July 29th, 2015  / Author: Al

This months Bristol internet entertainments magazine 247 has a feature by rock journalist Robin Askew about the city’s former venues. He homes in on 26 venues that no longer exist and we were pleased as punch to discover that at number one it was the Granary!


Robin’s review of the club read “The roll of honour above the entrance to the Granary club at 32 Welsh Back read like a who’s who of prog, metal, classic rock and punk: Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Robert Plant, Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, Ian Dury, Iron Maiden, Dire Straits, Motorhead, John Cougar, Status Quo, Billy Idol, Def Leppard, The Stranglers . . . More than 1500 bands squeezed on to its tiny stage between 1968 and 1988. Originally run as a jazz club by the late Acker Bilk, the Grade II listed Bristol Byzantine building announced its reincarnation as a rock venue on November 15, 1968, with a gig by the great bluesman Muddy Waters. Its director was legendary local capsizer Tony Bullimore. A grungy, sticky-floored dive, with local bikers serving as ’security’, The Granary couldn’t have been further removed from today’s corporate, elf’n’safety-constrained venues. That’s probably why it remains so widely loved, spawning a book (The Granary Club: The Rock Years, Broadcast Books) and regular old rocker reunions at the Golden Lion on Gloucester Road. Today, the building has been converted into expensive apartments with a fish restaurant on the ground floor.

You will find the complete article at



Based on the number of documented gigs in the Granary book a list has been posted on the Facebook Granary site showing the professional and semi-professional bands that played there most often.

Which professional group was the most popular live at the Granary?
1: QUARTZ - 16 appearances (pictured)
2: SAM APPLE PIE - 14 appearances
3: CLIMAX BLUES BAND - 13 appearances
4: TRAPEZE - 12 appearances
5: STRIFE - 11 appearances
6: LARRY MILLER - 11 appearances


Which semi-professional group was the most popular live at the Granary?
Based on the recorded number of appearances at the club it was
1: BIRTH - 17 appearances
2: CRIMSON EARTH - 16 appearances
3: WISPER - 11 appearances
3: GOOD HABIT - 11 appearances

As many bands that played at short notice as replacements for ones that didn’t turn up or at private parties or during the later years when no records were kept it’s likely that this list is questionable. Colin Bond posted on Facebook “I put STORMTROOPER (1976-1981) forward as one of the bands to have played the Granary most. We did a hell of a lot of private parties, social events and stand ins too, one being filling in at a couple of hours notice for ACDC, that was a fun night, we managed to prevent the disgruntled punters from tearing the place apart, I doubt if they had a refund too!” I added that JACOB MARLEY used to finish their set at the Naval Volunteer and speed around the corner with their gear to replace the non-appearance grouploads of times.





Newsletter May 2015

May 15th, 2015  / Author: Al


Our last Granary re-union was thoroughly enjoyed by all and musically proved to be a winner. Our sincere thanks to everyone who deposited their spare change in the Granary fund bucket as enough was collected to keep the web site and the mail out services running for the next year.

The Granary DJs helped publicise that it was just 1 day to the release of an album by a colleague of the gig venue.


Super-Ed Newsom left, Al Read, Adrian Coleman back, Ade the First Copley, new album release artist front, a group of drunken bums joining in right.



Karen and Melanie enjoying the rock classics pounding out of the nearby speaker. The poster on the wall advertises Al’s Granary book which finally sold out on the night. Al has no more copies available and, as a reprint is unlikely, perhaps he’ll shut up about it now. Yes Al, we all know you’re allowed to call yourself an author!


David Roberts is a good friend of the Granary and has told us of the reprint of his Rock Atlas. The book includes several pages featuring the Granary Club in Bristol keeping the club firmly on the map!


ROCK ATLAS has hundreds of stories which deliver a fresh, new insight into the lives of the UK and Ireland s rock and pop stars. Where were they born? Why does a particular place inspire them? Why do so many locations mean so much to musicians and us fans? ROCK ATLAS has the answers. If you ve ever wondered how Steve Marriott got on with his neighbours, how Bob Dylan went ghost-hunting in Worcestershire, what a rude boy s bedroom looks like, where Eleanor Rigby is buried or how The Jam are commemorated in their home town of Woking, this is the book for you. This fact-packed look at rock and pop, from an entirely different perspective, throws up many new revelations about our favourite musicians. When you ve finished reading the stories, you can visit the places. Every one of the book s 800 entries is followed by directions for how to find the iconic venues, record shops, statues, album cover shoots, childhood homes and festival sites


The day following the last last Granary re-union saw yet another re-union take place as some of the original Granary team met at a Clifton tavern to recall those heady days of rock creativity.


Left to right: Paul Birchill who was the guitarist with “Obsession” who were the first group to play on our opening night at the Granary on Monday 30th December 1968. Duncan Graham (now resident in Canada and still playing) was the bassist with “Obsession”, Mike Tobin was the vocalist with “Obsession” and was the man responsible for arranging the move from our start venue of the “Dugout” to the new premises of the Granary, Andy Davis was the guitarist and vocalist with “Griptight Thynn” who were also sharing the bill on the opening night, Ed Newsom was the Granary DJ on that opening night and can be found still proving his worth at every Granary re-union.


The story isn’t over yet. The legacy of the Granary lives with the re-union nights and here’s a reminder of our next special event.



March 1st, 2015  / Author: Al

Our last newsletter featured some “just discovered” photographs of the legendary Motorhead Granary gig on Monday 6th April 1981 sent to us by Aiden Naughton. Here’s a couple more of the “now archived pics”



Must admit that we’re always partial to a little satire every now and then and this take on the line-up for the Glastonbury festival caused a chuckle or two.


Don’t forget to contact us if you have any pictures or stories to tell of the Granary Glory Days. Email


January 25th, 2015  / Author: Al

Our thanks to Gran Fan Aidan Naughton who had the forethought to take his camera along to the Granary gig featuring Motorhead. This was a specal event organised by a motorcycle club (possibly Hell’s Angels) so not recorded in my Agency booking folder. Les, who was in charge at the time, was notorious for not writing anything down so there were no records of the actual date of the gig. Aidan is sure it was after February 1981 and as I was sure it was in the period of Les as manager,the gig was probably in the second half of 1981. If you have any information that might help do let us know.

motorheadgran1 lemmy-31


granareunited-34-poster-web 2015-gran-events1

Newsletter November 2014

December 2nd, 2014  / Author: Al



It’s the best event in this Christmas to get together with your friends and celebrate our lasting love for all that’s Granary rock. Go crazy to the classic rock tracks that you just want to hear once again brought to you by the original Granary DJs. Make arrangements now to meet up with your rockin’ mates at the Lion on the 21st and do it like we did at the Granary rock disco. Memories will be revived of nights in denim and Black Sabbath t-shirts, sticky bar carpets and questionable toilet arrangements! The Granary was great and the reunions have a reputation of being as close as it can be to the original. We want to see you there, don’t let us down!



Nearly 1,500 copies of the Granary book have been sold and it is now not available in your local friendly book shop. However there are copies for you to purchase as rocking good presents for Christmas at our reunion on 21st December at the Lion. Not only is the book priced at less than half of its original retail price but also the original Granary DJs are there to sign the book to make it a special gift for someone.



Our last newsletter brought you the human story of despair as Al mourned the loss of the film that featured the group East of Eden back in the dim past of 1968. Al sang in the band whilst Granary DJ Ed was roadie. Many years of trying to track down a copy failed leaving both the Granary guys bereft with no evidence of this highlight in the progressive rock time of their life. After our last newsletter where the missing film was featured we received several helful leads to the existence of a copy of an original VHS of the film. Afew weeks later a DVD turned up from our friend Piotr in Poland who had obtained one of the copies from the USA. Al has now seen the film and was suprised to see that the part where he showed his acting skills when he had to halt the playing of the band to point out that the venue was on fire had been editted out!


October 30th, 2014  / Author: Al


We are busy preparing the next Granary reunion with the intention of making it the best yet.


We do hope you can come along, bring your friends and wallow in the special kind of rock music that made the Granary legendary! DJ Supered has sent his Santa suit to the cleaners and has already planned his “Super Ed Super Set”. Ed’s theme for the first section of the evening is “1970’s & 1980’s tracks by bands that played at the Granary and are still gigging today in one shape or another.” For instance YES then and now.


DJ Ade (the first) Copley retains most of his memory and is by far the best of us at homing in on the tracks that were Friday night Granary Rock Disco favourites whilst DJ Adrian Coleman can be relied upon for the best of recent and current rock. Meanwhile Al will be rehearsing his amusing one liners (People laughed when he said he was a comedian. No ones laughing now!)

Newsletter September 2014

October 30th, 2014  / Author: Al



Many of the bands featured in this new book played at the Granary in the late Seventies and Eighties. The Cortinas and Looney Tunes on the same night in November 1979. The Spics in September 1979 and, of course, Granary appearances by many more new wave Bristol bands like Vice Squad, Vitus Dance, The Rimshots, Court Martial and the Hybrids. Add this book to your Granary Club book (and the fine Bristol Folk by Mark Jones) and you’ve got it covered! Bristol Boys make More Noise is published by Tangent Books £14. PS - And I’ve still got my Cortinas badge!




There was a series of progressive rock nights featuring Bristol based East of Eden at the Dugout in the late Sixties. When the Dugout became to small to handle the ever increasing crowd and the blues and rock bands that took over when East of Eden left Bristol, a move to the Granary organised by Mike Tobin began a new era. The other three of the four original Granary team members, Al Read, Terry Brace and Ed Newsom, were with East of Eden and had fleeting moments of being “almost famous”. One of these was appearing in a film directed by Tony Richardson (Look Back in Anger, Tom Jones, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Charge of the Light Brigade and many more). The film was Laughter in the Dark which originally had Richard Burton in the lead male role. He was, however, sacked and replaced with Nicol Williamson.

The film was released to cinemas in London but there were bad reviews and and a furious Tony Richardson withdrew the film and destroyed the copies. Since that event in late 1968 no copies of the film have been found. Posters, handouts and press information survived but tere’s no mention of East of Eden on any of these. No way of proving we were even in it! Until a few weeks ago. A prog rock colleague in Poland came across a still from the film. Al is on vocals with Terry Brace on bass. The lady with her back to the camera is leading lady Anna Karina and Al can confirm that it is definitely him in the flouncy white shirt. If you know where there is a copy of the film is please let us know!


Newsletter AUGUST 2014

October 30th, 2014  / Author: Al


webgran32 Next Sunday at the Lion we will be celebrating our thirty second Granary Club reunion and we want your company. We must warn you that there might be bad language, adult themes and flashing lights but who cares… it’s rock n roll! It’s free admission so tell your friends and neighbours to come and be be prepared to indulge in the best of classic rock. The following day is a Bank Holiday (or as we know it …recovery time) so as most of us will have a day off we can take advantage of the pub price beer! Granary memorabilia adorns the walls and there are copies of the Granary book at sale price that you can get signed by the Granary DJs. Make an early arrival at the Lion in order to catch every classic track but, whatever you do MAKE IT! See you there mateys.



You are all aware of the impressive list of name rock bands that played at the club throughout the Seventies. We relied heavily on our relationship with the booking agents at the major London music agencies. They knew how reliable the Granary was as a venue and how appreciative the audience were. We received a message after our last mailout from booking agent Mike Reed who said “I was a very ‘umble booker in a London Agency in The very early 70’s we had a list of places EVERY band should play…Apart form the obvious .,Marquee Greyhound etc, the Granary was writ in large letters…as Stan Webb (Stan Webb and Chicken Shack - at least 4 Granary dates betweeb 1974 and 1981) put it to a young ambitious Guitarist,, ‘make heads bounce there son and you’ve cracked it!”


Stan Webb (left) and Chicken Shack

Lubin (Lem Lubin saxaphone with jazz rock band Satisfaction - Granary dates in 1971 to 1973) is still a great mate, retired and living like me in darkest Wiltshire….you’d be surprised who comes creeping out of the woodwork around here…Oddly, although most things about the Biz(before it became an industry) were odd, I worked for both Chrysalis and Revolution as well as Starlight. Although the word ‘worked’ does suggest we got paid…….you very often couldn’t move for Egos…….I remember Brinsley  Schwartz ,Quintessence ,Gentle Giant ( who I went on the road with …I think) Terry Reid,now THERE was a set of pipes..


Front page of Granary magazine Oct 1971

Big thanks to Mike Reed, we look forward to another collection of his Granary memories soon.


August 1st, 2014  / Author: Al

It is just 24 more days to the Next Granareunited gig. This gives you time to tell all your friends and arrange to meet at the Lion for a great night packed with Granary classic rock tracks. You’ll let yourself go to those favourites that made the Granary nights so memorable as well as finding the your pleasure bumps will be tickled by the surprise forgotten goodies that will blast out every now and then.


The evening starts at 7.30pm with a collection well thought out classic tracks to welcome you presented by the Granary’s first DJ Ed Newsom. The rest of the team will take it in turns thoughout the night to recreate the atmosphere of the Granary rock disco.


Granareunited 32 falls on the 26th anniversary of the time when the Granary closed it’s door forever and Bristol lost its legendary rock club. The Granary gigs exist to show that, whilst the club may have gone, the memories and the music will rock on for a long time yet! Here’s a sad reminder of the last days of the club with a picture of the band Herb Garden packing away their gear after the ast live gig at the club.



The Granary has a Facebook page where you can join other Granary fans posting your favourite rock tracks and your Granary memories. Search for Granary-Bristol and request to join. Congratulations to “Ornette Fringe” who, a few days back, became the 500th member of our Granary Facebook group. Ornette works at the Fringe Music Bar in Clifton. Cool.



June 29th, 2014  / Author: Al


Al and Ed invite you to party like it’s Sunday 24th August 2014 on ……um….hang on I’ll just check the poster


It’s the classic rock event of the summer when the original Granary DJs will treat you to night of classic rock! The following day is a Bank Holiday or as we like to term it “time to recover). Meet your mates from the days of the good old Gran. Enjoy the memorabelia on show and pick up a copy of the Granary book at a special price


A search of the internet reveals two posters of British tours by the SCORPIONS with the Granary featured on each tour.


They scored a top 40 hit in 1979 with “Is There Anybody There” and then a massive number 2 hit in 1991 with “Wind of Change”.

We’re looking forward to your company on August 24th, till then - Stay Cool, Hang Loose and Go with the Flow Al & Ed.!