- 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 - better known in the wrestling world, had decided that they had had enough of running their Big Daddy club in Crown Street, and after name changes that had taken it from Big Daddy's to The 2 + 2 Club, and then to 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. He was just 24 years old.

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 (although some who there say there may have been as many as ten!). 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 never knew 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 to Paul, and I guess there are many others out there who had inspirational nights as a result of his sterling efforts.

When Paul finally closed the club in 1980 it was a great loss to the Halifax music scene and the club was missed and fondly remembered by many people. Paul moved away from Halifax to Seahouses on the Northumberland coast to pursue a considerably less stressful career in his woodworking and furniture making business. Sadly he died at the age of 72 on 9th December 2016 but his influence lives on.
In its early days the club continued the tradition of Plebs, putting on jazz, blues and folk acts, usually on a Sunday. In 1970 the 'Live Room' opened on the 2nd floor and rock acts and discos became the norm. Clarence's was normally open from 9pm to 2am on Friday and Saturday nights with a disco on the Friday, and a live act upstairs (2nd floor) and a disco downstairs (1st floor) on the Saturday. To encourage people to come early the entry charge was usually much cheaper before 10:30pm. 10:30pm of course being closing time for all the pubs in that era. Although it was supposedly strictly a private members' club, and many people did join, there were also a great many regular non-members who also went. The door policy was fairly relaxed and just saying you'd forgotten your membership card usually got you in.

Clarence's/Good Mood gig list:

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

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 late 1960's but there's loads of info from the 1970's.
1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 Lily's gossip column |  adverts |  memorabilia
The artists/bands below are also believed to have played at Clarence's but the dates are as yet unknown
    Doris Henderson's Eclection  
    Graham Parker & the Rumour  
    Richard Digance  
The bands below also played at Good Mood/The Mood but the dates are as yet unknown
    The Selecter  
    Cabaret Voltaire  


    John Bayliss  
    Peter Burke  
    John Daley  
    Roger Dalimore  
    Helen Fielding  
    Rod Gibson  
    John Goddard-Hill  
    Brian Highley  
    Philip Sandells  
    Tony Sharpe  
    Gary (from Copley - anyone know his last name?)  

more related links »

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

contact Lily

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