Belfast’s Oh Yeah Music Centre will hark back to the 1980s later this month to celebrate the glory days of city nightclubs’ The Delta and The New Plaza.
The clubs, in Donegall Street, which were originally aimed at the city’s gay community, became the favourite haunt of punks, goths, psychobillies and all manner of other disenfranchised and disillusioned youth in mid 1980s Belfast. The members-only nightspots provided a haven in a troubled province with their eclectic music style.
The reunion was the brainchild of Gavin Bloomer, Patricia Prosser and Lyndon Stephens. Bloomer was a nightclub promoter and DJ in the city during the 1980s and 1990s, and Stephens is still behind the decks.
Bloomer’s recently launched Facebook page 'My Jeans Got Bogging at the Delta and then at the Plaza' has proved to be something of a phenomenon with over 500 members to date. Fans are encouraged to post pictures from the time, as well as their favourite tunes and memories. It has formed an archive of a very special slice of the city’s cultural life.
Now, those who enjoyed the Delta and the Plaza will celebrate some of the old magic with a special one-off night at the Oh Yeah Centre on Saturday, March 27 - organised by Bloomer.
“All you needed for a good night out was a carry-out,” he says. “Some of the best tunes in the city were played there with everything from punk to pop and northern soul. Sectarianism was left at the door as you lost yourself in a haze of cider and hairspray.
“What you've also got to remember is that back then this part of Belfast was a no-go area after dark. It was a world away from the Cathedral Quarter we're familiar with now. And it’s fair to say that many prominent figures in the city’s creative community emerged from the scene at the Delta and the Plaza,' says Bloomer.