- Clarence's and the 1960s to 1980s music scene in Halifax

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On the 2nd of December 1967 the premises above Dolci's shoe shop at 15-17 Crown Street in Halifax, West Yorkshire opened for business in their new guise.
Clarence's, Paul Mountain's club, was born and from December 1967 until November 1980 Paul provided the young people of Halifax with access to some of the finest music and entertainment available in the UK. Being just a two minute gentle stroll from the Upper George ensured its almost instant success.
From an early start in the music and club business as one of the founders of Plebeians (The Halifax Jazz Club) - or Plebs as it was better known - in 1961, Paul continued to run the club until mid 1968. In late 1967, able to sense that the year had brought with it many important changes to the music scene, he decided that the time had come for something different.

His timing was perfect. The Crabtree brothers, Shirley and Max, had decided that they had had enough of running their Big Daddy club in Crown Street, and after name changes that took it from Big Daddy's to The 2 + 2 Club, and then The Scene they let it be known that the lease was for sale. Paul heard about the opportunity and after a brief meeting with the Crabtrees found himself with new premises, just yards away from Plebs, and a brand new business.

Clarence's logo
Opening Clarence's just as prog rock was about to take off in a big way, Paul always had an unerring feel for changes in fashion. This ability to spot and react instinctively to trends enabled him to book Roxy Music - for the Roxy Room opening night - just as they were about to hit the big time, Joe Strummer in the 101ers before the Pistols had made punk infamous, and Joy Division whose gig even Peter Hook memorably recalls as having had just one person in the audience. Paul always managed to deliver on time even if the club's clientele could sometimes be a little blasé about the talent they were witnessing, or not witnessing in the case of Joy Division.

Despite going through the name changes that took the club from Clarence's to Good Mood and finally to just The Mood, the quality of the music remained superb throughout. Even on the odd occasions when the band upstairs in the Roxy Room wasn't quite to your taste you could always adjourn to the excellent disco on the first floor.

Although he doesn't know it, Paul gave me one of the best 21st birthday presents anyone could wish for. That Saturday night I turned up to witness a band I'd never heard of. It just happened to be Ian Dury with the magnificent Kilburn & the Highroads playing their first Clarence's gig. The band, virtually unknown outside London, were absolutely superb and became life-long favourites. So, many thanks Paul, and I guess there are many others out there who had inspirational nights as a result of your sterling efforts.

When Paul finally closed the club in 1980 it was a great loss to the Halifax music scene and the club was sadly missed by a great many people. Paul moved away from Halifax to Seahouses on the Northumberland coast and now pursues a considerably less stressful career in his woodworking and furniture making business.

For now let's start with a list of some of the gigs at Clarence's and Good Mood.

More detail will be added as and when time permits so get your brain cells working and let's try to get a complete gig list for Paul's superb club. If you can add any dates or have any other memories you want to share use the 'contact Lily' link at the bottom of the page. Were you there? Did you play there? Do you have any photos? Did you have to carry your amps and guitars up the cast iron fire escape to the second floor? Do you remember the Friday night discos? If this page is of interest then tell your friends about it or even better, link to it, or blog about it.

Clarence's/Good Mood gig list:

Thanks to some outstanding work by Dave Knight (Rit), who has also provided loads of memorabilia, the gig list has now been massively expanded and so each year is now shown on a separate page. More help is still needed to fill in the gaps, especially in the early and late years but there's loads of info from the mid 70's complete with music from the bands of the time.
1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 adverts |  memorabilia
The artists/bands below also played at Clarence's but the dates are as yet unknown
    Doris Henderson's Eclection  
    Graham Parker & the Rumour  
    Hatfield and the North  
Saturday   Jonathon Kelly & Band  
    Richard Digance  
The bands below also played at Good Mood/The Mood but the dates are unknown
    Generation X  
    The Lurkers  
    UK Subs  
    John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett  
    UHB (Ultimate Hyper Band)  
    Salford Jets  
    The Charlie Parkers  


    John Bayliss  
    Peter Burke  
    Helen Fielding  
    Philip Sandells  
    Tony Sharpe  

more related links »

Credits: Many thanks for their help and memories to (in no particular order):
Helen Fielding
Philip Sandells
Dave Knight
Charlie Collinson
Rod Clements
Phil Roper
Tony Sharpe
Robert Higham
Glyn Thomas
John Wharton

contact Lily

History of Clarence's, and Good Mood club in Halifax West Yorkshire.