Music shows and releases

Brenda’s Alternative Mardi Gras 05


Hosted by Chloe Poems with Hotpants Romance, Beats for Beginners, Tracey Elizabeth, Veba’s 30th, Dreambomb, Jelli Fish. DJ’s Jayne Compton and Debbie Jump.

Club, performance space, art gallery; Brenda is, and has been, many things to many people over the years. More than a woman and more than a club, her number includes oracles, clowns, cartoonists, artists, DJs, singers, professionals, doleys. Brenda is not picky and that’s part of her charm.

My first experience of Brenda was under a summer night’s sky. I sat by the bonfire on the edge of a coffin-like box which was filled with animated people. We drank, smoked, watched and toe-tapped as overhead a stuffed dummy straddled the fire. Wearing the blue, patterned dress that I wore at the end of my pregnancy, right up there, on top of the creaking wood pile, the fabric blossomed into flame.

My memories of that night take the form of well-thumbed stills; dancing, arms outstretched as if they were made of elastic, clowns tumbling on filthy mattresses, fire-dried, stinging eyes. After a 3 year hiatus, Club Brenda was reborn again that night in the shambolic surrounds of Islington Mill. Filled to the brim with 400 and more, a conga wriggled its way around the junk-strewn outside courtyard and back inside again.

Ruth Allan
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