the Portland building was opposite the Ace Record/Dirty book shop in town!

But that was Trent Something?

Thread name changed again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm jealous Hippogirl - I was going to ask if anyone went to the Wings gig on 9th Feb 1972!

Not me :-(

I understand it was at very short (hours) notice, and word rattled around the campus like wildfire. How did you get to hear about it? How was the gig?

According to Macartney, they chucked a load of gear in a van and headed up the M1, it was going to be his first live performance since 'Get Back' on the roof top at Saville Row.

I gather they had breakfast at Leicester Forest East, where they decided to find a big Uni to play, so he went to a call box and phoned Notty Union, I recall the social secretary at the time was a girl who didn't believe it was him and more or less told Macca to p### off, it wasn't until they arrived at the back of the Portland building just before lunch time that everyone thought it was just a big hoax.

Meanwhile, the story got on to Radio Nottingham and my mother, bless her phoned me at work to tell me that Wings were due on at the Portland building, unfortunately she didn't tell me it was a lunchtime concert.

I phoned my mates and set off over there after work at 5:30 in our fabled Austin Champ.

We desperately wandered round the Uni but all we could find was an old time dancing class, assuming it had been a hoax, it wasn't until we went down to the Buttery Bar for a pint of Newccy Brown that we found out the true story.

My mother was not popular for a while.

Meanwhile, they also turned up later at Manchester Uni, my mate up there said they were crap, so it softened the blow a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry!

No Im a Vigo as well! I thouight the Portland building was opposite the Ace Record/Dirty book shop in town!

But that was Trent Something?

Thread name changed again

It's The Newton Building. There used to be a radar dish stuck on the top at one time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was told , as a tiddler , that it was put up , (The dish on top of the Newton building) to track the"Early Bird" satellite. Who told me ,and how true it is I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was told , as a tiddler , that it was put up , (The dish on top of the Newton building) to track the"Early Bird" satellite. Who told me ,and how true it is I don't know.

I think it was used for taking images / data from Meteosat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I reckon it was used to keep the place warm, direct microwave energy from the sun.

It used to get so hot and stuffy in there that we preferred it when our lectures were in the old building on Waverley Street, which, fortunately, was most of the time.

With regard to the Newton Building, does anybody recall going to any concerts in there.

We went to see the Moody Blues in 1968, it was the first time I'd ever been inside the place. To my amazement we had to go up on the lift to the top floor.

There was a largish hall, cafe? with a bar at the back of the stage which I'm sure was a temporary affair. When we went for a pint before the concert, the whole band was standing at the bar drinking and chatting to everyone, I remember thinking how tall they all were.

If anyone can recall the Moody Blues at the time, they used a very complex keyboard instrument called a Melotron which contained pre-recorded looped orchestral tapes, it was a big piece of kit.

We couldn't work out how they got all the gear up to the top floor, the lifts didn't seem big enough.

I presume that it was the original Union bar till the other place was built, how many other bands played up there, I don't know, it was the only time I ever went.

When the new Union opened, it wasn't that well designed for bands.

We went to see John Martyn and The Sutherland Brothers, who were dumped in a small room next to the bar, understandably, JM got cheesed off with people wandering through to buy drinks and the constant racket from conversation, at one point he nearly walked out.

Downstairs was reserved for the bigger bands, Roxy Music on their first tour, Nazareth who deafened us, The Strawbs, Peter Framptons Camel, the hilarious Stealers Wheel concert when Jerry Rafferty arrived late and had a massive row with Joe Egan on stage.

Focus, top band at the time, but there was a fiddle with the tickets because there was such a demand. My mate who was Union social secretary promised to get me in, but he let me down. I walked off in disgust but managed to get in later for nothing by just showing my union card and pretending to go to the gym.

Pink Floyd were sensible and played in the gym, we had to be careful not to mess up the floor though.

The problem with Trent Poly concerts was that due to some quirk in the licencing laws as it was in the town centre, you had to be a Union member to get tickets or even go in, ok when I was at Trent but dificult otherwise.

Nottingham Uni was different, anyone could go, you could even buy your concert tickets from Clement Pianos in town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We couldn't work out how they got all the gear up to the top floor, the lifts didn't seem big enough.

There is a goods lift at the other end of the building, going down to the basement loading bay, accessed from Newton car park around the back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is a goods lift at the other end of the building, going down to the basement loading bay, accessed from Newton car park around the back.

In 1960,I seem to remember there were concerts/shows in the cafe at the top of the `Tech'(Nottingham and District Technical College) I am probably way out,but I feel sure Simon and Garfunkel came once when they were relatively unknown.(I will be corrected by someoneI`m sure). Across the road was the `Brief Encounter 'coffee bar at which some really famous people appeared in their early careers Cliff Richard among them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do remember seeing Mike Nesmith, Focus and Nazerath at the Poly; I don't recall having problems getting tickets but maybe I was just lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this