Stomping at the Klub Foot – A Tribute Page to 1980s Psychobilly

My original incarnation of this article was originally posted on UK Psychobilly Gig Guide. I wrote it when I set up the Stomping at the Klub Foot Tribute page back in the days of Myspace.  In January 2010, I combined it with a review of one of the Klub Foot Reunion gigs for a  feature in the lifestyle magazine, Milkcow.

Read on to find a brief bit of history about the Klub Foot, a calendar of gig dates with bands who played there and a little about psychobilly today.

magazine cover with lady in basque in front of hot rod car and screen shots of magazine article

STOMPING AT THE KLUB FOOT – 1980s PSYCHOBILLY

WHAT IS PSYCHOBILLY MUSIC?

When asked by outsiders what psychobilly music is, I usually reply “a cross between Elvis and The Sex Pistols”.

Not because this is entirely accurate, but if you start mentioning The Meteors, The Cramps, Guana Batz and King Kurt, you are met with a blank expression. You know that it’s not even worth throwing in the names of the artists who influenced the purveyors of the 80s psychobilly giants such as Johnny Burnette, Charlie Feathers, Hazil Adkins or Link Wray.

Psychobilly was born in the late 70s/early 80s. By the mid 80s it was a huge, yet still underground youth cult drawing in teenagers from rockin’, punk, garage and scootering backgrounds.

It cannot be denied that the legendary Klub Foot was the centre of the psychobilly universe for most, no matter what part of the country you came from.

dvd cover green header with writing stomping at the klub foot in pink with a crowd of teenagers in front of the Clarendon venue

STOMPING AT THE KLUB FOOT

Whether you were there or not, there can’t be a psychobilly in the land that hasn’t heard of The Klub Foot. Most will own at least one of the live albums, vhs videos or dvds from the Stomping at the Klub Foot series.

Veterans recall The Klub Foot with fond memories, and the new breed can only hope to gain some sort of feeling for the atmosphere by reading old posts on internet forums.

It was hailed as the Mecca for all things psychobilly, and would entice 100s of pilgrims to venture into West London of a Saturday night.  A sea of coloured quiffs and bleached jeans would form a queue around Hammersmith Broadway, waiting for the doors to open at 7.30pm.

album cover of Stomping at the Klub Foot with green background, teenagers faces and band logos

THE KLUB FOOT, CLARENDON HOTEL, HAMMERSMITH BROADWAY

The building itself was called The Clarendon which was originally a 3 storey disused hotel and ballroom. Truth be told it was a dive, but it had a large bar and a good sized hall with stage.  What more could a drunken youth culture want?

The Klub Foot was held upstairs in what was rumoured to be a 600-800 capacity venue, although reports suggest that many more attended.

On the ground street level, there was a regular pub/bar. Downstairs was a small venue called Broadway that also hosted many iconic gigs, including lots of garage/trash and mod bands.

handdrawn gig flyer from 1980s for The Meteors at the Klub Foot

The Klub Foot was the brainchild of promoter John Curd which started in 1982 featuring a line-up of punk bands.  By the mid 80s, it was predominantly psychobilly but often had line-ups that crossed over genres and incorporated goth, rockabilly and garage trash.

It hailed headliners such as Guana Batz, The Meteors, Frenzy, Restless and Demented are Go, supported by many bands which are still the staple diet of psychobilly today – The Coffin Nails, Long Tall Texans, The Caravans and Frantic Flintstones to name a few.

The Klub Foot provided a central place for gigs to be held on a regular basis, a chance to meet with fellow psychos from all over the UK and a few from Europe too.  You could have a laugh, see some great bands, drink yourself silly, then burn off a few pounds by wrecking in one of the largest, sweatiest pits you have ever, or will ever be likely to see again. Oh, and if you had any money left you could always stock up on a new band t-shirt on the way out.

2 girls with red mohicans and quiffs and a boy with blog flat top wearing white alcoholic rats tshirts
Alcoholic Rats Scooter Club and friends at the Klub Foot

1988 THE END OF THE KLUB FOOT ERA

Unfortunately, The Klub Foot had to end in 1988 as the venue was being knocked down for the redevelopment of Hammersmith.  It put a real dampener on the scene for a good few years.

The Klub Foot tried to survive at other venues in London but by then the peak of the psychobilly youth cult in the UK had passed, although it had really taken off in Europe. Other gigs and festivals took place up and down the country but nothing had quite the same draw as the Klub Foot.

The closure of The Klub Foot at The Clarendon Hotel in Hammersmith was a coffin nail in British psychobilly.

gig flyer on a white background with black writing for Klub Foot London June 1988

THE INTERNET RESURRECTING 80s PSYCHOBILLY

Back in the early 2000s before social media became a part of our daily life, internet forums were our main source of internet interaction. Communities were built on Wrecking Pit and Psychobilly Online (PORK) where people could discuss their past musical tastes and misadventures. These were places to make new friends, rekindle relationships with old ones and find out what was happening in the psychobilly world.

Of course, The Klub Foot was discussed on many occasions, and thankfully several people still had a handful of photographs from that era.  People shared their pictures and flyers and recalled memories from their youthful past.  However, the nature of forums meant that all this interesting history was getting lost in internet archives.

I was already running my own website Alcoholic Rats where I hosted my own photos and memories, but there was so much more out there.

7 men with coloured hair and quiffs at the klub foot psychobilly venue
photo credit: Glenn Blake

STOMPING AT THE KLUB FOOT FAN PAGE – MYSPACE TO FACEBOOK

So in 2008, I set up a page on Myspace as a place for people to share their memories and photos – I wanted to develop a site that paid homage to the legendary Klub Foot, to be enjoyed by old and young psychobillies the world over.

As the internet progressed and everyone abandoned Myspace in favour of Facebook, I moved as much of it as I could over to the new page. There are lots of photos of bands and punters so do check them out if you fancy a trip down memory lane.

I do not own rights to any of the photos and where possible I have tried to credit them back to their original sender. But if you spot one of yours that isn’t named please message and tag me.

Please note: the page has no connection to the original promoter. It is purely a place to celebrate the youth culture of 80s psychobilly.

KLUB FOOT REUNIONS

Occasional Klub Foot Reunions have been put on by the original promoter in London during the millennium years and they certainly brought a few old faces back out of the woodwork.

glennblake-klubfoot-pharaohs-
The Pharaohs photo credit: Glenn Blake

PSYCHOBILLY TODAY

There are lots of promoters still putting on psychobilly gigs and festivals in the UK. Regular events such as Bedlam BreakoutThe Klub/Klubtastic and Pompey Rumble have been a longstanding driving force. Annual events such as Psychobilly Kicks Back and Psycho Santa give back to charity, as well as putting on great lineups.

It’s wonderful to see so many of these old Klub Foot bands still going strong and playing all over the world. They are now playing alongside a whole new breed of bands who are putting their own slant on psychobilly and rockabilly – some remaining true to old school sounds and some heading in a whole new direction. It’s keeping it fresh!

The live scene has ebbed and flowed over the decades. Bands and promoters have come and gone, and sadly so have many more venues. However, it’s still fairly strong at the moment with plenty of gigs to choose from so please show your support to those who are keeping it alive.

You can check out the current gig listings on my gig guide page:

UK PSYCHOBILLY GIG GUIDE LISTINGS
FLYERS ON FACEBOOK
* INTERVIEWS

STOMPING AT THE KLUB FOOT GIG LIST

Thanks to the input from Russ Surfer (Death Valley Surfers, The Klub, Klubtastic) and all the people who sent in gig flyers to the Myspace page, I was able to compile a dated list of all the Klub Foot gigs. We think we managed to get them all, although we’re not sure what happened to 1983.

stomping-at-the-klubfoot-alcoholic-rats-gig-flyers

1982

5 Aug – GBH, The Insane, Soldiers of Destruction

12 Aug – UK Subs, Actifed, Chaos

26 Aug – The Addicts, Defects, Brutal Attack, Soldiers of Destruction

23 Sept – Chelsea, The Addicts, Satellites

8 Nov – UK Subs, The Vibrators, Soldiers of Destruction

1984

Sat 22 September Guana Batz, The Stingrays, The Milkshakes, Restless

Sat Dec 8 The Meteors, Sunglasses After Dark, The Trifids, Badlands

1985

Sat 6 Apr – Restless, The Sting-Rays, Frenzy, Demented are Go

Sat 20 Apr – Guana Batz, The Prisoners, X Men, The Creepshow

Sat 6 Jul – The Sting-Rays, The Prisoners, DAG, The Pharaohs

Sat 3 Aug – Guana Batz, Frenzy, Surfadelics, Turnpike Cruisers

Sat 10 Aug – The Meteors, The Outer Limits, Long Tall Texans, Temple Slang

Sat 24 Aug – Tall Boys, Frenzy, The Rapids, The Sting-Rites, The Pharaohs, Primevils, DAG

Sat 7 Sept – Boothill Foot Tappers, Bluberry Hell Bellies, The Rapids, The Outer Limits

Sat 12 Oct – Restless, Colbert Hamilton and the Hellrazors, The Pharaohs, The Outer Limits

Sat 26 Oct – Guana Batz, DAG, Rochee and the Sarnos

Sat 9 Nov – The Sting-Rays, DAG, The Rapiers, The Pharaohs

Sat 16 Nov – Frenzy, DAG, Rochee and the Sarnos, Louie Stars, Nearer the Far

Sat 7 Dec – Hank Wangford Band, Terry & Gerry, Redbeards from Texas

Sat 14 Dec – Restless, DAG, The Lone Stars

Sat 21 Dec – Guana Batz, Rochee and the Sarnos, The Outer Limits, The Skiff Skatts

man playing a double bass wearing a brown leather jacket and baseball hat on stage at the Klub Foot
Jonny Bowler Get Smart photo credit: Glenn Blake

1986

Sat 18 Jan – Ray Campi and the Rockabilly Rebels,  DAG, The Deltas, Wigsville Spliffs

Fri 7 Mar – Guana Batz, DAG, The Golden Horde, The Pharaohs

Sat 29 Mar – The Meteors, DAG, X Men, The Coffin Nails

Sat 12 Mar – Restless, The Deltas, Wigsville Spliffs, The Caravans

Sat 10 May – Frenzy, DAG, Batmobile, Torment

Sat 21 Jun – Guana Batz, Batmobile, Wigsville Spliffs, Coffin Nails

Sat 12 Jul – Ray Campi, DAG, The Caravans, Coffin Nails

Sat 19 Jul – The Meteors, Levi Dexter and the Daggers, Torment, The Krewmen

Sat 2 Aug – The Sting-Rays, The Deltas, Surfadelics, The Highliners

Sat 16 Aug – Frenzy, DAG, Wigsville Spliffs, Red Hot n Blue

Sat 23 Aug – Restless, The Rapiers, The Highliners, ?

Sat 30 Aug – Batmobile (live recording), Rochee and the Sarnos, Coffin Nails, The Caravans, Torment, Wigsville Spliffs

Sat 6 Sept – Guana Batz (Still Sweatin video recording), Bluberry Hell Bellies, The Pharaohs, The Valients

Sat 20 Sept – Buddy Curtis and the Grasshoppers, The Rapiers, Howling Wilf and The Vee Jays

Sat 27 Sept – The Meteors, Rochee and the Sarnos, The Highliners, Get Smart

Sat 4 Oct – DAG, The Deltas, Torment, Coffin Nails, The Krewmen

Sat 11 Oct – Dr Feelgood, Howling Wilf and the Vee-Jays, Finger Tips

Sat 18 Oct – Frenzy, Rochee and the Sarnos, Wigsville Spliffs, Get Smart

Sat 15 Nov – Batmobile, Torment, The Caravans, Frantic Flintstones

Sat 6 Dec – Restless, Rochee and the Sarnos, Coffin Nails, Cat Burglars

Sat  Dec 13 The Meteors, Torment, Wigsville Spliffs, Skitzo

Sat 27 Dec – Guana Batz, The Highliners, The Turnpike Cruisers, Har Har Hermann

blue and white back stage pass label for Coffin Nails 1987 at the Klub Foot

1987

Sat 17 Jan – DAG, The Deltas, The Pharaohs, Skitzo

Sat 24 Jan – The Jets, Rochee and the Sarnos, Torment, The Coffin Nails, Fractured

Sat 14 Feb – Frenzy

Sat 7 Mar – Restless

Fri 13 Mar – Guana Batz, DAG, Coffin Nails (Live over London Recording)

Sat 14 Mar – Guana Batz, Restless, Skitzo (Live over London Recording)

Sat 28  Mar – The Highliners

Sat 4 Apr – The Meteors, Long Tall Texans, Frantic Flintstones, Emptifish

Sat 9 May – DAG, Torment, Long Tall Texans, Frantic Flintstones

Sat 23 May – Frenzy, Rochee and the Sarnos, Coffin Nails, Fractured

Sat 20 Jun – Restless

Sat 4 Jul – The Highliners, Torment, The Caravans, Sgt Bilkos Krazy Combo

Sat 11 Jul – The Meteors, Long Tall Texans

Sat 25 Jul – Batmobile, Torment, Coffin Nails, Fractured, The Nitros

Sat 5 Sept – The Meteors, Torment, Frantic Flintstones, ?

Fri 11 Sept – Guana Batz, Long Tall Texans, Fractured, Shark Bait

Sat 12 Sept – Guana Batz, Long Tall Texans, Fractured, Shark Bait

Sat 24 Oct – DAG, Bluberry Hell Bellies, Coffin Nails, Vulture Squadron

Date unreadable – The Highliners, Long Tall Texans, Get Smart, Sgt Bilkos Krazy Combo

Sat 19 Dec – The Meteors, Turnpike Cruisers, Vulture Squadron, Shakin Bones

black newspaper flyer for record releases Stomping at the Klub Foot 5 and Rough Edges by Guana Batz

1988

Sat 2 Jan – Torment, Long Tall Texans, The Pharaohs, Coffin Nails

Sat 16 Jan – The Highliners, Long Tall Texans, Fractured, Get Smart, Sgt Bilkos Krazy Combo

Sat 13 Mar – DAG, Coffin Nails

Sat 4 Jun – DAG, Coffin Nails, Frantic Flintstones, The Quakes

There were 8 gigs in succession daily to mark the closing of The Klub Foot in the Summer of 1988, headlined by:

The Cardiacs

Death Angel

The Meteors

Guana Batz (support by DAG, Torment)

The Highliners

Ghost Dance

The Lime Spiders

The Stupids

12 ticket stubs from the Klub Foot London pink red and yellow in colour

DOWNSTAIRS AT THE CLARENDON GIG LIST

10/02/84 – The Stingrays, The Vibes

24/02/84 – Guana Batz, The Vibes

02/03/84 – Tall Boys, Circle of Sin

03/03/84  – Restless, The Frantix

16/03/84 – The X-Men, The Cannibals

30/03/84  – Guana Batz, Restless

13/04/84 – Surfin Lungs & Surfadelics

20/04/84 – The Prisoners

11/05/84 – The Stingrays, Rib Joints

25/05/84 – The X-Men, Cat Talk

19/08/84 – Restless, The Rapids

22/09/84? – Guana Batz, Creepshow

09/11/84 – The X-Men, Zombie Rockers

30/11/84 – The Vibes, Zombie Rockers

02/12/84 – The Deltas, Fireball XL5

? /12/84 – Restless, The Rapids

31/12/84  – Guana Batz, ?

04/01/85  – The Vibes, Stars on Sunday

01/02/85  – The X-Men, The Golden Hord

10/02/85  – The Rapids, Roughcuts

22/02/85  – The Vibes, Creepshow

08/03/85 – The Stingrays, The Huns

09/03/85 – King Kurt, Sober as a Judge

15/03/85  – The X-Men, The Moonsters

26/04/85 – The Vibes, Surfin Lungs

14/06/85 – The X-Men, Fixed Up

13/07/85 – Frenzy, ?

17/08/85  – The Rapids, Fungus

flyer with black background advertising 4 albums Live at the Klub Foot. Green Background with musician and crowd in background
I will be writing more about the Klub Foot in the future, and I will be rewriting and republishing my memoirs Tales of An Alcoholic Rat at some point too, so do sign up for email notifications and follow on social media.

You may also like to read some of my other interviews and musical features including many people who attended the Klub Foot back in the 1980s.

* MUSICAL FEATURES & INTERVIEWS AT TEA & CAKE FOR THE SOUL
* KLUB FOOT LIVE RECORDINGS

 

 

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS OF KLUBFOOT BANDS AND GIG GOERS ON FACEBOOK

If you want me to include your own memories to a future post about Klub Foot, then please use the contact form here at Tea and Cake for the Soul or messenger me on Facebook.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Stomping at the Klub Foot – A Tribute Page to 1980s Psychobilly

  1. I read the Klub Foot dates comparing them to my army career (four years) which basically coincided with it hence I never went though had been buying the music prior to 85 when I joined and caught up in 89 when I left. I got active then but had missed the heyday. Four years to us no is nothing but back then buying records in 1989 that came out in 1985 was a huge void. Plus when you lived in the back and beyond once Sounds & NME turned their backs on psychobilly you had to do a lot of digging to find out if it still existed! Loved the page and seeing some young faces I got to know years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved doing the stage as roadie for the guana batz and loved attending many more gigs , both upstairs and downstairs. It’s never been replicated anywhere in the world, despite efforts by numerous promoters. The atmosphere was unique but it was the time, especially at the start and middle of the heyday that affords the fondest memories for me. Another great article jo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! You’ve gone do well compiling and listing all of those gigs. How lucky that so many who went to
    the Klub Foot actually saved their flyers and tickets!
    I loved that place and spent many a night there, I even remember passing out once during The Meteors, as it was so hot!
    I think I saw The Meteors, Restless & The Highliners there the most.
    Thanks Jo x

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.